Cureus. 2021 Jun 11;13(6):e15601. doi: 10.7759/cureus.15601. eCollection 2021 Jun.
Objectives To explore the independent association between cannabis abuse and subsequent hospitalizations for acute pancreatitis (AP) and delineate the demographic differences among AP in patients with and without persistent cannabis abuse. Methods We conducted a retrospective cross-sectional study using the nationwide inpatient sample and included 50,444,133 patients (age 18-50 years) with a primary discharge diagnosis for medical illnesses and further grouped by presence of AP (N = 666,248). We used the logistic regression model to measure the odds ratio (OR) of the association between cannabis abuse and hospitalization for AP and adjusted it for demographic confounders and comorbid risk factors. Results Cannabis abuse significantly increases the odds for AP-related hospitalization (OR 2.12, P <0.001). When the regression model was controlled for potential risk factors (gall stones, cystic fibrosis, hypertriglyceridemia, hypercalcemia, hyperparathyroidism, abdominal surgeries, tobacco abuse, and alcohol abuse), cannabis abuse did not increase the odds for AP-related hospitalization (OR 0.72, P <0.001) due to the significant effect caused by gallstones (OR 30.98, P <0.001) and alcohol abuse (OR 12.69, P <0.001). AP inpatients with cannabis abuse were younger compared to non-cannabis abusers (mean age, 35.7 vs. 37.9 years), and majorly male (70.9% vs. 53.8%). AP was considerably more prevalent in whites (60.6%), followed by blacks (18.3%) and Hispanics (15.2%). Conclusion Cannabis abuse increased the unadjusted odds for AP-related hospitalization by two times, but after controlling for potential risk factors the adjusted odds of association significantly reduced. Cannabis-induced AP can be treated if a problematic recreational cannabis use pattern is discontinued at an earlier stage. Therefore, awareness campaigns and early supportive therapy among cannabis abusers might help diagnose and treat the comorbidity and improve the quality of life.