Male cannabis users have lower kidney stone risk, female users do not

Using data from the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) from 2009 to 2018, this study sought to determine if there was an association between marijuana use and kidney stones. It was published in September 2023 in the journal Frontiers in Pharmacology.

The NHANES uses interviews by trained interviewers to evaluate the health and nutritional status of individuals. It collects self-reported patient responses to specific sets of standardized question formats. Cannabis (marijuana) users were divided into three groups based on frequency of use:

  1. “less than one time per week”
  2. “one to six times per week”
  3. “one or more times per day”


14,324 patients were included. Their average age was 39, and the incidence of kidney stones was just under 8%. 26% of the patients reported some marijuana use, and they skewed male.

The authors found a statistically significant relationship of reduced kidney stones among men who used cannabis 1-6 times per week. They did not find a significant relationship for the other two groups, or for women.

The odds ratio of developing kidney stones was about 37% lower in the "1-6 times per week" group versus the never used marijuana group.

Results and authors' conclusions:

one to seven times a week consumption of marijuana was associated with a lower risk of kidney stones in males

No significant differences were found in overall and female participants.

our findings suggested that regular marijuana male users were related to a lower risk of kidney stones.


The full text article is here at



Di X, Xiang L, Wang M, Wei X. Association between marijuana use and kidney stone: a cross-sectional study of NHANES 2009 to 2018. Front Pharmacol. 2023 Sep 7;14:1214647. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2023.1214647. PMID: 37745067; PMCID: PMC10513173.