Think of a cannabis nurse as a nurse navigator helping you with the details of your cannabis medicine. Much like a diabetic educator, or cancer nurse navigator, cannabis nurses help you through the intricacies of medical cannabis and making sure that you get the most benefit out of your medicine. Cannabis nursing requires that the nurse is educated in multiple areas above and beyond all registered nurse competencies. Therefore, the American Cannabis Nurses Association (ACNA) was created in 2006. The ACNA is an alliance of trained professionals that aim to increase nurse’s knowledge of endocannabinoid therapeutics.
According to the ANCA, cannabis nursing is defined as care that incorporates the knowledge of: • The endocannabinoid system which includes the group of cannabinoid receptors located in the brain and throughout the central and peripheral nervous systems. • The safe use of herbal cannabis products. • The legal complexities associated with the use of herbal cannabis products.
A nurse specializing in cannabis doesn’t handle the substance nor administer it to patients. Instead, cannabis nurses incorporate standard nursing practice with knowledge and the use of cannabis plant products to help incorporate cannabis into your current health regime and considering your present health status. .
Currently, cannabis nurses serve primarily as educators and advocates for their patients. A cannabis nurse can provide guidance on what routes of administration will be most beneficial— whether inhalation, a tincture, or a topical. They can explain potential side effects, evaluate possible interactions with their other medications, and show patients how to read a product label to determine the appropriate serving size for their needs.