Regular use of natural or synthetic marijuana has been linked with cases of cyclic nausea and vomiting, according to research presented at the American College of Gastroenterology meeting this week.
The condition, known as cannabinoid hyperemesis, tends to resolve once a person stops using marijuana, HealthDay reports. Doctors often use costly diagnostic tests and ineffective treatments for the condition, the researchers said.
“Most health care providers are unaware of the link between marijuana use and these episodes of cyclic nausea and vomiting, so they are not asking about natural or synthetic cannabinoid use when a patient comes to the emergency room or their doctor’s office with these symptoms,” lead researcher Dr. Ana Maria Crissien-Martinez of Scripps Green Hospital and Clinic in San Diego said in a news release.
She noted that patients don’t realize their nausea and vomiting may be a result of marijuana use. Some increase their use of the drug because they think it may help reduce their symptoms, but it worsens their condition.
Dr. Crissien-Martinez said the average cost for a hospital admission for the condition is $10,000. On average, patients in the study were admitted 2.8 times, for a total cost of almost $30,000. That cost did not include visits to primary care physicians and/or gastroenterologists, or emergency room visits.