A new report by Kaiser Health News suggests that you should not lie to your doctor when asked about cannabis use.
Letting your doctor know about your use of cannabis could save your life, or at least make your recovery from surgery or post-surgery much smoother. This is because, if a doctor does not have enough data about you, they will not be able to suggest what is good for you at the moment and in future.
As reported by KNH, Colorado surgery theaters have been discovering that marijuana users need more than triple the amount of sedatives before a procedure. And although giving a patient a double or triple dose of sedatives can lessen heart function or lower blood pressure, there is a potentially mortal risk for pot smokers.
The standard protocol for weed users is not to use it when in post-op-recovery. Thus, they are likely to experience more pain and would have to be prescribed higher doses of opioids.
Talking to KHN, Swedish Medical Center’s director of trauma research Dr. David Ba-Or said that Weed smokers are likely to feel more pain when prescribed the ordinary dose of opioids, and would thus require a higher replacement dose since they are not provided with weed while in the hospital.
A number of hospitals have gone a mile further to encourage patient honesty. Talking to KNH, North Carolina nurse anesthetist Linda Stone said that they do not want patients to feel like there is cannabis stigma. According to her, they have been trying to maintain an environment where patients don’t feel the need to divulge information as by this, physicians would be able to provide the safest care.
Nevertheless, there is still a “no weed” mindset, one example being the Missouri hospital that called police officers on their stage IV Cancer patient whom they suspected to have cannabis, but didn’t.
However, you should not hesitate talking to your doctor about your cannabis situation as the consequences of failing to could be life threatening. The risk of being honest with your doctor is low, and the reward for honesty before treatment is immense.
In the meantime, a number of studies are going on to determine the safe intersection use of weed and conventional medical attention.
Bar-Or is currently examining if Dronabinol may be used as an effective substitute to THC in a clinical setting.
Mark Steven Wallace, a physician and chair of the Pain and Medicine department at the University of California-San Diego, is working on a study to examine if cannabis could replace opioids in patients who suffer from pain.