The medical landscape is steadily recognizing the therapeutic potentials of cannabis, with many individuals turning to its various forms for relief. Among these forms, THC gummies have gained popularity due to their ease of administration and predictable dosing. However, the narrative takes a twist when considered in the context of post-gastric bypass individuals.
Gastric Bypass Surgery and Substance Absorption
Gastric bypass surgery, a type of bariatric surgery, alters the stomach and small intestine’s structure to help individuals lose weight. This alteration can affect how substances are absorbed in the body, possibly impacting the efficacy and safety of substances like THC, found in cannabis edibles including gummies.
THC Gummies and the Altered Digestive System
A Closer Look at THC Absorption
Under normal circumstances, when THC gummies are ingested, they are gradually broken down in the stomach and intestines, where the active components are absorbed into the bloodstream. This digestion process is typically predictable, with the onset of effects occurring within 30 minutes to two hours, and the duration lasting several hours depending on individual metabolism, the dose, and the type of edible.
Post-gastric bypass, the scenario changes dramatically. The surgery alters not only the stomach size but also the path food takes through the digestive system. Consequently, when a THC gummy is consumed, it encounters less of the stomach’s acid and enzymes, and the absorption in the intestine occurs over a shortened tract.
The modification in the digestive process can mean that THC is absorbed more rapidly because it enters the small intestine sooner, where most absorption takes place. Additionally, due to the reduced size of the stomach and the altered pH levels, the THC might be absorbed in higher concentrations, leading to more intense effects.
For those who have undergone gastric bypass, embarking on the THC gummy journey can be likened to navigating without a map. Since the body’s response can be different and more intense, users might experience the effects of THC gummies faster than expected. This accelerated reaction can catch many off guard, as the familiar wait time they might have known pre-surgery does not apply anymore.
Moreover, the duration of effects might extend beyond the typical experience. This prolonged effect is likely because the body continues to absorb the THC as it passes through the altered digestive tract, which could lead to a sustained release into the bloodstream.
Such unpredictability demands a mindful approach to consumption. It is suggested to begin with a fraction of the normal dose. Observing the body’s response over a considerable amount of time can provide a clearer understanding of the new absorption pattern.
It is also important to consider that the absorption of THC is not the only thing that is altered. The absorption of fat, which is a major component in many THC gummies due to THC being fat-soluble, also changes post-gastric bypass. This alteration can influence the efficiency and the extent of THC absorption, adding another layer of complexity to the experience.
Cannabis and Post-Surgical Weight Management
Various studies have examined the impact of cannabis use on weight management post-bariatric surgery. Some findings suggest that cannabis use might not significantly affect short-term surgical outcomes or weight loss up to two years post-surgery. However, THC, the active ingredient in cannabis, is known to increase feelings of hunger, which could potentially impact weight loss post-surgery.
Preoperative marijuana use has been linked to increased postoperative marijuana use which may undermine weight loss and increase risk for weight regain.https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33433700/
Perioperative Cannabis Use
A systematic review aimed at understanding the effects of perioperative cannabis use in bariatric surgery patients found conflicting effects on weight loss and no significant impact on morbidity, although the studies were uncontrolled.
Patient Testimonials and Practical Insights
Anecdotal evidence suggests that the efficacy of edibles might be diminished post-bariatric surgery, as shared by a patient prescribed medical marijuana for diabetic neuropathy pain. Transitioning from smoking marijuana to oral formulations may lessen the risk of airway compromise but necessitates a discussion with healthcare providers.
Marijuana use has been studied extensively, and when it is smoked or eaten as edibles, chemicals called cannabinoids are released into the body and can cause increased heart rate, high blood pressure and heart rhythm abnormalities.https://www.njbariatriccenter.com/marijuana-weight-loss-surgery/
Medical Guidelines and Recommendations
It’s crucial to adhere to medical guidelines surrounding cannabis use and surgery. For instance, the American Society of Anesthesiologists advises against consuming any edible marijuana on the day of surgery due to preoperative fasting guidelines.
You should not smoke or inhale marijuana the day of your surgery, and certainly you should avoid any edible marijuana the day of surgery, since the American Society of Anesthesiologists’ guidelines for preoperative fasting do not allow any solid food for six to eight hours prior to anesthesia, in order to decrease the risk of food getting inhaled into your lungs.https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/coming-clean-your-anesthesiologist-needs-to-know-about-marijuana-use-before-surgery-2020011518642
The intersection of THC gummies and gastric bypass surgery opens a dialogue filled with medical, practical, and patient-experience facets. While the existing literature offers some insights, the need for more comprehensive research is evident. Until then, a cautious and personalized approach, under the guidance of healthcare professionals, is strongly recommended.