For many years now, supporters of cannabis have been trying to lobby for the use of it for pain medicine. But a new study states that cannabis use actually increases pain after surgery and can lead to more opioid use.
1,681 cannabis users were among the 34,521 adult patients whose data were examined who underwent elective surgery at Cleveland Clinic between January 2010 and December 2020. The patients who used cannabis did so within 30 days of their surgery, whereas the non-users had never used the drug.
Compared to patients who never used cannabis, those who did so reported 14% higher pain in the first 24 hours following surgery.
In addition, although the authors emphasize that this finding was not statistically significant, patients who smoked cannabis ingested 7% more opioids following surgery, which is likely clinically meaningful.