Digestive Diseases and Sciences

, Volume 63, Issue 10, pp 2786–2791 | Cite as

Is There an Effect of Cannabis Consumption on Acute Pancreatitis?

  • C. Roberto Simons-LinaresEmail author
  • Jodie A. Barkin
  • Yuchen Wang
  • Palashkumar Jaiswal
  • William Trick
  • Michael J. Bartel
  • Jamie S. Barkin
Original Article


Background and Aim

Twenty-percentage of acute pancreatitis (AP) cases is labeled as idiopathic. Cannabis remains the most frequently used illicit drug in the world. The aim of this study was to identify the prevalence of cannabis use among all patients with a first episode of AP, particularly in those labeled as idiopathic etiology, and determine any effect on AP severity.


Retrospective cohort of all consecutive patients admitted with a first episode of AP at a large tertiary referral hospital from 01/2013 through 12/2014. AP was identified by ICD9 code, or lipase ≥ 3 times the upper limit of normal and abdominal pain consistent with AP. Cannabis users (CU) were identified via history or urine toxicology.


Four hundred and sixty patients were included. 54% were men, with a mean age of 48 years (range 17–89 years). Forty-eight patients (10%) were identified as CU. After adjusting for admission SIRS, age, and gender, cannabis use was not found to be an independent risk factor for persistent SIRS, AKI, ARDS, pancreatic necrosis, mortality, ICU admission, length of stay, in-hospital infections, nor recurrent AP. Of note, AKI was least common among non-CU compared to CU (OR 0.4; p = 0.02; CI 0.2–0.9) and non-CU had a higher admission BISAP score (≥ 2) compared to CU (OR 2.5; p = 0.009; CI 1.2–4.9).


This is the largest study to date examining cannabis use in AP. Cannabis use was found across almost all etiologies of AP with a prevalence of 10% (48 cases), and in 9% (9 cases) of so-called idiopathic AP cases in this cohort, which could account as an association for approximately 2% of all AP cases. Cannabis use did not independently impact AP severity or mortality.


Cannabis Marijuana Acute pancreatitis Diagnosis Prevalence 



Dr. Jodie Barkin is supported by the Louis Fortunoff Pancreas Fellowship at the University of Miami.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

C. Roberto Simons-Linares MD MSc, Yuchen Wang MD, Palash Jaiswal MD, William Trick MD MPH, Michael J. Bartel MD PhD, Jamie S. Barkin have no conflicts of interest to disclose.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Gastroenterology and Hepatology Department, Digestive Disease InstituteCleveland Clinic FoundationClevelandUSA
  2. 2.Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine, Leonard M. Miller School of MedicineUniversity of MiamiMiamiUSA
  3. 3.John Stroger Hospital of Cook CountyChicagoUSA
  4. 4.Section of GastroenterologyFox Chase Cancer Center, Temple HealthPhiladelphiaUSA

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