Heavy Marijuana Use Link to Vomiting Illness
A difficult-to-diagnose and rare ailment, called cannaboid hyperemesis syndrome, is increasingly afflicting chronic, regular pot smokers, according to a new study. The ailment, categorized by regular, violent bouts of vomiting, was first recognized by the medical community in 2004. It typically shows up without warning — sufferers can vomit up to five times an hour for two days, according to an article in Men’s Health. What’s worse, those misdiagnosed may actually turn to marijuana to ease their nausea, only to bring on the cycle again.
Experts say the legalization of pot combined with more potent strains (increased levels of THC) of marijuana may be causing the syndrome to surface more regularly. Marijuana interferes with the body’s cannabinoid receptors, which play a role in regulating the nervous system.
While there’s no official stats to show the increase, doctors in California and Colorado say they’re seeing more of it. “In my work, in the emergency room, I see at least one patient a day with the cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome,” a physician at San Diego’s Scripps Mercy Hospital told NCB San Diego.
Although doctors say they are getting better at treating symptoms – using old anti-psychotic medications and cream for muscle aches – the only cure so far is to stop smoking pot.
More Health Effects of Marijuana
Higher THC levels may also mean a greater risk for addiction, if people are regularly exposing themselves to high doses, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. What’s more, chronic pot use can have a wide range of physical and mental health risks, including an increased risk of developing psychotic disorders like schizophrenia, or worsening symptoms (anxiety, depression, sleep disorders) in people who already have psychosis.
Getting Help for Marijuana Addiction
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