Researchers investigating marijuana use have discovered that use of the substance among young males is linked with cyclic vomiting syndrome (CVS), a condition where patients experience episodes of vomiting separated by symptom free intervals.
A study conducted at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, New York looked at CVS patients and compared them with people with other conditions. One group of people had Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), whose symptoms include pain, fullness gas and bloating over more than 3 days. Another had functional vomiting (FV), which is which is recurrent vomiting that cannot be attributed to a specific physical or psychiatric cause.
The 13-year study of 226 patients included 82 CVS patients, 82 IBS Patients and 62 FV patients.
“Our study showed that CVS and FV had very similar clinical features, apart from marijuana use,” said Dr. G Richard Locke III from the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at the Clinic.
One of the differences between CVS and FV was retching, which was more common in patients with CVS (69% versus 31%), researchers said.
“Our study confirms that cyclic vomiting syndrome occurs most often in young males and is significantly associated with marijuana use, unlike functional vomiting” Locke said. “The current treatment options for this condition remain challenging and are limited by the lack of randomised controlled trials. Further research is clearly needed.”
The researchers outlined some study findings listed below:
- Members of the CVS group were younger than members of the FV group (30 versus 36 years) and more likely to be male (53% versus 46%).
- No statistically significant association was detected between membership of the CVS and FV groups and marital status, education level, body mass index, employment status, alcohol use or smoking history.
- 37% of the CVS group had used marijuana (81% male), together with 13% of the FV group (equally split between male and female) and 11% of the IBS group (73% male).
- Marijuana users were 2.9 times more likely to be in the CVS group than the FV group. When this was adjusted for age and gender, males using marijuana were 3.9 times more likely to be in the CVS group and women using marijuana were 1.2 times more likely.