Cannabis is the most commonly used non-alcohol intoxicant in the general population. There are no consistent guidelines on the implications of cannabis abuse and dependence (CAD) in kidney transplant candidates. The aims of this study were to characterize kidney transplant candidates with comorbid CAD and examine the implications of CAD on transplant candidacy.


This was a retrospective cohort study of kidney transplant candidates meeting diagnostic criteria for CAD at a tertiary center from 2012 to 2016. Candidates were reviewed for psychiatric and substance use disorders (SUDs), family history, and medical variables. The cohort was divided by severity of CAD and transplant listing status for comparisons. Statistical analysis included Kruskal-Wallis tests for continuous variables and Fisher’s Exact Test for categorical variables.


Sixty-one of 2067 (3%) kidney transplant candidates met criteria for CAD, and 13/61 (21%) underwent transplantation. Of 61, 58% smoked cannabis daily, 47% had alcohol dependence history, 31% had other illicit drug dependencies, 38% were smokers, 60% had a SUD family history, and 42% and 27% had depressive and anxiety disorders, respectively. Severity of CAD was inversely associated with transplant listing; those with cannabis abuse were more often listed than those with dependence (67% vs 33%, p 

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