Cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome: a cause of refractory nausea and vomiting in pregnancy

Obstet Gynecol. 2015 Jun;125(6):1484-1486. doi: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000000595.


Background: Cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome is a condition present among chronic cannabis users resulting in abdominal pain, intractable nausea and vomiting, and compulsive bathing behaviors. Given the recent legalization of marijuana in certain areas of the United States, the incidence of this condition may increase among pregnant women.

Case: We report the case of a pregnant 28-year-old woman with multiple admissions for episodic nausea and vomiting resulting in Mallory-Weiss esophageal tears, dehydration, and abdominal pain who was noted to be showering compulsively during her hospitalizations. After an extensive workup for the etiology of her intractable nausea and pain, she was diagnosed with cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome, which is treated simply with abstinence from marijuana use.

Conclusion: Cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome should be considered in pregnant women with intractable nausea relieved by frequent hot bathing. By considering this diagnosis, extensive diagnostic testing can be avoided and the correct therapy, abstaining from cannabis use, can be recommended.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Baths
  • Cannabinoids / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperemesis Gravidarum / chemically induced*
  • Marijuana Smoking / adverse effects*
  • Pregnancy


  • Cannabinoids