Cannabinoid Therapy for Nausea and Vomiting Caused by Chemotherapy (NaVIQ) – Buy Medical Cannabis Website Ottawa Canada

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Chemotherapy is probably one of the most common treatments to fight cancer. It is often used together with other therapies, as well as surgery. The main objective is to cure, or at least reduce the symptoms, reducing the size of the tumor or stop the spread of cancer cells around the body. Unfortunately, chemotherapy often leads to unpleasant side effects, as well as nausea and vomiting (also known as emesis).

It is calculated that about 50% of these patients will experience nausea or vomiting due to either the disease itself, or the anti-cancer drugs. On the other hand, patients also experienced the same unpleasant sensations prior to receiving chemotherapy doses, this process is known as anticipated NaVIQ, attributed to a psychological etiology. There are already a large number of anti-nausea and antiemetic medications to be able to control the problem, however, sometimes these are not strong enough, and, therefore, alternatives are necessary. This article will discuss the current prescription available for NaVIQ, as well as review the benefits of cannabinoid options.

What does chemotherapy do?

Through chemotherapy, antineoplastic agents attack fast-growing cells, both cancer cells and healthy ones. Normal tissues could be the hair follicles (causing hair loss), the cells lining the mouth, stomach and intestines. This means that, in general, patients feel suspicious or refuse to receive treatment for fear of dealing with NaVIQ symptoms.

Current treatment regimens

During chemotherapy, serotonin is released into the gastrointestinal tract. Serotonin can then bind to the 5-HT3 receptor (located in the central and peripheral nervous system) and this is known to be one of the causes of nausea and vomiting.

Classical management involves the 5-HT3 receptor antagonists, which inhibit the binding itself. This form of antiemetic has proven to be very successful, but it does not always work and in some cases, it can produce some aversive effects, as well as insomnia, nausea and dizziness. For this reason, researchers have begun to investigate cannabinoids. To date, in the United States two forms of synthetic cannabinoids, Dronabinol and Nabilone, have been approved for NaVIQ. Both are artificially manufactured variations of Tetrahydrocannabinol (one of the active components that is naturally produced in the cannabis plant). These are usually administered to the patient in case he has not responded to conventional medication.


Cannabinoids, as well as Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD), have been known to suppress nausea and vomiting, in fact, one of the main known medical uses of THC was for NaVIQ (in the '70s) . From this conclusion, more and more studies have been carried out to find out if the mechanisms of the cannabinoids or the Endocannabinoid System could have an influence on the disease. When a cannabinoid is administered in the human body, it binds to the receptors (member of the Endocannabinoid System), nicknamed as cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) and cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2), among others.

These receptors are in the Central Nervous System, the Immune System, the gastrointestinal tract and also in the emetic reflex pathway. Therefore, it is understood that cannabinoids operate by inhibiting the interaction between serotonin and its receptors. An article published with animal models (vomiting was induced with CB1 antagonist receptors, cisplatin), revealed that THC was quite effective in reducing emesis. These results reflected those found in a similar way in studies with humans. In addition, it was observed that the administration of CBD, in a dose-dependent manner, also helped to decrease the reaction to cisplatin.

The Cannabinoid treatment for NaVIQ It is still considered somewhat controversial, perhaps because several doctors are not well informed of its properties. However, for many this is the only option when conventional solutions fail. THC and CBD not only reduce nausea and vomiting caused by antineoplastic agents, but also increase appetite, sleep habits and relieve pain. While more people and more people opt for this alternative, more research is carried out to observe all the advantages of cannabinoids.

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* This post has been made based on existing research until the date of publication of the article. Due to the increase of studies around medical cannabis, the information exposed may vary over time and we will inform in subsequent writings.


Cannabinoid Therapy for Nausea and Vomiting Caused by Chemotherapy (NaVIQ)


Cannabinoid Therapy for Nausea and Vomiting Caused by Chemotherapy (NaVIQ)


Conventional antiemetics are often not strong enough to deal with NaVIQ. A therapy with cannabinoids could be of great help in the treatment of this side effect of chemotherapy.


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