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When to Stop Taking CBD Before Surgery
Posted On: December 01, 2023

When to Stop Taking CBD Before Surgery?

Is taking CBD considered safe before or after surgery? If not, when to stop taking CBD before surgery? These are some common questions to ask if you have an upcoming surgery. 

CBD — also known as cannabidiol, has anti-inflammatory properties which can reduce post-operative pain and swelling. It can also make you feel calm and relaxed and help you get over surgery anxiety.  

These hopeful aspects of CBD might be promising. But to answer your questions regarding the “safety” and “exact time” of stopping CBD before surgery is a bit complicated and can’t be given in “Yes” or “No”. Keep in mind that you should always be open to your anesthesiologist and doctor about the use of CBD before surgery. 

In this blog, we’ll discuss this delicate matter in detail to give you some valuable pieces of information associated with CBD and surgery. 

Can I Take CBD Before Surgery?

First of all, you need to know that CBD is generally safe and well-tolerated. According to the National Institute of Health, “Chronic use and high doses of up to 1500 mg per day have been repeatedly shown to be well tolerated by humans” [1].  

Now, is taking CBD before surgery safe? No, it’s not. In fact, You’re not allowed anything to eat or drink before having a general anesthetic. In this situation, if your stomach has food or drink in it, there is a risk of vomiting [2].  

Another question that comes with it: Does CBD reduce the efficacy of anesthetic? The answer is: It may or may not. There is a lack of research or evidence about the impact of CBD on anesthesia. However, your anesthesiologist must be aware if you’ve consumed any CBD products. 

You should also tell your anesthesiologist about the type of CBD you’ve taken so far. For instance, Full-spectrum CBD contains THC which can have a negative effect on anesthesia.     

Note that If you’re using marijuana and going to have surgery, be honest with your doctor. Marijuana possesses a high amount of THC. It may increase the risk of surgery by reducing the efficacy level of anesthesia [3]. 

⇒ Read More: Is CBD Safe for Pregnancy?   

When to Stop Taking CBD Before Surgery 

There is no specific time frame for when you should stop using CBD before surgery. However, the best way is to follow the guidelines given by professional health experts or hospital staff regarding the use of CBD before surgery.  

Besides, CBD products have a half-life of one hour to five days. To err on the side of caution, it’s a good idea to stop taking any form of CBD including CBD edibles, or topicals 1 to 2 weeks before surgery. 

Royal Victoria Hospital published a guideline on “Preparing Your Day of Surgery” where they recommend the following times for stopping any cannabis product: 
• Smoked/Vaporized/Ingested: STOP 12 hours before surgery. 

• Cannabidiol or CBD Oil: Oral Dosing/Ingested: STOP 4 hours before surgery.  

Note that although CBD contains a trace amount of THC, you need to stop using it due to the potential negative effects it may have on surgical patients. 

Potential Risk of Taking CBD Before Surgery 

There are some potential risks of taking CBD before surgery. Continue reading the following section to know the risks associated with CBD and surgery. 

 • CBD may have anti-coagulant effects [4]. It may thin the blood and increase the risk of bleeding during and after surgery. If you’re taking any common blood thinners (e.g., Warfarin), it may interact with CBD. So, reveal it to your doctor right away [5].  

• Consumption of CBD before surgery may lead to vasodilation, widening blood vessels as a result of relaxation of blood vessels’ muscular walls. This may potentially affect your blood pressure and heart rate.  

• Frequent use of high-THC products or cannabis products that contain THC may reduce the effectiveness of anesthetic medications [3]. 


Can I Take CBD After Surgery?

Yes. You can take CBD after surgery by consulting with your healthcare provider. During the postoperative period, taking CBD may have potential benefits compared to using it as a pre-operative health supplement. 

CBD could help manage post-surgery recovery discomfort, inflammation, and stress. Also, it may address the postoperative side effects or discomforts such as nausea, vomiting, sleeplessness, loss of appetite, and fatigue [6].  

However, before using CBD post-surgery, consult your doctor. Besides, surgical patients might have been on prescribed medications during the postoperative period. Ensure CBD use and compatibility with the prescribed drugs to avoid any medication interaction. 

Potential Risk of Taking CBD After Surgery 

While CBD may provide noteworthy benefits for post-surgery recovery, there are some considerations and potential risks: 

1. Drug Interaction: CBD can interact with certain medications. This may worsen the postoperative conditions. Avoid CBD if there is a possibility of any risk associated with medication interaction [3].  

2. Bleeding Risk: Surgical patients are sometimes prone to bleeding. CBD’s anti-coagulant effects [4] may increase bleeding risk.  

3. Drowsiness: One of the common side effects of CBD is drowsiness. In large doses, CBD can induce drowsiness.  

4. Individual Sensitivity: Some patients may become sensitive to CBD and experience side effects such as nausea or changes in appetite. 

⇒ Read More: CBD Edible Gummies Side Effects  

Can CBD Help with Surgery Recovery

CBD can help with post-operative side effects and surgery recovery. It interacts with the ECS system (Endocannabinoid System). ECS consists of chemical signals and enzymes involved in pain sensation, hunger, memory, and mood.  

CBD can help surgery patients heal faster and feel better by interacting with the endocannabinoid receptors (CB1, CB2). 
Here’s how CBD can help with surgery recovery:
1. Pain Management: The analgesic properties of CBD may help to reduce pain and discomfort associated with surgery. It may modulate pain perception and inflammatory responses. CBD use is associated with improvements in pain (83%) [7].  
2. Inflammation and Swelling: CBD’s anti-inflammatory effects can assist in reducing inflammation and swelling, which are common post-surgery issues. 

3. Stress and Anxiety: CBD interacts with receptors in the brain and promotes a calming effect. It can contribute to reducing anxiety and stress.  

4. Nausea and Vomiting: Nausea and vomiting are common side effects experienced by a surgical patient. CBD can be beneficial for post-surgical nausea.
5. Appetite Stimulation: Loss of appetite is common after surgery. CBD’s influence on the endocannabinoid system may help regulate appetite and promote healthier eating practices. 

6. Fatigue: CBD has the potential to optimize energy levels and influence metabolic pathways.  

Note that although anecdotal evidence supports these benefits, more clinical research is needed to be conducted to understand CBD’s efficacy for post-operative care.  

Dosage and Administration

CBD dosage and administration for post-surgery recovery can vary based on individual factors such as body weight, tolerance, and the specific surgery undergone. 

CBD dosage for surgical patients should only be determined by consulting a healthcare professional. 

In general, the best practice is starting with a log dosage and gradually increasing it if necessary. Also, CBD products are available in various potencies. That’s why when it comes to taking CBD, consider the CBD content per serving. 

Another important consideration for using CBD is the delivery method. CBD products are available in various forms, including CBD oils, CBD gummies, capsules, CBD syrups, and topicals. You should choose a delivery method that is appropriate for you.  

Last but not least, do not forget to pay attention to how your body responds to CBD. If adverse effects occur or if you do not receive the desired benefits, adjust your dosage, or consult a healthcare provider. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are some queries frequently asked by searchers regarding “When to stop taking CBD before surgery”. We’ve answered these questions to provide valuable insight. 

1. Can You Smoke CBD Before Surgery? 

It is not advised to use any cannabis product prior to surgery. To be on the safe side, avoid consuming CBD or marijuana at least one or two weeks before surgery. Although this time limit is not established, some sources may advise patients to cease using marijuana 72 hours before surgery [8]. 

2. Does CBD Help with Pain After Surgery? 

Yes. CBD has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties that can help manage pain associated with post-operative pain. However, a surgical patient should always consider consulting a doctor before incorporating CBD into daily routine. 

3. Is It Okay to Take CBD Before Surgery?

It's not advisable to take any form of CBD or cannabis product before surgery. Besides, the patient should be honest with the doctor and anesthesiologist if he/she has taken any cannabidiol or marijuana products. Note that cannabis products that contain THC may potentially reduce the efficacy of anesthetic medications. 

Considerations for CBD and Surgery: The Bottom Line

Hope this blog answers your question “When to stop taking CBD before surgery”. To sum up, CBD may aid in post-operative care. However, if you intend to take CBD prior to surgery, note that it’s not advisable, and open communication with your doctor and anesthesiologist about CBD use is required. If you’re already using CBD products, cease it as per hospital guidelines before surgery. 



1. Iffland, K., & Grotenhermen, F. (2017). An update on safety and side effects of cannabidiol: a review of clinical data and relevant animal studies. Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, 2(1), 139–154.  

2. Website, N. (2023, November 21). Can I eat or drink before an operation? nhs.uk. 

3. Mph, D. H. M. (2020, February 3). Coming clean: Your anesthesiologist needs to know about marijuana use before surgery. Harvard Health. 

4. Paduch, M., & Thomason, A. R. (2021). Potential drug interactions between cannabinoids and its derivatives and oral anticoagulants. Hospital Pharmacy, 57(1), 188–192. 

5. Bykov, K. (2021, January 11). CBD and other medications: Proceed with caution. Harvard Health.  

6. After surgery: Discomforts and complications. (2021, August 8).

7. Frane, N., Stapleton, E., Iturriaga, C., Ganz, M., Rasquinha, V. J., & Duarte, R. A. (2022). Cannabidiol as a treatment for arthritis and joint pain: an exploratory cross-sectional study. Journal of Cannabis Research, 4(1). 

8. Marijuana and surgery. (n.d.). ACS.