Understanding lower-risk cannabis consumption from the consumers’ perspective: a rapid evidence assessment

Renee St-Jean, Mackenzie E. Dowson, Anna Stefaniak, Melissa M. Salmon, Nassim Tabri, Richard T. A. Wood, Michael J. A. Wohl*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Background: In the current rapid evidence assessment, we summarize the existing research on lower-risk cannabis consumption as understood by those who consume cannabis.

Methods: We identified 7111 unique articles published between 1900 and 2021 using search terms related to a) cannabis consumption, b) beliefs and behaviors, and c) positive outcomes.

Results: Twelve articles met our inclusion criteria. Three themes emerged that reflect lower-risk cannabis beliefs and behaviors (informed self-regulation, protective behavioral strategies, and the normalization of cannabis consumption) and one theme reflected motivations that undermine lower-risk cannabis consumption (e.g., using cannabis to cope).

Conclusions: Results suggest a need for targeted lower-risk cannabis consumption research—research focused on how those who consume cannabis do so in a positive, non-problematic manner. Such research would help to inform policy and practice and, ultimately, help promote lower-risk cannabis consumption strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1997-2007
Number of pages11
JournalSubstance Use & Misuse
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 6 Oct 2022


  • Cannabis use
  • Rapid evidence assessment
  • Harm minimization
  • Lower-risk cannabis


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