Study reveals increased uncontrollable vomiting and abdominal pain from marijuana use

In recent times, the United States has registered an increase in a rare disease related to marijuana use. It is about Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome (SHC) in which several habitual cannabis users report severe intestinal discomfort.

Uncontrollable vomiting

Explains to  CNN  ‘s Dr. Sam Wang, medicine specialist pediatric emergencies and toxicologist at Children ‘s Hospital Colorado, he says his patients “writhe, stomach grip, complain of abdominal pain very strong and nausea “.

“They vomit and then they continue to vomit what they have in their stomach, and it can last for hours… They usually say that they took a shower with hot water before coming to the emergency room, but that it did not help. That is when we know that we can have a case of Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome, “he adds.

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Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome

SHC became known in 2004, when a group of Australian researchers  conducted a study with 19 chronic marijuana users who had repeated abdominal pain and vomiting.

After a follow-up of nine of these, it was found that the symptoms disappeared when the use of cannabis was stopped, but returned when the use was restarted.

Hot showers to relieve symptoms

Half of these 19 patients reported using very hot baths to lessen their symptoms. As more cases of SHC appeared, hot showers became a popular home treatment.

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“Patients often say, ‘You know, it’s always at night that I have this nausea, vomiting ‘… So they tell me, ‘ I take a hot shower and it gets better, but then it happens again the next night,'” he says. Dr. Wang.

“It is quite common for these patients to say that they need a very, very hot shower, or a very hot bath, to improve their symptoms,” adds the also associate professor of Pediatrics at the Anschutz Medical Campus of the University of Colorado.

The reason for the hot showers is not entirely clear, but one theory says that because Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive compound in marijuana, has access to the body’s pain receptors, it would allow the feeling of distraction. extreme heat interrupts the pain cycle, thus relieving symptoms.

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Is it THC’s fault?

It is paradoxical that THC, which is used to relieve nausea and vomiting in cancer patients, is the cause of this condition. One of the explanations that Dr. Wang finds would be the amount of THC currently present in marijuana, which in recent years has been increasing. “In the 90s the average was 4% or 5%. Now, in Colorado, it is between 15% and 20%,” he says.

Another of the mysteries of Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome is that not all habitual marijuana users suffer from this condition.

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“It is not entirely clear who is predisposed to suffer from it… Is it a specific frequency or duration of consumption? Is it a specific potency? Or is it a specific type of product? We do not have that data ” says the doctor who last Friday published an analysis on the SHC in the JAMA Network Open magazine.

This article is designed to be informative and is not intended to provide medical advice or solutions. Always ask your doctor or specialist if you have questions about your health or before starting treatment.