Anesthesiologist Recommends 30 Day Tolerance Break to Avoid Potential Side Effects from Anesthesia

Dr. Kaveh explains interactions between cannabis and anesthesia

Anesthesiologist Recommends 30 Day Tolerance Break to Avoid Potential Side Effects from Anesthesia

4 weeks abstinence of cannabinoids prior to surgery, is what Dr. Kaveh, anesthesiologist, recommends so that a drawer full of medications will not have potential negative side effects from the interaction of cannabinoids and anesthesia.

Cannabis can lead to serious dependency and even addiction, and it reveals after surgery. What happens to your body with chronic marijuana use?

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Understanding the interactions between cannabis and anesthesia is vital. In this video, we examine the effects of marijuana on anesthetics, particularly focusing on propofol, opioids, and benzodiazepines. Cannabis can influence the body’s response to these drugs, often making it more challenging for anesthesiologists to predict and manage a patient’s reactions during surgery.

We further explore the risks of heightened post-operative nausea and vomiting (PONV) associated with cannabis use. While marijuana is often touted for its anti-nausea properties, studies show that the regular use of cannabis may actually increase the risk of PONV, a common and uncomfortable surgical complication. This can lead to extended hospital stays and additional treatments.

Another major point of discussion is post-operative pain management. Although medical marijuana can have a role in chronic pain management, cannabis use in surgical contexts can cause issues. Regular marijuana users may experience increased pain sensitivity after surgery, which may lead to higher requirements for opioids, thereby increasing the risk of opioid-related side effects.

Chronic (like daily) marijuana use also increases anesthesia requirements. This may increase the risk of being “underdosed” anesthesia and causing undesired anesthesia awareness.

The metabolization of THC and CBD, the two main active compounds in cannabis, is an area that deserves careful scrutiny. These compounds can interact with other medications in the body, potentially leading to a range of unwanted side effects after surgery. These complications, though preventable, are not widely understood.

Despite the risks outlined, I also acknowledge the role of medical marijuana in patient care. Medical cannabis has been used effectively in managing chronic pain, nausea, and other health conditions when used responsibly. However, it’s crucial to understand that its use during and after surgery is a different context altogether, given the potential interactions with other medications and the body’s altered physiological state.

We strongly advocate for open conversations with your medical team about all drug use habits, including cannabis. Transparency can be a lifeline in surgical settings, allowing for personalized anesthesia plans and minimizing the potential for unexpected complications.


This video/speech/channel DOES NOT CONSTITUTE MEDICAL ADVICE. Patients with medical concerns should contact their physician. If your concern is an emergency, immediately call 911. This information is not a recommendation for ANY THERAPY. Some substances referenced in this content may be illegal, and this content is not a recommendation for, or endorsement of, their use in any way.