In a large study of patients who underwent bariatric surgery, self-reported marijuana use was not associated with diminished efficacy from the procedure.
If anything, according to a study presented at the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons’s virtual annual meeting, users did slightly better than non-users in terms of weight loss and metabolic comorbidity remission.
But that doesn’t mean bariatric surgery patients should start using cannabis, said John Hammond, a medical student at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor who led the study and reported the results in a video.
Those reporting marijuana use in the study were also substantially more likely than non-users to have mental disorders and use tobacco and alcohol — the latter to excess, he noted.
“Patients who use marijuana are likely to potentially benefit from psychological intervention and behavioral consult,” he said.
Moreover, his group was careful not to claim a weight-loss benefit for cannabis: “Marijuana use does not appear to negatively impact weight loss or comorbidity remission following bariatric surgery” was their bottom-line conclusion.
The study drew on data collected by a consortium of 40 bariatric surgery programs in Michigan. As part of this program, patients are asked to complete a survey that includes questions on marijuana use: yes/no, preferred methods, and frequency. The survey also inquires about use of other substances, mood, and other aspects of overall health.
Data on 11,592 patients undergoing a variety of bariatric procedures from 2014 to 2019 were analyzed, with an eye toward two outcomes: annual weight