Successful Treatment of Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome with Topical Capsaicin


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Abstract

Cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome (CHS) is a clinical entity in which marijuana users develop nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain that improves with hot water bathing or cannabis cessation. Previous models suggest that CHS arises solely from the derangement of cannabinoid receptor type 1 signaling. However, involvement of transient receptor potential vanilloid subtype 1 (TRPV1) receptor, which is activated by marijuana, capsaicin, and heat, could fill gaps in existing models, including the enigmatic role of hot water bathing. We propose that chronic cannabis use decreases TRPV1 signaling and alters gastric motility, and we report the case of a CHS patient whose symptoms improved after topical capsaicin.

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