Folks who regularly use weed could be in for a rocky road if they ever require major surgery, a new study reports.
Frequent marijuana users tend to experience more pain as they recover from surgery, and they require more opioid drugs (like morphine) to deal with that pain, the researchers found.
“It’s not an enormous amount of additional pain compared to non-users, we found, but we can’t say don’t worry about it because it’s not too much,” said lead researcher Dr. Elyad Ekrami. He is a clinical research fellow with the Cleveland Clinic’s Anesthesiology Institute. “They needed more opioids to cure their pain, so this is something that is meaningful.”
The researchers presented their findings Sunday at the annual meeting of the American Society of Anesthesiologists, held in New Orleans.
Marijuana legalization is expanding across the United States, with recreational use approved in 19 states and medical use in 37 states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.