Marijuana’s many medical benefits are becoming more and more discussed as new studies come out revealing its beneficial effects on a number of illnesses. Amongst these benefits is its ability to get rid of nausea; a benefit that’s typical of the herb unless you are suffering from cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome (CHS). This highly unpleasant condition is actually brought on in rare cases of people who smoke too much pot on a daily basis for 10 years or more. The high THC levels in the blood have an unfortunate effect. The symptoms involve cycles of vomiting and nausea so severe that patients are often hospitalized for dehydration multiple times before discovering the true cause of the issue.
The Elusive Nature of Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome
While marijuana can relieve the symptoms of the nausea temporarily in sufferers of cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome, it is ultimately the cause of the problem and continuing to smoke or ingest it can only make the condition worse. Upon being hospitalized, patients stop smoking and this is usually when they are returned home to repeat the cycle. Medical doctors are generally looking for signs of food poisoning, pregnancy, flu or gastritis when receiving a patient with severe vomiting and it usually takes many hospital visits to figure out what is causing the issue.
A Craving for Hot Water
One of the strange factors in this condition is that patients crave hot water baths and showers. The hot water is the only thing that provides them relief. This is another way to tell if you are suffering from the condition. It’s not exactly known why the hot water makes such a difference but some researchers say it could be fixing the marijuana induced balance of the thermoregulatory system of the hypothalamus gland. According to one study, “The brain may react to changes in core body temperature due to the dose-dependent hypothermic effects of [THC]. Alternatively, the bathing behaviour may be a result of direct CB1 receptor activation in the hypothalamus by [THC] or another active compound and may not necessarily be a response to changes in core body temperature.”
Vomiting Often Requires Hospitalization
The cycles of vomiting can last from hours to days and then stop, only to restart again at a future time. The severity and duration of a vomiting cycle is so strong, hospitalization is often the result. It can become difficult for a person suffering from cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome to keep a job due to how often they become sick.
A lot of research still needs to be done on the disorder. It has most likely been mistaken as cyclical vomiting syndrome (CVS) for many years and needs to be better researched now that it is a known possibility. Scientists at Temple University propose that over a long period of time, excessive activation of the CB1 receptors by THC could result in a range of gastric problems including the inhibition of gastric acid secretion, visceral pain and altered intestinal motility, although these symptoms only present themselves in certain individuals. There is still a lot that is unknown. Some researchers disagree on the cause of the syndrome and much more needs to be reviewed. Having said that, if you’re suffering from these symptoms and didn’t know why, you have a place to start to get answers and a solution.