Marijuana may cause this mysterious illness

Mimi Launder
Tuesday 05 December 2017 13:30
Picture:(PEDRO PARDO/AFP/Getty Images)

People in regions where marijuana is now legal may want to pause and think before indulging.

Heavy marijuana use has been linked with a rare, chronic vomiting condition.

Cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome - which causes intense stomach pain and violent vomiting - is becoming increasingly visible in US emergency departments.

As more states legalise weed, doctors are reportedly scrambling to understand the condition for which they have no diagnostic test or cure beyond 'stop smoking weed'.

Charlfonte LeNee Queen told NPR about her terrible experience with the syndrome.

I've screamed out for death.

I've cried out for my mom, who's been dead for 20 years, mentally not realising she can't come to me. 

Dr Roneet Lev told NBC that there is at least one patient presenting with the condition a day at the San Diego hospital where he works.

He said the condition was now so common that staff coined a new term for it:


'Scromiting' is a portmanteau of 'screaming' and 'vomiting'.

However, the syndrome remains rare, affecting only small percentage of consistent marijuana users.

Though the cause of the condition remains unclear, Dr Kennon Heard, a professor at the University of Colorado School of medicine, told WBUR:

The most likely cause is 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. 

HT Medical Daily NPR

More: Show this to anybody who says weed kills more people than alcohol