Mark G. Kirchhof November 20, 2021
J Cutan Med Surg. 2021 Nov 19:12034754211059025. Online ahead of print. BACKGROUND: Since its legalization in Canada, cannabis use has expanded to include commercially available topical formations. Several scientifically unsupported claims regarding the therapeutic efficacy of topical cannabis are also being made. Developing an understanding of the consumer uses of topical cannabis is important for clinicians to provide appropriate counseling and inform potential areas of therapeutic development. We are examining the prevalence, purpose of use, and sources of information regarding topical cannabis in the Canadian population, with a focus on dermatologic uses. METHOD: A cross-sectional, anonymous electronic, voluntary survey was developed to assess the use of topical cannabis amongst adults in Canada. RESULTS: Cannabis was used topically at least once by 24.3% of respondents who started the survey. The commonest form of topical cannabis were creams (26.2%). The most common dermatologic conditions being treated with topical cannabis included atopic dermatitis (25%), acne (19%), and anti-aging (16%); for non-dermatologic conditions, common uses were for joint stiffness or tendonitis (30%) and headaches and migraines (27%). Topical cannabis was reported to be most effective for joint stiffness and tendonitis, general muscular soreness, headaches, eczema, pruritus, acne, and psoriasis. Most respondents obtained and received information about topical cannabis from dispensaries. CONCLUSION: Canadians use topical cannabis for a broad range of systemic and dermatologic purposes, most of which have limited evidence. Future clinical studies are required to elucidate the therapeutic efficacy and safety of topical cannabis. Dermatologists should screen their patients for topical cannabis use and be aware of the limited evidence of therapeutic potential. PMID:34798780 | DOI:10.1177/12034754211059025
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