Cannabis: What Anesthesiologists Need to Know?

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Somchai Amornyotin


Cannabis is categorized as an abuse drug that is not able to be studied, and has now been legalized in Thailand. The physiology and pharmacology of cannabis in humans are also difficult to study. The most famous of cannabinoids are THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol).1 THC is the most potent psychoactive product. It is mainly found in the flowering buds of the cannabis plant. The half-life of THC in the human body is 5-13 days. The effects of cannabis are difficult to expect because they depend on both THC concentration and the route of delivery. CBD is not psychoactive, and is a product marketed for antianxiety and chronic pain problems. To date, anesthesiologists need to understand the pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics of the use of cannabis and its chemical compounds. Inhaled cannabinoids are rapidly distributed within seconds to minutes after an inhaled dose. The effects of orally ingested cannabinoids may be delayed up to 1-2 hours

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