Mysterious illness tied to marijuana use on the rise in states with legal weed

NEW YORK (CBS) – For more than two years, Lance Crowder was having severe abdominal pain and vomiting, and no local doctor could figure out why. Finally, an emergency room physician in Indianapolis had an idea.

“The first question he asked was if I was taking hot showers to find relief. When he asked me that question, I basically fell into tears because I knew he had an answer,” Crowder said.

The answer was cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome, or CHS. It’s caused by heavy, long-term use of various forms of marijuana. For unclear reasons, the nausea and vomiting are relieved by hot showers or baths.

“They’ll often present to the emergency department three, four, five different times before we can sort this out,” said Dr. Kennon Heard, an emergency room physician in Aurora, Colorado.

He co-authored a study showing that since 2009, when medical marijuana became widely available, emergency room visits diagnoses for CHS in two Colorado hospitals nearly doubled. In 2012, the state legalized recreational marijuana.

“It is certainly something that, before legalization, we almost never saw,” Heard said. “Now we are seeing it quite frequently.”

Outside of Colorado, when patients do end up in an emergency room, the diagnosis is often missed. Partly because doctors don’t know about CHS, and partly because patients don’t want to admit to using a substance that’s illegal.

CHS can lead to dehydration and kidney failure, but usually resolves within days of stopping drug use. That’s what happened with Crowder, who has been off all forms of marijuana for seven months.

“Now all kinds of ambition has come back. I desire so much more in life and, at 37 years old, it’s a little late to do it, but better now than never,”he said.

CHS has only been recognized for about the past decade, and nobody knows exactly how many people suffer from it. But as more states move towards the legalization of marijuana, emergency room physicians like Dr. Heard are eager to make sure both doctors and patients have CHS on their radar.

3 responses to “Mysterious illness tied to marijuana use on the rise in states with legal weed

  1. It’s of utmost importance to know what forms of marijuana cause CHS since this report does not distinguish. I would guess the culprit may be the forms which include THC, the psychoactive ingredient. Most recreational users smoke it, as we well know. And, some do smoke marijuana to relieve pain, but this should not be included in the category of “medical” marijuana. Those who really want to relieve pain should be using “real” medical marijuana and hemp that is carefully processed. The reason most “smoke” pot to relieve pain is because it’s way, way cheaper than buying “medically” processed oils and pastes, and smoking it is not nearly as effective as the medicinal forms.

    The medicinal forms where almost all of the THC is removed leaving just the CBD (cannabinoid) oils. The plants are processed stripping them of the THC and leaving the CBD’s. The plant matter is disposed of. The highest concentrations of CBD’s are found in thick pastes which are usually placed under the tongue to dissolve. This is used for health situations such as seizures, cancer, extreme pain and many more. I have been reading about people who have used the medicinal oils and pastes for several years to cure their cancers and have never heard any of them complain about negative side affects.

    This article quotes Mr. Crowder, “Now all kinds of ambition has come back. I desire so much more in life and, at 37 years old, it’s a little late to do it, but better now than never,”he said. It’s my premise that Mr. Crowder was a heavy recreational user and the THC clouded his mind like it does to most pot smokers. This does not happen to those who use the medicinal oils and pastes where the THC has been removed.

    Marijuana and hemp continues to be demonized by the government because they have known since at least the 1920’s, when it was still legal, of the extreme health benefits and have allowed the AMA, FDA, big pharma to suppress this information. All of the talk for decades has been the “shaming” and imprisoning of those who sell and smoke pot. Smoking pot isn’t good for you just like smoking cigarettes isn’t good for you. At least with smoking pot there can be some pain relief if that’s the goal. It also can reduce eye pressure for those with glaucoma. But medicinal oils and pastes will work much more effectively. Families have moved to Colorado and California just to be able to have access to the oils and pastes for seriously ill family members. This should not have to be. The general population needs to be educated to the truths about these amazing plants. There’s a lot of information on You Tube, as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. hmmmm, so much for marijuana being considered a benign drug.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have have CVS and use marijuana to relieve the pain and vomiting associated with my disease. Hot baths also help relieve my pain and vomiting. Depression from being sick for so many years has also been relieved by marijuana. My hope is that these Dr’s who are trying to group these things together are getting them in the right order because my CVS started as an 8 yr old child and I was unable to find any relief until I was older and able to use marijuana!

    Liked by 1 person

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