For years, a lot of the time and in most of the country, when a patient gets asked by their doctor or nurse if they do recreational drugs, they say, “No.” They didn’t want their doctor to narc them out or for it to raise their insurance rates.
However, now when a doctor asks if you do recreational drugs, it’s not clear if cannabis even counts. Because some people use it medically and other places it’s not illegal at all, so it kind of falls into a separate category like alcohol.
Maybe, though, your doctor or nurse should ask that question a little more often, according to a study published in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association. Cannabis can affect your responses to other drugs, including ones which need to act in a pretty specific way like anesthetics.
The study looked at medical from 250 patients undergoing anesthesia for endoscopic procedures. The results indicated that those who use a lot of weed require “a significantly higher” amount of sedation than those who don’t.
While the study is relatively small, it is consistent with what some other physicians have found among their patients.
“There’s an underlying feeling that these patients are perhaps more tolerant to some of the drugs we use and a bit of research it’s finally starting to bear that out,” Dr. Joy Hawkins, a professor of Anesthesiology at the UC School Of Medicine at the Anschutz Medical Campus, told CBS Denver.
The suggestion of the study is a pretty easy ask for medical professionals while more research is done on the subject. “Determining cannabis use before procedural sedation can be an important tool for planning patient care and assessing both medication needs and possible risks related to increased dosage requirements during endoscopic procedures,” it says. In other words: just ask.
Cannabis users, for your part you might be doing yourself a favor if you volunteer that information the next time someone wants to put you under.
Photo via Flickr user J P Davidson