Marijuana Use Cause Severe Cyclic Nausea, Vomiting, Costly Effect

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1 - 12 of 12 Comments Last updated Jun 26, 2014

Since: Aug 10

Cottonwood, AZ

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#1
Jun 22, 2013
 
Oct. 22, 2012 ó Marijuana use -- both natural and synthetic -- may cause cannabinoid hyperemesis (CH) a little-known but costly effect that researchers suggest is a serious burden to the health care system as it often leads to expensive diagnostic tests and ineffective treatments in an effort to find the cause of a patient's symptoms and provide relief, according to two separate case reports unveiled October 22 at the American College of Gastroenterology's (ACG) 77th Annual Scientific meeting in Las Vegas. Cannabinoid hyperemesis is characterized by a history of chronic cannabis use followed by a cyclic pattern of nausea, vomiting and colicky abdominal pain. Interestingly, compulsive hot baths or showers temporarily relieve symptoms, another characteristic which aids clinicians in diagnosis.
"Most healthcare providers are unaware of the link between marijuana use and these episodes of cyclic nausea and vomiting so they are not asking about natural or synthetic cannabinoid use when a patient comes to the emergency room or their doctor's office with these symptoms," said co-investigator Ana Maria Crissien-Martinez, M.D. of Scripps Green Hospital and Clinic in San Diego. She said CH was first described in a 2004 case series of 9 patients in Australia and since then, 14 case reports and 4 case series have been published, including a prospective series of 98 patients published by Mayo Clinic in February 2012.
Local Youcal

Cottonwood, AZ

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#2
Jun 22, 2013
 
Patients frequently have multiple hospital, clinic and emergency room visits with extensive negative work-up to include imaging studies, endoscopies, and laboratory testing before they are finally diagnosed with cannabinoid hyperemesis, according to the researchers of both case reports.

"We estimate $10,000 to be the minimum cost of one admission -- but on average our patients required admission to the hospital 2.8 times, a total of almost $30,000 for workup," said Dr. Crissien-Martinez, who added that that cost does not include the added costs of primary care physician and/or gastroenterologist and emergency room visits, which averaged 2.5 and 6 times respectively.

Dr. Crissien-Martinez said that 80 percent of the Scripps Green patients who stopped cannabis experienced symptom resolution; however, only one of them remained abstinent and consequently symptom-free.

"As health care providers, we must be aware of the potential side effects of chronic cannabis use and understand that cannabinoid hyperemesis is diagnosed clinically to avoid expensive diagnostic and therapeutic modalities," said Dr. Crissien-Martinez. "Instead the focus should be shifted towards counseling and resources allocated towards marijuana cessation."
nicholas

Cottonwood, AZ

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#3
Jun 22, 2013
 
I had to share my experience: every time I smoke, I feel nauseous and throw up (and NOT from coughing too hard, I donít cough, itís more like have a hit off a pipe, and then fifteen minutes later I feel really really nauseated and then throw up about an hour laterÖafter which I feel better and enjoy the high). The next morning my stomach is kind of upset and I feel queasy and throw up again, but that could be because of my hangover (I combine the alcohol with the pot). My girlfriend always smokes the same stuff I do, and sheís never felt sick. Iíve done my share of opiates (which are known to make people puke) and I NEVER have puked on any opiate. I also drink quite a bit, and donít throw up from drinking either (but I do throw up from being hungover all the time). But pot..EVERY. TIME.(with two exceptions discussed below). When I start feeling sick I always tell her,ďIím never doing this AGAIN!!!Ē and then I puke and I feel better and then we have a great time, so the next time (usually the next day) sheís all,ďletís smokeĒ and I donít refuse. I wish I knew how to stop the sickness, though. ironically the only two times I didnít puke after smoking was once when my girl and I went surfing immediately after getting (mildly) stoned. when I felt the nausea coming on, we went into the water and I felt better. the other time was on a long boat trip out to a scuba dive site. I usually get majorly sick on these boats, like leaning out over the water and feeding the fish the whole way out to the site, and the sickness doesnít go away until I get into the ocean. but this time my girlfriend brought some pot along and I partook figuring it couldnít get any worse. surprise surprise i actually didnít feel the level of stick-a-shotgun-in-my-mouth nausea and vomiting that I usually do on these boats and didnít get the pot-related sickness either. btw the water when I was surfing and diving was pretty cold, so the hot bath hypothesis doesnít explain my situation. Is this an allergy to pot or the beginning of this syndrome? Iím a little freaked out as Iíve had a weak stomach my whole life and have always been a frequent puker; I donít want to end up like some of you poor people suffering from these horrible illnesses (CVS and CHS),
Weed Vomit

Cottonwood, AZ

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#4
Jun 22, 2013
 
I never found an association between any particular strain or type of bud and this disorder. Effectively, they all caused the same problem after weeks of heavy use. So I doubt there is any connection to chemicals sprayed on the plants because they would have to be used by every grower, which I am sure is not the case.

Also, nausea and vomiting are the most common symptoms in the ER, period. They can be caused by any number of disorders and diseases, such as Crohnís Disease, food poisoning or stomach flu. I say this because a few posters have questioned that pot is causing this. But it makes no sense to base this on symptoms only, as they are shared across many different causes. The question is whether one can associate the episodes with heavy use and if the problem goes away when abstaining from daily use for a good amount of time. This established an obvious correlation between the two and a fairly strong caussative connection. For me it was definitely the case.

If this is you, then you may not have to quit entirely, but to make the episodes stop you definitely do not want to be toking it up each and every day. From personal experience I can say you should be good doing it once in awhile, like every few weeks or months.
randomcolor

Cottonwood, AZ

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#5
Jun 22, 2013
 
I live in Colorado so these cases apparently have been a lot more prevalent since the passing of A64. Iíve come find out I know other people who have had the same issue. Itís been 3 days now since I stopped smoking and my stomach is finally starting to settle down and Iím starting to be able to eat food without feeling nauseous or just randomly getting nauseous for no reason. I never got a word back from that c*** of a gastro specialist that I went to about the dicyclomine so I quit taking it, and Iím pretty sure my suspicions are correct that it was making me more sick than it was actually helping. Since I stopped taking that Iíve also stopped needing to take promethazine for my nausea also after every time I ate and at night.

Rant: Personally I hate our fix it with a pill drug culture, and it pisses me off that all most doctors do anymore is prescribe pills upon pills that just counteract each other and end up on five, six, or seven different prescriptions. I was prescribed the dicyclomine and the promethazine upon my first ER visit so they have been what I was on the longest.

Looking back at it this episode it was absolutly 100% my fault. This was caused by my excessive constant smoking to begin with along with the combination of dehydration from heavily drinking the night before, drinking coffee to help rid my hangover and then smoking a ton to try and settle everything down. I guess my body just had enough of it and boom reaction that puts me down for a week. Thankfully I was downing tums like no tomorrow during those episodes so I only got nausea and thankfully never thew up.

This was my first episode of this, hopefully my last, and my heart goes out to all the people who have been suffering with this for years since I never want to go through this experience again. A major change in my lifestyle habits are in order to make sure of that.

Some OTC things Iíve been doing for when Iím getting some slight nausea which is occurring less and less now is Galviscon/Maylanta/Mayloxx (basically all the same thing) for acid relief and sour stomach if a food you ate seems to trigger a slight reaction which were grapes for me Iíve figured out. Also, just for plain nausea Iíve been chewing ginger gum and itís been helping. The sugars in gatorade and powerade were not helping my situation since I stay away from HFCS and am really not a huge fan of sugar to being with so I switched over to smartwater since itís water with electrolytes and that has been helping me greatly keeping up on my fluids with out all of the syrupy sugar in sports drinks which also seemed to upset my stomach after.

Good luck to all and Iíll update if there are any condition changes, but for right nowÖ sad to sayÖ is that chronic is no longer going to be part of my life. I also now no longer have a natural remedy for my lower GI issues Iíve had my entire life also. Let the fun begin, haha.
anonymous

Cottonwood, AZ

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#6
Jun 22, 2013
 
Ah, okay, Iím getting a better feel for this now after reading the hundreds (!) of posts here on the thread.

From what Iíve read, CVS is a distinct disease with similar symptoms. In fact, you might get confused because many ER personnel will label reoccurring bouts of nausea and vomiting as CVS, as they are not aware of the connection to marijuana usage. True CVS is actually most common in children, tends to go away as they age, and is quite rare in adults.

If you smoke regularly and suffer from periodic spells of severe nausea and vomiting as described, you probably do not have true CVS. The smoking is probably causing it.

At least, you will most likely see these episodes disappear entirely if you quit smoking or at least dial it way back to once every so often. That in and of itself should be indicative of the cause here.

It is at least an experiment worth doing because these episodes are awful. So you might as well try.

If you quit smoking entirely and they still occur, then probably there is something else causing it.

Personally, I lived in the foggy state of DENIAL for many years, and I wanted to believe I had some rare condition that caused me to show up barfing to the ER every so often. But it simply wasnít the case. My body was ODing on pot. I know it sounds far-fetched, but Iím telling you that it can and does happen.
X Cronic Weed Puker

Cottonwood, AZ

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#7
Jun 22, 2013
 
This is quite a thread of discussion here.
I just wanted to share my experiences in order to help others who might be suffering from this problem. And I would also like to provide a counter-example to the original posterís skeptical questioning of its existence.
For many years, I would periodically have severe attacks of nausea, vomiting, and stomach pain that usually lead to hospitalization in the ER. There would also be diarrhea and dehydration from all the throwing up, the latter usually being the reason that I would go to the hospital in the first place (severe dehydration is very dangerous and can be life threatening if not treated). These episodes occurred sporadically, anywhere from 4-6 weeks apart to 5 or 6 months.
It pains me to admit it, but I canít even count the number of times I ended up in the hospital in many different places, both around where I lived and when I was on vacation or a trip. I had been a heavy marijuana user, on and off, from the age of about 18, and Iím now in my mid-30?s. This situation was actually a real nightmare for me, and it negatively affected many of my family members in that sometimes they would have to stop whatever they were doing while on vacation to take care of me. It would also noticeably affect my overall health, causing depression and also making my stomach a mess, sometimes for weeks afterwards.
A close family member who is a medical professional indicated to me that these periodic episodes could be associated with my usage. I denied this to myself and them for years, because I loved to smoke. But now I know that indeed there is a very strong correlation between these episodes and periods of heavy marijuana use for me. I looked at several of the studies that connect heavy marijuana usage to these symptoms.
The wikipedia article on ďCannabinoid_hyperemesis_syndr omeĒ is actually pretty good if you want more information.
I can say that when this was occurring, I fit the listed symptoms in that article quite closely, including ďSevere nausea and vomitingĒ,ďVomiting that recurs in a cyclic pattern over monthsĒ,ďCompulsive hot baths with symptom reliefĒ, and ďColicky abdominal painĒ.
Symptomatically, this is, in fact, quite similar to Chronic Vomiting Syndrome (CVS), but the mechanism that causes it is different. The treatment is similar. If you need guidelines for treating yourself or being treated in the ER, google ďempiric guidelines for treatment of cyclic vomiting syndromeĒ.
When in severe distress at the ER, I would actually request to be given morphine, because it is a strong sedative and pain reliever and seemed to be the only drug that really helped very much. You obviously donít want to get into the habit of showing up sick at the ER and requesting this. But it probably is the most effective drug for relieving you when this happens, along with a strong anti-nausea drug, the effectiveness of which depends on your personal body chemistry.
X Cronic Weed Puker

Cottonwood, AZ

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#8
Jun 22, 2013
 
Sorry for the 2 posts here folks but here is the rest of my story.

I would actually recommend that if you end up in the hospital with similar symptoms that you should tell them if you smoke regularly. It will be useful for treating you and will rule out all kinds of strange and exotic diseases they tend to test for (expensively!) when you show up with nausea and vomiting from an unknown cause (stomach ulcer? etc.).
I have found that severely curtailing my usage (nearly to the point of quitting entirely) has made it so I do not have these attacks anymore. I have not 100% quit, but I use (at the most) once a month. And I am also considering quitting completely in the future. Now that I am no longer a regular user, I have not had any problems with this now for about 9 months. I never went that long without this happening when I used to smoke on a regular basis.
I know this is hard to hear for some here, who for some reason want to remain skeptical, I guess because they have no personal experience with it. But this is an actual problem for some people, and quitting the regular usage will make it go away. As far as I know, thatís the ONLY real way, because I had tried nausea drugs, medications for relief of the symptoms when they happened, and any number of things. But only when I stopped smoking regularly nearly to the point of quitting did this problem entirely disappear for me.
Iím not telling anyone what substances they should and shouldnít put in their body, but if this is you, then realize that it probably IS caused by the smoking and that you can make it go away by quitting. I had years of self-inflicted misery caused by this, which I wouldnít recommend to anyone.
And just a bit of advice on quitting an addictive substance, you can try replacement behavior, such as exercise or a new hobby, as well as switching up your social situation and finding some people to hang with who do not smoke.
I canít explain the exact mechanisms at work here, but I suspect it has something to do with a build up of chemicals in the brain that eventually causes a toxic effect. It could be related to the part of the brain that controls body temperature, digestion, and nausea. I also know that when I used regularly my entire throat and digestive system would be irritated by all the smoke, also, which didnít help.
It could be that taking THC in a different form such as oil or edible would make the episodes less likely, as smoking can irritate your body quite a bit, in and of itself. That I donít know and havenít really investigated.
Alright, thatís about all I have to say on this. Hope it helps someone.
Peace!
X Cronic Weed Puker

Cottonwood, AZ

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#9
Jun 22, 2013
 
This should be above the last post I made here.. Don't know what happened?

Here is the first part about my story.
I just wanted to share my experiences in order to help others who might be suffering from this problem. And I would also like to provide a counter-example to the original posterís skeptical questioning of its existence.

For many years, I would periodically have severe attacks of nausea, vomiting, and stomach pain that usually lead to hospitalization in the ER. There would also be diarrhea and dehydration from all the throwing up, the latter usually being the reason that I would go to the hospital in the first place (severe dehydration is very dangerous and can be life threatening if not treated). These episodes occurred sporadically, anywhere from 4-6 weeks apart to 5 or 6 months.

It pains me to admit it, but I canít even count the number of times I ended up in the hospital in many different places, both around where I lived and when I was on vacation or a trip. I had been a heavy marijuana user, on and off, from the age of about 18, and Iím now in my mid-30?s. This situation was actually a real nightmare for me, and it negatively affected many of my family members in that sometimes they would have to stop whatever they were doing while on vacation to take care of me. It would also noticeably affect my overall health, causing depression and also making my stomach a mess, sometimes for weeks afterwards.

A close family member who is a medical professional indicated to me that these periodic episodes could be associated with my usage. I denied this to myself and them for years, because I loved to smoke. But now I know that indeed there is a very strong correlation between these episodes and periods of heavy marijuana use for me. I looked at several of the studies that connect heavy marijuana usage to these symptoms.

The wikipedia article on ďCannabinoid_hyperemesis_syndr omeĒ is actually pretty good if you want more information.

I can say that when this was occurring, I fit the listed symptoms in that article quite closely, including ďSevere nausea and vomitingĒ,ďVomiting that recurs in a cyclic pattern over monthsĒ,ďCompulsive hot baths with symptom reliefĒ, and ďColicky abdominal painĒ.

Symptomatically, this is, in fact, quite similar to Chronic Vomiting Syndrome (CVS), but the mechanism that causes it is different. The treatment is similar. If you need guidelines for treating yourself or being treated in the ER, google ďempiric guidelines for treatment of cyclic vomiting syndromeĒ.

When in severe distress at the ER, I would actually request to be given morphine, because it is a strong sedative and pain reliever and seemed to be the only drug that really helped very much. You obviously donít want to get into the habit of showing up sick at the ER and requesting this. But it probably is the most effective drug for relieving you when this happens, along with a strong anti-nausea drug, the effectiveness of which depends on your personal body chemistry.
X Cronic Weed Puker

Cottonwood, AZ

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#10
Jun 22, 2013
 
I have found that severely curtailing my usage (nearly to the point of quitting entirely) has made it so I do not have these attacks anymore. I have not 100% quit, but I use (at the most) once a month. And I am also considering quitting completely in the future. Now that I am no longer a regular user, I have not had any problems with this now for about 9 months. I never went that long without this happening when I used to smoke on a regular basis.

I know this is hard to hear for some here, who for some reason want to remain skeptical, I guess because they have no personal experience with it. But this is an actual problem for some people, and quitting the regular usage will make it go away. As far as I know, thatís the ONLY real way, because I had tried nausea drugs, medications for relief of the symptoms when they happened, and any number of things. But only when I stopped smoking regularly nearly to the point of quitting did this problem entirely disappear for me.

Iím not telling anyone what substances they should and shouldnít put in their body, but if this is you, then realize that it probably IS caused by the smoking and that you can make it go away by quitting. I had years of self-inflicted misery caused by this, which I wouldnít recommend to anyone.

And just a bit of advice on quitting an addictive substance, you can try replacement behavior, such as exercise or a new hobby, as well as switching up your social situation and finding some people to hang with who do not smoke.

I canít explain the exact mechanisms at work here, but I suspect it has something to do with a build up of chemicals in the brain that eventually causes a toxic effect. It could be related to the part of the brain that controls body temperature, digestion, and nausea. I also know that when I used regularly my entire throat and digestive system would be irritated by all the smoke, also, which didnít help.

It could be that taking THC in a different form such as oil or edible would make the episodes less likely, as smoking can irritate your body quite a bit, in and of itself. That I donít know and havenít really investigated.

Alright, thatís about all I have to say on this. Hope it helps someone.

Peace!
bob

Parramatta, Australia

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#11
Apr 28, 2014
 
I completely agree wit you. I have experimented myself being a chronic smoker to the herb. I found smoking pot relieved the cramps and nausea temporarily but not in the long run. you need to cut back or even stop smoking to see the symptoms dissipate.
Retired Zonie

Flagstaff, AZ

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#13
Jun 26, 2014
 
Pure craziness!

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