Editorial  |   April 2020
Cannabis Use Disorder and Surgery: A Budding Problem?
Author Notes
  • From the Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine (M.C.B.), and the Center for Drug Safety and Effectiveness (M.C.B.) and Department of Health Policy and Management (E.E.M.), Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland.
  • This editorial accompanies the article on page 625.
    This editorial accompanies the article on page 625.×
  • Accepted for publication December 17, 2019. Published online first on February 11, 2020.
    Accepted for publication December 17, 2019. Published online first on February 11, 2020.×
  • Address correspondence to Dr. Bicket: bicket@jhmi.edu
Article Information
Editorial / Airway Management / Cardiovascular Anesthesia / Central and Peripheral Nervous Systems / Critical Care / Infectious Disease / Pain Medicine / Patient Safety / Pharmacology / Renal and Urinary Systems / Electrolyte Balance / Respiratory System / Thoracic Anesthesia / Advocacy and Legislative Issues / Quality Improvement / Opioid
Editorial   |   April 2020
Cannabis Use Disorder and Surgery: A Budding Problem?
Anesthesiology 4 2020, Vol.132, 612-613. doi:https://doi.org/10.1097/ALN.0000000000003135
Anesthesiology 4 2020, Vol.132, 612-613. doi:https://doi.org/10.1097/ALN.0000000000003135
For many anesthesiologists, discussions with patients and colleagues about cannabis have been occurring more often. Cannabis, also called marijuana, contains various components that activate the endocannabinoid system, including delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), both of which have been topics of national discourse.1,2  The need for better evidence regarding the effects of cannabis and its various cannabinoid and noncannabinoid components that impact the health of patients is especially heightened as cannabis is increasingly viewed by patients as an alternative to opioids. One question relevant to the anesthesiology community is whether patients who have a diagnosis of active cannabis use disorder have an increased risk of negative outcomes after surgery. Here, it is important to differentiate use of cannabis from cannabis use disorder, in which patients have problems from cannabis use that lead to “significant impairment or distress” such as cravings, tolerance, or withdrawal.3