Marijuana Use in the Anesthetized Patient: History, Pharmacology, and Anesthetic Considerations

AANA J. 2019 Dec;87(6):451-458.


Marijuana consumption is growing in the United States because of state legalization for recreational and medical use. However, many anesthesia practitioners are unaware of the potential adverse effects that may occur if marijuana is taken before the administration of an anesthetic. This review provides a history of marijuana use, the current laws and regulations, the pharmacology of marijuana, and best evidence-based practices related to anesthetic care of the marijuana user.

Keywords: Anesthesia; cannabis; drug interaction; marijuana.

Publication types

  • Historical Article
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anesthetics / adverse effects*
  • Anesthetics / standards*
  • Drug Interactions*
  • Female
  • History, 20th Century
  • History, 21st Century
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Marijuana Use / adverse effects*
  • Marijuana Use / history*
  • Marijuana Use / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Medical Marijuana / pharmacology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • United States


  • Anesthetics
  • Medical Marijuana