The increase in legal access to marijuana in the U.S. poses a greater risk of health hazards. Whether a state has decriminalized, limited use or possession to medical, or expanded to recreational use, marijuana is becoming mainstream. For some, the legalization of marijuana is a sign of relaxing attitudes.
However, others consider such substances a threat to addiction and health issues. For example, one of the lesser-known health hazards of marijuana use is Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome (CHS). The medical and public health community can benefit from understanding how marijuana laws increase the risk of CHS.
Legalization of Marijuana
The scope of legal marijuana use varies from state to state. For instance, in California, medical and recreational use is permitted. However, a person must be 21 years of age or older, follow the laws for sale, and refrain from smoking or ingesting it in public places, including vehicles. While in Nebraska, marijuana is still illegal but is decriminalized. Where a person lives can make a difference in access and possession, but not use.
People can consider marijuana safe since it, like alcohol and tobacco, is decriminalized in most states. However, the dangers surrounding the addictive nature of marijuana remain. Regardless of where a person lives, marijuana use remains the third most common addictive substance, behind alcohol and tobacco.
The public is aware of the severe side effects — such as cancer and organ damage — but little is known about one of the more severe hazards of marijuana. Cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome poses a danger to health, so caution regarding the legalization of marijuana is advised.
Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome
Marijuana reduces pain and nausea in patients with chronic illness, so discovering a contradictory effect is novel.
Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome is a less recognized illness in the cannabis world. Researchers have traced its existence to chronic use of marijuana, and those who suffer from CHS experience repetitive episodes of vomiting and nausea. If a person presents with these symptoms, CHS is a plausible diagnosis. Scientists are researching the cause of these repetitive symptoms of CHS with long-term marijuana use.
So far, researchers have found the effects of marijuana can harm the gastrointestinal tract and the central nervous system. The three types of cannabinoids that have harmful effects are tetrahydrocannabinol, cannabidiol, and cannabigerol. Researchers have concluded that there are three phases to CHS:
#1 Prodromal: If the detrimental effects of CHS are caught early, medical professionals can attempt to use preventative measures to halt or slow CHS progression.
#2 Hyperemetic: In this stage of CHS, treatment can include the replacement of fluids and anti-emetic medication. This stage usually lasts approximately 48 hours.
#3 Recovery: This is the final stage of CHS. Some medical professionals combine detoxification protocols, anti-emetic medications, and hot bathing to help reduce vomiting, nausea, and abdominal pain.
Hydrotherapy in Substance Addiction Treatment
Hydrotherapy is often used to treat those experiencing inflammation or chronic pain. Professionals and laypersons use hydrotherapy differently for various reasons. The history of hydrotherapy goes back as far as ancient China, India, and Egypt. Literature suggests the use of hydrotherapy can increase immunity and manage pain.
Some of the health effects related to easing the impact of CHS with hydrotherapy are:
- The nervous system and brain benefit from a person submerging themselves in water. Warm water can reduce pain and inflammation, but hydrotherapy is offered in a variety of temperatures.
- A person’s joints, bones, and muscles are also positively affected by warm water.
Hot bathing as a part of comprehensive care for CHS should occur under the supervision or recommendation of a medical professional aware of a patient’s condition.
Ongoing Treatment of CHS
If a person is diagnosed with CHS, they can benefit from detoxification or substance addiction treatment. Researchers believe there’s a strong link between chronic marijuana use and CHS. Therefore, marijuana use after being diagnosed with CHS furthers health risks.
While scientists continue to research the connection between the two and seek to understand its effect on the gastrointestinal tract and the central nervous system, what is known about CHS is that it occurs among chronic users of marijuana.
Marijuana Addiction Treatment
Marijuana, like many other substances, can cause a person to experience symptoms of withdrawal. The steps to discontinue marijuana use often include a detoxification program. However, most people don’t understand the process a body goes through while detoxing. For this reason, a medically supervised detoxification program is highly recommended.
Suppose a person enters therapy because of marijuana addiction. While they are in intake and talking with a counselor, the counselor will discuss the appropriate level of treatment. If this person has a history of chronic marijuana use and presents with nausea and vomiting, ask a medical professional to examine them for CHS.
When a person enters a substance addiction program, they can discover the root of their need for a particular substance. In some cases, use is related to emotional or mental disorders, while in other cases, genetics and environment play a part in their addiction. The time a person spends in substance addiction treatment is an opportunity to regain mental and physical health. Through comprehensive substance addiction treatment, a person will also learn to engage in relationships and social situations without relying on a substance.
Substance addiction treatment is a healthy form of therapy for chronic marijuana users, especially those diagnosed with Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome (CHS). Those suffering from CHS should consider entering into a detoxification program followed by either inpatient or outpatient substance addiction treatment. Substance addiction treatment provides the tools necessary to heal the damage marijuana wrought on the gastrointestinal tract and central nervous system. An essential component to healing the body and mind is an immersion into substance addiction treatment. A treatment center like Alta Centers that includes serenity, peace, and privacy allows individuals to leave stress behind. The added comfort of either a private or semi-private suite provides the feeling of being at home. The medical professionals at Alta Centers strive to make an individual feel there’s hope. Staff is available to answers questions about our programs 24 hours a day. Call Alta Centers today at (888) 202-2583 for more information.