Knowledge and perceptions about Cannabidiol use


Background: Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the main cannabinoids present in the cannabis plant. The demand for CBD grew over time with more individuals consuming CBD products due to its potential therapeutic properties. Objectives: To assess the knowledge and perceptions of Maltese members of the public and health care professionals (HCPs) about CBD, one of the main cannabinoids present in the cannabis plant. Methods: Surveys aiming to assess the knowledge and perception of the public and HCPs about CBD were developed, validated and disseminated. Results: Four hundred members of the public and 150 HCPs completed questionnaires. Ninety-six percent of participants (n=384) agreed that CBD has a therapeutic effect. Respondents from the general public were mostly knowledgeable about CBD and its use, had positive perceptions in relation to CBD and like HCPs, feel more comfortable if CBD is recommended by HCPs. HCPs were not so knowledgeable about certain aspects on CBD. One hundred and twelve HCPs were not aware that there is only one FDA/EMA approved CBD-based product. HCPs would feel comfortable in prescribing CBD products for pain and insomnia and the majority of them (55%; n=83) believe that CBD has mostly an analgesic effect. Social stigma associated with the use of CBD and potential judgement of HCPs were barriers to CBD use. Conclusion: Increased research, knowledge and availability of prescribing information and guidelines related CBD use might lead to an increased willingness of HCPs to recommend CBD and lead to a decrease in potential barriers associated with its use.

Keywords: Cannabidiol, positive perceptions, pain and insomnia

Keywords: Cannabidiol, positive perceptions, pain, insomnia


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Author Biographies

Abigail Calleja, Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, University of Malta, Msida, Malta

Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, University of Malta, Msida, Malta

Janis Vella Szijj, Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, University of Malta, Msida, Malta

Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, University of Malta, Msida, Malta

Anthony Serracino-Inglott, Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, University of Malta, Msida, Malta

Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, University of Malta, Msida, Malta

Lilian M. Azzopardi, Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, University of Malta, Msida, Malta

Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, University of Malta, Msida, Malta


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How to Cite
Calleja A, Szijj JV, Serracino-Inglott A, Azzopardi LM. Knowledge and perceptions about Cannabidiol use. JDDT [Internet]. 15Jan.2024 [cited 25Feb.2024];14(1):113-20. Available from: