Psychology Student Attitudes and Beliefs Toward Cannabis for Mental Health Purposes: a Cross National Comparison

Marilyn Clark, Valentina Gritsenko, Jamie S. Bonnici, Tatyana Marinova, Alexander Reznik, Richard Isralowitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Medical and allied health sciences professionals are increasingly dealing with clients who use cannabis for medical and recreational purposes. Yet, university curricula in many countries do not provide education for students and professionals in medicine and allied health fields including psychology about medical cannabis (MC) use. This study compares the attitudes and beliefs toward medical cannabis among psychology students at universities in Malta and Russia. Data were collected through an online survey for Maltese students and a pen-and-paper survey for Russian students. The present study did not evidence any difference based on gender. However, students who reported personal cannabis use, regardless of country status, were more likely to recommend MC for patient treatment and believe cannabis use does not pose serious physical or mental health risks. Significant differences among the students from Malta and Russia may be attributed to the legal standing of MC in the countries involved. However, a key finding from all students is the dearth of education about cannabis for health-related conditions and the need for curricula based on evidence-based research for informed decision-making.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1866-1874
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Mental Health and Addiction
Volume19
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2021

Keywords

  • Attitudes
  • Beliefs
  • Education
  • Malta
  • Medical cannabis
  • Psychology students
  • Russia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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