You’ll be shocked to learn that motion sickness is an exceedingly common issue. Up to 80% of the general population has suffered from it at some point in their lives while those with Meniere’s syndrome or migraine headaches are more likely to have it.
According to research conducted by the Naval Medical Center in San Diego in 2003, up to 70% of patients with motion sickness had vestibular system abnormalities. While there are drugs available to help, they can have an array of side effects. Perhaps CBD is the best medicine for motion sickness?
Read on to find out as we explore the medical research and facts…
What Causes Motion Sickness?
Have you ever felt unaccountably dizzy or nauseous while in a car, boat or after riding a swing at the fair? If so, you could be suffering from motion sickness. It is the uncomfortable nausea, dizziness, and vomiting people suffer after their sense of balance and equilibrium is disturbed by constant motion.
Everyday tasks such as riding in a car could stimulate the vestibular system and your vision; this is followed by a feeling of discomfort. Motion sickness can occur at any age but is more common in children aged two and over. While most people outgrow the issue, some don’t, and motion sickness is the outcome.
Your sensory organs control the body’s sense of balance as it tells your brain what direction you are facing and moving, and whether you’re standing still or turning around. The messages are given by the skin pressure receptors, the eyes, the inner ear, muscle & joint sensory receptors, and the central nervous system (CNS).
When conflicting messages are sent to the CNS, symptoms of motion sickness occur. A prime example is if you feel dizzy trying to read a book while traveling in a car. Your skin receptors and inner ear sense the motion, but your eyes are only registering the book’s stationary pages. This conflicting information results in nausea, dizziness, and vomiting in some cases.
Conventional Motion Sickness Treatments & Their Side Effects (NOT CBD)
There is a significant variety of Over the Counter (OTC) medication options such as Marezine, Benadryl, Dramamine, and Bonine. You are supposed to take these drugs up to 60 minutes before traveling. Each of the medications listed above are antihistamines, and the main side effect is drowsiness. As a result, you can’t take them if you’re driving or operating heavy machinery. Prescription drug options include Zofran and Transderm Scop.
Living with Motion Sickness
At present, there is no known cure for motion sickness although you can prevent and treat it. The best form of treatment is prevention which means no reading while traveling, keep your eyes focused ahead, and sit in areas where there is the least amount of motion, such as a seat near the wings on an airplane. Of course, you could always try CBD for your motion sickness.
How Does CBD Help With Motion Sickness?
As irritating as it may seem, the biological causes of nausea and vomiting help with the progression of various species. It is a defensive action designed to inhibit the digestion of chemicals toxic to the body. Since the discovery of the endocannabinoid system (ECS), researchers know this network of cannabinoid receptor sites play a significant role in the regulation of nausea and vomiting.
According to several studies, CBD indirectly activates 5-hydroxytryptamine (also known as 5-HT1A), a unique compound that reduces the nausea sensation and the accompanying vomiting reflex. Studies on chemotherapy patients have found that cannabis massively reduces nausea and vomiting. CBD supports high anandamide levels by inhibiting the fatty acid enzymes that degrade anandamide. The anti-nausea effects of CBD are due in part to the prolonged CB1 receptor activation in the brain.
CBD & Motion Sickness – The Research
A 2010 study by German scientists asked volunteers to take part in an experiment where they simulated the weightlessness of space travel. The scientists took blood samples before, during and after the simulation. They found that volunteers with the lowest levels of cannabinoids in their system suffered most from motion sickness.
A 2014 Chinese study proved that dexamethasone helps reduce motion sickness symptoms by enhancing the endocannabinoid system. The study was performed on rats and shows another clear link between the ECS and motion sickness.
Why Choose CBD For Motion Sickness?
Dronabinol is a synthetic version of THC, but evidence shows that it is nowhere near as effective for preventing motion sickness symptoms as natural marijuana. In addition, inhaled vapors from marijuana are far easier to consume when you have nausea, and it works much faster than a pill.
However, THC is psychoactive, so you can’t take it if you plan to drive. You also can’t take it in the 21 states where medical marijuana is illegal. An array of studies has clearly shown that CBD is just as effective as THC on motion sickness and it is legal in almost every state. The antiemetic properties of CBD make it ideal for use if you are fed up with the nausea, dizziness, and vomiting that comes with your bouts of motion sickness.
There are many great reasons to use CBD for motion sickness, but the fact it works much faster than traditional medications is a bonus. With OTC and prescription medication, you have to take it at least 30 minutes before traveling but 60 minutes is better. With CBD, you can vape or eat it a few minutes before leaving, and the effects will have taken hold by the time you travel. There are also lots of strains that energize you, so there are no drowsy side effects.
Final Thoughts on CBD & Motion Sickness
If you decide to buy CBD to help treat your motion sickness, make sure you read our list of reviews to ensure you purchase from a reputable supplier. The anti-nausea properties of marijuana have been known for centuries. However, it is only in recent times that scientists have found that CBD is just as effective as its psychoactive counterpart, THC.