You've probably heard the claims "Marijuana is safer than alcohol", "Marijuana is not toxic" or some other invalidated claim. Well were going to discuss one ailment that is a form of marijuana toxicity.
Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome (CHS) is a condition normally resulting from heavy marijuana use. This condition was first recognized around 2004 when doctors started seeing more cases of what looked like Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome which is a rare disorder characterized by recurrent, similar episodes of severe nausea and vomiting. How this condition manifests is currently unknown but some researchers believe that it is from chronic marijuana use leading to the desensitization or down-regulation of the CB1 receptors (receptors which THC binds to). So since the condition is represented in the CB1 receptors it is fair to say that it is from over exposure to THC. With that concern aired it brings up another concern, with this condition being so rare what are the chances of it being more common with the addition of marijuana products with higher potency of THC? Edibles and Dabbing are becoming more popular with the normalization of marijuana in teenagers and young adults. Some of these products have a THC potency of 70-90% or even higher which is much more than the regular form which the average potency is about 12% THC.
Researchers have said that CHS usually takes years to onset but that was before recreational legalization and before the popularity of edibles and dabbing made a comeback. Now with the highly potent and readily available forms of marijuana does that mean that we will be seeing more of these cases? Well they are seeing them in Colorado and in Oregon already.
So now that you've been introduced to the condition you may be wondering if there are any treatments for it and there is one. The only sure way to treat the condition is to stop using marijuana for good. One case I found in Oregon the patient was admitted with the symptoms and the Doctors did diagnose them with CHS. One thing we have found is that hot showers usually calm the symptoms of CHS, but that is only temporary. Once they get out of the shower and back into bed the symptoms usually return quickly. After a day or two in the hospital without any marijuana consumption the patient is feeling better and ready for discharge which was the case with the one in Oregon. However the patient after being discharged was back in the ED a short time later with the same symptoms because they started using again. Will you die from CHS, probably not. But other risks can arise if the symptoms are not addressed quickly such as severe dehydration or even upper respiratory problems from the constant vomiting.
So now we've learned that marijuana is indeed toxic and can cause negative health effects on the body. With new research being done ever year we are finding that marijuana is not safe and comparing it to another substance is only deflecting from the real dangers associated with the drug. We can stop conditions like CHS by educating our children on these dangers if we use evidence based science and stop with the scare tactics of the past.