This article will evaluate and assess medical marijuana, also called medical cannabis, and will cover benefits and risks, clinical considerations affecting its recommendation, and currently available evidence.
Plenty of medical associations have released position statements addressing medical marijuana, but many cite the lack of research into cannabis as a healthcare product as a barrier to writing comprehensive, evidence-based guidelines.
Rapidly changing state marijuana laws may challenge surgery centers to write ironclad policies regarding drug testing and screening. Any decision made one day could be put in peril by new or updated regulations the next day.
Cannabis use is ubiquitous across the nation as states continue to legalize marijuana, both for medicinal and personal uses. Surgery patients who ingest the drug are at a higher risk of complications, which is why surgery center directors and physicians should understand legal, medical, and other implications of cannabis use.
The expansion of the sanctioned use of marijuana for recreational and medical purposes has exploded in recent years and warrants a critical appraisal of the primary care physician’s role in providing advice to and counseling patients.
Understanding the potential reactions that can occur from cannabis and synthetic cannabinoids can help emergency physicians recognize these effects in patients who may present to the emergency department.