• Culture

This Horrifying 'Scromiting' Condition Affects Some Heavy Marijuana Smokers

"There's no such thing as overdosing on weed!" said every marijuana-user, ever. It's true, marijuana has long been America's recreational drug of choice, touted for its harmlessness and praised for its miracle and medicinal properties. However, people who smoke too much weed are here to tell you that marijuana smoking can lead to a terrifying medical condition: Cannabinoid Hyperemisis Syndrome.

That's right, move over LSD and mushroom trips, because it turns out that good ol' weed can turn chronic users into helplessly vomiting, screaming (scromiting, if you will) lunatics. A newer phenomenon first diagnosed in 2004, the syndrome, also known as CHS, appears to be growing along with recreational cannabis legalization. CHS is a frightening condition, with little known about it, but the good news is it appears to be solved with a hot bath and, not surprisingly, laying off the weed. Not convinced yet? Read below to try and understand a bit more with these Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome facts.

  • Don't Blame It On The Dabs

    As CHS gains more awareness in the mainstream, a common reaction to the bizarre condition is the assumption that those afflicted must be using dabs or other highly-concentrated forms of marijuana.

    Dabs, also known as wax, shatter, or budder, are extracted THC products that come in the form of sticky oil, resin, or wax, and have to be heated and then smoked through what are charmingly known as "dab rigs." Generally placed on the more extreme side of marijuana usage, dabbing is also known to get users "too-high," especially those who are only accustomed to smoking traditional flower.

    It was a quick jump to blame such products for a condition such as CHS, but doctors point out that, unfortunately, CHS has been around a lot longer than dabs. Even as early as 2004, an Australian study on the syndrome focused on 10 individuals, all of whom were chronic smokers, not dabbers.

  • The Cure Exists – People Just Don't Want To Hear It

    It's about as straightforward as one would expect: stop smoking weed. For chronic users, cannabis can be psychologically addicting, despite the widely-spread wives' tale that it's not.

    While marijuana is not as physically addictive as nicotine or alcohol, it's still an addictive substance, and the fact that sufferers of CHS are rolling around scromiting for decades and still not quitting truly underscores that.

    Doctors are scratching their heads trying to find new cures or treatments for the symptoms besides the hot baths, sometimes implementing dated anti-psychotic medications or muscle ache creams. However, doctors agree that the cure is rather simple: lay off the marijuana. 

  • There Is No Real Diagnosis

    Freaked out enough, yet? Well, that's good, because you should also know that there is no real diagnosis. Since there is no specific blood test to identify the syndrome, doctors are usually left with the option of ordering costly CT scans and dozens of lab tests to rule out any other possible cause. Once all of the other possible culprits are eliminated - and it is confirmed the victim is a chronic cannabis smoker - the diagnosis of CHS is usually given.

    In this sense, it is similar to Cyclical Vomiting Syndrome; doctors are often trying to see what it's not before saying what it actually is. The two vague syndromes also seem to affect each individual differently in varying degrees of length and severity of cycles. 

  • Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome Is NOT Cyclical Vomiting Syndrome

    Although the two syndromes share many similar qualities, they are not to be used interchangeably. Cyclical Vomiting Syndrome is basically just what it sounds like: the vomiting cycles are entirely dependent on the individual and last anywhere from minutes to days, and most often occur in some sort of pattern.

    Causes for Cyclical Vomiting Syndrome seem to be as vague and unknown as those behind CHS, with the Mayo Clinic offering up reasons ranging from emotional stress to overeating to hot weather.

    However, in order to distinguish between the two vomiting syndromes, it's pretty simple: stop smoking or using cannabis for at least two weeks. If vomiting persists, it's most likely Cyclical Vomiting Syndrome.