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Learn | 06.25.2024

Nausea After Smoking Weed? Here’s Why

Can weed make you nauseous? Absolutely.

For some, smoking weed can mean a relaxing evening with friends or a moment of creativity. For others, it can mean feeling like you’re having the worst experience you can think of.

In the end, feeling sick after consuming any kind of substance is never fun. But, with the right knowledge in hand, you can understand why some people feel nauseous when high, what to do about it, and how you can prevent feeling nauseous while high.

Can Weed Make You Nauseous?

Feeling sick after smoking weed? It’s a common occurrence for many weed smokers.

A natural next question you may ask is “Why does weed make me nauseous?”

There are several possibilities:

  1. Smoke irritation in the lungs can lead to nausea
  2. THC in higher doses can cause nausea
  3. Frequent, daily cannabis use can lead to condition termed Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome (CHS) which involves frequent nausea and vomiting
  4. Temporary changes in blood pressure after smoking cause lightheadedness or nausea

The response to marijuana is determined by a combination of factors, such as the chemical composition of the cannabis strain, the dose consumed, personal health (including metabolism), and previous experience with the substance.

Feeling Nauseous After Smoking Weed: The Endocannabinoid System At Play

Cannabis contains a compound that many of us know and love, Delta-9 THC, which is responsible for the euphoric high we experience. It acts by binding to cannabinoid receptors in the brain, which trigger a chemical drip that leads to the feeling of euphoria.

The endocannabinoid system is a signaling system present in the human body that regulates a wide variety of functions, including appetite control, mood, and pain sensations.

This system interacts with the chemical components of marijuana, such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Some research suggests that excessive activation of cannabinoid receptors in the brain can trigger nausea and vomiting in some people. This may be especially true when high doses of THC or strains of cannabis with a high concentration of THC are consumed.

When the endocannabinoid system is overstimulated, things can seem like a trip down the wrong rabbit hole. Hello nausea, and goodbye lunch. It’s pretty easy for the endocannabinoid system to feel overstimulated. All it needs is an excess of Delta-9 THC to trigger physical sensations of nausea, dizziness, and anxiety.

Psychological And Emotional Factors

In addition to chemical interaction, psychological and emotional factors can also contribute to the onset of nausea when smoking marijuana.

Anxiety, stress, or even negative anticipation can increase the likelihood of experiencing stomach upset.

The Big Green Out

Cannabis use can be a pleasurable and relaxing experience for many, but occasionally, it is possible to overindulge and experience what is commonly referred to as “greening out.”

While it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve overdosed on THC, it does mean you’ve consumed too much for your body to comfortably handle. At first, your palms may start to sweat, and waves of paranoia and anxiety may follow, leading to uncomfortable nausea and dizziness.

When the body’s cannabinoid receptors are overwhelmed by too much THC, a range of physical and mental side effects can occur.

Symptoms Of Consuming Too Much Cannabis

Beautiful young woman smoking marijuana joint while relaxing with boyfriend on the sofa at home. They resting together in the living room. Cannabis and weed legalization, using drugs, relationships

Anxiety: One of the most common symptoms of “greening out” is an intense feeling of anxiety or restlessness. The mind can race and irrational fears or worries can become overwhelming.

Nausea: Excessive THC consumption can trigger feelings of nausea and even cause vomiting in some cases. This stomach upset is a characteristic sign of “greening out”.

Dizziness: Feeling lightheaded or dizzy is another symptom that can accompany greening out. It may be accompanied by a lack of balance or coordination.

Panic: A feeling of panic or extreme discomfort may arise that makes it difficult to maintain calm or composure.

Paranoia: Excess THC can amplify feelings of paranoia or distrust. People may become overly suspicious or fearful, even in familiar settings or with trusted peers.

Lowered Blood Pressure

Some people may also experience a drop in blood pressure when smoking weed, which can lead to dizziness, lightheadedness, and that “get me off this boat” feeling of seasickness.

The relationship between cannabis and blood pressure is fuzzy, but worth keeping in mind if you experience these symptoms.

Some research has shown that blood pressure can drop immediately after smoking weed, but cannabis can increase blood pressure over time if consumed daily and frequently.

Paradoxical Reactions

Although cannabis is known to help calm nausea in chemotherapy patients, some people may have a paradoxical (contradictory) reaction, experiencing increased nausea and vomiting rather than relief.

This may be due to chronic overstimulation of specific brain receptors. Basically, you consume too much cannabis for your tolerance, resulting in the opposite effect you want to experience.

An overstimulated endocannabinoid system means less relief and more high-stress symptoms such as stress, nausea, anxiety, and paranoia.

Cannabis Hyperemesis Syndrome

Finally, a rare condition called cannabis hyperemesis syndrome has been linked to long-term marijuana use. This condition can cause abdominal pain, recurrent nausea, and repeated vomiting.

Some cannabis users relieve their symptoms of cannabis hyperemesis syndrome by taking hot baths and showers, but it can continue if the individual continues to use cannabis. Unfortunately, if you are experiencing recurring symptoms of cannabis hyperemesis syndrome, it may be time to consider a break from T.

Tips For Avoiding Nausea When Smoking Weed

If you are one of those people who suffer from nausea when smoking weed, here are some tips to reduce or avoid this unpleasant reaction:

Choose strains with low THC content: opting for cannabis strains with lower THC concentration and a higher proportion of cannabidiol (CBD) can reduce the likelihood of nausea. CBD has antiemetic properties and can counteract the unwanted effects of THC.

Proper dosage: Controlling the dosage of marijuana is critical to avoid unwanted side effects. Start with low doses and increase gradually according to your tolerance and personal experience.

Change your method of consumption: If smoking marijuana makes you nauseous, consider other forms of consumption, such as edibles or vaporizers. These alternatives may provide a gentler experience for your digestive system.

Final Opinion

Marijuana affects each person uniquely, and nausea is one of the less desirable responses some people may experience when smoking it.

The interaction between the endocannabinoid system, psychological and emotional factors, as well as the dosage and chemical composition of the plant, can all play a role in this reaction.

By choosing strains with lower THC content, dosing appropriately, and considering other forms of consumption, it is possible to reduce the likelihood of nausea while enjoying the benefits of marijuana. Remember, as with any substance, it is important to listen to your body and respect your personal limits.

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