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Cannabinoid hyperemesis: hoax or truth?

In this article we will tell you about hyperemesis, a difficult word whose existence many are unaware of.

But what is cannabinoid hyperemesis? How does it affect? Can this be considered reliable or not?

Read the whole article to find out how cannabinoid hyperemesis affects our human body and with what effects. Specifically we will talk to you about:

  1. Hyperemesis
  2. What is cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome
  3. How was it discovered?
  4. Hoax or truth?
  5. Hyperemesis

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Cannabis is known for its antiemetic effects , capable of counteracting the sensation of nausea and vomiting even in chemotherapy patients .

It has always been used to combat stomach problems , but a new study has brought to light a little-known disease, the so-called cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome.

A group of researchers has discovered that in some rare cases cannabis can have a completely opposite effect to what we are used to.

In 2004 , a study conducted in Australia described this syndrome for the first time and in 2009 it was defined as Cannabis Hyperemesis Syndrome (CHS ).

Prior to this, most CHS patients were misdiagnosed with cyclic vomiting syndrome , but no cure or long-term solution was proposed.

Administering an antiemetic drug to a person with CHS means going completely off track: both because the problem has not been identified and because antiemetics are completely ineffective on CHS nausea.

What is cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome?

Cannabinoid hyperemesis appears to develop in heavy cannabis users , who have used the herb excessively for very long periods.

At the beginning the symptoms manifest themselves mildly, to recur in a more intense form in a later phase.

According to a study conducted by the PA of Philadelphia , up to 16 years can pass before symptoms appear; the patient who manifested symptoms most quickly was found to have CHS after three years of heavy, daily cannabis use.

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The evolution of the disease takes place in 3 phases : a pre-emetic phase, an emetic phase and recovery .

The pre-emetic phase begins when symptoms begin to appear, although they are usually still mild.

This phase can last years. The first symptoms that appear are vomiting, abdominal pain and nausea , which usually leads to increased cannabis use due to the belief that cannabis can relieve it.

When the emetive phase begins, however, the symptoms peak : it does not last more than 24-48 hours, but in this period of time sudden and repeated attacks of vomiting and abdominal pain can occur.

These are intense nauseas, which lead to vomiting up to 5/6 times in an hour, causing dehydration, abdominal pain and loss of body weight.

The last phase of the disease is recovery , the time when symptoms disappear and patients begin to regain their weight, because their appetite has returned.

The recovery phase can last months, but is often not the end of the disease, as most patients return to regular cannabis use, and it is only a matter of time before symptoms appear again.

How was it discovered?

The first studies on CHS date back to 2004, when 19 Australian boys were diagnosed with a form of cyclic vomiting. The patients had one habit in common: They smoked weed in large quantities.

Of the 19 patients, 9 were involved in an experimental study on the topic and, in seven of those nine cases, "cessation of cannabinoid abuse led to the disappearance of cyclic vomiting."

Too easy? And in fact it doesn't end there: CHS patients find relief in very hot showers , taken continuously to relieve the symptoms.

The issue of boiling water comes up in almost every report on CHS and there are even patients who report having scalded themselves in an attempt to relieve the symptoms.

It's not clear why hot showers help, but they have become a very quick test to understand if you have cannabinoid hyperemesis. When the patient reports relief from very hot showers, the diagnosis is confirmed.

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Between 2004 and 2012, around 30 studies were conducted on the topic, focused more on individual patients than on the macro dynamics linked to the disease.

It is now thought that CHS could be caused by an accumulation of cannabinoids in the blood or by an abnormality of the cannabinoid receptors in the brain. In 2012, Dr. Douglas A. Simonetto conducted the largest CHS study to date, with 98 patients exhibiting all symptoms of the disease.

His research confirmed that CHS exists and is not a hoax .

According to Simonetto, if you smoke too much weed you could experience symptoms such as nausea and cyclic vomiting (84 out of 98 patients confirm that they feel abdominal pain after smoking weed) and that, in most cases, if you stop consumption the symptoms disappear.

A new study by researchers in the Department of Emergency Medicine at New York University School of Medicine , however, suggests that the numbers involved could be much larger.

According to scientists led by Professor Joseph Habboushe , who published the results of their investigation in the journal Basic & Clinical Pharmacology & Toxicology , there are even millions of people affected.

Hoax or truth?

In Italy it is estimated that there are around 10 million consumers of industrial (legal) and illegal cannabis rich in THC.

If what we read in Dr.'s study is reliable. Joseph Habboushe, approximately 200,000 Italians should be affected by this syndrome , which certainly cannot be underestimated because it involves nausea and repeated episodes of vomiting.

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The question is very strange, because it is well known that cannabis is a strong antiemetic , even used in combination with chemotherapy drugs, as well as in the treatment of anorexia and severe hyperemesis gravidarum.

So how can it cause chronic nausea and stomach aches in those who consume it? It often happens that drugs, in the long run, cause the same symptoms they are supposed to treat, but cannabis is a substance with very low levels of toxicity. There's something that doesn't add up.

It seems that there is no cure for CHS and that the only effective solution is to quit smoking .

Considering that cannabis does not induce physical dependence, if CHS were to arise in a user, recovery will practically be very simple.

Even in those rare cases of pathological psychological dependence on cannabis consumption, "violent attacks of vomiting, even more than five in a single hour", as many newspapers report, would discourage any smoker, eliminating the mental dependence.

CHS emerged recently, but marijuana use has its roots in the past: why has it appeared now? And, above all, why should it be closely associated with cannabinoids?

Dr.'s NYU study Joseph Habboushe appears to have several flaws : in the questionnaires offered to patients there are no questions relating to the amount of cannabis taken , nor regarding the consumption of medications or other drugs.

Of the 2127 patients examined, only 7% gave positive feedback regarding the effects of the syndrome. In reality, only 32.9% of these 155 - and therefore approximately 50 people - experienced all the symptoms of CHS.

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