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Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)



Thesis Committee Chairperson

Lisa Ball, PhD, RN, FNP-BC

Second Reader

Susan Matters, Ed.D


Purpose: Research that pertains to providers’ knowledge of recreational cannabis use and its effects on health is lacking. While there has been some research focusing on the actual effects of cannabis use recreationally, there have been no studies looking at provider knowledge. The purpose of the present study was to explore providers’ knowledge of cannabis use and its effects on health.

Method: This was a quantitative, descriptive study in which an anonymous questionnaire used to measure providers’ knowledge of cannabis and its effects on health was distributed via SurveyMonkey to users in the SurveyMonkey database who identified as Masters-prepared health care providers. The researcher developed the 12- item tool used and the questions formulated were based on current research regarding this topic. Data was analyzed using Microsoft excel program.

Findings: The data indicated that providers lack knowledge pertaining to the effects of cannabis on beta cells in diabetic patients, cognitive function, respiratory function, triglyceride effects, CAD effects, retroviral interactions and effects on the obese population. Participants had some knowledge regarding age of onset of cannabis use and the states that have currently legalized cannabis on a recreational basis.

Conclusions: Given that recreational use of cannabis is becoming legalized across the country, increased prevalence and disclosure of cannabis use is expected; thus, providers must be knowledgeable of the physiologic effects of cannabis use in their patient populations. More education for providers across the professions is recommended in addition to further research examining the physiologic effects of cannabis and providers’ knowledge of such.