Perceptions and recommendation behaviors of dermatologists for medical cannabis: A pilot survey


Samuel Yeroushalmi, Kamaria Nelsona, Andrew Sparks, Adam Friedman

Published in Complementary Therapies in Medicine

September 2020


Evidence suggests that cannabinoids may provide therapeutic benefit to patients with dermatologic conditions. The recommendation behaviors of dermatologists with regards to recommending medical cannabis are unknown. We administered a pilot survey to evaluate dermatologists’ recommendation behaviors including dermatologic indications and formulation preferences.

A cross-sectional study was done to sample dermatologists using a 24-question survey.

Online survey through SurveyMonkey® that was distributed via Orlando Dermatology Aesthetic and Clinical Conference’s mailing list, including thousands of practicing dermatologists.

Main Outcome Measures
Descriptive data of dermatologists’ recommendation behaviors of medical cannabis are described. Fisher’s exact test and Chi-Square tests were used to compare recommendation behaviors by gender, age, years in practice, and residency legality.

The survey was sent to 7176 individuals; of the 28.7 % who opened the email, 2.2 % completed the survey (N = 145). 91 % of dermatologists were in support of medical cannabis use and 13.8 % have recommended it for a dermatologic condition. Atopic dermatitis (45 %) and psoriasis (40 %) were the most common. The most common form of administration was topical (75 %). The main reasons for not recommending medical cannabis were limited knowledge (56 %) and lack of experience (48 %).

Cutaneous inflammatory and pruritic conditions such as psoriasis and atopic dermatitis were the most common reasons dermatologists recommended medical cannabis in our survey. Respondents’ recommendation patterns may have been limited by limited by lack of knowledge or experience with medical cannabis. The small sample size of our survey limits generalizability to the dermatology field and warrants further investigation.


Open Access





Yeroushalmi, S., Nelson, K., Sparks, A., & Friedman, A. (2020). Perceptions and recommendation behaviors of dermatologists for medical cannabis: A pilot survey. Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 102552.