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Uncontrollable vomiting due to marijuana use on rise, study finds

An unusual illness is on the rise in the United States, especially in states that have legalized marijuana. Habitual users of cannabis, including teenagers, are showing up in emergency rooms complaining of severe intestinal distress.

“They are writhing, holding their stomach, complaining of really bad abdominal pain and nausea,” said Dr. Sam Wang, a pediatric emergency medicine specialist and toxicologist at Children’s Hospital Colorado, who treats adolescents with the condition.
“They vomit and then just continue to vomit whatever they have in their stomach, which can go on for hours,” said Wang. “They often say they took a scalding hot shower before they came to the ER but it didn’t help.
“That’s when we know we may have a case of cannabis hyperemesis syndrome, or CHS.”

A bizarre condition

Cannabis hyperemesis syndrome burst upon the medical scene in 2004, when a group of Australian researchers wrote about 19 chronic marijuana users who had repeated episodes of abdominal pain and retching. The researchers followed nine of the patients over time and found symptoms went away when cannabis use was stopped but returned when it was restarted.
Oddly, over half of the 19 reported using extremely hot baths or showers to self-treat their symptoms. As more and more cases of CHS began to appear, hot bathing as a home treatment became a recurring theme.
“Patients often say, ‘You know, it’s always in the evening when I get this nausea, vomiting,'” Wang said. “So they tell me, ‘I go take a hot shower, and it gets better, then it happens again the next night.’
To Read The Rest Of This Article By Sandee LaMotte on CNN Health
Published: September 19, 2021
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