The impact of cannabis on anesthesia and surgery

The different impact of CBD and THC products on anesthesia

Preparing for surgery can be scary for a number of reasons. We are therefore going to talk about the importance of communicating with your anesthesiologist about your cannabis use and the impact of different methods of cannabis consumption on anesthesia, in order to reduce the risk of complications.

There are many differences between the effects of THC and CBD on anesthesia. In particular, the effects between the two on the cardiovascular and gastrointestinal systems are virtually opposite.

Be honest about your cannabis routine

Whether you live in a country where medical cannabis is legalized, let alone if you live in a country where it is prohibited, you are probably wondering whether it is completely safe to talk to your anesthetist about your use. cannabis?

Due to HIPAA privacy law or GDPR for Europe, conversations between you, your doctor, nurses, and other healthcare personnel are considered protected health information, as is information added to your health. medical records by health care providers. There are many structural similarities between GDPR and HIPAA. These regulations both have the objective of protecting the privacy of individuals by regulating the use, disclosure or transmission of personal data as well as their security.

At present, we do not have enough research evidence to make formal recommendations on the use of cannabis in the preoperative or postoperative period. This is the reason why, when talking to your anesthetist, provide information on: the type of cannabinoid consumed (THC, CBD), any period of abstinence from the product, patterns of use, such as dose, the method, frequency, and duration of use, and whether it is used for medical purposes.

to read : Second stage of covid-19 / cannabis research: the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD show promise

THC is more likely to cause a rapid heartbeat and high blood pressure, whereas CBD slows down the heart rate and lowers blood pressure. In the gastrointestinal system, THC stimulates appetite but has also been linked to slowed gastric motility with long-term use, which could increase the risk of adverse events such as aspiration pneumonia. .

On the other hand, tolerance to THC tends to develop quite quickly, which means that after just a few doses the patient may become dose tolerant and need higher doses to achieve the same effects.

THC is broken down in the body by a cellular process similar to that of common anesthetic drugs, so there are concerns that high tolerance to THC may require higher doses of anesthetic drugs.

For example, this scientific journal quote more than one study in which cannabis users had higher pain scores and a greater need for medication to relieve pain after surgery. More research into how THC interacts with anesthetic drugs is definitely needed.

How can different methods of cannabis use impact anesthesia?

Anesthesiologists are very familiar with the anatomy and physiology of the airways, as patients must regularly undergo procedures such as intubation and mechanical ventilation during surgery. As such, the management of the respiratory system in connection with smoking or vape cannabis is of concern.

to read : Canadian researchers in early stages of testing cannabis to fight COVID-19

Patients who smoke or vape may have an increased incidence of symptoms such as coughing, wheezing (wheezing or abnormal noise made when exhaling and / or inhaling) or spasm of the vocal cords and small airways. respiratory tracts with a risk of weakening airway linings and even potential scarring of lung tissue over time. All of these add to respiratory management concerns if the patient smokes or vaporizes products compared to oral consumption.

A few recommendations basic for preoperative and postoperative consumption: Refrain from smoking during the 24 to 72 hours preceding the operation in order to decrease the reactivity of the airways and to improve healing. Additionally, patients should not resume cannabis use until the effects of their pain and numbing medication have completely worn off after the operation.

Additionally, mixing cannabis with opioids or alcohol can lead to decreased reflexes and increased levels of sedation and can compromise memory and cognitive functions. There are also concerns that the mixture could lead to long-term addiction and consumption disorders.

Cannabis has a number of health benefits, including relieving chronic pain and insomnia, and making it easier to manage anxiety, depression, and PTSD to find peace and enjoy life. However, cannabis does not always interact well with other drugs and can be dangerous mainly with anesthesia. The goal is to fully understand the medical history and ensure positive results.

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