As drugs go, especially naturally occurring drugs, marijuana is one of the most complicated. Made from the cannabis plant, it contains more than 113 active ingredients, called cannabinoids. These cannabinoids all affect the body in some way, and not always in the same way. Those who are well versed in the different choices have the ability to choose the sort of high they want.
The various psychoactive substances in marijuana are likely to create all sorts of different reactions to its consumption and even the way the drug is consumed makes a difference.
Imagine a person with diabetes smoking a little weed and having someone visit. The slow, halting movements and difficulty finding words are exactly what you’d expect to see during a bout of low blood sugar. Just don’t reach for the pot brownies to help fix the problem.
While most panic attacks are psychiatric in nature, weed can definitely push the panic button. It’s not unheard of to see patients hyperventilating and scared of nothing in particular when high. Unfortunately, like many other adverse reactions of marijuana, time is the only cure. There isn’t an antidote on the market that will reverse the effects of marijuana. Indeed, for those who are susceptible to the panicky feelings that weed might produce, abstinence is the only option.
Besides vomiting, pot is also known for causing a fair amount of heartburn among those who use it the most. There are a few options that chronic users can take to try to calm their indigestion, but the only guaranteed cure is to stop smoking.
Pot makes some folks vomit. It even has a name: cannabinoid hyperemesis. Typically associated more with chronic marijuana use, cannabinoid hyperemesis leads to severe, uncontrollable vomiting. Some people have discovered that hot showers can reduce nausea temporarily, but the only surefire way to completely stop the condition is to stop smoking weed.
Rod Brouhard is an emergency medical technician paramedic (EMT-P), journalist, educator, and advocate for emergency medical service providers and patients.
The two most well-known cannabinoids in pot are tetrahydrocannibinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Medical authorities aren’t entirely sure how each works exactly, but it’s generally believed that the paranoia and anxiety produced by THC are partly offset by the anti-anxiety properties of CBD. Some people are using CBD extract medicinally for things like seizure control and anxiety reduction with some success. Other folks go for the most extreme concentrations of THC they can find, which leads to a high that looks more like that of a stimulant than the sedative most people expect marijuana to be.
Some people go to the hospital thinking they’ve had a medical emergency.
Marijuana is a complicated drug with lots of different faces. We don't yet know everything that it can do or all of its dangers.
A very recent report out of Massachusetts General Hospital surveyed 200 patients that had underwent laparascopic anti-reflux surgery over a 10 year period. The results were almost universal near-normal quality of life scores, as well as considerable satisfaction with long-term results. The authors concluded that while some recent reports in the medical literature have questioned whether the long-term benefits of surgical repair outweigh the risks present in any sort of surgery, their surveys results indicate that, in appropriate selected patients, antireflux surgery is an excellent treatment alternative that provides very good results for patient quality of life. You should certainly speak with a surgeon to see if he feels that you would benefit from surgery.
I recently saw my gastroenterologist as my GERD symptoms have been worse. He has now recommended surgery. I had heard bad things about surgery in the past. Is this an acceptable option?
Whenever I put on a few pounds, it seems like I experience more reflux symptoms. Am I just imagining this?
Recent research supports the link between obesity and gastroesophageal reflux disease. The risk markedly increases the larger the body mass. The mechanism is an increase in the pressure in the abdominal cavity forcing stomach contents to head towards the esophagus. This is similar to one of the ways that pregnancy causes worsening of gastroesophageal reflux. Patients that are overweight and suffer gastroesophageal reflux disease will frequently have relief of symptoms upon losing weight. Weight loss is an important behavorial modification that can lead to resolution of symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease.
I frequently wake up in the morning with a cough, and have seen a pulmonologist who finds nothing wrong. A friend suggested I take Prilosec and things have improved. Do I need to have any tests, or can I just assume the cough is from GERD?
There are basically three ways that foods can worsen gastroesophageal reflux disease. Caffeine and alcohol can stimulate acid secretion. If there is more acid produced by the stomach, there is a greater chance of acid refluxing into the esophagus. Fatty foods tend to slow down contractions of the stomach. This also leads to acid being present in the stomach for a longer period of time, making it more likely to reflux into the esophagus. Finally, caffeine, chocolate and peppermints lower the pressure of the sphincter between the esophagus and stomach, allowing acid from the stomach to more readily reflux into the esophagus. A lot of patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease will be able to avoid medications if they stay away from the foods that tend to increase acid production and promote reflux.
I suffer from GERD. What types of food should I stay away from?
The effect of marijuana on the symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease is controversial. A study in 2002 showed that animals given a synthetic marijuana-like substance had an 80% reduction in transient relaxations of the lower esophageal sphincter, which is felt to be a significant cause of reflux. By reducing these relaxation episodes, symptoms of reflux should actually improve. Other smaller studies have shown that use of marijuana can actually worsen symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease by decreasing resting pressures of the lower esophageal sphincter.
Could marijuana smoking be the cause of GERD?
Could marijuana smoking be the cause of GERD? The effect of marijuana on the symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease is controversial. A study in 2002 showed that animals given a synthetic marijua