Use and Reported Helpfulness of Cannabinoids Among Primary Care Patients in Vermont

J Prim Care Community Health. 2020 Jan-Dec:11:2150132720946954. doi: 10.1177/2150132720946954.


Introduction: While cannabis has been medically legal in Vermont since 2004 and recreationally legal since 2018 there has been minimal published research regarding the use and practices in the adult population. This gap in understanding results in primary care providers having difficulty navigating conversations surrounding cannabinoid use. The purpose of this research was to identify current use and perceptions of cannabinoids, including Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), in adult primary care patients in Vermont. Methods: An anonymous written survey was given to 1009 Vermont primary care patients aged 18 years and older. All measures were patient-reported and included use of CBD and THC products, perceived helpfulness for certain medical conditions, knowledge of CBD and THC, perceived knowledge of their provider, and concerns regarding cannabis legalization. Results: 45% of adult primary care patients reported using cannabinoids in the past year. Only 18% of patients reported their provider as being a good source of information regarding cannabis. Of the patients who used cannabis in the past year, a majority reported it helpful for conditions such as anxiety and depression, arthritis, pain, sleep, and nausea. Conclusions: Primary care providers need to be knowledgeable about cannabinoids to best support patient care. In addition, with a significant number of patients reporting cannabinoids helpful for medical conditions common in primary care, it is important that research continue to identify the potential benefits and harms of cannabis.

Keywords: cannabinoids; medications; primary care; rural health; survey.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cannabidiol*
  • Cannabinoids*
  • Cannabis*
  • Humans
  • Primary Health Care
  • Vermont


  • Cannabinoids
  • Cannabidiol