Are You Wondering “Can I Take CBD Oil Before Surgery”?
As Cannabidiol or CBD oils continue to move more into the mainstream many people are curious to know, “Can I take CBD oil before surgery?” Considering that CBD is often touted by medical professionals and users alike for its anti-inflammatory effects as well as its ability to ease symptoms related to chronic pain or anxiety, it is easy to assume that CBD would be beneficial to a person who is getting ready to undergo surgery.
“Can I take CBD oil before surgery?” is a question that is coming with increasing frequency in doctor’s offices. However, the answer to this question is not that simple or straightforward. In fact, it can get quite complex. Let’s take a deep dive to learn more about CBD oil, surgery, and safety.
People Can Benefit From CBD For Various Reasons
It is natural that people that benefit from CBD’s anti-anxiety actions on a daily basis would consider it for managing anxiety before surgery. There is a lot of evidence to support that CBD does alleviate symptoms of anxiety. For example, a study in the Journal of Psychopharmacology found that CBD was helpful in decreasing anxiety levels in individuals with a social anxiety disorder (SAD).
When compared to the results of individuals who were given a placebo, the study found the group that was given CBD experienced significantly decreased subjective anxiety. In the same study brain scans showed that CBD regulated chemical uptake and blood flow to the brain. As a result, researchers believe that CBD can be helpful for people with anxiety disorders because it impacts the CB1 cannabinoid receptors in the brain, as well as modifies the signaling process of the feel-good chemical receptors serotonin.
However, it is very important to note that just because CBD has demonstrated these benefits, does not mean that it doesn’t also come with its share of potential risks, especially in relation to taking it too close to the time of surgery. Doctors are still learning about all the complex actions of CBD oil, and we still have a lot more to learn.
Why You Need to Ask “Can I Take CBD Oil Before Surgery?”
Possible Anticoagulant Effects of CBD
One of the biggest reasons things that should give one pause when they are deciding “Can I take CBD oil before surgery” is CBD’s mild anticoagulant effects. An anticoagulant means that it inhibits the coagulation of the blood. This is concerning, as research indicates that CBD can potentially increase bleeding after surgery, as well as slow down wound healing.
Furthermore, it is especially dangerous for individuals on any blood thinner medication. If you take any type of anticoagulant (blood thinner medication) it is very important that you avoid taking CBD or any other cannabis-derived products well in advance of your surgery. Taking CBD in conjunction with anticoagulant medication prior to surgery could cause some pretty scary complications that could endanger your health, or put your life at risk.
Increasing Effects of Other Medications
When one takes CBD or any medication for that matter, it passes to the digestive system and then to the liver. It is here that an enzymatic pathway, known as the cytochrome P450 (CYP450) family of enzymes, metabolizes the medication ingested. These CYP450 liver enzymes process approximately 60% of all medications including blood thinners such as the drug Warfarin.
When combined with CBD the rate at which these medications metabolize or break down by the liver slows. Researchers theorize that taking CBD along with other pharmaceutical medications broken down by this family of enzymes may increase both the concentration and side effects of the drug.
Anesthetic Risks of CBD Use
Another major risk factor to consider is what is typically known as anesthetic risk. There are many variables to consider including one’s medical history, current medications, the current state of health, and the type of surgery you will be undergoing. It is difficult to predict exactly how the body reacts to CBD. That’s because there is a wide range of bodies when it comes to cannabis users.
There are many different ways to consume cannabis and the number of cannabinoids including CBD will vary depending on the type of cannabis product and the manner in which it was consumed. For example, there is a vast difference. There is not adequate evidence to conclusively state that cannabis alone increases one’s anesthetic risk. However, we recommended that one abstain from using cannabis products or CBD for as long as possible before their surgery.
Disclose Use of CBD Oil Before Surgery
The Royal Victoria Regional Health Center of Canada recommends as follows: Oral dosing in the form of tinctures should cease at least 4 hours prior to surgery, whereas smoking, vaping, or consuming edibles should cease at least 12 hours before surgery. This is not a hard and fast rule. Many doctors recommend abstaining from all cannabis use for a minimum of 48 hours prior to surgery. Under no circumstances should anyone intoxicated receive an anesthetic for non-emergency surgery. It is essential that you disclose your history of cannabis use to your anesthesiologist for the sake of your own personal safety.
Another reason to disclose your history with cannabis and CBD is due to the fact that this may cause you to need more anesthesia and a higher dose of pain medication than patients that are not cannabis users. One study, authored by Dr. Ian Holmen, an anesthesiology resident at the University of Colorado found a link between CBD and increased pain during surgery.
While CBD may be very beneficial for alleviating certain types of pain, it is not as effective when it comes to acute pain, such as one might experience during surgery to fix an injury such as a broken bone. The study found that patients who used cannabis prior to surgery wound up reporting higher pain levels and required more opiate pain medication as well as anesthesia.
Finding Out if the Answer to “Can I Take CBD Oil Before Surgery?” is YES
So what is the best way to answer the question, “Can I take CBD oil before surgery?” Our advice is to talk to your doctor well in advance of your surgery and follow their recommendations to the letter. Some patients may still carry some fear or shame around disclosing the fact that they use CBD or cannabis with their doctor. For years cannabis users felt stigmatized or fearful that disclosing their use of this herb could bring down harsh consequences from law enforcement. Fortunately, since cannabis was legalized in the state of Nevada in 2016, and legalization efforts continue to expand across the country, there is more acceptance and understanding of CBD and cannabis users than ever before.
Your anesthesiologist and doctor have a responsibility to protect you, and they are not able to do that if they don’t have all the information they need to make the best-informed decisions when it comes to your care. It is absolutely understandable that you would want to reach for CBD to alleviate some of the anxiety you may be feeling as the date of your surgery approaches. But, as you can see, several risk factors associated with CBD and surgery must be addressed.
Until cannabis and CBD are able to be studied more extensively, we simply don’t have enough information that supports the safety of taking CBD prior to surgery. If you’re struggling with overwhelming feelings of anxiety, as your doctor if there are alternatives to CBD that could alleviate this for you. Sometimes non-medication-based therapy such as meditation, reiki, or hypnosis can help to alleviate your feelings of anxiety without any risk of side effects or risks to your health and safety.
Got An Upcoming Surgery? Talk to Your Doc!
So if you have an upcoming surgery scheduled, be sure to disclose to your doctor and anesthesiologist any medications or supplements you may be taking, including CBD. Honor the timeframe that they instruct you to abstain from cannabis and CBD. It should be safe to resume taking CBD once you’ve healed from surgery, so long as there haven’t been any complications, or you aren’t taking medication that is contraindicated with CBD. Be sure to discuss your plans with your doctor as well. Your entire surgical team will want you to have the safest and best experience possible. Disclosing what medications and substances are part of your regular routine is essential for ensuring your safety.
About Experience Premium Cannabis
Experience Premium Cannabis (aka EPC) is a homegrown cannabis product producer in Las Vegas, Nevada. We make solventless products that are good for people and good for the planet. Additionally, we embrace niches in the medical and recreational cannabis market that others ignore or reject. Temple ball hash fan? Concentrate connoisseur? Looking for a specific concentration of CBD and/or cannabis ratio tinctures? You got it!
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