Marijuana: A Cure for Hiccups?
We all know the feeling: dread sets in as you’re jolted by one hiccup, then two, then three. Soon enough, you’ve been hiccupping for five minutes straight and are thumbing through your “hiccup cure” thought manual to no avail. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a scientifically proven cure for stubborn hiccups – one that doesn’t require holding your breath or biting a lemon or putting a pinch of sugar under your tongue?
Well, such a cure does exist, and it comes from a rather unexpected place: the cannabis plant.
That’s right, smoking marijuana can cure your hiccups – no lemon or pinching or sugar involved.
The finding comes from a 1998 study published in the Lancet journal, in which doctors used marijuana to treat an AIDS patient with intractable hiccups, a medical condition that causes hiccups to span hours, days, or even weeks. In this case, the hiccups developed after a minor surgery and lasted for a full nine days.
Doctors unsuccessfully tried a wide variety of treatments on the patient, including acupuncture, lidocaine injections, and valproate, a prescription medication used to treat epilepsy, among other conditions. They resorted to even stranger methods – including removing a hair from the tympanic membrane in the inner ear, and flooding the ear canal with the anesthetic Marcaine – before administering marijuana.
The first dose temporarily cured the hiccups, and the second made them go away for good.
Though it’s highly unlikely that your case of the hiccups is intractable (intractable hiccups are estimated to affect only 1 in every 100,000 people), this finding combined with other studies on marijuana provide good reason to believe that marijuana can treat your everyday hiccups.
Several studies show that marijuana is proven to reduce the intensity and frequency of muscle spasms, and a case of the hiccups is just a series of inconvenient spasms of the diaphragm muscle.
So, experiencing a stubborn case of the hiccups that you just can’t shake? You may want to reach for a lighter before reaching for that lemon.