In recent years, medical cannabis has gained major interest in many countries, including Belgium. It is as a result of the evidence of its potential therapeutic advantages. Understanding public attitudes toward this alternative medicine is vital as its use spreads across the world.
Knowledge, perceptions, and behavioural intention regarding medical cannabis
The latest research conducted in Belgium intended to examine the approach of the general public regarding medical cannabis. The results provided information on the current status of public opinion. The study, which included an online poll with 656 participants, produced a number of interesting results.
It was discovered that participants’ overall opinions of the risks and rewards and their behavioural intentions toward medical cannabis were positive. However, it was discovered that both subjective and objective knowledge about medical cannabis was generally insufficient. This knowledge gap shows that the medicine and its possible effects are still not fully understood.
Furthermore, the study found that social trust played a significant role in shaping opinions. It had a favourable effect on risk perceptions. Thus, people with stronger social trust tended to perceive medical cannabis’ risks as being higher. On the other hand, social trust had a negative impact on benefit perceptions. It showed that people with higher social trust saw fewer advantages to using medical cannabis.
The discovery of three separate groups within the population under study—a cautious, positive and enthusiastic group—was one of the study’s significant discoveries. The positive and enthusiastic groups tended to be older and better educated. This shows that those who are older and more educated are more open to the concept of using medical cannabis as an effective therapy.
Future of medical cannabis perception in Belgium
The study’s findings highlight the need for more studies. They should be able to improve the understanding of the relationships between knowledge, perceptions, and behaviors related to medical marijuana in different situations and policy contexts. Even though the use of medical cannabis is universally accepted, there are still a lot of misunderstandings and knowledge gaps that must be addressed.
The report also emphasises the value of public education and awareness programs in bridging the medical cannabis knowledge gap. Stakeholders may encourage a more informed and receptive public by delivering correct information and denying myths.
The results of the research emphasise the largely positive public impressions of medical cannabis. However it also reveals the information gaps and false beliefs about medical cannabis use. For policymakers, healthcare providers, and others involved, the identification of different groups among the general public and their various opinions regarding medical cannabis offers useful data. Especially, whilst many countries see now the benefits of medical cannabis for the government. Examples come from Czech Republic and the UK. By conducting more research and investing in education, there may be the way for evidence-based policies and strategies that promote safe and effective use of medical cannabis as a useful medical treatment.