"Cannabis Hyperemesis Syndrome" (CHS) is actually Azadirachtin (neem) poisoning!

in #cannabis4 years ago

toxic Azadirachtin.jpg

Azadirachtin (C35H44O16) is the active compound in the oil from the neem plant.

(from Wikipedia)

Farmers have been wielding neem oil against fungal and insect pests for centuries. When done properly, very little azadirachtin ends up in the food, because most plants can't take it up through their roots.

Cannabis is one of the best phytoremediators known - when grown in contaminated soil, it "cleans" the soil by uptaking heavy metals and other toxins. So it DOES uptake azadirachtin, especially during vegetative stage, then deposits it with resins into the flowers, which may be dried for smoking or made into concentrates.

bangbang pistols.jpg
(photo by DRutter)

Many (even organic) growers don't know this, and continue to use neem oil with cannabis. Yes, it's organic, but organic doesn't mean safe. Azadirachtin is definitely poisonous. As much as HALF of all cannabis, including in dispensaries, is contaminated to some degree with azadirachtin!

What Azadirachtin does to Humans

The early symptoms of azadirachtin toxicity are intense nausea, cyclic vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, muscle tension, fatigue, and dehydration. Symptoms can be reduced with Benadryl (diphenhydramine) or a hot shower/bath. Those who are particularly sensitive to azadirachtin, those who are otherwise weakened or immunocompromised, and those who get the highest doses get the sickest. If levels get high enough, stupor, seizures, and organ damage result.

When the patient abstains from cannabis, or switches to a clean source (grown without azadirachtin), symptoms gradually clear up.

Along Came "CHS"

Since 2004, various sources have been claiming that heavy cannabis use sometimes causes "cannabis hyperemesis syndrome". This never-before seen illness supposedly has all the same symptoms as azadirachtin toxicity, and it clears up when treated in the same ways.

As far as I can tell, "CHS" doesn't exist. It's actually toxicity to the active compound in neem oil (used sporadically on cannabis in the legal and underground industries). This nonsensical syndrome is being made into a Boogeyman by politicians to justify the continued prohibition of cannabis!

We can dispel the CHS myth - and prevent people from getting sick - by spreading the word: NEVER use neem oil (Azadirachtin) on cannabis!

toxic Azadirachtin.jpg

[NOTE: Read your labels! Azadirachtin is now being produced synthetically and added to various products like Azatrol, Azamax, Aza-Sol, Align, Azatin, Turplex, d-Mize, Plantonix Bliss, and more. Better yet, grow with nothing but light, air, and water - like Nature does!]

This isn't meant as medical advice, but I hope it spurs you to research the issue yourself. Other useful writeups on this topic can be found here, here, and here. If you have information you think I should add to this post, please let me know!



Thank you. Very well written/ Up-voted and resteemed! MJL20.jpg

ok, how do you re-steem this?

If he says it's fact? It has to be... And I've known and told people about this for years.

Upvoted, shared, and resteemed to my hemptastic followers!!

this article is awesome. i’ve always been skeptical of neem products, and this really confirms my suspicion. the tie to CHS is mind blowing, jeez just thank you for this information!!!

But according to this article, there is no CHS. CHS is the Azadirachtin poisining caused by the neem oil.
Nevertheless, thanks for sharing this :)

Really good to know! I have used neem for many things but I wasn't aware that it could be toxic to you. I know it is a popular "organic" alternative to pesticides and other chemicals to deal with pests and it makes me think that most flower people use is contaminated. It is really important people learn about this so we can keep the medicine pure. Thank you for the info!

Thanks for not shooting the messenger! I realize this isn't exactly great news, but maybe some good will come of it. Perhaps this will get more people to try more natural alternatives to sprays, even sprays made with "organic" compounds. Even if this just gets people to REDUCE how much azadirachtin is getting into cannabis for internal use, that's success to me.

I think that humans are very out of touch with nature in general so we tend to want what we want by any means instead of working intelligently with nature. Even if cannabis is only a recreational drug in someones mind they should still want it to be clean and healthy. But the truth is that it is medicine and it is important to be careful about what we are putting in our bodies. I have always really preferred wholesome, straight from the earth bud and not all these crazy outcomes of human tricks and schemes. Our species has had a relationship with this plant for at minimum thousands of years and im guessing it is only recently that we have felt the need to add all these chemicals. I think the more people learn about this the more there will be a push for better practices and even if it only changes 5% of growers minds well hey at least its 5% more good bud out there.

I hear you completely. I don't take a hard-line stance against fertilizing, or managing pests, but I value natural solutions far above chemical ones. Especially newly developed miracle cure products promising triple the yield. As for neem, the compound itself is natural, but maybe it isn't natural for concentrated solutions of it to be dumped into the soil of cannabis plants. Which is what we're often doing to treat bug and larva infestations. Maybe further research will show that spraying small amounts of azadirachtin on leaves, during veg stage only, and being careful not to allow any into the soil, is relatively safe. But as for me and my plants, we're going to avoid it altogether for the time being. Surely there's something else on this planet that's both effective AND totally safe when taken internally! One of the safest things I can think of is cannabis, ironically! Maybe we will develop some kind of pesticide out of cannabinoids? Wouldn't that be amazing and fitting?

Man I just harvested two plants last week and I had been using neem oil on them to help control fruit flies. Very glad to have read this now. I guess I will be finding something else to use from now on. Awesome article man.

Use nicotine tea. Easy and simple.

Nicotine tea huh, that's a new one to me. I'll have to do some homework now.

A bag of just the filters... No tobacco or paper. Make a cloth bag filled with the filters.
Soak in warm water for a day.

Squeeze bag as best you can.

The nicotine tea can be concentrated by boiling it Down. And storing.

Be very careful it's highly toxic.

Directions for use? Read up but I put a good splurge into the mixing bottle of water.

Kills anything buggy in the garden.
No known threats from Cannabis.
Try not to use directly on flowers at later stages of life. The water can still help mildew and molds.
Spray stalks and leaves.
You can use a magnifying glass to see the death.

Great for a soil drench for fungus gnats and anything in the soil you don't want. Won't harm the living soil.

Wow thank you man, I will definitely be trying this out on my next run. Very good info and easy to understand.

now that was eye opening

Wow, my friend just got "CHS", and believes it came from his medical weed. So this matches so well. Thanks for the info.

wow. This is fascinating... I have experienced this "Emesis" before.. I actually tended to attribute it to strains with high CBD as that seemed to be when I got the "sickest" after using strains with high levels of it. But I will def check this out now and do some experimnets! Thanks!!! (got here too late to upvote, unfortunately, but will re-steem!

Thanks for sharing the info, and I'd certainly love to hear your "experiment" results once you have them. Good luck, and all the best to your health!

Just wanted to check back in--I have been using solely homegrown cannabis for the past month or so--I feel worlds better! It is crazy... I don't know what it is, but, something in dispensary cannabis was messing with me, and now that I have only been smoking homegrown (aside from a few headaches from not having the patience to cure properly) I have not gotten the "chills" etc. that I used to feel when smoking the commercial grade. Thank you, @drutter for helping me see part of the cause!

Thanks for coming back and updating with a comment! "Worlds better" is pretty awesome. Will you be doing a post on this? If so, I'd love to check it out. I'll be doing an update on this topic at some point, and it would be cool to mention a few people's anecdotal evidence. More and more will continue to pile up as people do their own 'testing' and research.

I do plan to do a post, yes. Thanks for your support!

Cool! Following along : )

Thank You!!

I've been posting about the nastiness of Neem+Cannabis for years. It's nice to see others have taken up the standard as well. :D

H.Pylori Infections Make CHS Worse!!

(Btw, it's Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome)
If you're having serious issues with even small amounts of tainted cannabis, I strongly suggest you look at getting tested for H.Pylori.

H.Pylori is a digestive issue which can be cleared up in a month. Without an H.Pylori infection the CHS symptoms are much milder.

There IS Life After CHS!!

You will survive, and you will be able to use clean cannabis. :)

Go BE Awesome!!

Hey thanks for your great comment! H.Pylori is something I've run across a few times in my research. It's something we can quickly have tested at a lab, and it can be treated fairly easily and non-invasively. It has other health effects as well, and should be treated in most patients testing positive.
Following you : )

After 10 years of on-and-off CHS (mostly from "organic" grown cannabis, ironically enough), I experienced massive relief within the first week of being treated for H.Pylori.

I doubt I ever would have attributed all of the things aza does to me, if I hadn't had the H.Pylori infection. Now the effects are so mild, I can see how people believe it does not affect them at all. It does though. Everyone I've seen use it has had mild issues they attribute to other things.

Thanks for pursuing this! :D

That's interesting to hear how you could tell what effects were Aza and what weren't, by comparing your symptoms with and without the Pylori. It's often little individual experiments (anecdotes) like that which point us in the right direction. I appreciate you sharing your experience with this!

Excellent post.

Good to know, thanks!

Just thought I would let you know, i have been seeing a handful of people sharing this all over Facebook recently, your words are reaching more people than just here on Steemit. This is a great article and I hope this spreads to the rest of the cannabis community so we can get on top of this issue.

That's very cool! Thanks for letting me know. Most of the time, FB doesn't let me know when my things there get shared. It's such a glitchy and censored site, hard to believe people use it to stay 'informed' and as their primary method of staying in touch with peers.
The reactions to this article have been mixed. Some people's emotions even seem to get involved when it comes to this topic. All I want is to get closer to knowing the full truth on how neem affects humans when burned in cannabis.

sharing this research thank you ...

Nice you comment on your own post and upvote yourself... Lol.

Fascinating to read this post. My last nursing job was up in an ER in Colorado Springs and we often got people with this disorder although it was often termed cyclic vomiting in that they smoked and then vomited, the more they did the more they vomited. Was always attributed to the cannabis. It would be interesting to have checked their cannabis to see if it was treated with neem.

Yes, would be very interesting!
More and more, it appears that various chemicals (added as fertilizer, pesticide, fungicide, etc) are the culprit in this and other illnesses associated with cannabis. For example, the "vape crisis" is nothing more than myclobutanil toxicity! This all underlies points I've been making for years:

  • know (or be) your grower
  • 200% organic (nothing but air light water and soil)

Sorry CHS DOES Exist!!

I believe I was the first to post about azadirachtin on steemit here...

Since this time I have indeed encountered people who have true CHS. There's a definite medical explanation for their issues and it's triggered by THC. Clean or dirty cannabis does not matter, it's the amount of THC. It can be isolate, extract, flower or edible, it doesn't matter.

I have run across one individual who uses high CBD, low THC cannabis daily. A very small amount. If they use more it causes them CHS symptoms. It's literally the THC.

99% of the Sufferers so far Have Been Aza/Neem Related

So definitely keep pushing this information. :D I just wanted everyone to be aware CHS does truly exist.

Go BE Awesome! :D

Hey again, thanks for commenting.
"I have run across one individual.."
I'd like to point out that one anecdote doesn't provide much support for any particular possibility. Many anecdotes together can sometimes provide compelling evidence for a case, but one is literally no different than none. No trend can be seen from one anecdote.
".. who uses high CBD, low THC cannabis daily. A very small amount. If they use more it causes them CHS symptoms."
Instead of using the term "CHS symptoms", since CHS doesn't exist (except perhaps in this individual you ran across), could you describe their reaction to cannabis doses above a very small amount? They vomit, I assume? What else?
"It's literally the THC."
There's no way for you to know that, and saying so is conjecture at best. Let's stick to the facts, and use logic to analyze them, so we come to the best conclusions possible.

I've since met several people since then who have issues with only THC. The pathway for CHS from THC is well documented in science, it truly does exist.

CHS is MOSTLY caused by azadirachtin issues, but there are definitely THC-only suffers.

The "ONE" individual I was talking about is the only person I talked to about using low THC strength cannabis. I've met many others who have issues with only THC. Yes, they've tested clean cannabis without aza in it.

Thanks :D

So you've heard stories of people who think they have CHS? That's been the case for years now, and that's the problem - all we have are stories from people who think they've figured it out. But the research shows that CHS doesn't exist and is really just neem toxicity. If other research supports your claim, please link me to some of it! Thanks.

Where are you getting the idea CHS does not exist?

Look, I've personally spoken with about a dozen people now who don't have CHS from aza. They've completely removed the aza/neem from their grows. They still have CHS from THC.

I've even spoken with people who've used THC isolate from clean plants, and they have a massive CHS reaction. FOR THEM the issue is purely from the THC.

YES! Though it is very rare, Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Really Exists!

I would have commented earlier but I've almost quit using this platform completely. Didn't see your comment till just now.

My entire article here is where I get the idea CHS doesn't exist. It's even right there in the title: "Cannabis Hyperemesis Syndrome (CHS) is actually Azadirachtin (neem) poisoning!"

No offense, but knowing 12 people (or even 100) who say they have "CHS" doesn't prove anything. Have you even documented their claims anywhere? That would at least be a tiny start toward the process of proving your idea that THC alone sometimes causes uncontrollable sustained vomiting. But you haven't even done that, have you?

Please, until you've got even a single anecdotal testimonial, I believe the science and logic presented here in my post, which has now been seen by over 1 million people on FB! It is my most-widely shared Steemit post, and still going strong.

Welcome Newbie!! :D

Yeah, I've been dealing with this topic for over 7 years. I've been posting on steemit about it for over 2 years. It's nice to see others now picking up the torch and bringing the info to others.

Sucks that you're stuck where I was 2 years ago, I really feel for you. Also sucks you're setting progress back again with "there is no CHS" nonsense.

What's OK is Eventually You'll Learn the Truth

and so will everyone else. It takes time, sometimes you have to wait for people to die and their kids take up the correct torch.

Good luck with your whatever

What matters are facts, not opinions, and not how many years people have been interested in the topic.
If it's about years to you, I've been researching this a lot longer than you. I've also got 5+ years of university level biology and I worked in psychiatry (specializing in drugs and addictions) for a further 10 years. My wife is a medical cannabis patient, and we've been heavily involved in cannabis activism here in Vancouver for many years.
If you "really feel for me" as you claim, instead of telling me how right you are, why not drop a link or two that proves it? Instead you show how much you care by being rude and disingenuous. It's clear you're upset, but doesn't give you the right to behave that way. Give your head a shake, guy. Don't get so personally offended that I don't take your word as proof of your claims. I don't take anyone's word as proof of their claims. If some people develop hyperemesis as a result of pure cannabinoids alone, there will be documented evidence of it, regardless of your feelings.

Thanks for the good information. We have updated our blog post to recommend growers to stay away from Neem Oil when trying to cure powdery mildew https://moldresistantstrains.com/6-ways-cure-powdery-mildew-cannabis-organically/

Thanks for your comment. I notice this article has been making the rounds on social media, which is great. I don't think it contains all the answers, but it's most of the known info on the subject. A lot of people are aware of the potential problem, and they know there are safer ways of dealing with unwanted fungi. On my blog I'm showing how it's possible to grow top shelf cannabis with literally nothing but a scoop of dirt, light, and water (and the right love).


I may not be friends with you...

Bit you were getting shared on fakebook.


Even if we ain't friends.... I can still throw you props.

Oh and gonna vote. Hope that really makes you baked.

This post helps a lot of growers. Here is also a website that provides credible information. https://www.growingmarijuanatips.com/dealing-with-spider-mites-and-other-outdoor-marijuana-diseases-and-pests/

neem oil is fine to use. But I’ll run this post to our resident cannabis guru and see what he has to say about this

Hmmmm yeah.. better consult the guru on that.


Hey... did you guys get a chance to figure this one out yet? All evidence welcome.

I’m waiting to here back from him. But I imagine it’s ok to use, but not late in flowering stage. Spraying anything close to harvest is not a good idea.

No guru, but I would never spray neem, that smell & taste lingers in my experience. A little bit of neem cake in the soil is what I have used previously but rarely. I do feel like I get some chilly symptoms of CHS when I smoke a lot of weed, but has to be a lot lot!

The guru in question is conrad! lol Hes on vacation. But ive been doing research, and it looks like neem does break down, and if you dont spray it that close to harvest your fine. Also you cant over do it. What i use is actually a neem oil mix, its called mites and mildew washout. Im defiantly not trying to be a dick and claim i know everything, but conrad does! lol Cant wait till hes back.

Neem doesn't break down - read the post, guys! Sources are provided, so if you're going to make claims to the contrary, post your sources. People's lives and health are at stake, so if you aren't an expert or don't have sources for your opinion, zip it!
It's unsafe and toxic to humans no matter what stage your plants are at when you poison them.

Hey my world was shocked when I heard this about neem oil,cause I was taught otherwise. I never intended to be a dick to try to prove you wrong. I use a neem oil base spray and haven’t even used it since I saw this. I’m still not planning to and will use another method and thank you for opening my eyes. But for me wanting to gather facts and not take your word or post for it, I don’t believe everything I read or am told

You'll find all the "neem is safe on plants" research was not done with plants like cannabis.

Cannabis absorbs and retains the azadirachtin molecule, so all the "it breaks down quickly" statements do not apply. Cannabis holds the aza molecule for (literally) months without it breaking down.

Some people have found if they break up the cannabis, and then expose it to 24hrs of flourescent lighting (up close), the light penetrates and destroys a lot of the aza.

So the research you've been educated with about neem is correct, it just needs to be heavily modified for cannabis. ;)

oops, i so forgot i was in the canna account still. Oh well. lol Busted

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