Caring for people with multiple sclerosis who use cannabis for symptom control
Gibson, Caroline E.
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British Journal of Community Nursing, volume 24, issue 6, page 257-257
Research suggests that a large proportion of people living with multiple sclerosis (PwMS) are using cannabis to self-manage symptoms, or at least believe there are potential benefits in using this drug. Since community nurses are frontline caregivers, they are likely to encounter PwMS who use cannabis within the home setting. The literature base surrounding this topic is largely driven by quantitative research examining the effectiveness of cannabis as a medicine. This review found that qualitative research exploring the experiences of PwMS who use cannabis is lacking worldwide and is completely absent within UK nursing literature. PwMS using cannabis may not feel safe discussing this with health professionals, as they might fear being judged. This literature review discusses how people perceive the effectiveness of cannabis in helping symptoms associated with MS, while also considering the stigma and legal concerns people face. This review may help community nurses inform their practice and enhance person-centred relationships between them and PwMS.