Many people believe that cannabis is highly addictive, but the truth is that it’s not. It has been found to be less addictive than tobacco and alcohol, which have a high potential for abuse. However, heavy long-term cannabis use can cause some severe side effects. Cannabis hyperemesis syndrome (CHS) is a rare and serious condition that is caused by the over-consumption of cannabis. For some people, this syndrome is life-threatening due to the risk of dehydration or other complications from vomiting. It’s important to know what the symptoms of CHS are so you can avoid it if you are at risk.
What is cannabis hyperemesis syndrome (CHS)?
Although not fully understood at this point, CHS is a condition that is caused by the over-consumption of cannabis for an extended period of time. The main risk is dehydration, but there are other complications that can arise as well. In fact, during the early stages of CHS, even a small amount of cannabis can lead to significant weight loss. This is because cannabis use can cause a person to develop an extreme thirst for water and a high body temperature. As the body tries to rid itself of the extra water, it also eliminates any other calories from the diet and causes rapid weight loss. CHS can also lead to dehydration, vomiting, and anemia.
What are some of the symptoms of CHS?
In the early stages of CHS, you may experience symptoms such as:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Abdominal pain
- Cramps in your legs and feet
As the condition progresses, symptoms can also include:
- Weight loss
- Mouth sores
- Jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes)
- Fever, and chills
CHS is a serious condition that requires immediate medical attention to treat. If left untreated, it can become life threatening and even kill people.
If you experience any of these symptoms, you should reduce or cease cannabis use until your symptoms subside or seek medical attention if needed. Treatment depends on the severity of symptoms and may include medication to help relieve symptoms or prevent future episodes.
What can you do to prevent CHS?
There are some things you can do to lower the risk of CHS that can be caused by regular, especially long-term use, cannabis use. One way that you can avoid CHS is by knowing your body’s limits. You should know how much you should consume, what type of products you should use and how often you should use it. Also, you should avoid consuming a large quantity of cannabis and alcohol at the same time. Alcohol will dehydrate your body faster than marijuana and therefore, if you have too much of either substance in your body, you may experience extreme weight loss and dehydration. Drink plenty of water so you do not experience dehydration. Avoid consuming too much in one sitting but rather spread it out throughout the day to enjoy the high.
If you are experiencing Cannabis hyperemesis syndrome, it is important to seek help from a doctor. There is not yet a cure for this debilitating illness, but there are treatments available that can improve your condition.
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