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Daring discourse – no: cannabinoids should not be used for acute postoperative pain management
  1. Jennifer D Meeker1,
  2. Eugenia Ayrian1 and
  3. Edward R Mariano2,3
  1. 1 Department of Anesthesiology, University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine, Los Angeles, California, USA
  2. 2 Anesthesiology and Perioperative Care Service, VA Palo Alto Health Care System, Palo Alto, California, USA
  3. 3 Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Edward R Mariano, Anesthesiology and Perioperative Care Service, VA Palo Alto Health Care System, Palo Alto, CA 94304, USA; emariano{at}stanford.edu

Abstract

As anesthesiologists and acute pain medicine specialists, we will care for patients in the perioperative period who use cannabinoids for chronic pain and/or marijuana recreationally. We will have to address difficult questions from patients regarding the potential applications for cannabinoids in acute pain management. While we must remain compassionate and understand our patients’ desire to find relief from suffering using available non-opioid medications, we are ethically bound to do no harm and provide them with treatment options supported by the best available evidence. Today, we cannot support cannabinoids in the management of acute postoperative pain.

  • analgesia
  • Pain, postoperative
  • complementary therapies

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Footnotes

  • Twitter @EMARIANOMD

  • Contributors JDM helped develop the project, performed the literature review, created the table and figure, drafted and revised the initial manuscript, reviewed and approved the submitted manuscript. EA helped develop the project, reviewed and approved the submitted manuscript. ERM helped develop the project, performed the literature review, drafted and revised the initial manuscript, reviewed and approved the submitted manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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