Chronic cannabis users are at risk of experiencing a horrifying new condition that is being reported at hospitals across the country.
'Scromiting,' doctors say, is becoming an all-too-familiar site at emergency rooms, with patients 'screaming and vomiting' as they turn up for help.
The condition, called Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome (CHS), is not properly understood but medical experts believe the symptoms appear from individuals using or consuming heavy amounts of marijuana over a long period of time.
Dr Aimee Moulin, an emergency room physician at UC-Davis Medical Center in Sacramento, said she has seen a rise in cases since California legalized recreational marijuana last November.
She expects to see a further rise after commercial sales are permitted starting in January.
'I've screamed out for death,' Chalfonte LeNee Queen, 48, told NPR after experiencing the terrifying illness.
Little research has been conducted on the topic, but one study found that for scromiting to occur, cannabis users would have to consume marijuana three to five times per day to develop CHS.
'In one study the average duration of cannabis use prior to onset of recurrent vomiting was... 3.4 years,' the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) report added.
‘The syndrome was first described in 2004 by Allen and colleagues and is characterized by chronic cannabis use, cyclic episodes of nausea and vomiting, and the learned behavior of hot bathing,’ doctors wrote.
Medical experts note that the condition could stem from the body being over saturated by cannabinoids - chemical compounds that acts on cannabinoid receptors located in the brain.
The build up the cannabinoids, doctors believe, affect the function of the hypothalamus, which regulates digestion and body temperature.
In Colorado, Dr. Kennon Heard, an emergency physician at the University of Colorado in Aurora said they are diagnosing more cases however he doesn't believe cases increased after recreational use was legalized in 2012, because chronic users probably already had medical marijuana cards.