Tana McLane is the mother of a son who is currently hospitalized as he deals with this serious condition for a second time.
There are many benefits to using medical marijuana for all sorts of neurological issues. But careful prescribing and monitoring is a must. In some states, a medical marijuana license allows the patient to self-prescribe the frequency, amount, and potency of the medical marijuana they use. And there are many forms of it available from medical marijuana dispensaries.
This consistent and legal availability of legal medical marijuana can lead to abuse of it, especially when no doctor stays involved with its use. A patient who also has addiction issues and enough money has access to the highest-potency forms of it–potency levels used by late-stage cancer patients at the end of their lives when in constant pain. (This access would be more true for an adult patient, as a child’s use of it would be controlled by their parents.)
Cannabinoid hyperemesis is a rare but growing reaction to the chronic use of medical marijuana. The active cannabinoids, including the intoxicating THC, are stored in the body’s fat cells and accumulate. If a toxic or allergic sensitivity to cannabinoids develops, the patient can begin to experience the hyperemesis condition—a condition that leads to repeated and severe bouts of vomiting.
The sad irony is that, as legal medical and recreational marijuana gain acceptance and popularity across our country, the number of cannabinoid hyperemesis cases is increasing. It is usually ER doctors and nurses who recognize and diagnose it. The public, largely, is totally unaware of it and often responds with denial when informed of it.
Once the patient recovers from this condition, if they resume their consumption of cannabinoids, they will experience the condition again. It is a lifelong sensitivity or “allergy” to cannabinoids, which their body perceives as toxic.
It is a terrible condition. Not everyone using medical or recreational marijuana will experience it, but the public still needs to embrace its existence and watch for early warning signs.
I recommend an article by Cedars Sinai that covers these topics:
- What is cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome?
- What causes cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome?
- What are the symptoms of cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome?
- How is cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome diagnosed?
- How is cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome treated?
- What are the possible complications of cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome?
- What can I do to prevent cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome?
- When should I call my healthcare provider?