Who would have known that there is a rare disease caused by cannabinoid toxicity that makes you vomit excessively and bathe compulsively? Well, it sounds strange but there are people out there who have effectively become allergic to marijuana. To learn more about this strange condition, keep reading!
Not all that long ago, scientists discovered a rare disease that is essentially the result of THC-toxicity. This disease is basically a cannabis allergy, and develops in chronic smokers, usually in stages, and is almost always misdiagnosed as cyclical vomiting syndrome. As you might imagine, vomiting is one of the major symptoms of this disease, and because cannabis is often used to treat nausea, diagnosing this can be complicated!
It isn’t common to find a case of cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome, but the research suggests that it does exist. That doesn’t mean there’s any reason to be afraid, because a correct diagnosis could mean a full recovery in a matter of days. If you want to learn more about this strange medical phenomenon, keep reading this article.
Why the confusion in diagnosis?
Why is cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome often confused with cyclical vomiting syndrome? It might not just be a case that the symptoms are similar, but that we are so used to viewing cannabis as something that cures nausea, rather than cause it. It is for that reason that chronic cannabis use is generally overlooked as a causal factor in the disease. However, according to research, one is definitely caused by cannabis toxicity, whereas the other is not.
This unusual disease might have only been considered so rare up until now because of this blunder in diagnosing it. However, more and more similar stories are popping up all over the media that might suggest it is a little bit more common than we think. Nonetheless, there’s nothing to be afraid of, because you can’t overdose on cannabinoids. However, knowing the cause of it certainly helps in making it stop!
Symptoms of cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome
As you may have gathered already, the main symptoms associated with cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome are vomiting and nausea. Some people characterize that nausea as morning sickness, but it is almost always experienced in a cyclical manner. The other strange symptom linked to this disease is excessive bathing, or bathing in excessively hot water. Sounds kind of bizarre, doesn’t it?
Researchers and patients have characterized this disease by the phases that a person goes through. In fact, after observation, it seems that this disease starts happening in the body years before acute symptoms are exhibited. The initial phase is characterized by nausea, abdominal pain as well as a fear of vomiting.
Then comes the hyperemetic phase, which is when the person enters the acute part of the illness, where the major symptoms are exhibited severely. For example, a person could experience constant nausea, excessive vomiting and retching, weight loss, dehydration and complete loss of appetite. The vomiting is considered acute, and much more than one should vomit, such as multiple times in an hour.
The excessive hot bathing will develop last in the hyperemetic stage. But why? It is thought that the temperature of the water is a way to relieve the nausea caused by this disease, and that sufferers find themselves subconsciously doing so in order to relieve their discomfort.
According to the stories, many patients have gone through endless tests and scans which show nothing unusual, which probably contributes to the misdiagnosis. We don’t really understand why certain people get this disease and others do not, other than that marijuana just likes to make some otherwise healthy people throw up a lot.
Research on cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome
The first real research that took place on this strange ailment was in Australia in 2004. Some researches finally noticed that there was a common thread between many people who had been diagnosed with cyclical vomiting syndrome. That thread was, of course, the chronic use of marijuana.
Their research was conducted with ten specific individuals, seven of which agreed to abstain from using marijuana for some time. All seven of them made a full recovery. Needless to say, the other three didn’t really want to give up the herb, and their symptoms persisted.
Not a lot of research has taken place since then, but there have been many individual case studies that have popped up. In this strange case study, there were two subjects who were definitely exhibiting signs of relief after excessively hot bathing. Their symptoms met the criteria of cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome, and within 48 hours of stopping their cannabis use, they both experienced a relief of symptoms.
Unlucky for some…
It seems pretty clear from the case studies and the research that marijuana is directly linked with the discomfort these people were experiencing. At the same time, it’s mind-boggling why it happens to some of us and not to others. It’s a shame, really, that some marijuana lovers have to throw their arms up in the air as if being teased by the plant universe. Maybe it just means it’s time for a tolerance break!
In any case, all the subjects that have been studied made a full recovery after stopping cannabis use, which suggests that there’s no real danger involved here – as long as you have the bravery to give up sweet Mary-Jane, of course.
There’s nothing to be afraid of, but if you are experiencing symptoms like this and your marijuana use isn’t helping, it’s worth taking a break to see if your symptoms stop. It’s a leap of faith for marijuana lovers!