Cannabinoid Poisoning. Maybe you’ve heard about it at the office or your local dispensary. Maybe you read about it through High Times or Leafly. Or maybe this is the first you’re hearing about it at all. Basically, Cannabinoid poisoning is layman’s terms for Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome. What is that creepy, long word you ask?
Hyperemesis: Vomiting that eventually results in weight loss and dehydration.
Of all things, the one illness that correlates to cannabis is one that has symptoms cannabis would be used to treat in any other situation. Here are a few things to know about Hyperemesis because yes, this actually could be you:
It’s most common in those who smoke 3-5 times a day for several years.
See why I call it a poisoning? It’s more like an extremely slow poisoning but a poisoning nonetheless. Some people who experience this start having symptoms just a year into smoking. There’s not enough research to claim how frequently this happens, but I’m assuming it’s rare; I myself have been smoking daily 2-5 times a day for the past 15 years and have not experienced the symptoms. Something to think about though if you ever find yourself dealing with similar health problems.
Symptoms are usually vomiting, dry heaving, nausea, weight loss, dehydration and stomach/abdominal pain.
There are theories as to why these are the symptoms like swelling, inability for the body’s organisms to move around, relaxation of the throat muscles, et cetera but that’s where the lack of research comes into play again. Theories are only theories until scientists do the required research.
It can easily be mistaken for another illness called Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome.
It’s pretty much the same symptoms minus the cannabis consumption part. With that said, if you find yourself at the doctor for similar if not identical symptoms, don’t lie about your consumption! They can’t help you if you don’t provide all the necessary information.
Hot baths and showers help relief pain, discomfort and other symptoms.
This may not seem important now, but if you ever are sick and are trying to eliminate all of the possible illnesses like the flu or food poisoning, test the shower. It might help you narrow down your list of suspects.
The only solution is quitting cannabis.
When I read this, my heart sunk for those who’ve had to quit for the sake of this illness. For me personally, I have epilepsy, anxiety and physical pain that cannabis helps me with. If my body started reacting negatively to cannabis, I wouldn’t know what to do; I can’t imagine what it must be like for those with more serious medical conditions. I had hope for a split second that maybe, just maybe, one could quit for awhile and then smoke again but research suggests symptoms are likely to return after just a few weeks if you take up smoking cannabis again.
Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome sounds like my worst nightmare. I wouldn’t even wish it on my enemies. If there’s one takeaway from all of this (besides paranoia and fear) I would say it’s to be mindful. Everything in moderation. I smoke at least once a day but if my body is giving me signs I need to tone it down, I back off a little bit and give my lungs some clean air to breathe. I am no doctor but I can’t imagine that getting outside and filling your body with fresh oxygen wouldn’t help your body avoid coming down with Cannabinoid poisoning.