Researchers are warning chronic marijuana smokers about a new condition called “scromiting.” This new term was invented by emergency room staff in the United States to refer to simultaneous screaming and vomiting.
It is believed that scromiting is caused by Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome, a condition that affects individuals who have been regularly smoking marijuana for a long time. CHS, which is often mistaken as Cyclical Vomiting Syndrome, is a rare kind of cannabinoid toxicity, which develops in heavy weed smokers. One study suggests that for users to be at risk of developing CHS, they need to smoke weed three to five times a day.
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, patients with CHS often suffer from severe abdominal pain and violent retching. The NCBI pointed out that people with CHS often find that hot showers help relieve their symptoms and will therefore compulsively bathe during bouts of nausea and vomiting.
It has been suggested that this condition is caused by cannabinoids building up in the system over a long period. This build-up may adversely affect the function of cannabinoid receptors found in the brain’s hypothalamus and which are in charge of regulating body temperature and the digestive system.
CHS was first described in Australia in 2004 as a condition characterized by chronic use of weed, cyclic episodes of vomiting, and the behavior of hot bathing. More recently, however, it has been getting more attention in the U.S., with many doctors and E.R. staff reporting cases of people being taken to the hospital for extreme bouts of scromiting. Many believe that this is because of the more relaxed marijuana laws in a growing number of states.
While there is still a lot to be learned about this condition, the only sure way to stop it – for now – is for users to stop smoking weed altogether. Taking a hot bath will only give patients temporary relief during scromiting episodes.
Many find it ironic that chronic cannabis use would cause cyclic vomiting and nausea when the drug is known to suppress nausea and vomiting.
According to Dr. Adam Algren, a toxicologist at Truman Medical Center in Kansas City, he could not tell the exact number of CHS patients treated at his hospital, but he could sense that emergency rooms are getting to be more aware of it. He also said that patients with CHS may initially be tested for an appendix or gall bladder problem, and doctors may not associate their symptoms to CHS unless they are made aware of the patient’s cannabis smoking habit.
Dr. Aimee Moulin, an E.R. physician at the UC-Davis Medical Center in Sacramento, noted that there has been a rise in CHS cases since the state of California made recreational marijuana legal just last month. She expects that the current number of cases would still rise after commercial sales are allowed beginning January 2018.
Meanwhile, in Colorado, Dr. Kennon Heard, who is an emergency doctor at the University of Colorado in Aurora, stated that they are diagnosing more cases, but he does not believe that these cases increased after recreational cannabis was legalized in the state in 2012. He said that chronic users probably already had medical cannabis cards.
Yes, there are also people who are skeptical about scromiting being caused by cannabis at all. Instead, they point the blame on neem oil, which is used as pesticide for cannabis plants.
The risk of developing CHS among chronic cannabis users does not mean that all cannabis users should stop consuming cannabis altogether. The answer is still in moderation. As long as they consume weed moderately, there is no reason users should be alarmed.