Cannabis and Medical Procedures: What is Safe?
Updated: Jul 10
One of the most common questions patients may have about cannabis is whether it is safe to use before and after a procedure. With any procedure, you need to inform your doctor about your use of cannabis products.
Using cannabis after a surgical procedure largely depends on the type of procedure. Your doctor will be able to answer any questions you have about when you can safely begin using cannabis without experiencing any unwanted side effects. If you are taking any other pain medications, consult with your doctor about whether it is safe to continue your treatment. Generally, CBD is an effective way to treat inflammation and, combined with a small concentration of THC, is effective for treating pain and post-op nausea.
While non-surgical procedures may not be as invasive as surgical, there are still precautions you should take before you take cannabis products. Non-surgical procedures include physical exams, medical testing such as x-rays or scans, non-surgical treatments such as radiation therapy, physical therapy, or cosmetic procedures such as Botox. Like surgical procedures, using CBD after a non-surgical procedure depends on the procedure. For example, patients who are on blood thinners are advised NOT to use CBD for risk of bruising or increased bleeding.
What about before surgery?
Smoking (tobacco or marijuana) days before any surgical procedure is not recommended. Chronic or frequent use of cannabis before a procedure, especially one requiring sedation or general anesthesia, can alter one’s response to anesthetic agents. A study in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association (2019) found that patients who frequently used cannabis required significantly more propofol for sedation during colonoscopy than non-users.
CBD can interfere with the metabolism of blood thinners which could increase the possibility of postoperative bruising or bleeding. Though THC may be useful for post-op nausea and vomiting, the potential for interaction with other essential post-op medications exists. Importantly, you should reveal if you are using cannabis (or even CBD alone) to your anesthesiologist.
Regardless of the type of procedure, you have scheduled, always speak with your doctor before to be sure you are incorporating cannabis into your medication routine safely.
If you are a Missourian suffering from a qualifying condition, you may be eligible to treat your ailment with medical marijuana, which includes both THC and CBD products.
Click here to learn more about what Missouri Marijuana Card's certified medical marijuana physicians can do for you, or give us a call at 877-303-3117 and our friendly patient support team can walk you through the entire process, and set you up with an appointment through telemedicine.