Extreme Marijuana may lead to Vomiting Syndrome
A warning for people that may overly use marijuana, it may lead to a syndrome that causes vomiting. The obscure syndrome is called cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome and it is a condition that has only recently been acknowledged by the medical community. However, it seems to affect a small population of marijuana users who smoke multiple times a day for months, years or even decades. There are no hard data on the prevalence of the illness, but emergency physicians in California and Colorado, two states that have loosened marijuana laws in recent years, say they’re seeing it more often. Dr. Aimee Moulin, an emergency room physician at UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento, states that there has been a rise in the number of cases since California voters legalized recreational marijuana last November, and she believes that there will be another increase after commercial sales are permitted starting in January.
There is no cure for the syndrome other than to quit using marijuana; however, many patients are skeptical that cannabis is making them sick and they keep using it, causing their vomiting episodes to continue. Doctors can do little to relieve the symptoms, since traditional anti-nausea medications often don’t work and there are no pills to prevent the onset of an episode. It is hard to diagnose the syndrome, but one surefire sign of the illness is when patients find relief in hot showers and baths. Toxicologists believe the heat may distract the brain from pain receptors in the abdomen but, like the syndrome itself, that phenomenon is not well understood. Toxicologists say the chemical compounds in marijuana may throw off the normal function of the body’s cannabinoid receptors, which help regulate the nervous system. More research will have to be done to determine if the vomiting syndrome is directly linked to marijuana use, but at least the syndrome has been identified to potentially help some people suffering from the same abdominal pain and vomiting symptoms.