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Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Mysterious Cannabis-Related Illness

It is of the utmost importance to have marijuana research continue, considering the new additions to the list for states that now allow adults to use cannabis for recreation. California was one such state that legalized recreational marijuana last November, 20 years after becoming the first medical marijuana friendly state in the country. And it is likely that more Californians will begin using the drug, and in some cases people with a history of pot use may begin using the drug more frequently.

It is fair to say that the biggest marijuana health-related concerns are towards teenage and young adult use, considering that their brains are still developing. However, while adults may not be concerned about the drug negatively affecting their health (setting addiction aside for the moment), a bizarre illness related to cannabis use is being seen more often in states with a relaxed stance on the drug.

In recent years, an increasing number of people living in marijuana-friendly states have been seen in emergency departments complaining of severe abdominal pain and vomiting, The Huffington Post reports. At first, the condition was rather mysterious, with no clear explanation; but when some patients reported having found relief from the symptoms by taking hot showers, it gave doctors a clue. The condition is known as cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome, or CHS for short.

ER cases involving CHS have nearly doubled at two hospitals in Colorado since 2009, according to a new study. CHS cases have continued to increase since Colorado legalized the drug for adult recreational use in 2012. As you can probably imagine, it is an alarming trend being witnessed in other parts of the country, as well. While the cause of cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome is not fully understood, the researchers have some theories:

“The science behind it is not clear,” Heard told the Denver Channel. “The most likely cause is that people using marijuana frequently and in high doses have changes in the receptors in their body, and those receptors become dysregulated in some way, and it starts causing pain.”

Many adults living in California may think that, because the drug is now legal, it is completely safe. That may be the case for some people, but this new research shows that there is a population that may be acutely affected by the drug. What’s more, the drug has been found to be habit forming and can lead to abuse. If you are struggling with cannabis, please contact Whiteside Manor for help.

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