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Anna, Mental Health Professional
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1945
Experience:  Licensed Clinical Social Worker with 29 years in addictions and mental health.
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Would having ect while being a cannabis user cause extended

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Would having ect while being a cannabis user cause extended convulsions?
Hello & Welcome to Just Answers.

The problem with using cannabis while undergoing any medical procedure is that it's an unknown, unregulated entity that is psychoactive. It isn't predictable, so you can't tell what kind of side effect it would cause, if any. It may cause no problems, but the dose is variable and therefore unpredictable.

I certainly wouldn't recommend it.

My best to you.

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Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Thank you for your reply, I realise that its not ideal to be using cannabis while undergoing ect (or any other procedure for that matter), but my son hasn't admitted to his Dr that he is a user. He gets better, and worse, despite cannabis use. He is now off all medication and doing really well, but during his last ect his convulsion lasted 65 seconds on the lowest electrical charge. He's had 4 treatments so far and his convulsions are getting longer. I want him better, not brain damaged, but he's 26 and has to make his own lifestyle choices.

I wouldn't assume that the change in convulsion length is due to the cannabis use, because so many other factors can be involved. It may be, but I don't know if I would put that at the top of the list. The idea of effective ECT is to change the brain and the way that electrical currents travel through it, so to see a change in the pattern can also be because his body is changing. I think it's a complex convergence of many possibilities, but agree with you that at 26, he does get to decide how to lead his life. You can always choose to send a note to the doctor who performs the procedure as a heads-up. They can't acknowledge the interaction, but the information can be received. I get little calls and notes about patients from family members and always find the information useful for a variety of reasons.

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