Used daily, marijuana causes an acute disorder and a new syndrome that remains mysterious for the medical community. The “cannabinoid hyperemia syndrome”, or CHS, is becoming more and more common.
Severe nausea, severe vomiting and epigastric or peri-pelvic abdominal pain are the most common symptoms of cannabinoid hyperaemia syndrome, a weed related disorder that has so far eluded scientists.
The effects of cannabis are paradoxical: its medical use aims to fight against nausea and vomiting in cancer patients but, consumed daily, it also causes an acute disorder that remains mysterious for the medical community. One of the problems lies in the fact that people do not know totally that this syndrome can occur following daily cannabis use.
The results of a recent study conducted by a group of American researchers, published in the journal Basic and Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology, want to shed light on the issue.
The paradox of marijuana
The syndrome was first mentioned in 2004 in the medical journal Gut, an official journal of the British Society of Gastroenterology. People who suffer from it often try to get relief from the symptoms by taking showers or hot baths.
In their study, the researchers observed 155 people who came to the emergency room in New York and who were diagnosed with CHS. The overall results of the study suggest that one-third of those who report high marijuana use have symptoms of CHS. This condition is, moreover, more frequent among 18-29 year olds.
By extrapolating to the number of daily marijuana users, researchers estimate that 2 million American adults could be affected by the syndrome: in 2014 in the United States the number of people suffering from symptoms of CHS would be estimated between 2,130,000 and 3,380,000.
The researchers asked the patients to evaluate eleven methods of relieving acute nausea/vomiting, using the Likert scale. These methods included: hot showers, cold showers, fresh air, anti-emetic drugs, smoking marijuana, refraining from smoking, raising the room temperature, eating, drinking water, smoking cigarettes and sleeping.
Fifty-one people, or 32.9%, reported that hot showers provided effective relief. But the only truly 100% effective method is to stop smoking marijuana. There was no difference by sex, age …
A second study is planned
Researchers point out, however, the many limitations inherent in the study: one can not be 100% sure that respondents in a medical questionnaire are completely honest about their use of marijuana.
In addition, their medical and toxicological antecedents, and possible drugs use or possible interactions with alcohol and other toxins to which the symptoms may be attributed, are sometimes unknown.
The researchers are now working on a second study to identify potentially effective drugs that can provide relief to patients, because for now only stopping or reducing cannabis consumption manages to remove the symptoms.