Cannabis-Induced Acute Pancreatitis: A Systematic Review

Jodie A. Barkin, Zsuzsanna Nemeth, Ashok K. Saluja, Jamie S. Barkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Objectives Cannabis is the most frequently consumed illicit drug in the world, with higher prevalence under the age of 35 years. Cannabis was first reported as a possible cause of acute pancreatitis (AP) in 2004. The aim of this systematic review is to examine cannabis use as an etiology of AP. Methods A search using PubMed/Medline, Embase, Scopus, and Cochrane was performed without language or year limitations to May 1, 2016. Search terms were Cannabis and Acute Pancreatitis with all permutations. The search yielded 239 results. Acute pancreatitis was defined by meeting 2 of 3 Revised Atlanta Classification criteria. Cannabis-induced AP was defined by preceding use of cannabis and exclusion of common causes of AP when reported. Sixteen papers met inclusion criteria dating from 2004 to 2016. Results There were 26 cases of cannabis-induced AP (23/26 men; 24/26 under the age of 35 y). Acute pancreatitis correlated with increased cannabis use in 18 patients. Recurrent AP related temporally to cannabis use was reported in 15 of 26. There are 13 reports of no further AP episodes after cannabis cessation. Conclusions Cannabis is a possible risk factor for AP and recurrent AP, occurring primarily in young patients under the age of 35 years. Toxicology screens should be considered in all patients with idiopathic AP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1035-1038
Number of pages4
Issue number8
StatePublished - Sep 1 2017


  • acute pancreatitis
  • cannabis
  • idiopathic
  • marijuana
  • toxin


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