Updated on February 6, 2024
5 min read

What Causes Scromiting from Weed, and How Can You Prevent It?

“Scromiting” from Weed is a Real Thing (It’s Called CHS)

More states in the U.S. are legalizing cannabis, leading to an increase in its use.1 However, cannabis consumption can cause side effects, some of which may be serious.

Long-term cannabis use can lead to various health issues, including:

  • Cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome (CHS)
  • Lung damage
  • Brain function changes
  • Reproductive system damage
  • Mental illness

What is Scromiting?

‘Scromiting’ or ‘scromit’ is when someone screams and violently vomits simultaneously. This condition is usually related to constant, long-term cannabis use and is closely associated with CHS.

The scromiting definition may originate from staff that witnessed several cases of people ‘scream vomiting’ in emergency rooms. It isn’t considered an official medical term.

Uncontrollable, repeated vomiting can result in severe dehydration. When you vomit, your body loses the electrolytes it needs to survive. This lack of electrolytes can cause severe complications, including kidney failure.

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What Causes Scromiting?

Scromiting caused by CHS is most likely due to high levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) over long periods. THC is responsible for the ‘high’ from cannabis use.

Using a lot of marijuana daily can overstimulate the nervous system and endocannabinoid receptors, causing some people to develop CHS symptoms.

One potential factor for the increase in CHS cases is how potent cannabis is today. Research shows that marijuana has more THC now than it did in the past.8

One study discovered that some cannabis joints sold now contain around 18 mg of THC. In the 1990s, they usually had approximately 1 to 3 mg.7

What is Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome (CHS)?

Cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome, or cannabis hyperemesis syndrome (CHS), is a health condition that’s becoming more prevalent among chronic cannabis users.2 It is sometimes known as ‘weed sickness.’

It can be tough to manage, and many people require hospital treatment. CHS can be life-threatening as it causes serious symptoms like severe dehydration and ‘scromiting.’

Symptoms of CHS

There are three stages of CHS, with different symptoms. Scromiting symptoms are the same as CHS symptoms, with the addition of screaming.

Early (Prodromal) Phase

During the early phase of CHS, people experience:

  • Nausea that comes and goes
  • Abdominal pain, which tends to be worse in the morning
  • Occasional vomiting episodes

These symptoms usually go away independently, and people can generally go about their usual activities. However, this phase can last for months to years.

Excessive Vomiting (Hyperemesis) Phase

During the hyperemesis phase, people may develop:

  • Severe, constant nausea
  • Back-to-back episodes of repeated vomiting
  • Stomach pain that can be constant
  • Scromiting

People usually require help from medical professionals to deal with this phase. To help stop the symptoms, try to quit using marijuana. But even then, this phase can persist for days.

This persistence can lead to more severe symptoms, like:

  • Dehydration
  • Electrolyte imbalances
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Low blood pressure

People usually require emergency medical care to deal with this phase. It’s best to stop using cannabis to help control the symptoms. But even then, this phase can persist for days.

Recovery Phase

Once people stop taking cannabis, the body begins to heal and recover. Symptoms, including scromiting, slowly go away after stopping cannabis use.

Many people start feeling better within 48 hours. However, some take longer to recover fully.

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How Common is Scromiting?

Reports prove that CHS is becoming more common. It occurs mainly in those who use cannabis heavily or long-term.

A study of emergency room patients found that around 33% of people who reported smoking marijuana 20 or more times a month had CHS.

Research also shows that most people with CHS are between 18 and 40. However, anyone who uses cannabis, regardless of age, can experience CHS.

Not everyone who uses marijuana develops CHS. You’re more likely to get it if you’ve consumed cannabis regularly for over a year.5

How to Prevent Scromiting

The only way to prevent scromiting is to stop or avoid using cannabis. People who’ve developed the condition are most likely addicted to marijuana.

That is why people experiencing scromiting and CHS require treatment to stop using the drug and address the root causes of their addiction.

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Treatment for Scromiting

Most people will feel relief from their symptoms after the effects of marijuana wear off, and they stop consuming marijuana completely.

If you start retaking the substance, your symptoms will likely return. You’ll need to seek help from an emergency medicine physician if you can’t keep enough fluids down to stay hydrated.

Here are other treatments that may help you feel better and stop your vomiting. However, they won’t cure CHS or scromiting.

1. A Hot Shower or Bath

A hot shower or bath can help many people experiencing CHS by relieving the condition’s effects and helping them calm down. It’s thought that hot water relieves nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain.

2. Capsaicin Cream

Some evidence suggests that capsaicin cream can help relieve CHS symptoms.9 

Researchers haven’t yet determined which strength is best. However, experts recommend 0.025% to 0.1% capsaicin cream, available over the counter.10 

To use capsaicin cream, apply it as a thin layer to your stomach as needed.

3. Antinausea Medications

Several anti-nausea medications can help relieve CHS symptoms. These medications include ondansetron (Zofran) and metoclopramide (Reglan).

Healthcare providers usually administer these medications via an IV infusion at the hospital. However, you can take them orally at home if you feel better. Both these medications come in pill form. 

Know that these medications don’t work for everyone. You may need other types of medicine to help relieve your symptoms.

4. IV Fluids

IV fluids replace water and electrolytes that you lose from the constant vomiting. They can treat any dehydration you may have developed from CHS.

Summary

  • ‘Scromiting’ or ‘scromit’ is when a person simultaneously screams and vomits.
  • It’s closely linked with Cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome (CHS), which is becoming more prevalent among people who use cannabis heavily or long-term. 
  • CHS is a potentially harmful medical condition characterized by severe dehydration and other symptoms, including nausea, episodes of severe vomiting, stomach pain, and scromiting. 
  • High levels of THC most likely cause CHS over long periods due to overstimulation of the nervous system and endocannabinoid receptors.
  • The only way to prevent scromiting is to stop or avoid using cannabis.
  • People experiencing scromiting and CHS require medical treatment to treat the condition, stop using the drug, and address the root causes of their addiction.

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Updated on February 6, 2024
11 sources cited
Updated on February 6, 2024
  1. NIDA. "Cannabis (Marijuana) DrugFacts." National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2019.
  2. Chu, F., Cascella, M. Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome, 2022.
  3. DeVuono, MV., Parker, LA. “Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome: A Review of Potential Mechanisms.” Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, 2020.
  4. Sorensen et al. “Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome: Diagnosis, Pathophysiology, and Treatment-a Systematic Review.” Journal of medical toxicology: official journal of the American College of Medical Toxicology, 2017.
  5. Venkatesan et al. “Role of chronic cannabis use: Cyclic vomiting syndrome vs. cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome.” Neurogastroenterology and motility: the official journal of the European Gastrointestinal Motility Society, 2019.
  6. Allen et al. “Cannabinoid hyperemesis: cyclical hyperemesis in association with chronic cannabis abuse.” Gut vol. 53, 2004.
  7. Randall, K., Hayward, K. “Emergent Medical Illnesses Related to Cannabis Use.” Missouri Medicine, 2019.
  8. ElSohly et al. “Changes in Cannabis Potency Over the Last 2 Decades (1995-2014): Analysis of Current Data in the United States.” Biological psychiatry, 2016.
  9. Richards et al. “Cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome: potential mechanisms for the benefit of capsaicin and hot water hydrotherapy in treatment.” Clinical toxicology, 2018.
  10. Dezieck et al. “Resolution of cannabis hyperemesis syndrome with topical capsaicin in the emergency department: a case series.” Clinical toxicology, 2017.
  11. Khattar, N., Routsolias, JC. “Emergency Department Treatment of Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome: A Review.” American Journal of Therapeutics, 2018.

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