Risk perception, health stressors and reduction in sharing cannabis products during the COVID-19 outbreak: a cross-sectional study

Dennis Rosenberg, Sharon Sznitman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: This study aimed to understand the extent to which cannabis-related risk perception and COVID-19-related health worries were associated with the reported reduction in sharing cannabis smoking products to mitigate the risk of the coronavirus transmission or infection. This association was tested in two different periods in terms of toughness of national lockdown policy imposed in the first months of the pandemic in Israel. Design/methodology/approach: The study population included adult recreational cannabis users who completed one of the two online cross-sectional surveys dedicated to COVID-19 and the cannabis use situation in Israel in the first half of the 2020. The two surveys were conducted six weeks apart. One survey was conducted in the period when strict lockdown measures were in place (N1 = 376). The other survey was conducted in the period when many lockdown measures were lifted (N2 = 284). Differences between the samples regarding risk perception, health stressors and reduction in sharing cannabis products were assessed using t-test. Regression analysis was used to test the independent correlates of reported reduction in sharing cannabis products. Findings: Means of risk perception, health stressors and reported reduction in sharing cannabis products were higher in the sample surveyed in the period of the strict lockdown measures than in the sample surveyed in the period of eased lockdown measures. Risk perception was associated with reported reduction in sharing cannabis products only in the sample surveyed in the period of strict lockdown measures. In contrast, health stressors were related to reported reduction in sharing cannabis products in both samples. Social implications: Health stressors may represent a more stable mechanism by which cannabis users engage in protective behavior during the pandemic than risk perceptions. Originality/value: To the best of the authors’ knowledge, the current research is one of the first studies that examine the associations among risk perception, primary stressors and protective behavior in recreational cannabis users while referring to cannabis-related behavior other than use.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28-35
Number of pages8
JournalDrugs and Alcohol Today
Volume22
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • Health stressors
  • Lockdown
  • Risk perception
  • Sharing cannabis products

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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