Pre-Surgery Period: Understanding the timing of CBD before surgery

     Individuals facing an upcoming surgery may find themselves wondering how it will interact with their surgical process.

How long before surgery should I stop taking Hemp Derived CBD?

  • Usually stop taking CBD at least one to two weeks before surgery

It is crucial to beware of how way Hemp Derived CBD works, its effects on your body, and the potential implications for any surgical procedures.

Author of this article is Jon Scott

Jon Scott- Author and Owner of Scott's Essentials CBD Bath and Body

Quick Bits

  • CBD does not get you high
  • Your bodies metabolism has an effect on removal speed
  • Your liver metabolizes CBD
  • There is a possibility CBD will interact with normal and blood-thinning medications
  • Cytochrome P450 enzymes may impact the metabolism of various medications prescribed before or after your surgery
  • CBD interacts with your cytochrome P450 enzymes, mainly CYP3A4 and CYP2C19
  • There is no one-size-fits-all answer for timing
  • Usually stop taking CBD at least one to two weeks before surgery
  • Gradual elimination of CBD from your system helps minimize potential interactions with any medications

What is Hemp Based CBD?

According to Center for Disease Control and Prevention:

CBD can be pulled from hemp or from non-hemp plants. Hemp is any part of the cannabis sativa plant with no more than 0.3% of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the mind-altering substance in marijuana.

Cannabidiol options

Types of CBD

  • Full spectrum- Will contain several naturally occurring cannabis plant extracts, such as terpenes and other cannabinoids, including and up to 0.3% THC.
  • Isolate- The purest form of CBD oil. These products do not contain any other cannabinoids other than CBD.
  • Water soluble- One of the latest and greatest additions to the vast assortment of CBD products available on the internet. This type of CBD extract can do things that other extracts can’t, and it’s ideal for a variety of products that were previously hard to produce.

It interacts with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in the body, which plays a crucial role in regulating various parts of your physiological functions, including mood, appetite, and immune response.

 Human endocannabinoid system

How the body processes and eliminates CBD

  • Metabolism and Elimination- Before you have surgery, it's important to understand how your body processes and eliminates CBD. Your liver metabolizes CBD, and then it’s passed out of your body through urine. Elimination half-life of CBD can vary among people, which is influenced by factors like your metabolism, body weight, and your overall health.
  • Interaction with Enzymes- CBD works with cytochrome P450 enzymes, specifically CYP3A4 and CYP2C19, which play an important role in drug metabolism. This interaction has implications for the breakdown of various medications, potentially affecting how good they will work. Cytochrome P450 enzymes, particularly CYP3A4 and CYP2C19, play crucial roles in drug metabolism, influencing how medications are processed in someone's body.


Cytochrome P450 enzymes, particularly CYP3A4 and CYP2C19, play crucial roles in drug metabolism, influencing how medications are processed in your body.

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  • Function- A major enzyme involved in the metabolism of a wide range of drugs, basically 50% of commonly prescribed medications. It is primarily found in the liver but is also present in your small intestine.
  • Substrates- Metabolizes various drugs, such as statins, antiarrhythmics, immunosuppressants, and some antifungals. It also plays a role in the metabolism of hormones and environmental toxins.
  • Drug Interactions- Susceptible to drug interactions. Inhibitors of CYP3A4 can increase the concentration of drugs metabolized by this enzyme, potentially leading to toxicity. Um, that's a serious no thank you. On the other hand, inducers can reduce drug levels, possibly reducing therapeutic use.
  • Factors Influencing Activity- Differences in genetics, age, sex, and environmental factors can influence the activity of CYP3A4. Some people may metabolize drugs more quickly or slowly, affecting their response to medications.

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  • Function- A significant enzyme involved in drug metabolism, particularly in the oxidation of small, lipophilic drugs. It is found in your liver.
  • Substrates- Metabolizes drugs such as proton pump inhibitors (e.g., omeprazole), antiepileptics (e.g., phenytoin), and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (e.g., citalopram). Genetic polymorphisms can result in individuals being classified as poor metabolizers or extensive metabolizers. Man, these can be hard to read sometimes. Science words and jargon can be hard to follow.
  • Drug Interactions- Similar to CYP3A4, drug interactions can occur with CYP2C19. Inhibitors can increase drug concentrations, while inducers can decrease them. Genetic variations in CYP2C19 can also impact response to specific medications.
  • Factors Influencing Activity- Genetic polymorphisms play a significant role in the activity of CYP2C19. Poor metabolizers may be at risk of adverse effects if given standard doses of drugs that are primarily metabolized by this enzyme.

Understanding the roles of CYP3A4 and CYP2C19 is crucial for healthcare professionals in optimizing your drug therapy, minimizing adverse effects, and avoiding potential drug interactions. Genetic testing for variations in these enzymes is becoming more common to personalize drug regimens for individuals based on their unique metabolic profiles.

Medical advances have come a long way and healthcare professionals have the ability to help you be prepared in many ways. Just make sure you ask questions.

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While CBD is mostly well-tolerated, its possibility to interact with certain medications can raise concerns for someone undergoing surgery. The important relationship between Hemp based CBD, your endocannabinoid system, and drug metabolism in your body makes it that much more important that you show caution and informed decision-making in the pre-surgery period.

Blood Thinners and Anesthesia

One primary concern is CBD's potential to interact with blood-thinning medications. Since some people take CBD for its reported anti-inflammatory effects, the combination with blood thinners could pose an increased risk of bleeding during surgery. Interactions with anesthesia must also be considered, as CBD could influence its effectiveness.

Potential Drug Interactions

CBD's influence on cytochrome P450 enzymes may impact the metabolism of various medications prescribed before or after surgery. Patients must communicate openly with their healthcare providers about their CBD use to assess potential drug interactions and adjust medication plans accordingly.

Guidelines for stopping the use of CBD Before Surgery:

  • Consult with Healthcare Providers-  The cornerstone of a safe pre-surgery period involves clear and transparent communication between you and your healthcare providers. You should inform a surgeon and/or anesthesiologist about any CBD use to receive tailored guidance based on your unique health circumstances.
  • Individual Factors- With the variability in CBD metabolism, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to the timing of stopping use of CBD. Factors such as dosage, frequency of use, and individual health characteristics all play a important role. Healthcare professionals can help assess these factors and provide more personalized recommendations.
  • General Recommendations- While guidelines may vary, a common suggestion is to stop taking Hemp derived CBD at least one to two weeks before surgery. This time frame allows for the gradual elimination of CBD from the system and minimizes potential interactions with medications administered during the surgical process.


     As CBD continues to become more popular, it is imperative for individuals(you) scheduled for surgery to approach its use with caution and open communication with your healthcare providers. The decision of how long before surgery to stop taking Hemp based CBD should be based on individual factors, with the main goal of ensuring a safe and complication-free surgical experience.