Cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome, or CHS disease, is a relatively unknown and rare illness that is caused by heavy marijuana smoking. The condition has been affecting marijuana smokers for years and virtually no one knows about it.
Symptoms of CHS disease include severe nausea, violent vomiting, and abdominal pain. As cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome is often misdiagnosed, sufferers make frequent trips to the hospital before someone figures out the cause.
“These folks are really suffering. They can get pretty sick,” said Dr. Eric Lavona with Denver Health Medical Center, per a report from the Missoulian. “They vomit like crazy and make frequent emergency department visits because they just can’t stop vomiting.”
On average, people who suffer from CHS disease make seven trips to the emergency room and hospitalized three or more times. With more states legalizing recreational weed, emergency rooms are likely to see an increase in the syndrome.
Unfortunately, many sufferers do not know about cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome and increase their weed smoking in an unsuccessful attempt to alleviate their nausea. However, this reaction never works and can even make symptoms worse. Some doctors in states where medical cannabis is legal have erroneously recommended more marijuana as a treatment for symptoms.
According to Dr. Lavona, cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome is a “very common problem” in Colorado.
“We see it all the time in several patients a week in our emergency department, and all the emergency departments around Denver. It takes time for the medical community to learn about it and recognize it. But once you’re familiar with the disease, you’re not likely to misdiagnose it.”