Public Health and Primary CareBrief Report

Effects of Cannabis Use on Sedation Requirements for Endoscopic Procedures

Mark A. Twardowski, DO; Margaret M. Link, MSN, RN, CRNI; and Nicole M. Twardowski, BS
Notes and Affiliations
Notes and Affiliations

Received: November 26, 2018

Accepted: January 21, 2019

Published: April 15, 2019

J Osteopath Med; 119(5): 307-311

Context: Cannabis (or marijuana) became legal for recreational use in Colorado in 2012, and this legislation change has created both challenges and opportunities in medicine. More patients are using cannabis, and more patients are now willing to admit cannabis use than in the past, which increases the likelihood that they will be forthcoming about use during medical questioning. Cannabis use may have implications during medical care, including procedural sedation.

Objectives: To determine whether regular cannabis use had any effect on the dose of medication needed for sedation during endoscopic procedures.

Methods: A total of 250 medical records were reviewed from 1 endoscopy center and 1 endoscopist to minimize the variability in sedation technique for the study purposes. The cohort was reviewed with regard to age and gender to determine whether differences were present among different groups as to the relative amount of sedation medication required in cannabis users vs nonusers.

Results: Medical records from 250 patients were reviewed, and researchers found that compared with people who did not regularly use cannabis, people who regularly used cannabis required an amount of sedation for endoscopic procedures that was significantly higher (P=.05). The statistical significance persisted when adjusted for age, sex, and use of alcohol, benzodiazepines, and opiates.

Conclusions: Determining cannabis use before procedural sedation can be an important tool for planning patient care and assessing both medication needs and possible risks related to increased dosage requirements during endoscopic procedures.

Read Full Article