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WIRE: Cannabis use may modulate acute alcohol pancreatitis severity

Macon, GA — Patients with a history of cannabis use present less severe symptoms of acute alcoholic pancreatitis (AAP) as compared to matched controls, according to data published in the journal Translational Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

Researchers from the Mercer School of Medicine assessed AAP severity at the time of hospital admission in 38 patients with a history of cannabis use versus 76 patients who tested negative for the substance. Subjects were matched for age, sex, race, and medical history.

Patients who tested positive for cannabis exhibited less severe manifestations of AAP and were less likely to be placed in ICU than were controls.

Authors concluded: “[W]e found that cannabis positive patients had less severe presentation of AAP indicating that cannabis could modulate the inflammatory effects of alcohol on the pancreas. … Further, large scale studies are needed to characterize the effect of cannabis on AP.”

For more information, contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: paul@norml.org. Full text of the study, “Severity and outcomes of acute alcoholic pancreatitis in cannabis users,” appears in Translational Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

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