*EMBARGOED All research presented at the ACG Annual Scientific Meeting is strictly embargoed until Monday, October 17, 2016 at 8:00 am EDT.

Jodie Barkin, MD
Jodie A. Barkin, MD

Poster 1560 A Systematic Review of Cannabis Use and the Development of Acute Pancreatitis

Author Insight from Jodie A. Barkin, MD, Jamie S. Barkin, MD, MACG, University of Miami, Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine

What’s new here and important for clinicians?

Cannabis is the most frequently consumed illicit drug in the world, and is more frequently consumed in those under age 35. Cannabis use can be expected to rise as it is increasingly decriminalized or legalized in the United States. Despite extensive investigation, approximately 20% of patients with acute pancreatitis will have no identifiable cause. Cannabis was first reported as a possible cause of acute pancreatitis in 2004. Subsequently, after a comprehensive review of the medical literature, we have identified 26 patients in total with cannabis-induced acute pancreatitis. Cannabis-induced acute pancreatitis occurs primarily in young patients under age 35. Cannabis should be included as a probable cause of toxin-induced acute pancreatitis. Health care providers should consider toxicology screens for all patients with idiopathic acute pancreatitis, especially those under 35 years of age.

Jamie S. Barkin, MD, MACG
Jamie S. Barkin, MD, MACG

What do patients need to know?

Acute pancreatitis is an inflammatory condition of the pancreas, often presenting with epigastric abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting. Symptoms can range from mild to severe, and patients may become critically ill, as well as have acute and chronic sequelae. Acute pancreatitis most commonly results from alcohol or gallstones, but approximately 20% of cases have no identified cause after extensive investigation. Many patients may falsely think that cannabis has no adverse effects. After a comprehensive review of the medical literature, cannabis (including all marijuana varieties and methods of consumption) should be considered as an etiology of acute pancreatitis. Patients should be aware of this potentially devastating effect prior to deciding to consume cannabis.


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Author Contact

Jodie A. Barkin, MD, University of Miami, Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine

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