Medical researchers have identified a mysterious illness that is consistent with medical marijuana users. The number of individuals affected is on the rise, according to a study conducted by an emergency room physician at the University of Colorado, Kennon Heard.
Research on the Mystery Illness
Heard and his team of researchers says that the condition, dubbed Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome (CHS) is characterized by severe abdominal pain, nausea, and recurrent vomiting. Surprisingly, the symptoms seem to fade as soon as the patient takes a hot bath or shower. Researchers say the condition is caused primarily by long-term use of various forms of medical marijuana and is most commonly attributed to states where the use of cannabis for medical purposes has been legalized.
According to Kennon Heard, once the use of medical marijuana has been legalized, emergency rooms met with double the CHS cases in Colorado since 2012. Furthermore, other states experience an increase in individuals suffering from CHS, as well, such as Washington D.C. with the Georgetown University Hospital and University of Washington Medical center also reporting nearly double the patients exhibiting CHS symptoms.
There are also several reasons as to why CHS cases flew under the radar so far. One theory suggests that before medical marijuana became legal, individuals displaying CHS symptoms did not want to admit to the use of illegal substances. As a result, doctors were unable to provide an accurate diagnosis when patients ended up in emergency rooms. Under federal law, use of marijuana is still strictly prohibited. While medical marijuana is legal in almost half of the states in the country, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, and Colorado citizens can use cannabis only for recreational purposes.
Doctors say that Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome is not to be taken lightly, as the condition can even result in kidney failure, apart from severe dehydration. Nevertheless, health care providers recommend patients displaying CHS symptoms to stop using the drug and the condition goes away on its own. Lance Crowder was suffering from CHS for approximately two years. Within several days after he stopped using marijuana, the condition went away on its own.