Diabetic Woman's Nausea & Vomiting Linked To Rare Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome, Cautionary Tale

Nausea and vomiting are symptoms of many different conditions. The list is long, and there is also a cannabis-related one. In a recent case, weed was the cause of a diabetic woman experiencing vomiting and nausea for two years, reported Business Insider. 

According to a recent report in the American Journal of Case Reports, the 23-year-old woman was first diagnosed with gastroparesis, a chronic condition where the stomach can't empty in the usual way.

When scans of her digestive system came back normal and her urine tested positive for cannabis (she mentioned being a frequent user), doctors began suspecting that the young woman was suffering from cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome (CHS). Though still not widely known or completely understood, CHS is a condition characterized by a strong, and often enduring, sensitivity to THC and possibly other cannabinoids. CHS causes ongoing abdominal pain, cramping, nausea and vomiting when cannabis is consumed.

As cannabis legalization becomes more widespread, it is important for consumers to understand that conditions like hyperemesis syndrome exist though cases are rare and only occur in daily long-term users of marijuana, according to Cedars Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles.

Case in point, the patient reported that she quit using cannabis for two months and her symptoms disappeared but when she started consuming again, nausea and vomiting returned.

Interestingly, many people turn to marijuana for nausea relief, as it is a proven and highly effective treatment.


Researchers have found that the endocannabinoid system plays a vital role in both nausea and vomiting.

Vomiting is often triggered by the release of serotonin (5-HT) from cells in the gastrointestinal tract lining. Several studies suggest that CB1 receptor agonists like THC reduce intestinal 5-HT release, decreasing nausea triggers.

Photo: Courtesy of Carolina Heza on Unsplash

Posted In: CannabisNewsHealth CareMarketsGeneralAmerican Journal of Case Reportscannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome


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