Yes, scromiting — or 'scream vomiting' — is real and can be caused by heavy marijuana use. And it may be on the rise thanks to widespread legalization.

·2 min read
Glass cannabis pipe next to a clear bowl with ground weed in it.
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  • Cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome, which can cause "scromiting," affects some marijuana users.

  • The condition is characterized by bouts of nausea so painful they can cause a person to scream.

  • In a 2017 study, 97% of scromiters said they used marijuana at least once a week.

Scromiting, a portmanteau of the words "screaming" and "vomiting," is a condition characterized by bouts of abdominal discomfort and nausea so painful it can cause a person to scream. The condition can be brought on by heavy marijuana use, researchers have found.

Users on Twitter poked fun at the unusual — but real — term on Sunday after a Daily Mail reporter, who wrote about the phenomenon in a piece about marijuana use in California, laid out a series of tweets admonishing marijuana use and calling its legalization in California a "public health disaster."

 

Cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome is a real condition that affects a small group of heavy, habitual marijuana users.

CHS can be relieved with hot showers, and some doctors may prescribe medication, but it only goes away for good once the person stops using marijuana. Many patients refuse to believe that marijuana is causing their symptoms and are resistant to giving it up.

In 2019, a cannabis user named April Moon told Business Insider she was hesitant to attribute her CHS symptoms to marijuana because, like most users, she had been fine using marijuana before.

"I was in denial. I didn't want to believe it was true," she said. "Cannabis is my world. It's my whole life."

Infections, kidney failure due to dehydration, and significant weight loss can result from CHS, and it can be deadly if left untreated.

A 2017 study found that men were more likely to develop the condition and nearly all of those with CHS reported at least weekly cannabis use.

Conditions like CHS may be a product of the higher concentrations of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, in marijuana today than in the 1990s, research shows. Because of the way cannabis is grown and modified now, a joint in the '90s may have had one to three mg of THC, while a joint now could have upward of 18 mg of THC.

Research also found that Colorado saw an uptick in emergency room visits for CHS after the state legalized marijuana.

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