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What weed smokers need to know before going into surgery

One day in 2016, Jennie awoke to sharp pain and a tugging sensation on the left side of her jaw — “like my jaw was being pulled off my head,” she recalls — along with the firm pressure of hands holding her mouth agape. She opened her eyes just enough to see human silhouettes hovering over her. Her body felt heavy, but also like it was floating; she tried to lift her arms, but all she could do was wriggle. What was going on? she wondered, scared.

“She’s waking up,” a male voice said. It was around then that Jennie remembered: She was in the dentist’s office, getting her wisdom teeth pulled. She must have awoken during the procedure. Almost as soon as she realized what was happening, the anesthesia pulled her back into sleep.

Jennie had been smoking weed at least once a day for the past four years. She smoked with her fiancГ© the day of her wisdom tooth extraction. “I had no idea it was going to affect the anesthesia,” says the 35-year-old, who lives in Arizona. (She requested that Mic publish only her first name out of concern for the legal repercussions of her weed use, since Arizona prohibits recreational cannabis.) Indeed, as legalization sweeps across the country, evidence has emerged that regular marijuana users need more anesthesia for surgery than non-users to ensure they become, and stay, sedated and don’t awaken mid-procedure. In plain, very urgent, English: If you consume cannabis on the reg, you need to let your doctor know before you go under for surgery.

Along with anecdotal reports, a 2019 study found that patients who reported smoking weed or ingesting edibles on a daily or weekly basis needed more than double the amount of the anesthetic propofol for endoscopic procedures (like colonoscopies) than non-users. They also needed 19.6% more midazolam and 14% more fentanyl.

Why marijuana increases your need for anesthesia remains unclear, largely because of its status as a federally illegal drug, which makes it difficult to research, Jeffrey Uppington, an anesthesiologist at UC Davis Medical Center, tells Mic. It’s possible that compounds in weed called cannabinoids — which tetrahydrocannabinol (THC, which is responsible for making you feel high) — affect the same receptors in the brain and spinal cord as anesthesia drugs do.

But, “that’s more speculation than we really know,” Uppington says. “The bottom line is, if you’re a chronic user of marijuana, you are more resistant to anesthetics, both those that put you to sleep, like propofol, and those that keep you asleep, like various anesthesia gases.”

Thanks to modern-day monitors that measure brain waves and other vitals, an anesthesiologist can likely spot when a patient is about to awaken and give them more drugs before they reach that point, Uppington says. But even if you don’t wake up during a procedure, you can still have issues. If you routinely smoke weed, your airway might be more reactive during anesthesia. You might cough more, experience bronchial spasms, and/or have a more active gag reflex, which is a problem if you need to be intubated, as with general anesthesia (the kind that puts you to sleep).

“If you’re a chronic user of marijuana, you are more resistant to anesthetics, both those that put you to sleep, like propofol, and those that keep you asleep, like various anesthesia gases.”

After surgery, you might also experience more pain, which may nudge you toward using more opioids and increase your risk of addiction to these substances, says David Hepner, the medical director of the Weiner Center for Preoperative Evaluation at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and an associate professor of anaesthesia at Harvard Medical School.

High doses of anesthesia also carry risks, such as causing significant drops in blood pressure, which may lead to a heart attack in at-risk patients, They may also delay awakening, Hepner tells Mic. For instance, propofol usually wears off in about five to 10 minutes but a marijuana user who requires a higher dose may take longer to awaken, delaying them from resuming their normal, day-to-day life.

Jennie’s wisdom tooth extraction left her so groggy that she needed to be transported to her car by wheelchair, and she doesn’t remember anything from the 45-minute ride home. As her fiancГ© drove, she drifted in and out of sleep, and didn’t feel like herself again for another three hours. In contrast, a friend she drove home after a dental procedure was a little groggy, but could walk to his car and felt fine when he got home, probably because he wasn’t a cannabis user, and therefore didn’t require as much anesthesia.

The amount of cannabis you need to consume for it increase your resistance to anesthesia remains unclear, though. Determining this threshold is tricky, thanks to the varying concentrations of THC from one product to the next, how long you hold the smoke in your lungs, and the many other variables involved, Uppington says. But it’s probably safe to say that using cannabis every day for a few years is more likely to affect your response to anesthesia than using it just once.

If you do smoke cannabis regularly, tell your anesthesiologist how much and how often, as well as the last time you smoked, Uppington says. They can then assess whether your use could increase your risk of being resistant to anesthesia and make adjustments accordingly.

While disclosing your weed use may feel embarrassing or even dangerous, remember that your doctor’s job isn’t to judge you, Hepner says. “We just want to understand the health of the patient and how the body may react to different medications to give them the most pain-free procedure.” He adds that it’s also important to mention any other substances or medications you’re taking, since they, too, may react with the anesthesia. Since physicians take an oath to protect patient confidentiality, they wouldn’t disclose your use of cannabis or other substances to your family, law enforcement, or anyone other than the medical professionals directly involved in your care.

No matter how often you consume cannabis, though, don’t use it at all on the day of your procedure, Hepner says. Taking an edible on the same day poses the added risk of inhaling it, which may result in a life-threatening lung infection called aspiration pneumonia. And if you come into the clinic high AF, you can pretty much count on your surgery being cancelled. Uppington recommends hitting pause for as many days as you can before your surgery, ideally a month, which is how long it takes for cannabis to be fully removed from the body.

Awakening mid-wisdom tooth extraction was eye-opening for Jennie. Since her doctor didn’t ask her specifically about her drug use, and she didn’t think smoking weed wouldn’t matter for her surgery, she didn’t mention it; in fact, she worried that if she did, she wouldn’t be allowed to undergo the procedure. “In the future, I would definitely inform my doctor of my cannabis use,” she says.

This article was originally published on Jan. 31, 2020

One day in 2016, Jennie awoke to sharp pain and a tugging sensation on the left side of her jaw — "like my jaw was being pulled off my head," she recalls — along with the firm pressure of hands holding her mouth agape. She opened her eyes just…

Smoking Weed after Tooth Extraction

Smoking Weed two to three hours after Tooth Extraction is fairly Safe

An individual can smoke weed within a period of three to four hours after tooth extraction (however it is recommended to wait for at least 6-9 hours after the surgery). Smoking can cause irritation at the site. Edibles (swallowing edibles) would be a much safer choice. Marijuana use remains more effective when smoked (faster effects) rather than ingested (time-delayed effects). Most cannabis smokers would smoke a few hours after the extractions with no negative consequences, yet this is not advised. Negative effects associated with smoking shortly after extraction are not harmful to an individual as long as an individual chews certain edibles and rinsing the mouth with saline mouth cleaner. Weed, scientifically known as Cannabis sativa, is a plant species of the Cannabiceae family. It contains a chemical compound known as delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) associated with the effects experienced after smoking the dried leaves and flowers. Weed users often ask, “Can I smoke weed after tooth extraction?” Well, weed smoking affects the oral health of the smokers as it contains carcinogens although the effects are not harmful. During dental care procedures such as tooth extraction, an individual experiences acute anxiety, dysphoria and psychotic-like paranoiac thoughts. Use of marijuana makes an individual comfortable and does not experience these effects. Although use of weed is not directly harmful, it can delay recovery time if not done under certain oral hygiene conditions. Smoking weed shortly has positive effects to an individual such as relieving stress, reducing inflammation and pain. The chemical toxins found in marijuana mainly contribute positively to the well-being of an individual smoking shortly after tooth pull. Rinsing the mouth thoroughly with a mouthwash helps in preventing any infection associated with smoking. Smoking softly after two hours does not harm an individual since the smoking mechanism involves creation of a vacuum in the mouth creating pressure. To answer the question “Can you smoke weed after tooth extraction”, you need to understand that weed effects on an individual are not harmful after tooth removal. Weed smoking after tooth surgery remains safe through observing proper dental care such as rinsing mouth with saline solution and chewing certain edibles. Therefore, an individual can safely smoke weed within one hour.

It is Safe Smoking Marijuana 2 to 3 hours after Tooth Extraction

Normally after dental surgery, a clot develops immediately in the socket left in the socket marking the start of the process of recovery. Proper care of the wound means that an individual can smoke weed shortly after extraction. Minimal disruption at the wounded socket hastens the recovery process. If an individual avoids disrupting the site within the first hour after surgery, then the clot formed is firm within two hours and an individual can smoke. Any source of pressure in the mouth affects the recovery process. Smokers can avoid smoking within one hour as the clot firms and they can start smoking within two hours without exerting unnecessary pressure to the site. The effects of the smoke after dental surgery remain the main determinant of time taken to recover. After dental surgery, it is advisable an individual quits smoking marijuana for approximately two to three hours. Immediate use of marijuana after dental surgery remains safe if done after washing the mouth with saline solution. Marijuana boosts the healing process through relieving pain and stress to an individual. It also boosts the effectiveness of the applied pre-surgery anesthetics, which could result protection of the clot after dental surgery.

Careful Smoking should not cause an infection after Tooth Extraction

Through proper oral care, an individual can smoke within two to three hours after tooth extraction. Although the act of smoking is associated with dislodgement of the newly formed clot, smoking after two hours is not harmful. Proper hygiene after extraction such as rinsing the mouth with saline solution reduces the probability of getting an infection and one can smoke shortly after the procedure. Proper hygiene prevents infection and use of saline solution reduces risks of infection at the wound. Some of the infections that affect people after removal include; chronic osteomyelitis, painful dry socket and an infection referred to as pericoronal. Symptoms associated with these infections after surgery include; increased fever, swelling of the socket and pain. Observing proper oral hygiene through washing the mouth with saline solution makes smoking weed safe after two to three hours.

The best strain after tooth extraction is Harlequin:

Smoking Weed Enhances the healing process of the extraction site

After extraction, the area forms an empty socket. The socket is required to fill automatically with the clot, but smoking weed facilitates the healing process reducing pain, inflammation and discomfort after extraction (just make sure to properly rinse your mouth after smoking). Clot formation curbs bleeding after tooth pull and marks the beginning of the healing of the site. An individual is required to flush the site gently with a saline solution shortly after surgery. Chewing some specific edibles helps the clot formed at the site to become firm hastening the recovery time. Smoking helps blood veins and arteries in the delivery of oxygen and vital nutrients at the site following extraction as blood pressure of an individual increases slightly. Increased intake of these vital materials at the site reduces the time taken to heal. It also boosts the innate and affect immune responses in turn compromising the functioning of neutrophils in a positive way. It is evident that proper mouth hygiene after extraction affects the time of recovery of oral tissues hence the major determinant of the time one can smoke weed. Therefore, an individual can smoke weed after two to three hours after tooth extraction.

Another great strain after tooth extraction is AC/DC 2.0:

Reducing Unnecessary Pressure Associated with Smoking Mechanism is safe

After tooth removal, the physician dresses the wound at the site of the tooth extracted. An individual can smoke without necessarily applying pressure at the site through smoking softly. When smoking, an individual creates a vacuum in the mouth and creates pressure. The pressure causes dislodgement of the formed clot, thus delaying the recovery time. It affects the dressing applied by the dentist as well as the formation of clots. An individual can start smoking after two hours but should not exert too much pressure at the site.

One more awesome strain after tooth extraction is Charlottes Web 2.0:

Smoke Weed Within two to three hours After Tooth Extraction

So, can you smoke weed after getting a tooth pulled? Weed use, especially when smoked, is not harmful to an individual if done within two hours after extraction. Smoking facilitates the recovery process reducing unnecessary pain. Individuals wait for at least two to three hours before smoking. The faster it takes one to wash the mouth with saline solution following tooth extraction, the faster the recovery time as the clot forms faster without interference. An individual can smoke earlier than the required period, but must rinse the mouth with warm water containing salt. Rinsing the mouth guarantees that an individual will not get an infection because it does not interfere with the wound and the nerves. The recommended time before smoking is two to three hours and the time facilitates clot formation and inception of the recovery process. The advisable time is usually two hours, although it may take three hours in cases of multiple surgical tooth extractions such as cases of wisdom tooth removal. The recovery period varies depending on an individual’s immune system and the level of surgery and smoking does not affect the recovery period.

Buy Sativa Cannabis or check Mail Order Cannabis after Tooth Extraction. Smoking weed after tooth removal is not harmful and is advisable after at least two to three hours after the extraction. Delaying weed use for two to three hours helps the recovery process of the wound. The chemical toxins found in marijuana facilitate the recovery process as they reduce pain and inflammation. Rinsing the mouth with saline solution avoids development of dry socket reducing foul mouth smell and the site becomes less painful. Smoking softly within two to three hours remains safe and preserves the newly formed clot, facilitating the initial recovery process. Preserving the clot reduces the risk of developing painful dry socket, reduces recovery time, and reduces risks of developing an infection. The main reason why smoking is advisable immediately after extraction within two to three hours is reduced pain and inflammation. The best way to recover fast after extraction is to observe proper mouth hygiene through washing with saline solution and an individual can smoke within a period of two to three hours.

Smoking Weed after Tooth Extraction Smoking Weed two to three hours after Tooth Extraction is fairly Safe An individual can smoke weed within a period of three to four hours after tooth