EVALI, CHS, and other weird weed side effects you should be aware of

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The only cannabis news that seems to be entering mainstream tends to border on the sensational—Maureen Dowd “overdoses” on edibles; police services issue warnings about the ‘threat’ of cannabis infused Halloween treats. Enthusiasts are quick to dismiss this news as mere sensationalism; remnants, perhaps, of a century-long campaign to vilify drugs. But even the biggest advocates of weed admit that there are times when cannabis use is not the right choice, for reasons involving both health and safety.

Yes the grass is mostly sure for use in many medical and recreational situations. Still, there are things to know that are definitely worth knowing that go beyond the click bait of the naysayers.

Remember the whole “vaping sickness” thing?

Before COVID overshadowed all other health concerns, the media was backflipping what was nicknamed a vaping crisis-a rash of cases of lung damage in patients who reported using cartridges filled with THC, often from unregulated sources. These products caused lipid pneumonia and lung damage because the oily particles they contained were inhaled and stuck to the lung tissue of people and, in many cases, resulted in their death. The condition has been dubbed EVALI – lung injury associated with the use of electronic cigarettes or vaping.

According to the CDC, there were 68 deaths and nearly 3,000 hospitalizations due to EVALI, which they attribute mainly to DIY vapes containing the additive vitamin E acetate. “Vitamin E acetate is strongly linked to the EVALI epidemic “, notes a CDC report. “[It] has been found in product samples tested by the FDA and state labs and in lung fluid samples from patients tested by the CDC from geographically diverse states.

Cases of EVALI still occur, even though the acute peak has passed. As Melissa Pandika wrote last spring in Microphone, “The vaping crisis has gone nowhere … Vaping still causes lung damage, even if it does not result in hospitalization, and will likely lead to more sinister, slower-burning illnesses that will decades to surface. “

Although these lung lesions are not specifically a danger posed by the constituents of the cannabis plant itself, there has nevertheless been too many reminders even products tested in the laboratory for contamination to consider vaping cannabis to be truly “safe”. On the other hand, there is no doubt that the increasing regulation of cannabis products due to legalization will at least help make the products safer.

These stories of uncontrollable vomiting are not just a myth

Advocates of cannabis legalization sometimes feel at odds when they talk about the potential harms of the drug – these are, it seems, the tidbits that often suck all the media coverage and provoke outrage. Those who have experienced problems with their weed habits are often attacked by members of the cannabis community, even if they are generally pro-ouid.

One of those people is Alice Moon, a canna publicist and influencer who abstained from the plant for three years due to her experience with Cannabis hyperemesis syndrome, that is, to put it bluntly, uncontrollable vomiting induced by cannabis. It was while working as a budtender in 2016 that Moon began to experience seemingly inexplicable bouts of intense nausea.

“After vomiting intermittently for two years and doing a plethora of tests, I was diagnosed by a gastroenterology specialist in 2018,” she told Lifehacker via email. “I have seen many doctors in the two years I have been ill, and finally [saw] one of them knew about CHS and suggested I have it.

Cannabis hyperemesis syndrome presents itself like other cyclic vomiting problems – there is a pre-attack period, where nausea or abdominal pain may appear; a period of uncontrollable vomiting, called vomiting; and an intermission, a recovery period before the next episode. It is not pleasant, as you can imagine. People with the condition do not function at all during an attack, and complications can occur as the episodes get worse or occur more frequently.

“CHS is a rare but serious disease. There have been at least 5 known deaths attributed to CHS, due to constant vomiting causing dehydration and organ failure, ”Moon said.

People with CHS are reluctant to talk about it for fear that their experience could be used against relaxing access, an unfair aspect of the lingering taboos surrounding cannabis. But according to Moon, “We need to talk about this syndrome because we will continue to see more and more people experience CHS as more and more states legalize.” “

People like Moon want consumers to know about the CHS, but not for to worry about that. “CHS is a rare disease, so most people are unlikely to develop it. That being said, if you start to experience any of the symptoms including nausea, vomiting and / or abdominal pain, I suggest you take a cannabis break for three months to eliminate. [it as a possible cause] for symptoms. Don’t be afraid to speak honestly to your doctor about your cannabis use, but be sure to defend yourself by suggesting that they test you to rule out other possible causes.

CHS and EVALI are just two of the potential problems that can arise from cannabis use, and some of these uplifting accounts stem primarily from How many cannabis that you consume. It is unlikely that you will get any illness from a puff, first try, or otherwise. Secure access and moderation are your first defenses against such concerns.

Know your risk for mental health problems

One scenario where avoiding cannabis even in small doses is a good idea is if you are prone to mental health issues that can lead to psychosis. Hallucinations, paranoia, and other brain hitches are frightening and can be indicators of an underlying illness. And while the science is still incomplete, there are competing theories which link cannabis use disorder (i.e. cannabis use to addiction) to schizoaffective disorders and potentially to schizophrenia itself, although others that exclude it.

We spoke with a cannabis recruiting expert who deals with some frightening psychological symptoms after smoking weed; she asked to remain anonymous to avoid negative reactions from weed advocates.

“It takes about 20 to 30 minutes after you use cannabis and the side effects start to show up,” she told us. “I have a bad / negative thought, [then] I hear a crowd ‘booing’ like I’m on a stage and there are a lot of people listening to my thoughts. When I have a positive and uplifting / encouraging thought, I still hear a crowd around me cheering and saying “yes” to me. Every thought I have comes with a boo or the cheers of a large crowd – the crowd isn’t physically there and it’s a roller coaster of emotions for every thought.

Therefore, the recruiter refrains from consuming. “I have discussed this with my therapists and they are not surprised that cannabis has this effect on my brain,” she said. “As someone with a family member with schizophrenia, it is extremely possible that cannabis can trigger schizophrenia. [in] myself.”

Some studies claim the connection is strong while others seem to disagree, but anyone experiencing such side effects simply should not use cannabis.

Adverse reaction reports shouldn’t derail support for legalization

The two women I spoke to are still at the forefront of the fight to normalize cannabis use and the cannabis industry as a viable career path – and their advocacy is unconditional.

The recruiter believes in the medical potential of cannabis, even if it is not for her. “While this isn’t my personal experience, that doesn’t mean I don’t believe it’s true.”

Moon, meanwhile. wants research to answer the present moment, so it can demystify the functions of the human endocannabinoid system and, perhaps, allow it to enjoy the herb again.

“I recognize that while cannabis doesn’t work for me, it works for millions of people for a multitude of reasons,” Moon said. “My previous work as a budtender gave me insight into how cannabis positively affects the lives of people from all walks of life. I want everyone to have safe access to cannabis. And I hope that someday there will be a cure for CHS so that I can start using my medication again. “

A dirty product is the cause of some problems

Contaminated, moldy, and otherwise contaminated products come to market in both underground and sanctioned supply streams, but only one has a recall process that could prevent you from consuming it.

Since cannabis is an agricultural product, it can still be cultivated outside the sanctioned supply chain, and unscrupulous actors will always tamper with products to stretch them, especially when cannabis remains both profitable and illegal. .

While no one wants the corporatization of cannabis except the corporations themselves, everyone wants clean, safe, and affordable access to products that won’t literally poison them. Federal legalization can allow people to grow their own cannabis, open up the market for enthusiastic small entrepreneurs, and impose processes to keep empty shelves of drugs containing pesticides, fungi, bacteria and, yes, even chemicals. bird droppings.

Just because something is generally sure does not mean that it is risk free for you. All bodies are different, and cannabis remains a scientific enigma; we do not yet know all the chemical components of the plant and how it works in the body. Until we have it all mapped out and understood on a physiological level why each element does what it does and with which bodies it does it – which will take a lot more research – there is an element of mystery to be overcome, and risks and warnings to keep in mind before participating.


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