Nevin Manimala Statistics

Understanding Cannabis-Related Information Needs: An Analysis of Inquiries to the National Cancer Institute’s Cancer Information Service

Cannabis Cannabinoid Res. 2023 Oct 19. doi: 10.1089/can.2023.0119. Online ahead of print.


Purpose: Given increased cannabis use for medical and nonmedical purposes alike, there is growing public interest related to the potential risks and benefits of cannabis use, particularly related to cancer. The purpose of this descriptive study was to analyze cannabis inquiries to the National Cancer Institute’s Cancer Information Service (CIS). Materials and Methods: From September 2018 to June 2023, 190,070 noncannabis and 425 cannabis inquiries were documented by the CIS. Cannabis inquiries were delineated into two categories: nonmedical cannabis (NMC, n=240) or medical cannabis (MC, n=185). Chi-square tests were performed to determine differences between noncannabis and cannabis inquiries and descriptive analyses were used to identify patterns within cannabis-specific inquiries. Results: Statistically significant differences between noncannabis and cannabis inquiries were observed. In addition, there were variations in MC and NMC inquiries. For example, 73% of MC inquiries originated from cancer survivors and caregivers, whereas almost half of NMC inquiries (48%) were from individuals identifying as tobacco users. MC and NMC inquiries also differed by CIS access channel (e.g., instant chat, telephone), language used (English vs. Spanish), discussions of cancer continuum phases and cancer sites, and referrals provided to individuals for additional information and resources. Conclusion: Cannabis-related information needs of the public-as documented by the CIS-varied by several factors. Health information sources such as the CIS can help address cannabis-related questions and concerns, while noting differences in who is inquiring, how, and why.

PMID:37856770 | DOI:10.1089/can.2023.0119

By Nevin Manimala

Portfolio Website for Nevin Manimala