Cannabinoid hyperemesis is a recently discovered condition that tends to happen to a person who has used cannabis for a long period of time. It typically affects young adults who have been smoking it for many years.
Symptoms will come on slowly and may begin with a bit of nausea and perhaps some vomiting. Over the course of time, this will become more frequent. Patients may begin to feel this way most of the day and suffer from as many as 5 or more bouts of vomiting in an hour.
As the condition progresses, the patient may also begin to retch or feel as if they are going to vomit without actually vomiting. This condition will also persist as long as the patient is using cannabis.
Eventually, the patient will discover that hot showers or baths will help to relieve some or all of the symptoms. They will begin to over bathe in an effort to relieve their symptoms. The patient may bathe all day long in an effort to find relief.
Interestingly, although there is little research in support of the condition, cannabis can also work to relieve the same symptoms if used short term and in minute doses. That’s why cannabis works for chemotherapy patients who are using it to treat nausea and vomiting.
Sadly, patients who suffer from the condition will only find relief if they stop the use of cannabis entirely. Which means if they were using cannabis for other reasons, they’ll have to find another means of medicating themselves with their doctor’s assistance.
It’s not yet known by researchers how widespread the condition is. In studies, the only known cure is total abstinence of the cannabis. It seems that patients who abstained from using the cannabis found relief from the condition in a few days to a few weeks.
However, when cannabis was again used, patients found that they again were having issues with the hyperemesis.
Clearly, more research on the topic is needed. Doctors who don’t regularly prescribe cannabis don’t often know of the condition. Doctors who regularly prescribe cannabis tend to at least have heard of the condition.
It’s not fully understood why some patients will get cannabinoid hyperemesis and others don’t. What is known that it tends to hit young adults more than older patients. It tends to happen more frequently to those who have been using cannabis for a long period of time and use it frequently throughout the day.
If a patient is using cannabis three to five times a day they are much more likely to have the condition than if they are only using cannabis once or twice per day.
It’s hard to fathom that cannabis, which has been used for centuries by many societies, can be causing this condition yet so little is understood about it. For this reason, more research is currently underway to examine how it affects patients and the other common denominators for the condition. One theory is that some of the cannabis may have been exposed to specific chemicals that are causing the condition.