Smoking Marijuana Before My Colonoscopy: You May Not Want To Do It

Smoking Marijuana

There is an increased demand for marijuana because of its prevalence and legalization. Many patients think marijuana use might not be a big deal to mention to their physicians.

Unfortunately, that’s not right because marijuana has various effects on the body and anesthesia medicines.

Can I smoke marijuana on the day of my colonoscopy? No, as it will interfere with other drugs, your anesthesiologist will give you. You will be given powerful medication that will provide you with enough sedation to guarantee your safety and comfort during the procedure.

In this article, you will learn more about the effect of marijuana during a procedure, especially a colonoscopy.

It is essential to know the effect of adding marijuana to your prescribed anesthesia.

Marijuana Affecting the Type and Amount of Anesthesia

When it comes to marijuana, when, how often, and how much you use it can affect how your body will react to anesthesia.

This is because marijuana and anesthesia can affect your central nervous system. Also, people who regularly use marijuana may need different amounts of anesthesia medicines.

To prescribe the right amount of anesthesia to use in your system, your physician will ask ahead of time how often and how much you use.

If you are a regular user of marijuana, your anesthesiologist will generally need larger doses of anesthesia to achieve the right level of sedation.

If you do not tell your doctor how much marijuana you use, they might underestimate how much anesthesia you need for a particular procedure for you to go to sleep.

Increased Risk of Complications

For instance, a regular marijuana user (daily or weekly) might need over three times more propofol than non-users.

This is needed to achieve the right amount of sedation for endoscopies. This is quite a massive increase in dose, and your doctor will want to be prepared to apply it.

The higher anesthesia dose required for a regular marijuana user can lead to multiple risks and complications.

This can decrease your blood pressure and sometimes delay your awakening from anesthesia.

Please do not smoke, consume, or vape marijuana before your surgery, as it can increase the risk of complications.

Inhaled marijuana can affect your lungs and increase your phlegm, coughing, wheezing, and other respiratory illnesses.

These lung issues can lead to breathing issues while under anesthesia, like increased airway sensitivity when the breathing tube is put in.

As a result, this may feel like you have asthma. There is also a decrease in oxygen getting into your lungs.

If you are a regular user of marijuana, you will most likely have increased postoperative pain, leading to higher opioid pain during and after your procedure.

Do Not Use Marijuana on the Day of Surgery

Different surgical departments write their preparation guidelines; some may be more concerned about substances used than others.

This is because the anesthesiologist is more concerned about the marijuana used.

For a colonoscopy, the common anesthetics used are benzodiazepines such as midazolam.

This is a sleep-inducing medication like propofol and a narcotic pain reliever like meperidine. Most hospitals use this type of medicine for this procedure.

Many doctors advise that no matter how worried you are about your procedure, you should not use marijuana to relax.

This is because you may end up with your surgery rescheduled or serious complications.

Regardless of how often you use marijuana, many experts believe you should skip it entirely on the day of your procedure.

Edibles are a no-go because the American Society of Anesthesiologists’ preoperative fasting guidelines does not allow any solid food for six to eight hours.

This will decrease the risk of food getting inhaled into your lungs and leading to aspiration pneumonia, which can cause death in some patients.

The physical effects of marijuana can lead to increased complications, mainly if you consume it within an hour or two of anesthesia.

This is because marijuana can raise your heart rate and lower your blood pressure. These changes are even riskier for patients who are suffering from heart disease.

In selected populations in the country, decreased blood pressure and increased heart rate can lead to a heart attack.

Many Unknowns About Marijuana

A colonoscopy might not be a significant operation, but guidelines are to follow.

Most of these guidelines will be given to you before you have the procedure, and they are critical to follow.

Why? Because regardless of the legality of marijuana, there are still many unknowns about it.

This is why anesthesiologists will require you to give accurate information about your marijuana use so that they can plan for safe anesthesia.

Because of marijuana’s classification as a drug of abuse, many hospitals cannot do medical research on marijuana without legislation to allow that research.

Many experts need to research marijuana and how it affects surgical procedures.

The federal government has been allowing medical studies, and many have been endorsed as a bill to expand research on this topic.

Your Safety Is the Number One Priority

Hospitals want to keep you safe, so you must follow specific protocols, whether your procedure is major or minor.

Always follow your physician’s rules before your surgery.

One of these rules is to be upfront about your usage of marijuana.


A colonoscopy is not a major procedure, but many anesthesiologists urge people not to use marijuana before or during it.

Marijuana use will only cause you more issues. If you are uneasy about it, talk with your physician.

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