Cannabis Considerations when preparing for Surgery

Happy September!

This month, our focus is on going Back to School. To kick things off, we’re offering an amazing 40% discount on all Holistic Caring Patient Programs and all of the career development programs in our Professional Library. This includes our brand new Psychedelics as Medicine Program with 6 CEUs for Nurses! Just use the code SCHOOL40 to save 40%, so bookmark it and enroll whenever you’re ready to learn this month!

In addition, September is the time when elective surgeries that may have been postponed during the summer months resume. If you’re a cannabis user, you might have questions about how to prepare for surgery with respect to cannabis. While many people are aware that they need to gradually reduce their other medication intake before surgery, what about cannabis?

THC, the primary active compound in cannabis, is highly lipid soluble, meaning it can linger in the body’s fat cells for a while. Preoperative testing may screen for THC, and it can be detected in the blood for up to 10 days. If you want to completely clear your system of THC and you’re a chronic user (using daily), it may take around 30 days.

However, it’s important to note that complete clearance isn’t always necessary, as the level of risk varies and concerns about maintaining an open airway are the most significant. When smoking cannabis, there is a risk of bronchitis, throat and lung irritation, and coughing. If a patient wakes up and coughs after surgery, it can put the surgical incisions at risk of tearing due to the force exerted. Additionally, with anesthesia an artificial airway is inserted, and it needs to be placed without any interference from mucous or other irritants from smoking.

For cannabis users, it is generally recommended to abstain from cannabis for at least 1 week or 7 days prior to surgery. Heavy users should consider cutting down or abstaining from smoking, and individuals using tinctures, edibles, or oils should reduce their dosing as much as possible. This not only helps protect the airway but also ensures proper metabolism of medications. Cannabinoids can interact with other drugs, and research suggests that regular cannabis users may require higher levels of anesthesia.

It’s important to note that research on anesthesia use for cannabis users is still in its early stages, and there are conflicting studies. Therefore, the approach needs to be individualized, and open discussions between the patient and healthcare provider are crucial.

If you’re a cannabis user considering surgery, we invite you to join our next monthly Clinical Conversation, where we will feature a presentation by Nurse Anesthetist Daniel King, DNP, MNA, APRN, CRNA, CPPS.
Wednesday, September 13th, at 12pm PST on the Green Nurse YouTube Channel!
Clinical Conversations are also streamed LIVE on the HC & GN Facebook page.
Blessings to you all, and we’ll see you in the Network!



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September 6th, 5 PM PST
“The Green Nurse Podcast Honoring the Authors of Courage in Cannabis – Dr. Nique Pichette”
Green Nurse YouTube Channel!


September 13th, 12PM PST
“Clinical Conversations: Cannabis Concepts in Anesthesiology w/ Dr. Daniel King”
Green Nurse YouTube Channel!


September 13th, 4:30 PM PST
Positively Processing Perception Workshop

Join us at the Positively Processing Perception workshop, a safe and supportive environment dedicated to exploring the transformative power of our perceptions, thoughts, emotions, and triggers. This free workshop takes place every other Wednesday night from 4:30pm to 5:30pm PST.


September 20th, 5 PM PST
The Green Nurse Podcast w/ Nurse Katie McCarthy.
Come meet one of our newest Nurse Leader at Holistic Caring and The Green Nurse!!


20th REUNION & HOPE FUNDRAISER – Sunday October 8th, 2023, 2-5pm
Nurse Katie and her classmates of 20 years are having a fundraiser in honor of their classmate Amanda who is kicking breast cancer!! Join us on October 8th at a fundraiser event at Lucky’s 777 Tavern Bar & Grille. We will be there in person and all proceeds will go to Cancer Patient Treatments at Holistic Caring Inc.
Location: Lucky’s 777 Tavern Bar & Grill
Event Brite – Reunion of Hope
Facebook – Reunion of Hope

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