Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome
Are you already suffering from CHS? Bear with me, if so! If you're totally clueless, like I was, CHS is properly known as cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome. Still searching for what that means, exactly?
Simply put, these syndrome sufferers deal with constant vomiting and nausea (hyperemesis) triggered by cannabinoids.
But that doesn't make this a simple problem. It was fun, being able to break those big words down, but it isn't fun dealing with the meaning of them. It isn't fun being with a group of friends, hitting a blunt, then making a run for the toilet. It's not fun curling up in the fetal position because you just can't shake your nausea. It certainly isn't fun to deal with the crippling pain your stomach has to go through when it does release itself. (I, personally, have suffered through several bouts of never-ending nausea in the past. It magically disappeared one day, I guess, because now that I think about it, I haven't dealt with it in a very long time!)
Some people feel like hopping in the shower or splashing in the bath when they feel the effects of CHS. It's said to feel awesome, being soothed with the warm water... that's actually explained scientifically! Our bodies react to THC and cannabinoids differently when we're under a showerhead. Maybe not so much if you love cold showers, but hot ones seem to wake our sleepy senses back up so to speak.
CHS has to be a mega bummer for anyone who enjoys marijuana for its antiemetic properties in the first place. I feel for you!
Don't worry too much! It doesn't have to be permanent. Cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome isn't going to happen to most of you, either! (If you're here for the Quit Weed part of this website, there's some cool info on how to quit weed all over this place).
Though Your Weed Wisdom May Tell You to Puff Your Pipe...
Don't. When you feel this vicious cycle begin to happen, set down your pipe. Smoking more won't make you feel better, no matter how badly you might want to believe it will. It's going to make it a lot worse. You know what will help? Stopping smoking. Set it down. Save that money for something else you've been denying yourself. Enjoy a weeklong vacation. Go to a fancy restaurant. Just stop smoking weed, at least for a few weeks. Your symptoms should disappear after your body enjoys a nice little break from smoking pot. If they don't, you should go to your doctor and make sure you don't have any ulcers or anything worse than CHS!
The reason this has started happening to you in the first place is because you've become a chronic weed smoker. You've, more likely than not, been smoking for 3 or more years (pretty heavily). So if you haven't hit that 3-year mark, yet, and don't want to get sick from your favorite medicine, take a break! Sometimes, you may be able to get away with smoking for decades before noticing any symptoms. The symptoms aren't always constant, either. They can come every few weeks or every few months.
We do all realize our hearts and lungs are affected directly by smoking weed, right? Even if we don't experience immediate results (though most peoples' heart rates raise after getting high), over time they will be greatly affected. We may end up with rapid heart rates after chronic use, and I believe most medical research says that we should keep our heart rates at a healthy, steady pace as we age... that rapid rates can be dangerous to our health. Even excessive anxiety could trigger something kind of crazy in us when we're older!
Weed doesn't have to be scary, you just need to be aware of its possible effects on you and how to deal with them. If you're truly using marijuana for medication, your doctor hopefully reminds you of all the Do's and Don'ts. Weed can be exactly that, a wonderful medicine. But if you're using it to gain an appetite, and you find yourself vomiting (after smoking) instead, you may've found comfort for too long in cannabis.
If we drink liquor every day, with a weak stomach, we're probably going to get sick. Now, pot isn't like liquor in terms of its effects. But obviously, chronic use of either one can cause physical harm. If you are a frequent smoker and drinker, you might have a night of heavy drinking and smoking. Perhaps, you notice you wake up the next morning (each time, lately) feeling sick to your stomach... eventually going to worship the porcelain throne. Maybe nothing but bile came up and now you're just dry-heaving. Realizing you're not losing liquids, you try moving away, only to feel you'll be sick again. No relief? Wait, a shower always makes us feel better... Boom, you've temporary relieved your problem. (Unless you are hungover from the liquor and not the effects of CHS). You could really develop an ulcer if you're mixing heavy drinking with smoking from that behavior, as well. An ulcer and CHS? A complete and utter nightmare!!
So, if you've been dealing with this abdominal pain, nausea, and/or cyclical vomiting for a while... examine what you ingest or expose yourself to frequently. If you drink a lot, you should definitely cut back on that. If you smoke every day, you should probably cut back on that, too. If you eat nothing but big, greasy cheeseburgers every day, your body will probably react negatively to that, too!
When we get older, it's all about keeping our bodies happy and healthy, as well as our minds. Cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome is no joke, and addiction isn't either. There are resources available here and many other places for any of you that may be suffering from either one of these things.
If you need help quitting weed, check out our program. If you need to know what you can do if you suffer from CHS;
- a warm, or mildly hot, shower will give you temporary relief,
- while quitting weed will give you complete relief (after a little time).
Good luck, have patience, healthy insides aren't always easy to attain! You have the ability to do it, though.