Cannabis use following bariatric surgery is associated with anxiety and maladaptive eating

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Surg Obes Relat Dis


BACKGROUND: There are limited data regarding the association of cannabis use with outcomes after bariatric surgery. As such, it is challenging to know how to counsel patients using cannabis.

OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to examine whether postsurgical cannabis use was associated with psychiatric symptoms and maladaptive eating among individuals up to 4 years after bariatric surgery.

SETTING: Single health system.

METHODS: All patients who underwent bariatric surgery over a 4-year period were invited to participate. Participants (N = 765) completed questionnaires online regarding postsurgical cannabis use, psychiatric symptoms, and maladaptive eating.

RESULTS: Any cannabis use after bariatric surgery was associated with increased likelihood of having elevated symptoms of anxiety (odds ratio [OR] = 1.88, P = .003; 37.8% versus 24.4%), increased likelihood of grazing behaviors (OR = 1.77, P = .01; 71.2% versus 58.2%), and higher scores for eating in response to depression (P = .01; 12.13 versus 10.75). Weekly cannabis use was associated with loss of control eating (OR = 1.81, P = .04; 37.2% versus 24.7%), binge eating (OR = 2.16, P = .03; 20.0% versus 10.4%), and night eating behaviors (OR = 2.11, P = .01; 40.0% versus 24.0%). Cannabis use was not associated with depression (P > .05).

CONCLUSIONS: Cannabis use after bariatric surgery was associated with anxiety symptoms and engaging in maladaptive eating behaviors. Frequent cannabis use (i.e., ≥1 per week) was associated with additional types of maladaptive eating. Clinicians involved in presurgical and postsurgical care may want to counsel patients currently using cannabis, especially those who are engaging in frequent use.

Medical Subject Headings

Humans; Cannabis; Obesity, Morbid; Bariatric Surgery; Anxiety; Binge-Eating Disorder; Feeding Behavior; Depression

PubMed ID



ePub ahead of print





First Page


Last Page