Imagine you wake up one day and can’t stop vomiting. Maybe it’s food poisoning, you think, or maybe a stomach bug—but weeks and then months pass and you’re still puking regularly. Your doctor has no clue what’s wrong with you and prescribes pain killers to relieve the cramping in your abdomen. Instead, you go home and smoke some weed. You know cannabis helps curb nausea, and smoking temporarily stops you from throwing up. Little do you know that the very thing offering you comfort is the cause of your problems.
For people who suffer from cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome, what begins as a source of pleasure—smoking pot—eventually becomes a source of extreme pain, sparking mysterious and debilitating symptoms. The condition, which doctors believe is still somewhat rare, usually involves cyclical vomiting and, perhaps most peculiarly, an inclination to find relief in hot baths or showers. It often goes undiagnosed for years.