Posted on June 21, 2018

Illnesses are typically treated with traditional drugs that can produce dozens of negative side effects. Marijuana is capable of treating a wide variety of symptoms and offers a much lower risk of adverse reactions. Today, our focus is on Cannabis Vs. Zofran (for Nausea). We’ll compare and contrast the benefits and side effects to better understand how they stack up against each other.


How it Works: Copious amounts of serotonin flood the system when something like chemotherapy or radiation upsets stomach cells. Serotonin triggers the nerves of the gut to empty the stomach. Zofran works to prevent nausea and vomiting by blocking the release of serotonin. It’s important to note that Chemo Induced Nausea and Vomiting (CINV) is incredibly severe and usually occurs within 6-24 hours of the last chemotherapy treatment, if not immediately.

Side Effects: Zofran can cause the patient to experience diarrhea, headaches, fever, lightheadedness, dizziness weakness and/or drowsiness.


How it Works: Two synthetic cannabinoids, Nabilone and Dronabinol, were approved by the FDA back in 1985. They are both variations of THC strains that are to be administered orally. Cannabis basically works the same way that Zofran does, by blocking the binding of serotonin & dopamine at receptor sites. The Dorsal Vagal Complex (DVC) in the brainstem is the primary regulator of nausea and vomiting. The DVC & gastrointestinal tract have endocannabinoid receptors that exhibit anti-nausea and anti-vomiting responses when activated by THC.

Many chemotherapy patients do not respond to traditional drugs, such as Zofran. In fact, many of these people experience adverse effects, making the situation worse.

30 clinical trials involving cannabinoids, placebos and traditional drugs have determined that synthetic cannabinoids alleviated CINV more efficently than placebos and traditional drugs. 

Side Effects: While the number is small, some patients have reported side effects such as drowsiness, depression and hallucinations after using Nabilone or Dronabinol.

What About Natural Cannabis?

Natural, inhaled cannabis, not only treats CINV, but also has proven to be effective for treating nicotine induced nausea. Most evidence comes from studies performed with strains of high percentages of THC, although CBD and hybrids can work too. CBD has the ability to decrease the sensation of nausea. 

"A huge benefit of using medical marijuana to treat nausea and vomiting is that it also stimulates appetite."

Natural cannabis is not yet legal at a federal level, which makes most researches unwilling to register their studies on Until natural medicinal marijuana is legal under federal law, patients will have to seek treatment in states that have legalized medical marijuana.


Luckily, Florida residents now have access to synthetic medical marijuana as well as natural medical marijuana. If you’re a Florida resident in need of relief, contact Marijuana Doctor today, to schedule your free consultation! Medical cannabis may be able to help YOU! Call us at (786) 224-4005, book your appointment online or stop in to one of our 12 Florida locations.