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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 450-454

General knowledge of marijuana and kratom in an urban dental patient population: A cross-sectional study

University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry, Division of Integrated Biomedical Sciences, Detroit, Michigan, United States

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Michelle Wheater
Division of Integrated Biomedical Sciences, University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry, 2700 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Clinic Building Room 465, Detroit, Michigan, MI.
United States
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jioh.jioh_9_20

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Aim: To analyze the knowledge of dental patients in an urban setting regarding the legality and potential clinical benefits of marijuana and kratom. Materials and Methods: This presented cross-sectional study had 18-item questionnaire consisting of four demographic questions, six questions focused on marijuana, and eight questions focused on kratom, which was distributed in paper and pencil format to a convenience sample of 400 dental patients in the waiting area of an urban dental school. Data were entered into Qualtrics Research Suite software and analyzed using descriptive statistics and χ2 test with significance at P < 0.05. Results: Four hundred (400) surveys were completed anonymously by adult volunteers. Results showed a variable level of knowledge regarding the legality and potential clinical use of marijuana and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). With some questions, a statistically significant difference in knowledge was observed relative to age and highest level of education of the respondent. In contrast, compared to any knowledge of marijuana, respondents had little to no knowledge of kratom or mitragynine legality, health benefits, or potential as a substitute for opioids. Conclusion: Knowledge of marijuana is to be expected as its widespread use and debates of its legality have been in the public eye for years in the United States. Although similar debates regarding whether kratom should be legal continue, this survey suggests that the public has little to no knowledge of what it is. As opioid use disorder increases, so does the search for opioid substitutes. It is important that the public be made aware of potential opioid substitutes other than marijuana so that personal choices and decisions can be made with current and correct information.

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