Scientists have found that only 55% of dispensary employees surveyed in the study had received any formal training for their current positions. The other 45% hadn’t had any formal training at all. The staff members studied worked at medical or non medical cannabis dispensaries in Colorado, California, Arizona, Oregon, District of Columbia, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Maine. Only 20% have any medical background on the health effects of marijuana, and just 13% had received any education on the science of the drug, researchers have found. Furthermore, some of the dispensary employees in the study made suggestions to people who were purchasing cannabis that wasn’t appropriate for treating their customers’ conditions, said lead study author Nancy Haug, a professor of addiction medicine at Palo Alto University in California.

Researchers have found that 13% of the employees studied said they had suggested types of cannabis that had high levels of THC to patients who intended to use the cannabis for anxiety treatment. However, previous research has shown that THC may actually worsen anxiety, Haug told Live Science. THC was also suggested by 7% to treat epilepsy, when studies have shown that CBD oil may work better, Haug stated.
Participants were asked by the researchers about their job duties and whether they had training related to their job, and what types of cannabis they usually suggested to people with particular conditions.

Researchers found that 35% of the dispensary employees had received customer service training, 26% had received business training, 20% had received medical training, and 13% had received scientific training. Another 20% had received some other type training that might have involved marijuana education. Almost 100% of the participants said that they had given advice to customers. That included suggesting which strains of cannabis they should use and offering advice to the customers on the benefits of cannabis for particular symptoms. The participants said the most common symptoms reported by their customers were chronic anxiety, pain, and insomnia. 62% percent of the employees stated they almost always followed up with their customers after their purchases, to inquire about their conditions, according to the study, published December 1st in the journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research.

In conclusion, the employees were more likely to suggest cannabis with equal ratios of CBD to THC for people with PTSD, anxiety, Crohn’s disease, or Trauma rather than suggesting cannabis that have high levels of THC. This is in line with what experts suggested, the researchers stated. Employees were also more likely to suggest cannabis with high levels of CBD and equal ratios of THC to CBD for people with epilepsy and muscle spasms rather than suggesting cannabis with high levels of THC. Results have shown that dispensaries should formally train their employees. This education should be based on findings from up-to-date scientific literature on cannabis, Haug stated.

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