Intractable Hiccups

Intractable hiccups are a severe complication for some AIDS patients, especially in cases of esophageal candidiasis and other esophageal diseases. In 1998, the prestigious British medical journal Lancet published a report by physicians Gilson and Busalacci documenting the case of an AIDS patient who underwent minor surgery that apparently triggered a severe bout of uncontrollable hiccups. The application of several different conventional treatments failed to relieve the symptoms. On the eight day of the hiccup attack, the patient tried marijuana for the first time in his life. Amazingly, the hiccups were immediately abated. When violent hiccups returned on the following day, a second round of cannabis treatment provided permanent relief. The authors of the report concede it is unlikely that marijuana will ever be the focus of clinical trials on its effectiveness in treating intractable hiccups due to its legal prohibition. [i]

Lester Grinspoon has also noted the peculiar potential for easing hiccups with the use of cannabis in his own and in other documented cases. [ii]

[i] Gilson and Busalacchi, “Marijuana for inretractable hiccups.” Aurora Medical Group, Milwaukee, WI 53212

[ii] Grinspoon, “Marijuana for intractable hiccoughs.” The Forbidden Medicine Website,