“Episodic cyclic vomiting,” “intractable nausea,” “abdominal pain.” These are not the most typical reactions to hitting a spliff or a vape pen. But they happen sometimes as a result of the rare illness called cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome (CHS).
Obviously, this is a bummer. For one thing, it means that a subset of our fellow human beings will be deprived of the choice to use cannabis. What’s more, it means that marijuana, an often recommended salve for nausea, could actually make some nauseous people even more green in the gills.
Many claim that the legalization of recreational and medical cannabis throughout the U.S. has caused a spike in cases of CHS.
For instance, a studypublished in the science journal Karger states that, “Since 2009, when the US Department of Justice published a memo to the effect that it would not prosecute users or sellers of medical marijuana who complied with their local state laws … the rate of persistent vomiting has increased significantly and continues to increase at about 8% a year.”
A Colorado physician agreed, telling CBS News, “It is certainly something that, before legalization, we almost never saw,” Heard said. “Now we are seeing it quite frequently.”
However, neither CBS nor the Karger report offer the counter-theory that there may be roughly same number of CHS cases now as there was before legalization. Perhaps, since patients didn’t want to admit to breaking the law, and most doctors had never even heard of the illness, the disease just went undiagnosed.
Of course, wedon’t know anything. Just spitballing. Nobody knows anything about CHS, really. VICEwrites that some experts think it’s caused by your body’s cannabinoid receptors, while others think it has more to do with additives commonly found in western weed products.
The good news is that CHS is real easy to treat with a two step process. One, you have to stop smoking weed 🙁 and two, you take a hot shower. Then, you’re good as new and you’ll have to turn to meditation or online shopping or something to fill the nugget-sized hole inside you.
Photo via Flickr/Logan Ingalls