Research Article
Issue Date: July/August 2020
Published Online: June 03, 2020
Updated: June 22, 2020
Impact of Recreational and Medicinal Cannabinoids on Quality of Life and Occupation: A Scoping Review
Author Affiliations
  • Carlneshia M. Hunnicutt, OTD, OTR/L, is Occupational Therapist, Deltona, FL. At the time of the study, she was Student, Doctor of Occupational Therapy Program, Nova Southeastern University, Tampa, FL; hunnicuttC@live.com
  • Sheila M. Longpré, PhD, OTR/L, is Associate Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy, Gannon University, Ruskin, FL. At the time of the study, she was Associate Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy, Nova Southeastern University, Tampa, FL.
Article Information
Community Mobility and Driving / Health and Wellness / Mental Health / Musculoskeletal Impairments / Neurologic Conditions / Rehabilitation, Participation, and Disability / Research Articles
Research Article   |   June 03, 2020
Impact of Recreational and Medicinal Cannabinoids on Quality of Life and Occupation: A Scoping Review
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, June 2020, Vol. 74, 7404205020. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2020.038539
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, June 2020, Vol. 74, 7404205020. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2020.038539
Abstract

Importance: Cannabinoids are at the center of much interest and controversy within health care and society. However, minimal research has investigated the impact of cannabinoids on quality of life (QoL) and occupation.

Objective: The literature suggests that cannabinoids may have therapeutic potential, although the available research is limited. A scoping review was conducted to address the gap in the literature regarding the impact of recreational and medicinal cannabinoids on QoL and occupational engagement.

Data Sources: Databases searched included Ovid and CINAHL; sources derived from a manual search of reference lists were also used. Of the 691 articles that were identified, 22 articles met the inclusion and exclusion criteria.

Study Selection and Data Collection: This scoping review was conducted in accordance with Arksey and O’Malley’s five stages. Inclusion criteria included English language, clear focus or description on the impact of nonsynthetic cannabinoids on QoL and occupation, and published between January 2011 and May 2019. Exclusion criteria included minors, single case studies, animal studies, antineoplastic articles, and articles that only discussed or investigated effects of synthetic cannabinoids.

Findings: The findings were inconclusive, and the primary research that emerged from the literature investigated the effects of cannabinoids on pain management, sleep, appetite, and other physiological functions in both recreational and medicinal users.

Conclusions and Relevance: The findings derived from the literature raised more questions, and further research is warranted. Occupational therapy practitioners have an opportunity to use their knowledge and skills to address the impact of cannabinoids on occupational engagement and QoL.

What This Article Adds: Practitioners have the opportunity to provide education regarding cannabis use and monitor how it affects occupational engagement and QoL for both recreational and medicinal users.