What is Cannabis Hyerpermesis Syndrome
What is Cannabis Hyerpermesis Syndrome

What is Cannabis Hyperemesis Syndrome (CHS)?

Is CHS due to pesticides, product creation methods, or just natural?

Posted by:
Chiara C on Monday Feb 3, 2020

Cannabis Hyperemesis Syndrome - What Is It and Is It Real?

what is chs cannabis hyperemesis syndrome

It’s every cannabis lover’s nightmare Cannabis Hyperemesis Syndrome (CHS) is a very rare syndrome that affects long-term, heavy users of THC-rich cannabis. Its symptoms include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and loss of appetite. In extreme cases, CHS-sufferers can experience severe weight loss and dehydration, which can lead to muscle spasms, seizures, and kidney failure if not treated. In rare cases, it can even lead to death.


90 percent of those who’ve experienced it say that they felt the compulsion to bathe in hot water during their CHS episodes, and that it helped alleviate symptoms.


It is believed that abstinence from THC-rich cannabis, or even cannabis in general, helps resolve the problem. Meanwhile, some CHS sufferers find they are able to re-introduce THC in low doses without any problems, while others discover they can no longer tolerate it.


Though it is extremely rare, death can occur. In May 2018, Brian Smith, a 17-year-old from Indianapolis died from complications due to CHS after battling symptoms for months. His mom, Regina Denny, wrote about her son’s experience on Medical News Today.


“Brian had been living with his father at the time, and he called me because he had been vomiting for 3 days. When I went to pick him up to take him to the ER, we had to stop about five times on the way so that he could vomit,” she wrote.


Although he made it a point to avoid smoking marijuana initially, he eventually returned to it. Regina recalled that, for several weeks, everything was ok, until October 2018 when Brian’s CHS episodes returned. A few weeks later, it claimed his life.


“He vomited several times. He then grabbed his back and began to complain that it was hurting.” Regina knew it was because of his kidneys. She called 911 immediately. As she waited for the ambulance to arrive, her son told her he couldn’t breath. But the EMTs that came were unable to revive him and he passed after a half-hour.


Brian had only been a cannabis user for three years.


According to experts, CHS may be more common than most think. Due to cannabis’ illegal status in most states, CHS sufferers may be hesitant to divulge their cannabis use to doctors when seeking help fro emergency room attendants, leading to the likelihood of misdiagnosis.


In states where it is legal, like California and Colorado, doctors say they see patients coming in complaining of CHS symptoms every day.


Despite this, CHS is still largely a mystery to the medical community. One theory is that overuse of THC can lead to some people’s cannabinoid receptors to act paradoxically, or the opposite of how they’re supposed to act. One example of this is THC’s efficacy in treating nausea and vomiting. However, in CHS, THC may have the opposite effect and actually increase nausea and vomiting.


Those using low-dose THC are unlikely to develop the syndrome. Some experts also believe that including CBD, THCA, and CBDA (raw, unheated cannabinoids) may decrease the risk of developing CHS.


Though more studies are needed to fully understand Cannabis Hyperemesis Syndrome, a group of Canadian scientists hope that a study they’ve done, published in the Canadian Journal of Emergency Medicine, may lend some insight on the mysterious condition.


The study examined hair and urine samples from three groups: one group of CHS patients who had experienced two or more episodes of severe vomiting and had used cannabis at least thrice a week for six months, and two control groups composed of recreational cannabis users with no history of CHS and other general population ER patients.


After examining the samples from all three groups, researchers found significant overlap in phytocannabinoid concentrations between the CHS patients and the two control groups. This led researchers to posit that if chronic use of cannabis was the sole reason for CHS, it would be expected that the CHS group would have much greater concentrations of cannabinoids in their systems than the other groups. But this wasn’t the case. This led researchers to believe that a more idiosyncratic mechanism could be behind the development of CHS. As such, more research is desperately needed.


Researchers also note that due to CHS being a new syndrome, first discovered in 2004, many doctors are still under-informed about its existence and may be misdiagnosing it as Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome due to the similarity in symptoms.


Some experts have theorized the syndrome could be caused by long term use of increasingly potent cannabis products. With growers’ perpetual quest to breed newer more potent strains, CHS could be one of the consequences. However, we won’t know unless more research into this condition is done.


With huge strides being made in cannabis legislation in the United States and across the globe, hopefully this means more funding will be poured into learning and understanding this dangerous and, some may say, increasingly common condition.



how to treat chs








What did you think?

ganja leaf left  Keep reading... click here  ganja leaft right

Please log-in or register to post a comment.

Leave a Comment: