Surgery is scary. Whether you’re getting a tumor removed or a muscle repaired, going under the knife is difficult for most people. Especially dealing with the pain and recovery afterwards. Doctors and hospitals usually prescribe opioids to patients that do help with the pain, but can have other long term problems that come with it. Opioids can be very addictive and cause some people to fall down the rabbit hole of drug abuse.
Some studies have shown that marijuana has helped people manage their pain like opioids, without all the negative effects that come with opioids. So, if weed can ease most users’ pain the question becomes, “Can you smoke weed or use cannabis after surgery?”
Opioids Are Very Addictive
The opioid epidemic is no joke, over a hundred Americans die every day from opioid related drug overdose. It is a very sad reality that is happening right now in this country.
The worst part about opioid addiction is that many people don’t begin their addiction until after they are prescribed the medication from a doctor or physician. Oxycodone or hydrocodone are the most common opioids prescribed to people.
Many surgeons claim they are trying to prescribe less opioids, but many patients still fall victim to the negative side effects of these addicting pain killers.
What about weed? Is it safe to consume after surgery?
Know Your Body Pre-Op
So, if you’re like most stoners out there anytime you feel ill or something hurts your first move is likely to smoke some weed, isn’t it? THC and CBD help with everything, so why not roll up a fatty right before surgery?
Well, it’s important to understand that you should not smoke marijuana before going into surgery. The high from cannabis can affect the anesthesia negatively and the last thing you want to do is wake up while doctors are operating on you.
Smoking can also increase the amount of coughing and sputum in a person which can be an issue for surgery. If you are a very loyal user of marijuana, it is crucial to tell the doctors and anesthesiologists about your use.
It may seem crazy to tell your doctor about your marijuana use but, they are not going to judge you, they are just going to take the necessary steps to make sure you are safe.
What About After Surgery?
There is plenty of research out there that indicates opioids are not the best medication for you to take right after surgery. Research is still in the works for how the body reacts to cannabis post-surgery.
Some researchers in the UK did a study with a product called Candar which is basically just a cannabis extract. Researchers applied this to a total of 65 patients that had just had surgery to determine if it helped the healing process or not.
Patients were given different doses of the marijuana extract to see if different levels worked better than others. The results were positive and straight forward. As the dose increased, patients experienced less pain.
With that being said Candar did have some side effects from the study as patients that received higher doses had nausea and raised heart rates.
The study showed that cannabis can be beneficial to patients post-surgery and help with post-surgery pain. Many other researchers and doctors hope that marijuana can be used as an alternative to fight the opioid epidemic.
Safest Way to Consume Marijuana After Surgery
Unfortunately, we still have a long way to go before doctors in hospitals will be prescribing or recommending cannabis use, but if you want to use marijuana instead of opioids for pain relief, use at your own risk.
Maybe rolling a joint or ripping a bong right after surgery isn’t the best idea. Try things like edibles, tinctures or oils that you can easily consume without coughing or giving your body any trouble.
Coughing can disrupt your body trying to heal itself, so it’s smart to stay away from smoking even if you think you won’t cough. If you must smoke, try vaping as it is better for the body compared to using a glass weed pipe.
At the end of the day, you know your body. So choose whatever works best for you and your pain management, but stay healthy!