Nursing: Medical Marijuana: Use and Indications

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About the Course

This course is intended for educational purposes only and in no way, encourages, endorses, or supports the use of marijuana. 

The course presents the latest information about medical marijuana and is designed to help nurses understand its use, history, risks, benefits, and related best practices.  Although various state laws permit the medical and sometimes recreational use of marijuana, it is critical to note that according to the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), 21 U.S.C. § 801, et seq., marijuana is categorized under Schedule I, indicating that it has no accepted medicinal value. As a result, the cultivation, purchase, possession, use, and sale of marijuana are prohibited by United States federal law.  

Learning Outcomes:
Upon completion of this course, the learner will be able to:
  • Describe two differences between THC and CBD.
  • Identify two medical indications for marijuana.
  • Name marijuana’s main psychoactive component.
  • Characterize three dysphoric reactions associated with marijuana use.
  • Identify three different methods of ingesting marijuana.
  • Understand some differences in legalization laws from one state to another.
  • State potential uses for medical marijuana in the treatment of HIV/AIDS, depression, cancer, MS, chronic pain, and epilepsy.
  • Distinguish the pharmacological activities associated with the CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors.
  • Characterize one potential adverse effect of marijuana on unborn fetuses.

About the Author:
Shellie D. Hill, DNP, FNP-BC

Shellie D. Hill, DNP, FNP-BC, is an assistant professor in the MSN-NP program at Saint Louis University.  She teaches the clinical courses for the family nurse practitioner students and advanced health assessment with clinical decision making and health promotion to MSN students. Dr. Hill has been a practicing FNP for 19 years and an RN for 25 years. Most of her practice has been in primary care, but she also has experience in urgent care and cardiology and currently practices in corporate health.

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