Cannabis and CBD for Motion Sickness
Everyone has had nausea at some point in their lives. And, as you are probably aware, motion sickness can cause nausea. The good news is that cannabis is available in many states for motion sickness, and the herb has the power to help nausea. It can also work wonders in combating the other symptoms of motion sickness.
If you’ve ever had motion sickness, you know how painful motion sickness can be if you’ve been sick to your stomach in a car, a plane, or a boat. Although motion sickness doesn’t lead to long-term issues, if you fly regularly, it can be unpleasant. Motion sickness is also referred to as car sickness, air sickness or sea sickness. And, although anyone will feel motion sickness when there is enough motion, there are still many concerns as to why some people are more likely to get sick in vehicles, flights, boats, and other things that trigger motion.
What is Motion Sickness
Motion sickness is a very common disturbance of the inner ear that is caused by a repeated motion from a vehicle or any other movements that disturb the inner ear. Most people are affected by this when they ride on a roller coaster or on a similar amusement park. However, this condition is common for some traveling by car, train, plane or boat.
Although children and pregnant women are at higher risk of getting motion sickness, there is also a risk to just about anyone who travels. Seasickness is also a type of motion sickness for individuals who travel on boats. Other risk factors include:
- How you travel
- Not being able to see out the window to help with orientation
- Not enough ventilation inside the vehicle
- Your anxiety and fear about traveling
The brain senses movement through various nervous system pathways including the inner ear, eyes and body surface tissue.
When the body is moved intentionally, for instance when walking, our brain coordinates the inputs from all the pathways. When the central nervous system receives conflicting messages from the sensory systems, the signs of motion sickness appear: the inner ear, eyes, skin pressure receptors, and the tactile muscle and joint receptors. For example, if someone is sitting on a boat or in a car (not looking out of a window), their inner ears will feel motion up and down, left and right, but their eyes will see a static image as if they were not moving at all. It is hypothesized that motion sickness is responsible for the discrepancy between the inputs.
Types of Motion Sickness
There are three categories of motion sickness:
- Motion sickness due to a feeling of motion that you can’t see, such as airsickness, seasickness, car sickness, spinning dizziness, centrifuges
- Motion sickness due to seeing something you can’t feel like, like fast-paced videos and film, space sickness, virtual reality
- Motion sickness due to both visual and auditory motion detection systems, but not corresponding like if you step inside a centrifuge or in an area of centrifugal force simulating gravity, the Coriolis effect results in a sense of motion in your vestibular system that does not suit the movement you see.
If you travel on a poorly maintained road in a car for a long time, and the vehicle is going extremely slowly, the senses don’t fit. Because of the poor-quality road the vehicle jerks around a lot, giving your inner ear a sense of intense motion. Because the pace is so slow, however, there is no sense to your eye of a corresponding amount of motion.
Symptoms of Motion Sickness
Any form of transport may give rise to the uncomfortable feeling of sickness from motion. Amusement rides and playground equipment for children can sometimes cause motion sickness. Children aged 2 to 12 are most likely to experience motion sickness. Pregnant women, too, are more likely to experience this kind of inner ear disturbance.
As a result of motion sickness it is also common to experience the following symptoms:
- short breath
Many forms of motion sickness are mild and prone to self-treatment. Very severe cases, and those that are gradually getting worse, deserve the attention and care of a doctor with special skills in ear diseases, balance (equilibrium) and nervous system.
How Cannabis Can Help Relieve the Symptoms of Motion Sickness
Advocacy groups suggest trying medical marijuana to relieve nausea induced by chemotherapy, but research has shown that it can also help with nausea caused by motion. Marijuana contains complex compounds and cannabinoids. The main cannabinoid theoretically capable of treating motion sickness and other associated symptoms is CBD. Research suggests that CBD therapy stimulates some somatodendritic 5-HT (1A) receptors, reducing the release of the nausea-inducing chemicals.
In 2010 a German research team conducted a study in which they examined blood samples taken from human volunteers before, as well as during and after parabolic flight maneuvers. Parabolic flight describes the representation of the weightlessness of space travel. Pilots nose-dive the aeroplane for about 30 seconds and then pull out sharply for another 30 seconds at approximately two G-forces tolls before they strode down again. Researchers discovered that volunteers who became ill had lower endocannabinoid levels, while those who did not get sick experienced an increase in endocannabinoid levels.
Medical cannabis treatment for Motion Sickness
It has been shown that medical marijuana can help some people with motion sickness. Like many other medications, there is a risk of overuse. However, medical marijuana has been shown to be completely safe with regard to overdose and emergency side effects.
If you are considering medical marijuana to ease your motion sickness, it is always better to consult with a licensed medical cannabis doctor.