Communicating Cannabis Use Before Surgery

Communicating Cannabis Use Before Surgery featuring Deondra Asike, MD

On June 18, 2024, the Association of Cannabinoid Specialists was proud to host the symposium “Communicating Cannabis Use Before Surgery”, featuring Deondra Asike, MD, double board certified in anesthesiology and pain medicine.  In this symposium, Dr. Asike discusses the risks associated with cannabis use before surgery.

To watch the recording of the symposium, click here.

Dr. Asike began her talk with a clinical scenario featuring the case of a 55-year-old male, and asks the audience what they would want to know about the man prior to his going under general anesthesia.  Among many answers, the main question she asked was “Do you use alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, or herbal supplements?”  Why do we need to know this?

There are various physiologic effects of cannabis.  Dr. Asike takes some time to defines cannabinoids, cannabis-based medicines, and cannabis products.  She then discusses acute use and chronic use, and the physiological effects of cannabis on the central nervous system, cardiovascular system, respiratory system, gastrointestinal system, hematological system, and thermoregulation.

There are also important anesthetic considerations related to cannabis use.  Do any medications interact with cannabis?  A useful cannabinoid-drug interaction can be found here.  Adjustments to amount of anesthesia required should not need to be made for cannabis users.  Cannabis use via inhalation should be stopped within 72 hours of general anesthesia, as it can cause long-lasting heart rate effects.  There is insufficient evidence to suggest that non-smoked routes of administration or CBD dominant products adversely affect the cardiovascular or respiratory systems.

Dr. Asike’s presentation was made even more enjoyable through her interaction with the audience, using voting tools to test the audience on their knowledge of various questions about anesthesia and cannabis.  She also opened the floor to questions at the end of the discussion for audience members to participate.

All patients should be asked about cannabis use.  Post-op pain management considerations should be discussed with those with a history of heavy or chronic cannabis use.

To watch the recording of the symposium, click here.

To take Dr. Asike's course Approach to Cannabis and Anesthesia, click here.