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Cannabinoids, endocannabinoid system, and cannabis as nurses: What the National Council of States Board of Nurses says you need to know!

By Carey Clark posted 09-22-2018 12:43


A most exciting publication has come forth that is an amazing development, with great implications for the field of cannabis nursing. The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) has published an article in The Journal of Nursing Regulation (July, 2018) entitled “Nursing care of the patient using medical marijuana”. The multi part article provides an overview of legislation, a scientific review of the literature, and calls for all nurses to be educated on the endocannabinoid system and how cannabis works in the body. Additionally there is a call for all pre-licensure and APRN education programs to include information for students around current cannabis legislation and most importantly, “The nursing student shall have a general understanding of the endocannabinoid system, cannabinoid receptors, cannabinoids, and the interactions between them” ,  “The nursing student shall have an understanding of cannabis pharmacology and the research associated with the medical use of cannabis“ and “the nursing student shall approach the patient without judgment regarding the patient’s choice of treatment or preferences in managing pain and other distressing symptoms.”


I am pleased to say that while the committee was formulating the guidelines, I was honored to share with them our Scope and Standards of Practice for Cannabis Nurses, and they felt that we were in alignment with the recommendations they were bringing forward.


You can access the article and it’s multiple parts from the Journal of Nursing Regulation’s  website:


Over time, we are getting closer to nurses having better working knowledge of how to best support patients who opt to use cannabis as medicine
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