Cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome (CHS), also known as cannabis hyperemesis syndrome or cyclic vomiting syndrome (CVS), is a rare but serious condition that can develop suddenly in people who are daily marijuana users or in people who have a history of prolonged marijuana use.
When you have CHS, you experience episodes of intractable nausea and vomiting, oftentimes to the point that you are unable to keep down food or water (Sorensen, J Med Toxicol, 2017). One of the hallmarks of CHS is relief of nausea with hot showers or baths, and many people find that this is the only way to improve their symptoms.
The exact pathophysiology of CHS is unknown, but as marijuana use becomes more common, doctors and healthcare providers increasingly have this marijuana-related complication on their radar, as should you.
People with cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome may require hospitalization in order to maintain hydration while their nausea and vomiting persist. While anti-emetic or anti-nausea medications would make sense as treatments for CHS, the hard reality is that they aren’t solving the underlying issue.
At the end of the day, the only proven way to treat CHS is to stop using marijuana, and permanent cessation of marijuana use leads to the only assured cure (Richards, J Emerg Med, 2018).
Brian Canfield, Ed.D.
Professor, Counselor Education at Florida Atlantic University. Founder of the International Association of Psychology and Counseling.
Weedless.org is a free, web-based resource and community created by a team of healthcare professionals and researchers. We distill the facts about marijuana use and its effects into practical guidance for interested persons or for those who are thinking about or struggling to quit weed. Finding reliable, easy to understand information about marijuana should never be a struggle—that is why our core mission is to provide the most up to date information about marijuana use, abuse, addiction, and withdrawal. While we seek to empower individuals to have control over their use, we are not “anti-weed” and we support efforts to legalize adult marijuana use and study.
Currently Diagnosed with CHS and it has been devastating. I’ve always used marijuana as a helping hand. It helps with my stress, anxiety, it helps me better enjoy the things I’m doing. My question is, will I ever be able to smoke marijuana safely again.. this really sucks.
It gets easier if you take it slow. Take 1g a week off your daily regiment till you hit only 1-3 grams a day then you can try to go cold after that.
I had a hemorrhagic stroke 19 months ago and strangely had zero withdrawals after stopping and starting and I was/am a daily user. I have no idea why that was the case. I say was because that’s not the case now. The only answer I can surmise is that the brain was too injured at the time to respond to withdrawals.