Marijuana and Bariatric Surgery

Curr Psychiatry Rep. 2021 Jan 12;23(2):10. doi: 10.1007/s11920-020-01218-4.


Purpose of review: Marijuana use presents a unique challenge to bariatric surgery programs. We review the recent evidence examining marijuana use on outcomes following bariatric surgery.

Recent findings: Recent studies have not demonstrated an increased risk of short-term surgical complications or differences in up to 2-year weight loss following surgery among marijuana users. However, studies have demonstrated increased risks in two areas: pain management and problematic eating behaviors. Additionally, preoperative marijuana use has been linked to increased postoperative marijuana use which may undermine weight loss and increase risk for weight regain. There are still many unanswered questions regarding marijuana use and bariatric surgery, and the limited literature base has produced mixed results when considering marijuana as a contraindication for bariatric surgery. Programs must take into consideration the laws of their state, individual patterns of use, and route of administration when considering whether marijuana is a contraindication for surgery.

Keywords: Bariatric surgery; Marijuana; Postoperative outcomes; Severe obesity; Substance use.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bariatric Surgery*
  • Cannabis*
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Humans
  • Obesity, Morbid*
  • Weight Loss