WEDNESDAY, Feb. 17, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Less than half of physicians ask allergy and asthma patients about cannabis use, according to a study published online Jan. 16 in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

Joanna S. Zeiger, Ph.D., from the Canna Research Foundation in Boulder, Colorado, and colleagues conducted a survey to identify patterns of use and attitudes toward cannabis in 489 adult allergy and asthma patients.

The researchers found that 18 percent of respondents currently use cannabis, with the majority being younger than 50 years old, female, and White. Among respondents who reported not using cannabis, 2.5 percent reported cannabis allergy. Four in 10 current cannabis users (40.9 percent) reported a physician inquiring about cannabis use, but only 37.5 percent of respondents wanted to discuss cannabis. Nearly two-thirds (65.9 percent) reported using cannabis for medical or medical/recreational purposes. Smoked cannabis was reported by 53.4 percent versus 35.2 percent who reported vaped cannabis. Among cannabis users, 58 percent reported current asthma, with 39.2 percent saying it is uncontrolled. Significantly more patients reported positive cannabis effects than negative effects.

“In order to more completely manage their allergy/asthma patients, allergists should increase their knowledge about cannabis and inquire about cannabis use including types of cannabinoid, route of use, reasons for use, and adverse effects,” a coauthor said in a statement.

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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