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JOP. 2007 Sep 7;8(5):579-83.

Cannabinoid-induced pancreatitis: a case series.

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  • 1Auburn University Harrison School of Pharmacy, Auburn, AL, USA.



There is only one previously published case report of acute pancreatitis secondary to the use of tetrahydrocannabinoid. While drugs, in general, account for 2% of all the causes of acute pancreatitis, we add to the literature three additional cases of cannabis-induced pancreatitis.


The first case occurred in a 22-year-old man who admitted to smoking tetrahydrocannabinoid heavily over the days prior to admission. The second case involved a 23-year-old man with multiple admissions for tetrahydrocannabinoid-induced pancreatitis. The third case involved a 20-year-old female who admitted to smoking tetrahydrocannabinoid heavily over a period of two weeks prior to admission. In all cases, other causes of pancreatitis were ruled out. Furthermore, the symptoms associated with the acute pancreatitis subsided upon discontinuation of the drug.


Cannabis is the world's most popular illicit drug with over 4% of the world's population using it each year. Despite this, acute pancreatitis is a rarely reported adverse effect of cannabis use. This case series adds to the literature that cannabis does in fact cause pancreatitis and it may be dose related, although the exact mechanism remains unknown.

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