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CRx Magazine
January/February 2023
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Editor's E-Note

Interactions between THC and the drugs used to sedate surgical patients may have significant consequences. Cannabis consumers may not wish to disclose their use to their medical providers, but it’s essential for individuals who will undergo surgery to discuss their cannabis use with their health care team. Emily Kyle, a dietitian and certified holistic cannabis practitioner, reports on what patients and doctors need to know.

In addition to reading our e-newsletter, be sure to visit CRx’s website at www.CRxmag.com.

— Kate Jackson, editor
In This E-Newsletter
E-News Exclusive
Cannabis Use and Anesthesia: What Patients and Doctors Need to Know

By Emily Kyle, MS, RDN, CDN, CLT, HCP

As cannabis legalization becomes widespread throughout the country, so does the number of adults who choose to use cannabis for various medical or recreational purposes. Whether it be monthly, weekly, or daily use, cannabis consumption can have a profound impact on all other aspects of health. And that impact can vary widely from person to person, as different cannabinoids, dosages, and application methods can affect each person differently. Unfortunately, many cannabis consumers choose to keep their use to themselves and not disclose their consumption to their doctors, not realizing that they may be putting themselves in danger. This is especially true when it comes to patients undergoing certain medical procedures, such as surgery or other treatments that require anesthesia.

The Need for Sedation

Surgery is a major part of our American health care system. From mild, noninvasive surgeries for routine problems such as eye or dental issues to large, invasive surgeries that can take hours to complete, these events take place every day. The International Journal of Surgery estimates that more than 310 million major surgeries take place around the world each year, and this doesn’t even account for minor surgeries. Major surgeries are invasive, and patients have a long road to recovery. It’s estimated that 1% to 4% of those who undergo major surgery will die during or after the procedure, and up to 15% will experience significant postoperative morbidity.1

While not guaranteed, there are many lifestyle factors that can influence a patient's chance of survival and recovery success. That’s why many patients are screened for various health and lifestyle factors before a planned surgery. Whether the surgery is major or minor, routine or lifesaving, one goal remains—to keep the patient out of pain and as comfortable as possible. Thankfully, advances in medicine have made that happen thanks to anesthesia.

Other Cannabis News
A New Way to Detect Synthetic Cannabinoids
Synthetic cannabinoids pose health hazards to consumers and a challenge for policy. Scientists from the National University of Singapore have identified the urinary biomarkers of an emerging class of synthetic cannabinoids, making it possible to monitor abuse.

Cannabis and Obesity
There’s been conflicting evidence about the effect of cannabis on weight. Veriheal reports on research suggesting that adult-use legalization is linked to decreased levels of obesity.

The Politics of Cannabis
Efforts to legalize cannabis for recreational use succeeded in Maryland and Missouri but failed in Arkansas, North Dakota, and South Dakota. Time magazine looks at the reasons.

A Cannabis Breath Analyzer
Chemists have come closer to creating a handheld tool that would detect THC on an individual’s breath in much the same way as a Breathalyzer detects alcohol.
Products and Services
Cannabis Information for Youth-Serving Providers
The Cannabis Resource Center, from the Getting Candid: Framing the Conversation Around Youth Substance Use Prevention Initiative, provides facts and resources to have conversations with youth about marijuana. Learn more about cannabis policies, prevention, and treatment, and download state-specific fact sheets, conversation guides, and shareable materials. Learn more »

New Medical Cannabis Book
A Microscopic View of Medical Cannabis: A Handbook for Clinicians, Medical Professionals, Dispensary Staff, and Patients, by Cathie Hiegel, provides protocols and discusses the pros and cons of cannabis treatments for a range of diseases and symptoms. Learn more »
Current Issue
Cannabis and Bone Health
Cannabis may have both negative and positive effects on bone health.

Cannabis for Restless Legs Syndrome
Cannabis may calm the overwhelming urge to move.

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