The more you know about cannabis and its friends, kratom, phenibut, and ayahuasca, the better you will be able to understand their potential impact on your anesthesia practice. While patients may have been using marijuana secretly in the perioperative period for years, there is about to be a tsunami of patients acknowledging the use of a smorgasbord of herbal products soon. Because the use of these herbal compounds has been so stigmatized and criminalized, there is an excellent chance that your patient has not and will not tell you about the preparations they are taking. There are other unintended consequences:

  • It is also possible that your patient will not be taking their prescribed medications, having replaced them with herbal medicines.

  • The herbal remedies may be counterfeit or contaminated by pesticides and/or heavy metals

  • As some physicians exclude patients using herbal medicines from their practices, patients may turn to other sources for relief of pain, anxiety, depression and other common problems.

  • Patients deprived of traditional pain medication turn to heroin or worse, street drugs laced with fentanyl or other "designer drugs."

Understanding impact of cannabis cannabis and its friends, kratom, phenibut, and ayahuascacontemporary anesthesia practice is the goal of HackAnesthesia.

One important caution: The herbal medications mentioned here have been used for a long time, but for the most part remain illegal in the United States. Even recent changes in laws are complex and vary from state to state. Some are even considered to be Schedule One Narcotics and by this definition have no medical use. Do not use Schedule One narcotics.