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Definition of Cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome (CHS)

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

Cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome (CHS): a condition of cyclic attacks of nausea and vomiting in people who are chronic users of cannabis. The condition typically develops in people who have been using cannabis for years, and its cause is unknown. Despite the well-known effects of marijuana in reducing nausea, there is increasing evidence for these paradoxical effects on the gastrointestinal and nervous systems.

Symptoms of cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome include frequent and debilitating bouts of vomiting sometimes accompanied by abdominal pain and weight loss. In between these bouts of vomiting there are symptom-free intervals. Those affected by the condition typically begin to take hot showers or baths during the episodes. This behavior often becomes a compulsion as they seek relief from the incapacitating episodes of vomiting.

REFERENCE:

Galli JA., et al. "Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome." Current drug abuse reviews. 2011;4(4):241-249.
<https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3576702/>

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