Cannabis Use Increases Post-Surgery Discomfort In Adults

Cannabis Use Increases Post-Surgery Discomfort In Adults
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A new study shows that in the first 24 hours after surgery, cannabis users reported 14% higher pain than those who did not take the drug. In addition, cannabis users had a 7% increase in opioid consumption after surgery. The research found that compared to non-users, adult cannabis users experienced significantly higher postoperative pain levels. However, there is a lack of evidence showing how cannabis impacts patient results after surgery despite the fact that it is the most widely used drug in the United States and is widely utilized as an experimental treatment for chronic pain.

Adult cannabis users report more severe pain after surgery, contrary to previous research. This results in increased opioid use following surgery. Between January 2010 and December 2020, researchers examined the medical records of 34,521 patients who had elective procedures at Cleveland Clinic, including 1,681 cannabis users. These findings will be discussed at the Anesthesiology 2022 conference.

Study results

Patients who had used cannabis in the 30 days prior to surgery had higher rates of complications. Patients who reported using cannabis before surgery reported 14% worse pain in the first 24 hours following surgery compared to those who reported never using cannabis. Even while the authors highlight that the difference is not statistically significant, it is likely clinically important; patients who smoked cannabis ingested 7% more painkillers following surgery.

Smaller studies have reported on the correlation between cannabis usage, pain ratings, and opioid use, but their findings have been inconsistent. Patients with a diagnosis of chronic pain or who had regional anesthesia were excluded from this new study’s bigger sample size because they would have skewed the findings. Age, gender, tobacco, and other drug usages, depression, and psychological illnesses were all taken into account while creating the study groups.

It’s important for doctors to keep investigating new methods of managing post-operative pain because patients who use cannabis may experience more pain and need somewhat larger dosages of opioids.


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Anna Daniels

Anna is an avid blogger with an educational background in medicine and mental health. She is a generalist with many other interests including nutrition, women's health, astronomy and photography. In her free time from work and writing, Anna enjoys nature walks, reading, and listening to jazz and classical music.

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