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Am J Surg. 2019 Apr;217(4):783-786. doi: 10.1016/j.amjsurg.2018.10.053. Epub 2018 Nov 14.

Impact of recreational and medicinal marijuana on surgical patients: A review.

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Resident in General Surgery, Department of Surgery, North Shore University Hospital, 300 Community Drive, Manhasset, NY, 11030, USA. Electronic address:
Penn State Health St. Joseph's Medical Center, 2494 Bernville Road, Reading, PA, 19605, USA. Electronic address:



As medicinal and recreational marijuana use broadens across the United States, knowledge of its effects on the body will become increasingly important to all health care providers, including surgeons.


We performed a literature review of Pubmed for articles discussing the basic science related to cannabinoids, as well as articles regarding cannabinoid medications, and cannabis use in surgical patients.


The primary components in the cannabis plant, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), have been made available in numerous forms and formulations to treat multiple medical conditions, and recreational access to marijuana is increasing. Of particular importance to the surgeon may be their effects on prolonging intestinal motility, decreasing inflammation, increasing hunger, mitigating pain, and reducing nausea and vomiting. Perioperative use of medicinal or recreational marijuana will become increasingly prevalent, and the surgeon should be aware of the positive and negative effects of these cannabinoids.


CBD; Cannabinoids; Cannabis; Marijuana; THC

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