DEC 14, 2020 8:32 AM PST

Cannabis Users Need More Anesthetic During Surgery than Nonusers

WRITTEN BY: Annie Lennon

Anecdotal evidence suggests that cannabis users require more anesthetic at the beginning of surgery than those who do not use the substance. As such, researchers set out to find whether this is the same across all anesthetic types or just specific varieties. 

For their study, the researchers reviewed medical records from 118 patients from the same hospital in Colorado who had surgery for a broken leg between January 2015 and November 2019. All patients had unilateral tibia fractures and had open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF) with intramedullary nail (IMN). 

This surgery was selected as it requires a postoperative stay in the hospital, meaning the researchers were able to track postoperative opioid use and patient's pain rankings on a standardized pain numeric rating scale. 

The researchers also analyzed the cohort for cannabis use, which was determined through self-reports prior to the study. They were unable, however, to record the type of cannabis consumed, nor its method of ingestion. Nevertheless, just over a quarter (25.4%) of subjects reported cannabis use before surgery. 

All in all, the researchers found that while cannabis use was not associated with a higher dose of induction propofol (taken to induce anesthesia), on average, cannabis users required higher levels of intraoperative sevoflurane than those who did not use the substance. 

Cannabis use was also linked to higher pain scores in both the post-anesthesia care unit (PACU) and in the inpatient setting. As such, cannabis users required significantly more pain medications than those in the control group, although they did not spend a significant amount of time longer in surgery or in inpatient care. 

The lead author of the study, Ian Holmen, MD, says that while interesting findings, his study was made up of 118 case studies rather than a controlled trial and thus requires further research to be conclusive. He nevertheless called the study 'hypothesis-provoking'. 

 

Sources: Practical Pain Management

About the Author
  • Annie Lennon is a writer whose work also appears in Medical News Today, Psych Central, Psychology Today, and other outlets. When she's not writing, she is COO of Xeurix, an HR startup that assesses jobfit from gamified workplace simulations.
You May Also Like
MAY 21, 2021
Cannabis Sciences
Parental Consumption of Cannabis Increases Teen Consumption
MAY 21, 2021
Parental Consumption of Cannabis Increases Teen Consumption
Researchers from the University of British Columbia in Canada have found that teens brought up in homes where their pare ...
MAY 19, 2021
Cannabis Sciences
DEA Ends the Monopoly on "Research-Grade" Cannabis
MAY 19, 2021
DEA Ends the Monopoly on "Research-Grade" Cannabis
The US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has slipped out an announcement that’s going to have a huge impact on ...
JUN 10, 2021
Health & Medicine
Medical Cannabis Use Correlates with Reduced Cigarette Use
JUN 10, 2021
Medical Cannabis Use Correlates with Reduced Cigarette Use
  Here’s a bonus effect of using medical cannabis — you’re more likely to give up smoking accordi ...
AUG 04, 2021
Health & Medicine
Cannabis Drug Sativex to Be Tested in Phase II Brain Tumor Trial
AUG 04, 2021
Cannabis Drug Sativex to Be Tested in Phase II Brain Tumor Trial
  A phase II trial is being planned to test the cannabis-derived drug Sativex, in patients with aggressive brain tu ...
AUG 28, 2021
Cannabis Sciences
Could Eye-tracking Data Detect THC Levels?
AUG 28, 2021
Could Eye-tracking Data Detect THC Levels?
Eye-tracking data shows promise for detecting levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The corresponding study was publishe ...
SEP 02, 2021
Cannabis Sciences
CBD May Help Slow Hair Loss, Initial Study Shows
SEP 02, 2021
CBD May Help Slow Hair Loss, Initial Study Shows
Could CBD oil help curb a person’s hair loss? A series of case studies at the Hair and Scalp Centre in St Petersbu ...
Loading Comments...