Researchers Say Marijuana Is Causing Strange New Side Effect

Scromiting, which is a blending of the words "screaming" and "vomiting," is a condition characterized by bouts of abdominal discomfort and nausea so painful that the affected may begin to yell. And it's caused by extreme marijuana usage.

Users on Twitter joked about the unusual — but real — term on Sunday after a reporter, who wrote about the phenomenon in a piece about marijuana use in California, laid out a series of tweets admonishing marijuana use and calling its legalization in California a "public health disaster."

But Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome, or CHS, is an actual condition that affects a select group of heavy habitual marijuana users.

CHS can be relieved with hot showers or prescribed medication, but it only goes away when the person stops using marijuana. Many patients refuse to believe that marijuana is causing their symptoms and are resistant to giving it up.

In 2019, a cannabis user named April Moon said she was reluctant to attribute her CHS symptoms to marijuana because, like most users, she had been fine using marijuana before.

"I was in denial. I didn't want to believe it was true," she said. "Cannabis is my world. It's my whole life."

Infections, kidney failure due to dehydration, and significant weight loss can result from CHS, and it can be deadly if left untreated.

A 2017 study found that men are more likely to have the condition, and reported at least weekly cannabis use.

Conditions like CHS may be a product of the higher concentrations of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, in marijuana today than in the 1990s, research shows. Because of the way cannabis is grown and modified now, a joint in the '90s may have had 1-3 mg of THC, while a joint now could have upwards of 18 mg of THC.

Research also found that some emergency rooms in states that legalized marijuana had seen an uptick in those with CHS visiting the emergency room.

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