Fifth of the inhabitants of Slovenia has already used cannabis or cannabis-derived products for health purposes or is considering it
Background: In the survey we explore the prevalence of use of cannabis or cannabis-derived products (CCDP) for health purposes among the Slovenian adults aged 15-64 years, among which groups their use is most widespread, what are the reasons for their use, what forms of cannabis-derived products are most commonly used and how the users got them.
Methods: Data was obtained within the National Survey on the Use of Tobacco, Alcohol and Other Drugs 2018. This is a cross- sectional survey on a probability sample conducted among 9161 individuals aged between 15 and 64 years living in private households and residing in the Slovenian territory.
Results: % of the Slovenian adults has used CCDP for health purposes at least once in their lifetime. Among the inhabitants who did not yet use CCDP for health purposes (93.2%), 15.5% are considering using them. Lifetime use of CCDP for health purposes is most common among women and people who use marijuana or hashish 2 to 4 times a week or more often also for other reasons. Chronic pain and insomnia are the most common medical reasons of CCDP use. Hemp oil, hemp resin and hemp cream are products whose use has been reported in the highest percentage. These products are most often obtained from a relative or friend or purchased at a specialized store.
Conclusion: Data from our survey show that a fifth of the Slovenian adults aged 15-64 years have already used cannabis or cannabis-derived products for health purposes or is considering using it. CCDP product was most commonly used to relieve chronic pain and insomnia. Given the growing acceptance of cannabis among the Slovenian adults and the aggressive advertising of its products, there is a need for further, more in-depth research and raising awareness of the population about the benefits and risks of using cannabis-derived products.