Green Guts: 13 Thoughts on Treating Nausea with Cannabis
Treat Nausea before, during and after you eat
By Alex Kime
Cannabis can combat a fiery gut, but the ammo doesn’t all work the same.
Whether the problem is a symptom of an illness or a side effect of a treatment, such as nausea or pain, cannabis can ease discomfort, as evidenced by the 30 states that have legalized its use for medicinal purposes.
Relief, however, can be delivered in many ways. Some may depend on the numerous conditions that cannabis impacts. Your doctor is always the best source for advice, but for starters, familiarize yourself with the basics.
1. For quick relief
Cannabis-infused gum, hard candy, mints and sublinguals are especially effective because these absorb straight into your bloodstream through your mouth, and they skip the digestive tract almost completely.
The areas in your cheeks and under your tongue are home to many capillaries that absorb the THC and other compounds in cannabis, allowing the soothing sensation from sublingual edibles to take effect in less than an hour.
2. Do a solid
Sure, you’ve got your classics, such as brownies and gummies, but with the help of cannabutter, you can infuse any of your favorite dishes. Since the food is absorbed through your digestive tract, it can take more than an hour to feel the full effects.
3. Mix it up
For a hybrid benefit of instant and longer-term relief, try infused drinks, honey or chocolate that absorb both orally and in your gastrointestinal tract.
4. Start small
A little goes a long way, and you can always eat more. Remember to start with a low dose and build up gradually from there. This technique is called microdosing.
5. Reduce the variables
Try infused versions of foods you already enjoy. Any experienced cannabis chef will tell you that you can infuse any and every one of your best recipes. If you’re planning on a meal with a variety of edibles, give each dish a separate trial run beforehand just to make sure you’ve got the taste and dosage right.
6. Set the controls
Don’t infuse all of the dishes you make for a meal. That way, if you’re still hungry, you can serve yourself seconds without increasing your dose.
7. Do the math
Every bite adds up. Keep a tally of the dose you’re taking over the hours, and make sure to pay special attention to the ratio of THC to CBD. Learn how to find the right dose for you using our dosing calculator.
8 .Know your gut
Everyone’s gut is different. Learn what causes your issues to narrow down which type of edible and dosage to try first.
9. Time everything
The when is as important as the how. Keep track of the activation times on the edibles you’re using. The goal is to have the effects hit you in small waves, not all at once.
10. Consult your local budtender
Instead of asking for a specific strain, explain what you want relief from, as well as how you want to feel overall. A good budtender will help you target your problem with the right strains and products.
11. Set the stage
Nibbling on edibles before a meal can help build appetite and lay the groundwork for a good overall experience, but remember to always keep your dosage low on an empty stomach. Watch the bites you take while cooking. All those taste tests can add up if you’re not careful.
12. During dinner
Adding canna oil, cannabutter, a tincture or distillate to a dish is the easiest way to medicate food. Drizzling a bit of your favorite infused oil on your salad and cooking your main course with some is like a one-two punch of absorption times.
“Cannabinoids are very lipophilic, meaning they bind and dissolve in fats, which allows the THC to be absorbed more efficiently into the bloodstream,” says Kenny Morrison, founder and CEO of The Venice Cookie Company, maker of Not So Virgin Olive Oil and Coconut Oil.
13. After the meal
Most people start experiencing some discomfort as the stomach goes to work on a meal. Budtenders suggest a cup of infused tea. This aids digestion by reducing inflammation and helping to regulate stomach acid.
Even after following best practices, it might take some time to find a routine that works for you.
“There are a million different reasons why someone might have stomach issues, so there isn’t a set formula that works for everyone,” says Laura Cohen, who uses cannabis to treat her ulcerative colitis symptoms. “Finding the right routine and foods partially comes down to trial and error.”
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