Factors Influencing Demand for Medical Cannabis Use among Cancer Patients in the North of Thailand

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Doctor of Public Health Program, Faculty of Public Health, KhonKaen University, Thailand.

2 Department of Public Health Administration, Health Promotion, and Nutrition, Faculty of Public Health, KhonKaen University, KhonKaen, Thailand.


Objective: Cancer treatments often cause side effects. Cannabis is a plant that has been studied and used to treat and relieve side effects from modern medicine. Medical cannabis (MC) was legalized in Thailand in 2019 with limited research on demand for its use. Therefore, this study aimed to identify factors associated with demand for MC use among cancer patients in the North of Thailand. Methods: This analytical cross-sectional study administered a multistage random sampling to recruit 1,284 cancer patients in northern Thailand to response a self-administered structured questionnaire. Generalized Linear Mixed Model (GLMM) was used to identify the determinants of demand for MC use among the population, presented adjusted odds ratios (adj.OR), 95% confidence intervals (95% CI), and p-values. Result: Nearly half of the respondents reported demand to use MC (44.0%). The factors that were significantly associated with demand to use MC included had high levels of health literacy about MC (adj.OR = 5.70; 95% CI: 4.08 to 7.96), higher levels of social support (adj.OR =5.50; 95% CI: 3.60 to 8.39), positive attitudes toward MC use (adj.OR = 2.56; 95% CI: 1.83 to 3.56), aged less than 30 (adj.OR =1.89; 95% CI: 1.21 to 2.93), diagnosis with cancerfor more than 12 months ago (adj.OR =1.73; 95% CI: 1.19 to 2.52) when controlling effect of other covariates. Conclusion: We found substantial demand for MC use among cancer patients. Health literacy,social support, attitudes about MC, age, and duration of having cancer were significantly associated with demand for MC use. Therefore, improving health literacy and social support, especially among older cancer patients, could help increasing demand for MC as a complementary medicine to treat cancers.


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