The researches find that the  a pioneer in creating new policies to deal with the drug. Now the state’s surgeons, nurses and anesthesiologists are becoming pioneers of a different sort in understanding what weed may do to patients who go under the knife. Therefore Their observations and initial research show that marijuana use may affect patients’ responses to anesthesia on the operating table and, depending on the patient’s history of using the drug, either help or hinder their symptoms afterward in the recovery room. Colorado makes for an interesting laboratory.

Surgeons, nurses and anesthesiologists

Since the state legalized marijuana for medicine in 2000 and allowed for its recreational sale in 2014; more Coloradans are using it and they may also be more willing to tell their doctors about it. But Roughly 17% of Coloradans said they used marijuana in the previous 30 days in 2017; but according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health; more than double the 8% who reported doing so in 2006. By comparison, just 9% of U.S. residents said they used marijuana in 2017.

“It has been destigmatize here in Colorado;” said Dr. Andrew Monte, an associate professor of emergency medicine and medical toxicology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and UC Health. “We’re ahead of the game in terms of our ability to talk to patients about it. We’re also ahead of the game in identifying complications associate with use.” One small study of Colorado patients publish in May found marijuana users required more than triple the amount of one common sedation medicine, propofol; as did nonusers.

Professor of emergency medicine

Those findings and anecdotal reports are prompting additional questions from the study’s author; Dr. Mark Twardowski, and others in the state’s medical field: If pot users indeed need more anesthesia, are there increased risks for breathing problems during minor procedures? Are there higher costs with the use of more medication, if a second or third bottle of anesthesia must be routinely opened? And what does regular cannabis use mean for recovery post-surgery?

It’s even difficult to quantify how many of the estimated 800,000 to 1 million anesthesia procedures that are performed in Colorado each year involve marijuana users, according to Dr. Joy Hawkins; a professor of anesthesiology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and president of the Colorado Society of Anesthesiologists. Because The Colorado Hospital Association said it doesn’t track anesthesia needs or costs specific to marijuana users.

As more states legalize cannabis to varying degrees, discussions about the drug are happening elsewhere; too. On a national level; the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists; recently updated its clinical guidelines to highlight potential risks for and needs of marijuana users. American Society of Anesthesiologists spokeswoman Theresa Hill said that the use of marijuana in managing pain is a topic under discussion but that more research is needed. This year, it endorsed a federal bill calling for fewer regulatory barriers on marijuana research.