I spy several news reports today citing a limited scope study from the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association discussing what some Colorado anesthesiologists have observed about pain tolerance in disclosed cannabis users in the surgical context. A few of these articles link to the newest guidelines of the American Society of Nurse Anesthetists discussing drug abuse and anesthesia. It is worth noting that ASNA's new guidelines target those with substance abuse disorder. Is recreational use the same as drug abuse?
This is a very small study, mostly remarkable for what it says about the need to study cannabis use's effects on all sorts of health care outcomes, including surgical ones. Such comprehensive research is all but banned by the government, of course. The federal government acknowledges the severe administrative barriers to federal government authorized research on the health effects of marijuana use.
Given the stigma attached to illegal activity, how do we know any of the patient disclosed data produced, even in this small study, is accurate? And, given the not unreasonable fear of a crack down on state experimentation with legalization of cannabis use, how many individuals want their history of cannabis use in medical records that could hardly be described as genuinely secure?