Surgical considerations

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

In acute settings, marijuana's effects peaked at approximately 1 hour post initiation, lasting 2-4 hours. Marijuana increased cardiac workload, myocardial infarctions and strokes in young, chronic users. Cannabis caused similar pulmonary complications to those of a tobacco smoker. Marijuana caused airway obstruction and increased anesthetic dosages needed to place laryngeal airways. Use within 72 hours of general anesthesia was advised against. In vitro and in vivo studies were contradictory regarding prothrombic or antithrombotic effects.

Marijuana use is problematic to surgeons, left without evidence-based approaches. In emergency settings, marijuana use may be unavoidable. However, further research would provide much needed information to guide elective procedures.