Hospitals Now Reporting More Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Cases
A condition once considered rare among regular and heavy marijuana users seems to be showing up more often in American hospitals. Reports of more cases of cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome (CHS) are popping up all over the country. But is it anything to worry about? That depends on who you ask.
No doubt CHS can lead to negative health consequences. Some of the condition’s side effects can be temporarily debilitating. But to date, CHS seems to be the worst of it for regular cannabis users. There have yet to be any reported deaths linked to cannabis overdose.
More About CHS
Although CHS is rarely fatal, the condition has been listed as the cause of death among a small number of long-term cannabis users. Most of the users who experience CHS manifest common symptoms like recurring bouts of nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. But once the levels of THC in a person’s body subside, CHS systems do as well.
The medical experts at Utahmarijuana.org explain that science isn’t clear on the mechanisms behind CHS. One possible explanation is that excessive levels of THC in the body overstimulate the endocannabinoid system. Interestingly enough, endocannabinoid receptors are found throughout the human body. They are found in the gastrointestinal tract, which might explain why their overstimulation could cause the symptoms associated with CHS.
Marijuana Consumption Is Up
Getting back to reports suggesting hospitals are seeing more cases of CHS, at least some of the increase is probably due to the fact that marijuana consumption is up dramatically. Thanks to legalization in more than three-dozen states and the District of Columbia, more people have access to marijuana than ever before.
Greater access and consumption would logically lead to an increase in any side effects related to marijuana consumption. Simply put, more regular marijuana users equate to more people who could possibly experience CHS.
With CHS cases on the rise, it might be worthwhile to study how severe the cases are. An increase in mild cases would probably be no cause for concern in the grand scheme of things. But if more of the new cases are seriously debilitating or potentially deadly, we have a whole new ballgame.
Marijuana Isn’t Harmless
Equally significant is the reality that increasing CHS cases prove marijuana is not harmless. This could be the most important lesson of all. In our collective rush to make marijuana culturally acceptable, we have given into the idea of promoting the drug as being a guilt-free way to feel good without having to worry about negative side effects.
Earlier in this post, you read that not a single marijuana overdose death has been reported thus far. Unfortunately, marijuana advocates use this fact as a means of promoting the drug as safer than other options. But far too often, they cross a line. They go from talking about safety to giving the impression that there is absolutely nothing negative about marijuana. Nothing could be further from the truth.
CHS Is Absolutely Real
There is no denying the existence of CHS. It is a very real condition that effects heavy and long-term cannabis users. It is also condition that, while rare, can ultimately lead to death. It is not something we should ignore simply because it could shed a negative light on recreational marijuana consumption.
Hospitals are reporting higher numbers of CHS cases commensurate with state marijuana legalization. We need to pay attention here. We need to figure out what is going on and why. If nothing else, we need to know how to handle CHS before it starts taking a heavier toll.
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