Smoking Cannabis After Surgery: The Pros and Cons
There are lots of reasons why you might want to smoke cannabis after surgery, but the driving one is usually the desire to relieve pain.
Cannabis is widely noted as an effective pain reliever that may be preferable to many synthetic or opioid-related drugs. Studies suggest cannabis is much less addictive, and comes with fewer side effects.
People may also want to smoke cannabis in order to return to their pre-surgical lifestyle. If cannabis is a part of your daily routine, you may be eager to get back to your everyday habits. However, there are some precautions to take.
Risks and recovery
There are several risks associated with smoking cannabis immediately after surgery. In general, surgeons prefer your body to be substance-free following a procedure so that if something goes wrong it’s easier for them to figure out the cause.
A few of the major risks to consider are the risk of infection, decreased blood flow, and slower recovery. Smoking cannabis — or tobacco, for that matter — involves ingesting large numbers of particulates. This process can also damage the immune system and create a potentially unhygienic environment.
Additionally, smoking after surgery can cause coughing. This may lead to stitches tearing and cause drains to leak.
These constraints do not apply to someone who wants to take cannabis in some way other than smoking. Cannabis consumed through edibles and oils does not impact the healing process.
However, you may still want to be cautious and careful about using cannabis immediately after surgery, especially if you’re on painkillers. Combined, these substances may affect your overall mood and behavior patterns.
When is smoking safe again?
While different for every procedure, the recovery period for most surgical procedures lasts several weeks. After about a month, when you are able to exercise again, you should be able to be able to start smoking cannabis.
Over time, your wounds will heal up and you will also stop taking pain medication. At this point in the recovery process, there are no extra side effects from the use of cannabis to be worried about.
The bottom line
Recovering after surgery can be a lengthy process, and cannabis can play a big role in making this period more bearable.
While there are risks associated with smoking shortly after surgery, and you should be sure to listen to your doctor’s advice, you can safely use cannabis in other forms to relieve your pain and help get you back to normal.
Written by Laura Chow