Woman puts her head in her hands as she wonders what cannabis hypermesis syndrome is

What Is Cannabis Hyperemesis Syndrome?

Cannabis has continued to gain attention due to its growing acceptance for medicinal purposes in addition to recreational use. It is now legal to purchase this substance in many states, even without a doctor’s prescription. However, despite easier access to cannabis, there are risks to using this drug. A lesser-known condition called cannabis hyperemesis syndrome has emerged, so it is important to understand more about this condition and how to treat it. 

If you or a loved one are experiencing adverse side effects from cannabis but have difficulty quitting, you can count on the professionals at Promises Washburn House. Give us a call at 855.298.3104 or fill out our online form to learn more about our marijuana addiction treatment options. 

What Is Cannabis Hyperemesis Syndrome? 

Cannabis hyperemesis syndrome, or CSH, is a relatively rare condition characterized by chronic nausea, cyclic vomiting, and abdominal pain in someone who regularly consumes cannabis. The symptoms can be severe and significantly interfere with one’s day-to-day life. 

What Causes Cannabis Hyperemesis Syndrome? 

The exact cause of cannabis hyperemesis syndrome is unknown, but there are two potential triggers: 

Cannabinoid Toxicity 

One theory behind the development of cannabis hyperemesis syndrome involves cannabinoid toxicity. The belief is that using large doses of cannabis over the long term can cause a buildup of cannabinoids in your system. This, in turn, leads to toxicity that negatively impacts the gastrointestinal system. 

Cannabinoid Receptor Dysregulation 

Another possible cause of CHS is cannabinoid receptor dysregulation, which suggests that chronic stimulation of cannabinoid receptors in the brain and digestive system may disrupt the normal functioning of these receptors. 

Symptoms of Cannabis Hyperemesis Syndrome 

CHS usually occurs in three distinct phases: 

Prodromal Phase 

This early phase starts relatively mild and can last for months or even years. The most common symptoms during the prodromal phase include nausea in the mornings, poor appetite, and abdominal discomfort. Since these symptoms could relate to many other health conditions, most people may not make a connection between these symptoms and cannabis use. 

Hyperemetic Phase 

The middle phase of CHS, the hyperemetic phase, is the most severe of the three. It involves intense bouts of vomiting, nausea, and retching. This phase can last for hours or days, and the frequency will vary from person to person. 

Recovery Phase 

Symptoms begin to subside during the recovery phase, so you will gradually feel better. However, if you continue to use cannabis, the cycle may only repeat itself.  

Treatment for Cannabis Hyperemesis Syndrome 

As awareness of cannabis hyperemesis syndrome continues to grow, more treatment options will become available. At this time, there are several options for home or professional treatment that may provide relief from CHS symptoms: 

  • Taking hot showers or baths can ease symptoms temporarily and may be especially helpful if you start this technique while still in the prodromal phase. 
  • Drinking plenty of fluids—whether water, sports drinks, or broth—can help prevent dehydration in relation to CHS. 
  • Applying topical capsaicin cream to the abdominal area may help relieve discomfort.  
  • Visiting the emergency room may be necessary if you experience excessive vomiting or sweating. These can lead to severe dehydration, so you may need intravenous fluids along with anti-nausea medications and painkillers.  
  • Quitting cannabis is one of the most important steps you can take to address CHS symptoms and prevent them from recurring.  

Finding ways to ease symptoms is first and foremost when you are in the midst of cannabis hyperemesis syndrome. But after you start to feel better, it is time to take a look at the bigger picture. Cannabis may no longer fit into your lifestyle, whether used recreationally or for medicinal purposes. Talk to a healthcare professional about whether it is safe for you to continue using or if you should look into alternative methods for your condition. 

Enroll in Marijuana Addiction Treatment at Promises Washburn House 

If you are experiencing persistent nausea or vomiting after long-term cannabis consumption, reach out to Promises Washburn House at 855.298.3104. Our inpatient and outpatient treatment options will provide the support, medication, and therapies you need to heal. Call us today at 855.298.3104 or contact us online to get started. 

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