Medical Cannabis: What Nurses Need to Know
This article will inform nurses to better educate patients who are taking, or are considering taking, medical cannabis.
Cannabis has a long history as a medicine, in spiritual use, and for recreational use. Currently, 33 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico allow medical cannabis use under specific qualifying conditions, and 11 states (and the District of Columbia) allow adult recreational use.
Nurses frequently care for patients who use or are considering using medical cannabis. In 2018, the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) released guidelines for nurses who care for patients who use medical cannabis. Because cannabis science isn’t taught in most nursing schools (except in the context of misuse), nurses must find information about cannabis on their own. This article will inform nurses to better educate patients who are taking, or are considering taking, medical cannabis.
Key Learning Outcomes
- Describe effects of cannabinoids.
- Compare cannabis preparations.
- Discuss cannabis administration.
Eloise Theisen, MSN, AGPCNP-BC
Eloise Theisen is the chief executive officer at Radicle Health in Walnut Creek, California, and incoming president of the American Cannabis Nurses Association.
Eileen Konieczny, RN, BCPA
Eileen Konieczny is past-president of the American Cannabis Nurses Association and author of Healing with CBD: How Cannabidiol Can Transform Your Health Without the High.