Are Cannabis Hyperemesis Patients Actually Suffering From Azadirachtin Poisoning?
What is Cannabis Hyperemesis?
The first reported cases of Cannabis Hyperemesis happened in 2004. The most common signs can be mild to severe, nausea, back pain and body pain, cyclic vomiting and relief from the symptoms through hot showers or baths.
The medical industry is attributing it to extremely potent cannabis, I say that’s most likely garbage and that it’s really people being poisoned by Azadirachtin being sprayed on the cannabis.
What is Azadirachtin?
Azadirachtin is an OMRI certified organicide. The commercial product Azatrol was certified for use in the U.S.A. in 2004. A product known as Azamax has been OMRI certified since at least 2008. Both of these products are heavily used in the cannabis industry as an “organic” solution to mites, a tiny spider which loves cannabis.
Azadirachtin may be organic, it is also quite damaging to humans. Whether the exposure is intense and short or mild and over time, the long term issues resulting from azadirachtin exposure put it on the “never to have present in my cannabis” category. I use it on plants that will only be mums for cuttings, never on vegetating or flowering plants.
My Grow Style Hasn’t Changed
I have grown cannabis with General Hydroponics nutrients and pH up/down products since 2002. The methods I have used have all been hydroponics. I used a single bottle of neem oil for 6 months during that time, the remaining pest control was water and isopropyl alcohol. The strains I grew were retail and elite clones, bag seed, breeder seed and retail seed.
I have used cannabis almost daily for nearly 30 years. Until 2008 I had never experienced azadirachtin poisoning. It took me over 3 years to understand the source, even when the information was right in front of me. The effects are very subtle until you gain awareness of what’s going on.
When I grew several clones all the same way and only treated a few of the clones with azadirachtin products, the azadirachtin treated plants caused poisoning issues. After additional research I came to realize that azadirachtin was more common in cannabis than I had thought and I had also been exposed to it far more often than I thought. You can literally trace my issues back through my exposure to azadirachtin at various times and in various levels.
Here’s how I know it’s Azadiractin causing the issues…
I First Used Azadirachtin in 2010
I sprayed a room full of plants and picked up a nice heavy exposure in the process. I felt like I had the flu for the next few days. My neck, stomach and lower back hurt significantly. I also experienced surprise dry-heaving. Basically I would suddenly start dry-heaving without warning or previous nausea. Quite the experience.
Several months later while using the harvested cannabis from that run I began having increased pain
issues and stomach/intestinal pain from digestive issues. I had increased muscle tension all over my body, loss of appetite, low sex drive and morning nausea. Occasionally, usually after a poor quality meal, I would end up with cyclic vomiting for a few days.
That was when I first found hot showers. I took a significant number of hot showers for a few months after that harvest. I would stand there with the hot water going down my neck and back for as long as the hot water would last. I had a tremendous propane bill during that time.
By the time I had visited the hospital ER for the third time, I suspected the azadirachtin products were the source of the issues. It was the only part of my growing I had changed, how could it be anything else? I believed that I was experiencing something similar to what the mites must go through on this stuff. So, I quit using the cannabis with azadirachtin on it and the issues began to go away almost immediately. Coincidence? I do not think so!
So I Tested My Theory
Almost 2 years later I tested my theory by setting up a side by side experiment. I grew a few plants of several different genetics I had. Two clones, each a different strain were grown in 3 sets. One set was sprayed with approximately 3ml/gallon of azamax and another set were treated with the same solution poured in their root zone. The third set was left alone. The end results were 2 clones with aza sprayed after a week of flower, two clones (same strains) that were treated with azamax systemically and the rest of the plants (again, same strains) were left untreated.
The cannabis that was treated with azadirachtin caused all the same issues I experienced the first time. I was experiencing pesticide poisoning. None of the non-treated cannabis caused issues, even though they were the same strains as the treated clones. Now I am confident I know what caused my ER trips.
So I quit using azadirachtin tainted products and my issues slowly went away. They came back with a vengeance a year ago, just a few months after I started using cannabis from a local grower. The grower had been growing cleanly and without pesticides and, despite numerous conversations about how evil the stuff was, they decided to just use it and not tell me.
I had my suspicions when I started feeling the mild, but familiar affects of pesticide poisoning. I had asked him several times if he was using aza products or any pesticides. he claimed he wasn’t. I trusted him and continued to use it anyway. Big mistake. I ending up in the hospital, again. When confronted, the grower finally admitted to using it. They had even used it just before harvest when I came to help trim. Lovely.
Lingering Stomach Issues?
It was not enough to just stop using azadirachtin tainted products, the damage it did to my digestive system meant that my intestinal pain seemed to be constant. Basically my digestive system was creating a lot of gas and that gas was ridiculously painful. I was still taking hot baths to help my lower back muscles loosen up. They always get tight and hurt when I have digestive issues.
Here’s how I got rid of my stomach/intestinal pain:
Update (1/5/2016): Here’s an Article On Better Relief I Found Recently!
#1 Garlic: Either the azadirachtin prevents a beneficial bacteria from thriving or it flat out kills it off, either way, I’m pretty sure my digestive system had bad bacteria that took over. Eating a large amount of garlic would decrease the build up of gas in my intestines and greatly reduce the pain for a while.
Something was definitely missing in my digestive system and once the garlic passed through the digestive system I wanted to put that good stuff back. I found fermented foods that were appropriate for my blood type and ate a healthy portion about an hour after eating the garlic.
#3 Molasses and Baking Soda: (Baking soda must be used with caution, do your homework and watch your pH ) I used Bob’s Red Mill baking soda because the Arm & Hammer is not aluminum free.
I mixed a teaspoon of baking soda into a tablespoon of molasses and stirred it with water. I drank that twice a day for 10 days (while making sure my body pH was ok) and haven’t had problems since. My thinking is that the bacteria producing the gas was also producing acids that were lowering the overall pH of my body.
So now I know the taste/smell of aza products on cannabis and can recognize the oily feel of the smoke. I don’t have any azadirachtin related stomach issues any more and look forward to decades of continued non-pain in that arena. It’s nice to be able to occasionally eat a chicken chimichanga from a gas station, without ending up in the ER a few days later.
So, Is It Really Cannabis Hyperemesis?
I find it possible, but extremely unlikely that two conditions in the same industry, that cause the same problems, including an odd and desperate desire for a hot shower/bath, could actually be different issues. Since using aza was the only thing I had done differently, I have only one belief and that’s that the two are connected.
Stay healthy & Keep it Clean! 😀
Questions? Comments? Feel free to hit the comment section below.