Does Cannabis Require More Sedation? Research Says Yes But Experts Aren’t Sure  


A new study that has been published in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association says that people who use cannabis need twice the levels sedation than those who do not use cannabis. However, there are limitations to this study with several experts saying that the research doesn’t provide enough evidence to emphasize that CBD users require higher sedation.

Researchers involved in the study looked at the medical records of 250 individuals from Colorado who had underwent an endoscopic procedure between the years 2015 and 2017. Of the people, those who used CBD topically or sporadically and those who didn’t use it at all, they were considered non-users. People who reported that they used cannabis by smoking it or taking it as an edible regularly were considered users.

Of all the people whose data was looked at, 25 were those who used cannabis on a daily or weekly basis. It was found that CBD users required more sedation. They required 15% more of fentanyl, 20% more of midazolam, and 220% more of propofol. Keeping in view the detrimental impacts of more sedation, this is not good news.

What Other Experts Are Saying

Too much sedation can cause low blood pressure as well as respiratory problems. Researchers are not able to pinpoint the exact cause behind why cannabis users require double the sedation. Some scientists are of the view that this study has some limitations. The first argument against it is that of the 25 cannabis users, 16% had longer procedures.

Though this limitation cannot be overlooked it must also be noted that the procedure’s length could have increased due to patients’ slow response to sedation. Another limitation which has been proposed is that for the study it wasn’t taken into account that cannabis users are also likely to use other drugs which may have caused the higher requirement of sedation.

Thirdly, the data that was used was also said to be unreliable as it was based on self-reporting of users. Last but not the least, factors such as anxiety and weight which can require more sedation, were also not taken into account. For these reasons, experts believe that more research needs to be carried out on the link between cannabis and sedation even though the basis formed by this study is strong. Awareness in this regard is necessary so that physicians can administer sedation accordingly.

Key Takeaway

A new research reveals that cannabis users require double the sedation that normal people do. This is a worrying quality of CBD. Though this research is pretty solid, it does have many limitations. Therefore, more research is needed to establish a link between cannabis use and the increased need for sedation among patients.


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