Monday, 17 October 2016

Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome / Oh Canada, O Cannabis.

  Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome.

   What is it?  It is a syndrome characterized by recurrent nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain associated with chronic marijuana use.  It was first described in 2004 and found to occur in cyclic patterns.  It resolves with cessation of cannabis use.  Gastro-intestinal  system testing is characteristically negative. These folks often think they are treating their symptoms by increasing their use of pot.  When they present themselves at the emergency room this relatively recent diagnosis is usually not considered. They often end up having an extensive GI workup which shows nothing, but does cost a lot of money.  Apart from its immediate effects, marijuana also effects brain development and may effect thinking, memory and learning functions on a long term or even permanent basis.  Smoking pot seems to have most of the same problems associated with it that tobacco does. It also increases heart rate for up to an hour after smoking it so may put persons with cardiac problems at increased risk. Many more side effects may well emerge in the future. 
   In Colorado, since legalization of pot, emergency room visits related to marijuana have increased by thirty percent.  Hospitalizations related to pot are up from 803 per 100,000 to 2413 per 100,000 between Jan 2014 and June 2015.  A national survey suggests there has been a significant increase in the use of pot by the 18-25 year old group of Coloradans.
  Canadians are about to leap into the Pot pot.  This decision will cost us a lot of money in a health care system that ranks 10th of 11 in health care in the developed world.  More people will wait even longer for health care that they urgently need.  More people will be maimed or killed on the roads. Pot shops will proliferate and pot will be available to underage kids.
  The politicians and their adminstridiots are not concerned about this.  It will be a politically popular move, keep the folks happy and be a lucrative source of taxes, so why should they care.  Even more surprising is the fact that a considerable number of physicians seem to support this move and regard it as an easy source of money.
  The decline continues.

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