The Effects of Marijuana Post-Surgery

Scientists continue to learn about the effects drugs have on our bodies, and marijuana is no different.

Many marijuana users smoke or ingest the substance to relieve bodily pain. However, according to a new study, using marijuana before undergoing a surgical procedure can make your recovery pain significantly worse.

“There is some evidence that cannabis may be beneficial for chronic and nerve pain. However, early research suggests that this is not the case for acute pain such as for surgery of a broken leg,” said lead author and anesthesiology resident Dr. Ian Holmen.

In addition to increased post-surgical pain, people who used weed before surgery also need more anesthesia during surgery. This can be risky, especially for the elderly or those with chronic illnesses. Marijuana users also needed more opioids during recovery, which can lead to a new addiction.

How does this study impact you?

“…patients [must] tell their physician anesthesiologist if they have used cannabis products prior to surgery to ensure they receive the best anesthesia and pain control possible, including the use of non-opioid alternatives,” Holmen said.

It’s also advisable to not use cannabis before a surgical procedure and talk with your doctor about detoxing from marijuana use before surgery.

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