I have been a marijuana smoker for nearly 15 years and throughout that time I suffered from a mysterious illness called Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome, aka CHS.
I started while I was a freshman in high school. At first, it was fun just hanging out with friends and getting baked. I felt so carefree and relaxed like nothing could bother me not even my troubled past. When I smoked, I was free. I had no idea, I would one day suffer from CHS.
Growing up, I had a very shitty childhood. I was bullied a lot and there were many events in my past that I wanted to forget, events that afflicted me so much so that I became suicidal during my childhood and caused me to fall into a depression later on. Marijuana allowed me to escape the troubles in my mind and my depression, which is why marijuana became more prevalent in my life.
Eventually, I was consuming marijuana 5-6 times a day and this behavior continued throughout my teenage years and well into my adult life. 15 years of constant substance abuse and I kept telling myself, marijuana can’t hurt me, it’s a painkiller, a depression reliever, a fucking plant for fuck’s sake.
Well, I’m here to tell you that’s not the case.
When I was 18, my body began to react differently to the drug. I started coughing more and gagging after taking hits from the bong and when I tried to eat. I was constantly tired even when I was not smoking. I started losing my appetite and eating less and less every day. I would gag constantly and always felt full for some reason. I paid no attention to these signs at first, but as I continued the substance abuse, the symptoms increased and started getting worse.
When I turned 21, I started to experience actual physical pain. From the moment I woke up, to the moment I went to sleep, I would have this bloated feeling in my stomach which became painful when attempting to eat. It got so bad that I stopped eating regular meals because of the pain. Worst of all, marijuana did little to ease the pain… But even so, I kept smoking thinking that the marijuana would help since I couldn’t eat and was constantly feeling discomfort and pain.
If I could describe the pain, I would say that it is an uncomfortable bloating feeling accompanied by abdominal pain that feels almost like someone did a falcon punch in your gut. That along with constant nausea and vomiting. Yup, sounds like lots of fun huh? Hard to imagine marijuana causing this.
I didn’t start taking these symptoms seriously until I was 125 lbs and ended up in the ER multiple times, that is when I started looking into what was causing the pains but found no answers. Everywhere I went, every doctor, every person, every online search came up with nothing. I was at a loss and so I continued doing what I thought helped me the most.
When I was 25, I realized hot showers helped ease the pain… I started taking hot showers after every meal. Eventually, I would be taking showers all throughout the day. Luckily for me, I lived in an apartment complex where the hot water was almost unlimited…
When I was 28 I discovered CHS.
Cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome is characterized by recurrent nausea, vomiting, and crampy abdominal pain. These symptoms have been reported to be improved temporarily by taking a hot shower or bath or more fully by stopping the use of cannabis – credits WikiPedia
As I delved more into the subject, I realized that I had been suffering from CHS this whole time and that I wasn’t the only one. Apparently, there are thousands of people who suffer from CHS as well, but little is known about this issue so answers are hard to find. Even so, it was extremely baffling how this drug which everyone claim is a panacea for numerous ailments is somehow causing me to slowly rot away. I almost couldn’t believe it, but after talking to many of these sufferers, it was hard to deny.
It was confirmed after I had gone to the ER one last time. I explained my situation and told the doctors how hot showers seem to be the only thing that works… The result was pretty conclusive, after years of abuse, my body was now telling me that marijuana is no longer welcome.
I turned 29 recently and have tried to quit many times, but each time I fall back into my old habits.
But today is December 19, 2017… Day 1 of sobriety and healing…