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In fact, society has found that those who use cannabis may need more anesthesia during surgery and experience more pain afterwards.
How a cannabis user’s body responds to anesthesia ultimately depends on how, how often, and how much marijuana is consumed.
Calling the study the first of its kind, the researchers looked at the graphs of 118 patients who had surgery for a broken tibia and then compared the reported effects for cannabis users and non-users, according to the ASA reports.
A total of 25.4 percent of the patients said they had consumed cannabis before the operation. The weed users needed an average of 37.4 milliliters of anesthetic compared to 25 ml for non-users, reported pain scores averaging six compared to 4.8 and received 58 percent more opioids daily in the hospital.
The need for stronger anesthesia in regular marijuana users is consistent with a study published last year in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association.
The study’s authors emphasize the importance of those who use cannabis to inform their doctors before any surgery.
With increasing legalization in the U.S. states, patients might feel that weed use is not worth mentioning, writes anesthetist Dr. David Hepner on the Harvard Health Blog.
The American College of Surgeons (ACS) has also raised concerns about cannabis use before surgery. During the panel discussions at the virtual ACS Clinical Congress 2020, “Experts underlined the importance of helping patients to stop tobacco, steam and marijuana use before surgery,” said a group statement.
Even for routine procedures, experts reported that smoking cessation programs can reduce the risk of complications. “Studies show that smoking and vaping before elective surgery doubles the risk of postoperative pneumonia and increases the risk of heart attack by 70 percent,” said Dr. Jonah Stulberg, general surgeon and health care researcher at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in the testimony.
A study published in 2018 suggested that cannabis effects could be problematic in many ways. The authors found that weeds caused increased heart stress, myocardial infarction, and strokes in young, chronic users, and caused similar lung complications to those of a tobacco smoker. Cannabis use was not advisable within 72 hours of general anesthesia.
Although cannabis users have higher clinical pain, poorer quality of life indicators, and higher opioid use before and after surgery, according to a recent Michigan study, these people reported “similar surgical results, suggesting that cannabis use does not hinder recovery.” .