Puff, puff, puke.
Imagine if — after smoking weed regularly for many years — you suddenly started getting a violent stomach flu every time you blazed. That’s what’s happening to an increasing number of heavy pot smokers: lots of nausea, lots of chills and lots of tasting your munchies a second time.
It’s called Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome, or CHS, and doctors aren’t totally sure yet if it can happen to casual smokers. The condition is relatively new — the first documented case was in 2004 — and literature on it is limited.
What we do know is that CHS typically happens to seasoned potheads — people who have been burning the herb multiple times a day for several years.
According to one clinical study done in Philadelphia, on average, CHS manifests after 16 years of using marijuana 3–5 times a day.
We also know that, with recreational and medical marijuana being legalized in more and more places, cannabarfing is on the rise.
Diagnoses of the dank disease have nearly doubled in two Colorado hospitals since 2009, according to a study on CHS that was co-authored by Dr. Kennon Heard of the University of Colorado Hospital in Aurora.
In other words, retching bud connoisseurs are flocking to ICUs in record numbers.
“It is certainly something that, before legalization, we almost never saw. Now we are seeing it quite frequently,” Heard told CBS.
So far, there aren’t many treatment options for sufferers. Aside from abstaining from the Mary Jane entirely, the only treatment stoners have found helpful is taking frequent, hot showers. Doctors don’t know why, but doing so apparently stifles the urge to ralph all over your shoes after roasting one with your mates.
Fortunately, CHS is still pretty uncommon. So casual users can breathe, er — inhale easy. Unless your consumption is on par with the super-human puffing of a Willie Nelson or Snoop Dogg, you’re probably not at risk.
Party on, friends.