Cannabis Science

Smoking Weed After Tonsillectomy

person touching throat

Your tonsils are there to help you fight infection but sometimes they become a nuisance. While tonsillectomies aren’t as common these days, people still do it. A tonsillectomy is a 20-30 minute surgery. Even though it’s quick, there are things to consider before and after the tonsillectomy. You might be wondering if smoking weed after a tonsillectomy is okay. Here’s what we found. 

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Can You Smoke After Getting Tonsils Removed?

There is usually some pain after a tonsillectomy. If you use weed to relieve the pain you may reach for the blunt or bong. However, research shows that that may not be a great idea.

The truth is, there isn’t a lot of information about smoking weed specifically after a tonsillectomy. However, weed use isn’t advised after other procedures such as removing wisdom teeth or piercing your tongue.

Very Well Mind says that smoking weed should be avoided after surgery. According to them not smoking weed will help you “heal faster, return to your normal activities more quickly, have less scarring and fewer complications”

Julian Hamann, a Consultant ENT and Thyroid Surgeon says to avoid smoking cigarettes after a tonsillectomy. He said, “Smoking causes inflammation of the upper airways and impairs the body’s ability to heal”.

How Long After Tonsillectomy Can You Smoke?

We’re not sure about the exact time, but since smoking weed may hinder healing, it’s best to wait until you’ve fully healed. 

Cleveland Clinic says that the area will heal after 3-4 weeks. 

Edibles After Tonsillectomy

There are certain foods that are better to eat after a tonsillectomy than others. According to Cleveland Clinic, foods that are soft and cool are the best option. Some of the foods suggested are ice cream, smoothies and broth. On the flip side you should probably avoid hard or spicy food. 

As for food with weed, we’re not sure. Most of the research speaks about smoking weed and not eating edibles or food with weed. If you want to err on the side of caution, you can avoid it until you have healed.

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You can also get the opinion of a medical professional so you can make the best decision for yourself. 

Can You Smoke Before a Tonsillectomy?

According to Hamann, “it is advisable not to smoke either before or after tonsillectomy.”

Hamann isn’t alone in this, according to a Harvard article, using weed before surgery can cause problems. Weed can affect anesthesia and cause complications.

Since anesthesia is given to tonsillectomy patients, it’s best to avoid weed before that procedure too.

Before the tonsillectomy, you should tell your doctor how much weed you use and how often you do it. That way the doctor knows what to use and how much to use. 

Why Does Weed Affect Anesthesia? 

The Harvard article says since weed and anesthesia affect the central nervous system, people who use weed regularly may need a higher amount of anesthesia. “Regular users of marijuana generally need larger doses of anesthesia medicines in order to achieve the same degree of sedation.”

Needing larger doses itself can cause problems too because they can also cause complications. 

How Can Weed Complicate Surgery?

Weed, especially when consumed an hour two before surgery can raise your heart rate and lower your blood pressure. According to Harvard, this can cause a heart attack in some patients. 

Can I Use Edibles The Day Of Surgery?

No. According to Harvard, weed, especially edibles should be avoided the day of surgery. 

In addition to that, food should be avoided 6-8 hours after surgery, or else you may end up with aspiration pneumonia. This is a very serious complication that may cause death in some patients.

If you used weed the day of the surgery, your surgery is likely to be rescheduled for another day.


Is smoking weed after tonsillectomy a great idea? There isn’t a lot of information about it. However, we think to give your body the best chance of recovery, it’s best to skip smoking weed until your tonsils healed. You can also seek a second opinion from your doctor so you can make the best decision for you.

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About Trevann

Trevann is Stoner Rotation’s Jamaica-based lead writer for the Science section of our cannabis blog. She graduated with honors receiving her Bachelor of Science degree in Molecular Biology from the University of West Indies, Mona. For the last three years, she has covered some of the biggest questions around cannabis and health underpinned with research from supporting studies, medical journals and scholarly articles. Got something on your mind? You can reach her at [email protected].

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