Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Can Smoking Weed Cause Stomach Problems

How Is Cannabis Hyperemesis Syndrome Diagnosed

Stomach illness stemming from marijuana use on the rise

Your healthcare provider diagnoses CHS based on your symptoms. If you are vomiting frequently, tell your provider about all substance use, including cannabis. Your provider may ask you:

  • How often you use cannabis.
  • How long you have used cannabis.
  • When you vomit or feel nauseated.
  • If other factors, such as certain foods, lead to vomiting.
  • Whether you have lost weight for no known reason.
  • If you take hot baths or showers to try to relieve symptoms.

You may also have blood tests, a CT scan or MRI to rule out other causes of nausea and vomiting. You may also take a pregnancy test if pregnancy is a possibility.

Can I Treat Chs Symptoms At Home

The only cure for CHS is to stop using cannabis. Hot baths may relieve the nausea temporarily, but they dont cure CHS. Taking too many hot baths can increase dehydration due to sweating.

You may use home treatments to relieve CHS symptoms immediately after quitting cannabis. These remedies are not effective long-term, but they can help you transition to the recovery phase.

Your healthcare provider may recommend:

  • Antihistamines such as diphenhydramine .
  • Antipsychotic medications such as haloperidol or olanzapine .
  • Capsaicin cream to relieve pain.
  • Intravenous hydration if you become severely dehydrated from vomiting.
  • Pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen .

How Does Cannabis Affect The Gut

The ECS is what allows cannabis to have an effect on the body. THC activates both endocannabinoid receptors. This may explain why many with nausea and GI distress find strong relief with cannabis.

Yet, the effects of the herb largely depend on what youve got going on in the first place. In some people, the impacts of cannabis may be highly desirable. Cancer, IBS, and wasting disease are great examples. In others, too much cannabis may have negative impacts. Heres why:

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What Is Stomach Acid And What Does It Do

Stomach acid is a digestive juice made up of hydrochloric acid and potassium chloride . Its produced by the parietal cells in the stomach lining.

Stomach acid has a number of important functions, including:

*Breaking down proteins in food

*Killing bacteria that can cause infection

*Triggering the release of enzymes that further break down food

*Helping to absorb certain nutrients, such as vitamin B12

While stomach acid is important for these functions, too much acid can lead to problems.

Excess stomach acid can lead to gastroesophageal reflux disease , a condition in which acidic stomach contents back up into the esophagus. This can cause heartburn, chest pain, and damage to the esophageal lining.

GERD is a common problem, affecting about 20% of the US population.

Certain medications, such as antacids and proton pump inhibitors , can help relieve the symptoms of GERD. However, these medications dont address the underlying cause of the condition.

In some cases, natural remedies may be effective in reducing stomach acid.

Negative Effects Of Weed

Effects of Smoking on the Body

Along with common adverse reactions to cannabis, like abnormal heart rate, dizziness, altered thinking, hallucinations, appetite changes, low blood pressure, bad mood, panic attacks, etc., in some cases we observe such gastrointestinal side effects as:

  • Repeated vomiting and diarrhea

Constipation from pot manifests itself as:

  • Rare and hard stool
  • Going to the toilet less than three times weekly
  • Inability to empty your bowels

If the symptoms occur regularly, the best advice is to seek medical assistance. It is a possible reason to change your treatment plan and cease cannabis use.

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Can Smoking Cannabis Cause Bloating

Bloating thats associated with smoking cannabis can have causes as simple as overindulging in the munchies or inhaling too much smoke, or it can point to other, more serious concerns.

Youve just finished smoking a joint and suddenly you arent feeling so good. Your stomach is distended, and youre wondering whats going on. You were hoping cannabis was going to make you feel better, but now youre feeling terrible, and youre wondering could it be the cannabis causing that bloated feeling?

While bloating isnt a particularly well-known side effect from using cannabis, it can happen. Cannabis consumers have reported a variety of unpleasant gastric side effects when they use cannabis, especially when smoking.

Ive experienced severe bloating in my abdomen every time I use cannabis, especially if I smoke it, says one user. Its like my stomach swells up like a balloon and feels like its going to pop. Im feeling the pressure in my chest now, too.

This users experience isnt unique. Others chimed in with similar accounts of bloating in the stomach, which sometimes affects even the chest and throat. So, what could be the cause of this strange but common phenomenon?

There are multiple reasons you may experience bloating with cannabisand the weed itself may not be the culprit. But if you end up with a bloated stomach after smoking marijuana, here are a few explanations for what may be going on.

Food or Water Can Cause Bloating

Chs Phases And Timeline

It can take years of cannabis use to develop CHS. A 2011 report published in Current Drug Abuse Reviews noted that in nearly all cases, there is a delay of several years from the time marijuana smoking started to when the first CHS symptoms are experienced.8

Research suggests there are 3 phases of CHS, including:7

  • The prodromal phase. Individuals experience general morning sickness and abdominal discomfort or pain during this phase. Since these symptoms are relatively mild and can occur after years of cannabis use, many people continue to smoke marijuana or even increase their consumption due to the belief that cannabis will settle their stomachs. Thus, this phase can last for months or years.
  • The hyperemetic phase. This is the acute phase of CHS. During this phase, CHS effects intensify. Individuals experience intense and persistent nausea and vomiting. There is typically a persistent mild abdominal pain as well. Due to the severity of the symptoms, individuals may struggle with weight loss and dehydration.
  • The recovery phase. Individuals get to this phase when they abstain from cannabinoid use and symptoms begin to fade. However, if a patient starts using cannabis again, symptoms tend to recur.
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    Why Does Eating Cannabis Upset My Stomach

    Eating cannabis edibles upsets the stomach due to the high levels of THC introduced into the body via the liver instead of through the lungs. The liver processes THC into a version of the cannabinoid thats much more potent, and too much can bypass cannabis anti-nausea effects and go straight to causing nausea and stomach discomfort.

    An upset stomach after cannabis use may also be associated with cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome. Its also worth remembering that the edible youre eating may have ingredients other than cannabis that may be causing an upset stomach.

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    Is It Serious And What Can I Do

    Chronic Marijuana Use Can Cause Vomiting Issue

    If facing regular diarrhea or constipation from weed, you should first make sure that these issues are not related to other severe health problems:

    • Gastrointestinal cancer
    • Inflammatory bowel disease

    When diarrhea or constipation are caused by weed, and there is no underlying disease process, your doctor will advise you to change your diet, lower your consumption of weed, or think about another form of using it smoking instead of edibles, or vice versa. Do not forget to stay in touch with your healthcare provider and report about all changes in your body and health condition.

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    Phases And Symptoms Of Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome

    As mentioned, two of the primary symptoms of cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome are nausea and repeated bouts of severe vomiting.

    There are also different phases of the condition that can bring more nuanced health issues as it progresses.

    Understanding the phases of cannabis hyperemesis syndrome is important for recognizing the condition and getting the proper help.

    What Are The Possible Complications Of Chs

    Frequent vomiting can lead to complications, including:9,10

    • Dehydration and electrolyte imbalances, which can result in nutritional deficiencies and renal failure.
    • Aspiration, which can result in inflammation of lung tissue and aspiration pneumonia .
    • Esophagus rupture and other esophageal injury such as tears in the tissue.
    • Low potassium .
    • Low levels of phosphorous in the blood .
    • Air trapped in the chest cavity between the lungs .

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    Biphasic Gut Inflammation May Lead To Stomach Bloating

    Another possibility is that youre having a reaction to the many gut-altering effects of cannabis. Cannabis is known to produce a variety of helpful effects for treating stomach conditions like IBS, Crohns disease and more. Thats because of the effects of cannabis on endocannabinoid receptors in the gastrointestinal tract.

    The endocannabinoid system, or ECS, is a network of cell receptors found in tissues and organs throughout the body. This network plays a major role in maintaining balance, or homeostasis, among the bodys many subsystems, and its activated by both natural cannabinoid chemicals and the cannabinoid compounds found in the cannabis plant.

    In that way, compounds such as THC and CBD can help to reduce stomach inflammation, improve bowel motility and support the health of the gut microbiome.

    But cannabis is known for its biphasic effects. When cannabis can cause an effect in one direction, it also has the potential to cause the opposite effect, especially when taken in too large a dose. For example, while cannabis might normally ease stomach inflammation, consuming too much could actually trigger inflammation instead. But more research is needed to confirm this possibility.

    Can Cbd Products Without Thc Cause Cannabis Hyperemesis Syndrome

    Clinical Hypnosis To Quit Smoking

    Even cannabis products that dont contain THC have the potential to cause or worsen CHS.

    Its still not clear which of the more than 100 cannabinoids found in cannabis are responsible for CHS, but its that CBD could potentially be a contributor.

    Until theres more research, CBD shouldnt be considered safe for people with CHS.

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    Is Chs Even Real

    CHS is very new in terms of medical recognition. Minus some case studies and a few reports, there is a lot left to be desired in terms of substantial research. However, its important to note that when it comes to cannabis science, things are extremely complex.

    One feasibility study, for example, has shown that cannabis treatments may improve constipation in patients undergoing methadone treatment.

    Cannabis can also be one heck of a nausea-fighting herb. Research has found that activating the CB1 receptor calms down nausea and reduces vomiting. On the contrary, blocking CB1 receptors triggers vomiting. Cannabis activates, not blocks.

    There is also no mention of what percentage of people may have this response.

    Further, many other diet and lifestyle factors also contribute to low stomach acid and constipation. So, it is difficult to tell whether or not it is the cannabis itself, or whether it is a perfect storm of conditions that contribute to cannabinoid toxicity.

    All in all, everybody is different. Not everyone develops CHS. As one critique suggests, people have been using the herb for thousands of years without noticing this issue. There isnt enough information to know whether some people are genetically predisposed or if certain environmental factors amplify the condition.

    Concerned about this? Periodic tolerance breaks seem like they may help.

    Changes In Your Appetite

    Food may taste different when youre withdrawing from cannabis, and your appetite may change.

    If you dont feel like eating, try to eat little and often or have smoothies instead. Getting some exercise and fresh air may help to build your appetite too.

    Some people get nausea and stomach pains. These should go away in a week or two.

    If you usually smoke cannabis mixed with tobacco, be aware that youll also get nicotine withdrawal symptoms if you stop.

    Nicotine withdrawal symptoms are similar to those for cannabis. You may feel irritable, restless and like you cant concentrate on anything.

    To avoid withdrawing from nicotine at the same time as cannabis, you can use nicotine replacement treatments like patches or gum.

    Its best to avoid things like vaping or e-cigarettes. Anything that reminds you of smoking could be a trigger to use cannabis again.

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    Too Much Marijuana Can Make You Unpleasantly Dangerously Sick

    For years, medical marijuana has been used to ease nausea from cancer chemotherapy and GI conditions. Now, with greater legalization comes growing awareness that chronic use of marijuana â also known as cannabis â can trigger a condition where, ironically, a person has hard-to-control vomiting and nausea.

    Some people with the disorder, known as âcannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome,â also report crippling belly pain.

    Linda can relate. The 33-year-old Oregon resident, who asked to remain anonymous to protect her privacy, refers to a medieval spiky metal ball on a chain when describing the pain.

    âPicture a mace inside your stomach, pushing up inside your chest and, at the same time, exploding out,â she says.

    To seek relief, she gets down on her knees, adopts a childâs yoga pose, and runs hot water in the bathroom for hours on end, a trick many with the disorder says has provided relief. She also occasionally goes outside and tries walking it off.

    âI would just wander around my neighborhood, a lot of times at like 4 or 5 in the morning,â she says.

    âThe fresh air helps a little bit. I just keep walking down the street, take about 10 steps, stop, vomit â walk a little bit more, stop, vomit.â

    Her first experience with the disorder began in the middle of one night in 2017 while she was at a conference in Las Vegas.

    The Effects Of Smoking On Your Stomach Are Not Permanent

    Heavy marijuana use can lead to often-misdiagnosed syndrome, say health experts

    When you quit smoking, the negative effects of smoking on your stomach gradually disappear. Within about one month after quitting, your stomach lining returns to normal. After that, you should start feeling better.

    However, if you continue to smoke, the damage done to your stomach will begin to accumulate again. Eventually, it could lead to serious problems.

    If you want to stop smoking, talk with your doctor about using nicotine replacement therapy . NRT products include patches, gum, lozenges, sprays, inhalers, and nasal spray.

    These products contain small amounts of nicotine. They help reduce withdrawal symptoms when you first quit smoking.

    If you use them regularly, they can keep you from starting back up with cigarettes. They also make it easier to quit altogether. Talk with your doctor about which product is right for you.

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    Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome: When Cannabis Causes The Pain

    CHS is a very unpleasant, potentially very dangerous gastrointestinal illness that, some studies have estimated, might plague as many as 12.5 percent of regular cannabis users

    Ellen grew up in South Berkshire County and when she was 15, took up a daily marijuana habit. The best thing I had, she said, was escaping reality. In July 2020, now living in a big city, she came down with intense stomach pains and nausea. Alarmed, she went to the ER, where doctors gave her IV fluids, but offered no diagnosis. No one there knew what was wrong, she said. I thought I was gonna die, and no one cared. She was discharged no closer to understanding what had caused the episode than when shed come in, and suffered at home, in pain and vomiting, for another two weeks. Eventually a nurse friend told her the name of her problem. Ellen is the one who introduced me CHS, or Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome.

    CHS is a very unpleasant, potentially very dangerous gastrointestinal illness that, some studies have estimated, might plague as many as 12.5 percent of regular cannabis users, or about 2,750,000 Americans. Theres no cure for CHS, and it can take up to several weeks or even months to feel any significant improvement in your health. The only thing to do if you never want to experience it again is to abstain from cannabis.

    My marriage of 18 years is falling apart! Ive lost my job because of CHS.

    If this story resonates for you or a loved one, here are some resources.

    Positive Effects Of Weed

    In most cases, weed improves the work of our digestive system. Cannabis can be very helpful in treating the inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis, ileitis, nausea, vomiting, etc. There are several studies that provide evidence for these benefits of weed. Scientific research has shown that some patients were able to stop taking other drugs after administration for their GI disorders. Most of the study participants reported about less frequent bowel movements, less loose stools, and alleviated abdominal pain.

    Also, some studies show that patients with inflammatory bowel disease, such as Crohns disease and ulcerative colitis, can experience improved symptoms simply by using marijuana. In 2010, researchers at the University of Nottingham found that chemicals in cannabis interact with body cells that play an important role in gut function and immune responses. Although it has shown promise in the treatment of gastrointestinal diseases, marijuana cannot be considered the only medicineand has not yet been proven by scientists as an effective treatment that works in 100% of cases.

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    Can Weed Give You Diarrhea

    There are two ways that Marijuana can cause diarrhea. The first is due to the THC, which causes the user to lose control over what they eat and drink. The second is because of the reduction of blood flow to the intestines, leading to more water absorption from food and increased peristalsis, or intestinal contractions.

    So does Cannabis cause diarrhea? The truth is, it can do both. Cannabis causes diarrhea by changing the motility of the intestines and acting as a laxative.

    This effect is especially noticeable when Cannabis is consumed in high doses or concentrated forms like oils and concentrates. But theres no need to worry because you can avoid this side effect with proper dosage control and ingestion methods.

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