Updated on March 9, 2024

Can You Take CBD Before And After Surgery?

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Key takeaways

  • Taking CBD before surgery can interfere with how medications work including anesthesia.
  • CBD has anticoagulant properties which may lead to excessive bleeding during and after surgery.
  • Scientists and doctors are yet to fully understand how CBD works and interacts with medications.
  • CBD products should be stopped two weeks prior to surgery.

CBD has gained popularity as a go-to pain reliever, thanks to its minimal side effects and its modulatory effect on the endocannabinoid system. Research indicates that many individuals have shifted away from over-the-counter pain medications, such as opioids, in favor of CBD and other hemp-based products. While there are research papers highlighting its analgesic properties, many people are curious about whether they can safely use CBD before or after surgery to promote wound healing and manage pain. This article aims to address the question of the safety of using CBD in the pre- and post-surgery periods.

Can I take CBD before surgery?

No, taking CBD before any form of surgery may be fatal for the following reasons;

  1. Scientists and doctors are yet to fully understand how CBD works.
  2. CBD is unregulated and there is a high chance of product contamination. The current state of the CBD industry is like the Wild West of supplements, and without truly scientific data, we must err on the side of caution.
  3. No recommended dosage since we react different to CBD.
  4. CBD has anticoagulant properties which may lead to excessive bleeding during and after surgery
  5. CBD may interfere with the activities of anesthesia.

Can I take CBD after surgery?

Depending on the type of surgery, your physician might recommend painkillers to manage discomfort. However, individuals who prefer non-pharmaceutical alternatives for pain relief may consider turning to natural options like CBD following surgery.

While CBD may offer some calming effects that appear beneficial for post-operative pain, its acknowledged blood-thinning properties could potentially complicate the healing process if taken immediately after surgical procedures. To ensure safety, it is advisable to wait a few days after surgery before reintroducing CBD into your system.

When should I stop taking CBD before a surgery?

It is recommended to discontinue the use of CBD products at least two weeks before undergoing surgery. This precaution is advised to minimize potential risks and complications associated with CBD, as the compound may interact with anesthesia, other medications administered during surgery, or affect blood clotting.

Ceasing the use of CBD in advance allows for a more stable baseline before the surgical procedure. This break helps healthcare professionals better gauge and manage potential interactions, ensuring a smoother and safer surgical experience.

Patients are encouraged to communicate openly with their healthcare providers about their CBD usage, as well as any other supplements or medications they are taking. This transparency enables the medical team to tailor preoperative instructions and postoperative care to the individual's specific needs, promoting a more effective and secure recovery process.

Can I smoke hemp before surgery?

No, smoking marijuana, or cigarettes before surgery can lead to fatal effects. Smoke of any kind in the lungs can lead to respiratory distress, and marijuana itself can interfere with anesthesia, leading to a higher risk of pneumonia after surgery and a higher risk of airway emergencies. Much like nicotine, smoking marijuana before or after surgery delays the healing process and causes poor scarring of your surgical sites. If you live somewhere where marijuana is legal, edibles are a better choice for eliminating the respiratory problems, however, be sure not to eat past the allowed time before surgery.

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Vivace, B. J., Sanders, A. N., Glassman, S. D., Carreon, L. Y., Laratta, J. L., & Gum, J. L. (2021). Cannabinoids and orthopedic surgery: A systematic review of therapeutic studies. Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Research, 16. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13018-021-02205-y

Copeland-Halperin, L. R., Herrera-Gomez, L. C., LaPier, J. R., Shank, N., & Shin, J. H. (2021). The Effects of Cannabis: Implications for the Surgical Patient. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Global Open, 9(3). https://doi.org/10.1097/GOX.0000000000003448

Ladha, K. S., McLaren-Blades, A., Goel, A., Buys, M. J., Farquhar-Smith, P., Haroutounian, S., Kotteeswaran, Y., Kwofie, K., Le Foll, B., Lightfoot, N. J., Loiselle, J., Mace, H., Nicholls, J., Regev, A., Rosseland, L. A., Shanthanna, H., Sinha, A., Sutherland, A., Tanguay, R., . . . Clarke, H. (2020). Perioperative Pain and Addiction Interdisciplinary Network (PAIN): Consensus recommendations for perioperative management of cannabis and cannabinoid-based medicine users by a modified Delphi process. British Journal of Anaesthesia, 126(1), 304-318. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bja.2020.09.026

Li, Z. I., Chalem, I., Berzolla, E., Vasavada, K. D., DeClouette, B., Kaplan, K. M., & Alaia, M. J. (2023). Perceptions and Opinions on Cannabidiol in the Orthopaedic Sports Medicine Community. Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine. https://doi.org/10.1177/23259671231191766

The content on Nesa's Hemp blog is for educational purposes only. We meticulously research and cite our sources, but advise consulting a professional before making decisions based on our information. We derive our content from reputable studies and publications, but individual circumstances may vary. We cannot guarantee the accuracy or applicability of our content to every situation. Nesa's Hemp blog and its authors are not liable for any loss or inconvenience resulting from reliance on our information. By using our blog, you waive any claims against us regarding the accuracy or completeness of our content.

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