What is Cannabis Hyperemesis Syndrome, CHS?
Cannabis Hyperemesis Syndrome, also referred to as CHS, is a condition which can occur from chronic cannabis usage, specifically when Neem oil is the natural pesticide applied. Characteristics of symptoms are nausea, vomiting and abdominal cramps after consumption of effected cannabis. Initially, an Australian doctor first documented CHS in 2004, when he discovered 10 patients with the same symptoms. Cannabis hyperemesis syndrome is rare, depending on immunity factors and pesticide used, while symptoms can take anywhere from 3 to 15 years to develop.
What is Neem Oil and How is Neem Oil Produced?
Neem fruits and seeds pressed from the Neem tree, an evergreen native to India, make a vegetable oil, commonly used as an organic pesticide, known as Neem oil. Additionally, extraction done through a press, results in two by-products, Neem oil and the remaining Neem cake. Solvent extractions are a modern day method used in industrial production. Accordingly, color varies from golden yellow to greenish brown, furthermore, Neem oil has an odorous smell like the combination of pine, peanuts and garlic. Composition of Neem oil is mainly triglycerides although it also contains many triterpenoid compounds, somewhat similar to cannabis oil.
How Does Neem Oil Poisoning Link to Cannabis Hyperemesis Syndrome?
Cannabis Hyperemesis Syndrome and Neem oil poisoning, specifically known as Azadirachtin poisoning, have the same symptoms, furthermore cannabis plants are one of the greatest phytoremediators.
Azadirachtin, C35H44O16, is the active triterpenoid compound found in the Neem plant. Farmers have touted Neem oil for centuries as a natural pesticide and insecticide. Appropriate application is limited to vegetative plants that will not uptake Azadirachtin, preventing food contamination.
When used as a pesticide on cannabis plants or their soil, Neem oil results in the uptake of Azadirachtin in cannabis as it is a phytoremediator, essentially meaning it cleans toxins from the soil. Vegetative growth of cannabis will uptake heavy metal and other toxins such as Azadirachtin, using this uptake to help produce resin in its flowers. Resulting products made with said cannabis, whether dried bud or any extract, remains contaminated.
Unfortunately, mother plants treated with Neem oil will pass on Azadirachtin compounds to any cuttings taken, requiring several generations before the poison is untraceable. Results from laboratory testing is the only way to determine if cannabis is contaminated, therefore it is vital to acquire clones from a trusted source. Organic grown weed is often the largest culprit of Neem poisoning as growers are unaware of the consequences of using Neem oil for cannabis. Test results from numerous studies show that as much of half of cannabis purchased from marijuana dispensaries contains Azadirachtin, including organically grown cannabis products.
Early onset symptoms of Azadirachtin toxicity are severe nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue and dehydration. Symptoms are relieved by a hot bath or shower, while relief from Benadryl is also possible. When abstaining from cannabis or consuming uncontaminated cannabis, symptoms gradually disappear.
Interestingly enough, Neem oil poisoning and Cannabis Hyperemesis Syndrome have exactly the same symptoms, additionally, having the same treatment. Concluding that CHS is essentially a myth or knowingly the same condition as Neem poisoning.
Additional information on CMS and Azadirachtin poisoning or toxic encephalopathy can be found on the NCBI website.
Photo courtesy Wikipedia.