Does Marijuana Interfere With Varicose Vein Treatment?
More than fifty-five million Americans consume pot in some form on a regular basis, according to a poll conducted by Yahoo in 2016. A more recent Gallup poll showed even higher numbers, probably due to cannabis becoming legal in so many states. So, it’s only natural that people are starting to ask questions like:
“Can I smoke weed before I have varicose vein treatment?”
“Can I take cannabis oil after sclerotherapy or ambulatory phlebectomy?”
“Will marijuana interfere in any way with my EVLT varicose vein treatment?”
The answers to these questions are complicated and the answer you get back really depends on who you ask. Most doctors who reply to people online asking these types of questions indicate there are no contraindications to consuming cannabis a couple of weeks before or after varicose vein treatment. However, most of these same doctors fall short of recommending it for pain control after varicose vein treatment or using it for anxiety before a treatment.
Some people are interested in taking some form of cannabis to help them relax before a varicose vein treatment. Others want to reduce the discomfort they are expecting. In some cases, people who are contemplating varicose vein treatment consume cannabis every day or every week for relaxation purposes or they may take it as a natural treatment for a chronic health ailment like lupus or rheumatoid arthritis. In fact, some people smoke weed or use hemp oil in a vaporizer to ease the symptoms of varicose veins. For whatever reasons, people may not want to abstain from their marijuana usage before or after varicose vein treatment! So, is it safe? Does it interfere in any way with varicose vein treatment or the healing process after a procedure?
If you search for information on this topic online, there seems to be confusion between smoking pot and smoking cigarettes or other tobacco products. This is very important to keep in mind because there has been a great deal of research that clearly shows that tobacco interferes with wound healing, which of course, proves it could at least potentially interfere with the healing process of procedures like EVLT varicose vein treatment, sclerotherapy, or any form of phlebectomy. Although the “wounds” produced during these procedures are relatively minor, they can be viewed as mini wounds that need to heal. So, it would definitely be best to refrain from tobacco before and after varicose vein treatment if at all possible.
On the other hand, there is a much smaller body of research on the effect of cannabis on wound healing. However, there have been several studies that look into this and they all seem to indicate that some chemicals in cannabis, such as CDB (cannabidiol) and certain terpenes, do accelerate the healing process. Cannabinoids interact with receptors in the body’s endocannabinoid system during this accelerated wound healing process but the exact mechanism by which cannabis performs this almost miraculous feat is not completely understood.
The use of cannabis goes back to ancient times when the Greeks used it to heal wounds. Cannabis is also well known to reduce pain and swelling after injury and when surgeries were performed in ancient times and in the Middle Ages, cannabis was often used to soothe pain and help heal wounds. There are many who would argue that cannabis has the potential to help heal wounds after varicose vein treatment. Further, it must be emphasized again that unlike tobacco, there are no indications that cannabis interferes with wound healing.
On the other hand, marijuana with high THC is known to increase the heart rate and dilate the blood vessels. It can also cause the body to use more oxygen which is why some people have shortness of breath when smoking pot. These effects would not be preferred during varicose vein treatment. However, CBD oil without THC (the essential oil from cannabis cultivars without THC) do not cause the heart rate to increase or the vessels to dilate, at least in an obvious way.
So, the bottom line is this: the jury is still out on whether or not cannabis consumption right before or right after varicose vein treatment would have good or negative effects. Most doctors seem to think that it is wiser at this point to err on the side of caution and avoid cannabis a week or two before and after varicose vein treatment. However, they also seem to think that going back to your normal cannabis consumption levels about two weeks after varicose vein treatment should be fine in most cases if there has been no complications due to the procedure(s). However, you should ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS talk to your own personal vein doctor about cannabis consumption before and or after any type of varicose vein treatment. Never trust fully what you read online when it comes to serious health concerns!
Be aware too that even vein doctors will vary in opinion on this subject. However, that shouldn’t stop you from asking them about cannabis if you are a consumer of it. Metro Vein Centers offers free evaluations. You can talk with them about your varicose veins and about the best types of varicose vein treatment for your condition. During that consultation, you can also ask them about cannabis to get their professional opinion. Metro Vein Centers is a leading vein clinic with multiple locations across several states.