Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome: Important Things You Want To Know

cannabinoid

Posted on December 24th, 2021

Cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome is a clinical condition associated with cannabis abuse. It’s characterized by cyclic vomiting and nausea, combined with unexplained abdominal pain. Sometimes, the symptoms also include compulsive bathing in hot water.

now, if you use hemp extracts regularly to enjoy cannabinoid benefits, you won’t need to worry about this condition. Because it’s typically reported by people who use cannabis on a daily or weekly basis, for more than a year. And, until recently, people it was safe to ignore CHS as a side effect of marijuana use. But anecdotal evidence now suggests doing so may lead to health complications.

Causes of Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome cannabinoid

Medical researchers are still struggling to discover the CHS causes. It’s confusing: many heavy cannabis users never experience symptoms.  Yet many do, and seemingly out of nowhere! Anecdotal evidence suggests that CHS usually affects people who use cannabis heavily, on a daily basis, for several years.

But where does this syndrome’s name come from? Well, cannabis contains a variety of cannabinoids including THC, CBD, and CBG. And this name is a bit ironic. Because many cannabis users turn to cannabinoids for anxiety relief or to get high. But people who develop this syndrome experience completely opposite effects.

After all, many cannabinoids have a calming effect as they bind to your body’s CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors. So far, we’ve identified CB1 receptors in the hypothalamus, cerebral cortex, hippocampus, liver, heart, uterus, spleen, bladder, and in other parts of the body. Typically, a cannabinoid binds to these receptors, often producing a calming effect. However, when these cannabinoids enter the digestive tract, they seem to have a completely opposite effect.

For that reason, you could notice nausea and vomiting with extended cannabis use. (It’s likely triggered by the interaction between cannabinoids and receptors in the digestive tract.) While it’s still just a theory, researchers think that using could prevent receptors in your brain from responding to cannabinoids. But what isn’t clear is why this syndrome affects only some heavy cannabis users and not others.

Symptoms Associated with Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome

The most prevalent CHS symptoms include intense vomiting and nausea. In fact, people with CHS may vomit up to 5 times in an hour. Some users might also experience weight loss, dehydration, and abdominal pain. Many people with CHS take frequent, hot showers to help with nausea.

Typically, cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome develops in 3 phases. And each phase triggers different symptoms.

Prodromal Phase

This phase can last for several months or even years. The main symptoms during this phase include belly pain and early-morning nausea. Some sufferers also develop a fear of vomiting. To help manage their symptoms, people may then increase cannabis, mistakenly believing it will offer nausea relief. Ultimately, this just makes matters worse.

Hyperemetic Phase

Common symptoms here include belly pain, ongoing nausea, dehydration, weight loss, decreased food intake, and intense vomiting episodes. (These bouts can be overwhelming during this phase.)

This is also the stage when CHS patients take several hot showers throughout the day, for nausea relief. (This could be because hot water interacts with your hypothalamus, which manages body temperature regulation and vomiting.) This is the time when most sufferers seek medical care. Which is important, since hyperemesis will likely continue until you stop using marijuana completely.

Recovery Phase

This phase starts when cannabis use is completely given up. The symptoms start to go away with time and users start to eat normally again. The recovery phase typically lasts as long as the user stays away from cannabis. The symptoms may appear again when marijuana use is initiated.

Diagnosing Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome Senior man showing a doctor his ulcer pain

Repeated bouts of intense vomiting may be caused by several health conditions. If you have been experiencing the above-mentioned symptoms, your healthcare provider might ask you to undergo a physical exam and they may also conduct a variety of tests in order to rule out any other causes. Some of the common tests might include abdominal CT scan, head CT scan, upper endoscopy, drug screening, urine analysis, liver and pancreas enzyme test, electrolyte test, blood test to check anemia and infection, among others.

CHS is a clinical condition that has been discovered recently and not all healthcare providers are aware of this syndrome which means they might not be able to spot it right away. It is also often confused with cyclical vomiting disorder which presents similar symptoms.

It is likely that you suffer from CHS in case you use marijuana on a daily basis and have been using it for several years, and you experience repeated bouts of vomiting and nausea, and pain in the belly. Also, hot showers provide you with some relief from nausea.

In short, CHS cannot be diagnosed by a single test. However, if the symptoms go away after you quit using marijuana, it confirms that you have been suffering from CHS.

Treating CHS

The most effective CHS treatment is to quit using marijuana. During the hyperemetic phase, some users might need to spend a little time in the hospital for several treatments including IV fluid replacement for dehydration, proton pump inhibitors for stomach inflammation, pain medicine, and medicines to calm them down.

CHS sufferers should stop using cannabis altogether in order to get complete relief from symptoms of the syndrome. Some people try out drug rehab programs whereas others make use of family therapy or cognitive behavioral therapy. Symptoms completely go away and do not recur if the user completely stops using marijuana.

As far as a permanent cure for CHS is concerned, the only cure available so far is to completely stop using cannabis. Hot showers have been known to provide temporary relief from nausea but these do not completely cure CHS. It is also important to know that too many hot showers may increase the risk of dehydration.

Most people who stop using cannabis typically get relief from the associated symptoms in around 10 days but full recovery may take a few months.

Prevention

Completely avoiding cannabis is the only sure way to prevent this syndrome. You may speak to your healthcare provider if you need help quitting cannabis. Some users find it difficult to accept that their symptoms are tied to continued marijuana use. But that could be true, even if you’ve used it for several years without problems.

Keep in mind, it can take years for you to develop CHS. And, if you use irregularly, marijuana may help prevent nausea. However, regular use may lead to CHS. For that reason, you should call your healthcare provider if you experiencing intense vomiting that lasts more than 24 hours. Especially if your regularly use marijuana.

Conclusion

CHS is a clinical condition. It’s associated with intense vomiting and nausea. It typically affects long-term marijuana users. But not all chronic use triggers CHS. Still, CHS usually develops over many years. And many sufferers wait years for their diagnosis.

Hot showers may provide nausea relief. But repeated hot showers cause sweating and dehydration. The only way to cure CHS is to all cannabis use. If you do so, your symptoms should go away completely within a few days. But they could come back with future marijuana use. So you’ll have to find marijuana alternatives, including Tanasi hemp extracts.

Reference

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3576702/
https://www.cedars-sinai.org/health-library/diseases-and-conditions/c/cannabinoid-hyperemesis-syndrome.html
https://americanaddictioncenters.org/marijuana-rehab/cannabinoid-hyperemesis-syndrome
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3847982/

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