• A qualitative descriptive study involved 23 cannabis users for many health problems.
  • The aim was to describe users perception and reaction to cannabis-related stigma.


Despite the widespread expansion and acceptance of the general public, cannabis use in many contexts is still seen as aberrant activity. However, it is less known how cannabis-related stigma affects individuals who use cannabis for therapeutic use (CTP), and what strategies these people use to manage associated stigma. The aim of this Canadian study was to describe the perception of users and the response to stigma associated with the use of CTP.


23 people who used CTP for a number of health problems participated in semi-structured interviews. Rewritten data was analyzed using inductive approach and benchmarking strategies to explore the perception of CTP participants and identify topics.


Stigma participants experiences are related to negative opinions on cannabis as a recreational drug, current criminal sanctions related to cannabis use and cannabis use in relation to stigmatization of vulnerability (related to existing disease and disability).

Strategies for Managementstigma using CTPthey included: keeping CTP "secret", educating those who do not approve or understand the use of CTP and use cannabis responsibly.


Understanding how individuals perceive and respond to stigma can inform about the development of strategies to reduce the stigma associated with CTP use, thereby addressing the barriers faced by those taking this drug.