Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome Relieved by Legal Marijuana
For years, doctors were perplexed by a bizarre phenomenon affecting some heavy marijuana users. Cannabinoid hyperemesis (CHS) – referred to colloquially as “cannabis vomiting syndrome” – is marked by chronic nausea and vomiting. Sufferers find that a hot shower provides temporary relief, but the only way to avoid the issue is by abstaining altogether.
While the symptoms and source may be certain, the actual cause of cannabis vomiting syndrome remains unknown. But for some reason, Global News now reports a few cases where individuals who switch from grey market to legal cannabis can resume use without the same issues.
Some individuals see no improvement, which only keeps confusing experts who are already fairly in the dark.
However, this could be good news for individuals who require large amounts of cannabis and have been self-medicating with illegal products. Given that recreational marijuana is now legal, those with CHS should consider ignoring the slight price advantage in exchange for a better quality of life.
Doctor Reports Two Cases So Far
Although we do not exactly have in-depth statistics, but Dr. Michael Verbora saw the phenomenon on two occasions.
The doctor’s most recent case was a 29-year-old man from Vancouver. The patient smoked one gram per day to help with anxiety, pain and insomnia. Unfortunately, he did not obtain a prescription, despite potentially being eligible.
As is often the case, the man came in with severe pain and intractable vomiting, requiring hospitalization with an IV and painkillers.
But something changed. According to Global News:
“The first step in curing cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome is to stop consuming. But Verbora’s patient, after a break, switched from grey-market to legal cannabis and started smoking about as much as before. The nausea never came back.”
A Wake-Up Call for Illegal Users
Although the open market saw decent growth recently, illegal cannabis remains a very common presence. Individuals with CHS who still want to consume marijuana should try switching, but it is also an important discovery for those of us who have no issues.
If people stop feeling ill after switching from illegal products to legal ones, then this is clearly a sign that some kind of additive is to blame. Legal marijuana is heavily regulated. As Dr. Verbora points out:
“We know that the (Ontario Cannabis Store, the patient’s new source) has licenced producer cannabis which is regulated. We know that there’s no heavy metals, pesticides, fungus, pesticides. That’s really the only difference that I know of — that there are regulations in effect on medical and adult-use legal cannabis versus the black market, where there’s no regulation.”
However, Verbora also advises that CHS occurs in legal cannabis users as well, causing him a measure of confusion.
Perhaps there is another ingredient responsible. Verbora suggests:
“Some of the evidence tends to lend itself to THC ingredients, and that’s the predominant, prevailing hypothesis, but at the same time I have cases like this that cause me to question whether there’s a pesticide involved, or the neem oil that’s sometimes found in products.”
Ryan Lee, a cannabis grower in B.C., agrees. He thinks it could be related to azadirachtin, a compound in the aforementioned neem oil.
Dr. Ian Mitchell – also from B.C. – admits some similarities. He explains neem oil poisoning shares some common symptoms with CHS. However, those with neem oil poisoning do not use hot showers to feel better, which is a countermeasure employed by patients with CHS.
WeedAdvisor’s Concern for Public Health
CHS may be rare, but it is a concerning health effect that we need to better understand. With research sparse, treatment is difficult to determine. However, the fact that legal marijuana seems to reduce these cases speaks volumes about the industry.
Individuals with CHS who used illegal marijuana to medicate should consider switching to legal cannabis, preferably from a licensed producer who advertises pesticide-free products.