Relationship of Cannabis Use Disorder and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS): An Analysis of 6.8 Million Hospitalizations in the United States

Rikinkumar S. Patel, Hemant Goyal, Ritvij Satodiya, William E. Tankersley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background: Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic multifactorial gastrointestinal condition that substantially affects the quality of life. Research have suggested an increasing trend in cannabis use to alleviate IBS-related psychiatric symptoms. Objectives: We aim to investigate the association of psychiatric comorbidities and cannabis use disorders (CUD) in hospitalized IBS patients. Methods: We analyzed 31,272 IBS hospitalizations in patients (aged 15-54 years) from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS). We utilized logistic regression to evaluate the adjusted odds ratio (aOR) of CUD and psychiatric comorbidities. Results: Anxiety (26.3%) and depressive (24.8%) disorders were prevalent and increased the odds for IBS-hospitalization by 2.5 and 1.8 times respectively. Tobacco use disorder was most prevalent (24.5%) followed by CUD (3.7%). After controlling for demographics, psychiatric and medical comorbidities, and other substance use disorders, CUD had higher odds for IBS hospitalizations (aOR 1.407, 95% CI 1.32-1.50). IBS hospitalizations with CUD increased by 32.8% from 2010 to 2014. CUD patients were younger (15-24 years, aOR 5.4, 95% CI 4.27-6.77), males (aOR 1.8, 95% CI 1.59-2.09) and African Americans (aOR 2.8, 95% CI 1.45-2.23) and from low-income families (aOR 1.9, 95% CI 1.58-2.39). Conclusions: We found that patients with CUD have 40.7% higher odds for IBS-hospitalizations with a rising trend of CUD and related psychiatric comorbidities which may further worsen IBS and health quality of life. With limited evidence of efficacy and safety of cannabis in IBS, larger, randomized controlled studies are required to examine its therapeutic efficacy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)281-290
Number of pages10
JournalSubstance Use and Misuse
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Cannabis use
  • epidemiology
  • hospitalizations
  • IBS
  • marijuana
  • risk factors


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