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Coming clean: Your anesthesiologist needs to know about marijuana use before surgery

Published: January 15, 2020


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Daayiee Abdullah
January 17, 2020

Greatly appreciate the article as it was informative particularly about marijuana usage prior to using anesthesia during surgery. One point that appears contradictory is the fact marijuana research has shown marijuana decreases opioid use, yet the article indicates there could be an increase in opioid use disorder. Would like to have more clarity on this point. Overall, glad to learn how the medical team seeks to provide the best level of medical care during surgeries requiring anesthesia…several thumbs up.

David Hepner, MD, MPH
January 20, 2020

That is a really good point. Even though some authors have shown that cannabis may decrease opioid use, others have shown that it can lead to Increased sensitivity to pain (hyperalgesia). Preoperative cannabis use may impair recovery following surgery by increasing the pain that a patient feels and by making the sleep quality worse. Therefore, in order to have more results on the relationship of marijuana and opioid use, we should identify and evaluate the possible effect that marijuana use has on opioid abuse statistics. For this reason, The American Society of Anesthesiologists supports more rigorous studies and seeks to expand research on marijuana.

Steve Breault
January 16, 2020

I have never thought about this, but very important. I feel like with more acceptance in legal states it is much more common to share this info with your doctors than before.

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