Consumers who smoke weed every day may require higher doses of sedation

Published May 4, 2019 01:11 p.m. ET
Canadian Press, Graeme Roy

Cannabis use and culture have been around for thousands of years, but it wasn’t until recently that so much new information was released to the public after being discovered by the scientific community. The illegal status of marijuana kept most in-depth research to a minimum as so few educated professionals across the world were granted permission for trials. Now that cannabis use is legal in many regions internationally there are hundreds of research teams who are actively working away at any given moment towards the next big discovery on the benefits of cannabinoids. This is essential to the future experiences of those who enjoy smoking both recreational weed and medicinal strains and who have no idea of the possible effects of long term use.

Most people assume that when you smoke a joint, it will eventually wear off and from that point, it’s believed to be out of your system. While the psychoactive benefits are time sensitive, the effects as residual traces of THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids remain stored away in the fat tissues throughout the body. This can alter how your body reacts to different types of stimuli, medications, and chemicals including blood pressure medication, insulin, and many other different pharmaceutical treatments. It’s been long thought that smoking marijuana might also influence how effective sedatives are, such as those used in both major and minor surgeries. However, until now, we had no idea the extent of the possible impact on anyone who requires anesthesia or high dosed painkillers could be.

The study was sourced by the American Homeopathic Association who set out to discover the effects of regular cannabis use on the efficacy of midazolam, fentanyl, and propofol which is an IV-solution used for sedation in thousands of routine procedures every single day. Researchers from Colorado followed the medical records of more than 250 people who had undergone endoscopic procedures after the year 2012. What they found was that patients who ingested recreational weed regularly required approximately double the dose of the sedative propofol to achieve the same level of comfort as other non-consumers. They also noticed a similar trend in the other medications on a slightly smaller scale. With cannabis users, approximately 20% more midazolam, 14% more fentanyl, and 222% more of the sedative propofol were needed to soothe patients to a similar extent as non-smokers.

Marijuana has been labelled as a schedule 1 drug for so long, that the medical marijuana community is still far behind in discovering all the necessary information for consumers to make truly informed decisions. This newest revelation should be an awakening for anyone who was originally under the impression that smoking a little recreational weed would do no harm. Can you imagine lying on the bed in the middle of surgery and waking up because your doctor had no idea how much sedative would be enough for you? This is the stuff that nightmares are made of, and the only way to avoid it is to do more research and educated ourselves on all of the ways that cannabinoids interact with not only our natural systems but also other chemical elements that many of us will need at some point in our lives to stay alive. With this incredibly powerful information, anesthesiologists and medical professionals all over the world will have the ability to provide better and more consistent care to their patients which in turn gives us the people more security in the medical industry as a whole and its ability to cater to the needs of those who choose to medicate with cannabis

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