Around 22 million people in the United States continue to consume cannabis, and the industry is only predicted to grow despite its federal status. Even with strict lockdowns, the novel coronavirus actually boosted cannabis sales post 2019, as consumers sought relief from the months of stress.
This increase in consumption has also raised a lot of concerns among people who are now receiving the newly administered Covid vaccine. The question at hand is essentially if the contents of cannabis products and consistent consumption would interfere with the vaccine.
However, another rising concern seen among cannabis users is if the consumption of cannabis interferes at all with anesthesia during surgery?
In this particular blog, we will shed light on this question in reference to multiple studies to better understand the effect of cannabis on surgery.
Does Cannabis Affect Anesthesia
The short answer is, yes! Consuming cannabis does in a way affect anesthesia.
But why? Here is the long answer:
The primary function of giving an anesthetic during surgeries is to make the patient numb and/or unconscious, mainly to avoid any response to the otherwise expected pain so that the operation goes smoothly. Cannabis compounds also may act to relieve pain and inflammation, but nowhere to the extent at which anesthetics do.
Though you may think that consuming cannabis prior to surgery will help calm nerves or relax you during the procedure, it actually has a higher chance of causing greater complications than you may think. This is especially true for consumption hours before or even within a day of the procedure. Because of this, it is essential to let your care provider know if you are a consistent smoker or readily consume cannabis products prior to an operation so that they can adjust the amount of anesthetic. People may still be hesitant to inform professionals about their cannabis use, but it’s important to know that healthcare professionals are far more concerned about ensuring the operation goes safely and painlessly. So tell them!
Cannabis consumption has the potential to affect a patient prior to, during, and after surgery. Since both cannabis and pain medication act on the central nervous system, people that regularly consume cannabis will likely need an adjusted amount of medication or respiratory assistance if they heavily smoke.
Cannabis Consumption Prior To The Operation
Consuming cannabis before surgery can actually increase potential risk of complications. According to a study, patients with acute intoxication of cannabis may need careful assessment prior to the dose of anesthesia as it might escalate certain conditions if combined with anesthesia. One major thing to consider is how inhaling smoke from cannabis can affect your lungs similarly to how smoking cigarettes does. There is a large increase in phlegm, wheezing, and coughing, which results in possible risk of respiratory infections. Any breathing problems from lung issues have the potential to lead to increased airway sensitivity when the breathing tube is put into or taken out of the airway during surgery. The presence of higher THC content in the body can also interact with the anesthetics to result in high fever as well as hypertension.
Cannabis consumption immediately prior to surgery can change the doses needed for sedation. A recent study looked at the doses of medication required to sedate patients, such as propofol, and its effect on those who routinely smoked cannabis with non-cannabis using patients. The study concluded that the individuals that regularly smoke cannabis needed a dramatic increase in sedation.
Cannabis Effects During Surgery
Anesthesiologists agree that you should skip cannabis consumption completely on the day of surgery. This includes both smoking or eating an edible, especially since fasting does not allow any solid food for six to eight hours prior to anesthesia.
One of the biggest concerns to look at is that cannabis consumption the same day as an operation can cause the blood vessels of the body to relax, this is a process called vasodilation. This process essentially causes blood pressure to fall and the heart rate to increase steadily. In turn, this can seriously complicate matters of the surgery if the patient’s blood pressure falls, and can change the way their body responds to the anesthesia. These changes are even more serious in patients with heart disease.
Another study was conducted on rats that were dosed with both THC and CBD compounds prior to the anesthetic drugs. Researchers found that it took longer than usual for the subjects to regain consciousness. Although no human trials have been done for cannabis intoxication and its reaction with anesthetics, experts believe that THC-induced patients may face prolonged unconsciousness, leading to other complications.
Cannabis After the Operation
Now we know it is advised not to consume cannabis prior to surgery, but then what about when it’s over?
Research is still occurring regarding the effect of cannabis use after a procedure. A recent study was conducted in the UK, where they tested the effect of a cannabis plant extract for treating pain after surgery. This extract is called Cannador, and was given to a total of 65 patients who had just recently undergone surgical procedures. The results showed that as dosage increased, patients did experience less pain. However, side effects included nausea and increased heart rate.
Overall, cannabis has shown some beneficial properties for use after surgery, as it provides ideal pain relief and is far less addictive than prescribed opioids. However, it’s also important to consider the manner in which you consume cannabis after surgery. For example, excessive coughing can interrupt the healing process.
Consult Your Anesthesiologist
Overall, it is essential that you tell your healthcare provider of any regular cannabis consumption habits. And it is further advised to not consume cannabis before the procedure, as it can impact the effectiveness of your anesthetic and pain medicine. Honest disclosure is your best chance at a comfortable procedure, your anesthesiologist just wants to make sure everything goes smoothly!
Where To Buy Cannabis In Las Vegas?
If you’re looking for the best Vegas dispensary, head over to Inyo Las Vegas. We are a leading Las Vegas dispensary that offers top-quality cannabis strains and products for users. You can visit our store during the following hours:
MON-WED: 8AM – 12AM
THU-SAT: 8AM – 2AM
SUN: 8AM – 10PM
Or simply order online for delivery or curbside pickup.