Report: Cannabis users need more sedation for endoscopic procedures

A new brief report published in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association notes that marijuana users may require more sedation than non-users.

In a recent report published in the The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, scientists found that marijuana users may need twice as much anesthetics than their straight-edge counterparts.

Researchers also pointed out that patients should let their doctors know about their cannabis consumption habits, due to the sedative properties of cannabis, as well as the fact that THC can linger on in the body for months.

A rather small study

The scientific community wasn’t too shocked with these findings—however, this report was based on a small number of patients. Only 250 patient cases were reviewed, of which only 25 patients openly labeled themselves as cannabis users.

All patients involved in the study had endoscopic procedures, and most had colonoscopy.

Researchers evaluated the required volume of sedation needed to complete various endoscopic procedures, and found that cannabis users needed 200% more anesthetic propofol, 14% more of the analgesic fentanyl, and 20% more of the sedative midazolam, compared to non-users.

“Clearly the fact that use affects the effectiveness of these three medicines certainly raises myriad questions about potential effects on other medications (pain medicines, anxiety medicines etc.),” Dr. Mark Twardowski said.

The scientific community pointed out that more research needs to be done in order to get a more complete image of how cannabis affects the human body before and after medical procedures.

Other members of the community pointed out that the study was far too small, and that the numbers may be skewed by the users’ stigma towards revealing their marijuana use, even though the study was done in Colorado where both medical and recreational cannabis have been legal for years.

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