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Treating Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome (CHS) May Require Long-Term Marijuana Abstinence

By February 3, 2021December 21st, 20212 Comments

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.

Contributing Author

Professor, Counselor Education at Florida Atlantic University. Founder of the International Association of Psychology and Counseling.

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2 Comments

  • Zachary says:

    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.

    • Anonymous says:

      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.

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