Cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome: clinical diagnosis of an underrecognised manifestation of chronic cannabis abuse

World J Gastroenterol. 2009 Mar 14;15(10):1264-6. doi: 10.3748/wjg.15.1264.


Cannabis is a common drug of abuse that is associated with various long-term and short-term adverse effects. The nature of its association with vomiting after chronic abuse is obscure and is underrecognised by clinicians. In some patients this vomiting can take on a pattern similar to cyclic vomiting syndrome with a peculiar compulsive hot bathing pattern, which relieves intense feelings of nausea and accompanying symptoms. In this case report, we describe a twenty-two year-old-male with a history of chronic cannabis abuse presenting with recurrent vomiting, intense nausea and abdominal pain. In addition, the patient reported that the hot baths improved his symptoms during these episodes. Abstinence from cannabis led to resolution of the vomiting symptoms and abdominal pain. We conclude that in the setting of chronic cannabis abuse, patients presenting with chronic severe nausea and vomiting that can sometimes be accompanied by abdominal pain and compulsive hot bathing behaviour, in the absence of other obvious causes, a diagnosis of cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome should be considered.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Pain / etiology
  • Cannabinoids / toxicity*
  • Esophagitis / diagnosis*
  • Hernia, Hiatal / diagnosis*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Marijuana Abuse / complications*
  • Middle Aged
  • Nausea / etiology
  • Syndrome
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vomiting / chemically induced*
  • Vomiting / etiology


  • Cannabinoids