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Mon Feb 17, 2020, 04:33 AM

What is CHS? Marijuana advocates warn of a little-known condition affecting heavy users


This is relatively rare, but as legalization spreads there may be more incidences of this syndrome.

Oddly, I think I ran across a young woman with this syndrome in the '70's. She was the girlfriend of a college housemate, and spent a lot of time throwing up and taking hot showers. The house split up after a year or two, but now I wonder if this is what she had.

In any case, this is something heavy pot users should be aware of. I haven't smoked any for over two decades, myself, and don't think I had these symptoms when I did.

From a medical point of view, it sounds like a very interesting puzzle.

https://news.yahoo.com/what-is-chs-cannabinoid-hyperemesis-syndrome-marijuana-vomiting-hot-showers-110007595.html


As more and more U.S. states expand marijuana legalization, and with weed usage on the rise, doctors and advocates are warning about a little-known condition affecting heavy users of the drug.

Cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome, or CHS, causes severe abdominal pain, nausea and “cyclic vomiting” among regular marijuana users — and can lead to extreme dehydration and, in rare cases, death.

“It’s very underdiagnosed,” said Dr. Joseph Habboushe, an assistant professor of emergency medicine at New York University Langone/Bellevue Medical Center, who co-authored a 2018 study on CHS. “Doctors aren’t thinking about it. Patients show up to the ER at an average of seven times before they’re diagnosed and have it for many years before it’s diagnosed.”

“Also a lot of patients are in a bit of denial,” Habboushe continued. “These are folks who have been consuming cannabis for many years, and then they develop these symptoms. So it’s hard for them to believe that these symptoms are actually due to the cannabis itself.”

(I posted this in the lounge because I didn't want to stigmatize it in one of the Medical related forums)




17 replies, 1686 views

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Reply What is CHS? Marijuana advocates warn of a little-known condition affecting heavy users (Original post)
Rollo Feb 2020 OP
iwillalwayswonderwhy Feb 2020 #1
BigOleDummy Feb 2020 #2
padfun Feb 2020 #5
elias7 Feb 2020 #8
ashredux Feb 2020 #3
Jamastiene Feb 2020 #11
canuckledragger Feb 2020 #4
rickyhall Feb 2020 #6
dewsgirl Feb 2020 #7
Brainfodder Feb 2020 #9
Jamastiene Feb 2020 #10
Ponietz Feb 2020 #12
Rollo Feb 2020 #13
Kali Feb 2020 #14
Rollo Feb 2020 #16
hunter Feb 2020 #15
Kali Feb 2020 #17

Response to Rollo (Original post)

Mon Feb 17, 2020, 05:05 AM

1. Something I noticed when I smoked marijuana long ago

I could either smoke pot or drink alcohol, but not both. Even one single beer would upset my stomach badly, for days, causing vomiting. But if I stuck to either/or, I was fine. I’m curious if CHS sufferers also drank alcohol.

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Response to Rollo (Original post)

Mon Feb 17, 2020, 06:58 AM

2. As a

formerly heavy smoker of weed and now a moderate smoker of this wonderful plant I ....... wonder about this. I've never had any of those symptoms myself and I smoked ALOT when I was younger. I was never much of an alcohol user so maybe that has something to do with it. I would STILL be a I guess what people would call a heavy smoker but as I'm retired now and living on my Social Security I just can't afford it. I'm not naive enough to think that ANY foreign substance introduced into your body couldn't cause health problems but I still wonder if "findings" like this are just a scare tactic. I would sure like to know more about this Doctor, his studies and his methodology of the same before I'd take this with more than a grain of salt.

Maybe I'm in that "denial" he's mentioned lol.

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Response to BigOleDummy (Reply #2)

Mon Feb 17, 2020, 07:36 AM

5. I get it that you cant afford it but...

Several of the dispensaries have some really good cheap deals. One I know has 1/4's for $40 and that can last me a month or more if I take it slowly. Another one will have special 1/2's for only $60 occasionally. It's not the best of stuff but it will get you a buzz.

I too, am retired and have to watch my budget. I stay home a lot and do yardwork and such, so a hit or two along the way helps.

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Response to BigOleDummy (Reply #2)

Mon Feb 17, 2020, 07:51 AM

8. It's not just one doctors opinion. It is a thing.

We diagnose this not infrequently in patients in our ER as we have a handful of folks with cyclic vomiting syndrome. It’s totally fine that you don’t get symptoms yourself. Most people with tick bites don’t get Lyme disease, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist,

Docs for the most part don’t do scare tactics. We’re mostly empirical and when you look at epidemiological research into things with uncertain causes and you find patterns, things get figured out. I appreciate your skepticism but perhaps you should do a little more research on your own before expressing an opinion.

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Response to Rollo (Original post)

Mon Feb 17, 2020, 07:07 AM

3. Skeptical.....

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Response to ashredux (Reply #3)

Mon Feb 17, 2020, 11:46 AM

11. I am too. n/t

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Response to Rollo (Original post)

Mon Feb 17, 2020, 07:34 AM

4. I'm a heavy user with gut problems.

But my problems have nothing to do with what the article mentioned and everything to do with stress and years of damage from acid reflux that came to a head a little while back.

I was throwing up uncontrollably every month and a half or so, unable to hold food or water down with the longest episode lasting 3 weeks.

I'd stop smoking pot at those times due to the problem of a coughing fit easily triggering a throwing up fit.

I agree with the other posters here...I think this article is just another scare tactic, ignoring the fact that a lot of folks smoke up BECAUSE of stress and other health problems, and probably have underlying issues that have nothing to do with pot.

I think the author or more likely the doctor in the article is purposely leaving out inconvenient facts like this in order to push their agenda.

The details of the 'study' are telling. it sounds like he's trying to cherry pick data to support a pre-conceived conclusion, ignoring other factors like other medicine these people may have been taking, and pre-existing health problems like my own.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29327809

"Trained Research Associates (RAs) administered the questionnaire to patients between the ages of 18-49 years who reported smoking marijuana at least 20 days per month. The survey included questions related to CHS symptoms (nausea and vomiting) and Likert scale rankings on eleven symptom relief methods, including 'hot showers'. Patients were classified as experiencing a phenomenon consistent with CHS if they reported smoking marijuana at least 20 days per month and also rated 'hot showers' as five or more on the ten-point symptom relief method Likert scale for nausea and vomiting. Among 2127 patients approached for participation, 155 met inclusion criteria as smoking 20 or more days per month. Among those surveyed, 32.9% (95% CI, 25.5-40.3%) met our criteria for having experienced CHS. If this is extractable to the general population, approximately 2.75 million"

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Response to Rollo (Original post)

Mon Feb 17, 2020, 07:39 AM

6. Years ago I smoked & drank.

But it got to where 1 beer made me sick (vomiting), so I decided I was allergic since I didn't do well with hard liquor when I was younger. However, in the last few years I started drinking again but no more than a shot or two a day a few days a week and have had no problem. BTW: I'm 64 now.

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Response to Rollo (Original post)

Mon Feb 17, 2020, 07:49 AM

7. I have known a couple people throughout the years, whom I believe

had this condition, to the extent they had to quit.

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Response to Rollo (Original post)

Mon Feb 17, 2020, 08:56 AM

9. Like most meds..... ISSUES for users, varies greatly?

Good time to talk about side effects of big pharma products?








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Response to Rollo (Original post)

Mon Feb 17, 2020, 11:45 AM

10. I guess some people could have gut reactions, but

the vast majority probably do not. It sounds like the beginning stages of propaganda against legalization for recreational use nationwide to me.

Then again, I am extremely biased and extremely in favor of legalization for recreational use nationwide. It will be the only way it is ever legalized for some of us, if it comes from the top down. I don't even think NC has a way to add something like that on the ballot. I wish we did.

If it ever happens, they can test me to see how I react. I have problems with nausea and my stomach anyhow and do not currently use. Back when I did, it EASED those conditions for me, so I had the opposite reaction than the one the article explains. I would argue that far more can get relief for those types of symptoms by using rather than getting the symptoms from using.

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Response to Rollo (Original post)

Mon Feb 17, 2020, 03:05 PM

12. Premature presumptions--causation is unknown

I suspect a different cause that could lead to many anomalous social health issues—5g Radio Frequency Radiation (RFR). More than 500 studies have found harmful biologic and health effects from lower intensity RFR.

https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/we-have-no-reason-to-believe-5g-is-safe/

Also, it’s sourced from Yayhoo so I can presume the telecom industry is behind it. I GOOGLED who owns Yahoo and, GUESS WHO? VERIZON!

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Response to Ponietz (Reply #12)

Mon Feb 17, 2020, 03:47 PM

13. Grasping at straws....

I have no dog in this fight. I used to smoke pot, decades ago, now I don't. I don't really care if someone else does, the same as I don't care if they get drunk every night as long as they don't try to drive operate heavy machinery while drunk (although a favorite pastime of my 20's was to get stoned and then drive around the deserted mountain roads in the area - like a movie in the headlights ...

However one would be well advised to look beyond the original link and see that Yahoo merely is aggregating research articles of a respectable nature. Such as https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29327809 "The Prevalence of Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome Among Regular Marijuana Smokers in an Urban Public Hospital.", from
Basic Clin Pharmacol Toxicol. 2018 Jun;122(6):660-662. doi: 10.1111/bcpt.12962. Epub 2018 Feb 23.

The last line in the abstract reads: " Among those surveyed, 32.9% (95% CI, 25.5-40.3%) met our criteria for having experienced CHS. If this is extractable to the general population, approximately 2.75 million (2.13-3.38 million) Americans may suffer annually from a phenomenon similar to CHS."

This is nothing to dismiss out of hand, especially with an attempt to blame the syndrome on a completely unrelated hypothesis that 5G EMF is to blame when there is NO attempt to provide meaningful correlation, let alone causation.

Nuff said.

Like I said, puff away if that's your thing. But be aware of the potential risks to your health - and it has, apparently, proved fatal for some. Your life, not mine.

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Response to Rollo (Original post)

Mon Feb 17, 2020, 04:50 PM

14. it's real

one of my sons has it. we thought it was an allergy to alcohol, but after the third trip to ER and a week in the hospital (while an idiot doc tried to treat him with CBD oil - ) in a year, an ER doc recognized it. the vomiting, pain, no meds work, and the kicker of the hot showers.

there are a few support groups on FB with the latest info and help (and a lot of people in denial, trying to work around being able to keep using) out there, but so far the only cure is abstinence. the good news is that really works. be careful if you think you have this, you can really damage your kidneys and even die from all the puking.

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Response to Kali (Reply #14)

Sat Feb 29, 2020, 08:37 PM

16. Thanks for the confirmation...

When I first tried pot in college many years ago, it was common knowledge that it has side effects. Including the anxiety, mild paranoia, and of course increased appetite. But it wasn't known then that the effects could, over time, be very serious if not fatal for some people.

I voluntarily quit regular use in the 1980's. I just felt it was having a negative effect on my ability to experience life. And, it wasn't easy. The key for me to be able to quit, was, whenever I had the urge to get high, I would ask myself to wonder about what it would be like to spend the next block of time not high.. My natural curiosity (or so I tell people) won out and eventually I lost that urge.

And yes, I remember the ridicule and disbelief of those who enjoyed pot over the dire warnings, stemming back to the 30's, about the supposed dangers of pot. Most famously, "Reefer Madness". Truth is, it's not 100% harmless. Not as it was portrayed back then, which may be instructive about the dangers of extreme exaggeration. But still, not completely harmless.

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Response to Rollo (Original post)

Tue Feb 18, 2020, 12:44 PM

15. I'm a bit jealous of people who enjoy cannabis or can use it as a pain reliever.

For me it's just unpleasant.

All drugs have side effects. These effects can be extreme with some people and negligible in others.

I used to take NSAIDS such as ibuprofen for arthritis. I can't do that any more. Years ago my doctor prescribed Celebrex for my arthritis, it was heavily advertised as having fewer gastrointestinal effects, but that was a lie. The drug company had simply cut off studies before these severe side effects showed up. I got hit hard. I can no longer take any NSAID for more than a day or two without screwing up my guts. These drugs scare me.

But I don't see the people who oppose the legalization of cannabis getting equally upset about other medicines that are as dangerous, or more dangerous, than cannabis.

If I had any tolerance for cannabis and it effectively relieved my arthritis pain I'd be taking it. There's no doubt cannabis is effective medicine for many people. I wouldn't deny it to anyone who else who uses it. It would be hypocrisy to do so, especially when so many other potentially dangerous drugs such as alcohol and NSAIDS are sold over the counter.

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Response to hunter (Reply #15)

Sat Feb 29, 2020, 09:26 PM

17. look into diclofenac gel

not covered by a lot of insurance (the oral is and it is cheap, but the gel not) but can be found from slightly disreputable places over seas. I have found it from England and Greece. It is over the counter in a lot of places.

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