As more states begin to legalize the medical use of marijuana, there’s a growing need for healthcare professionals who understand the science behind medical cannabis and how it can be used to treat a number of issues, from anxiety and depression to chronic pain and epilepsy. A cannabis nurse, a relatively new specialty in the nursing world, does exactly that.
These formally educated, registered nurses have an in-depth understanding of the endocannabinoid system and the medicinal applications of cannabis, so they can help patients and healthcare providers navigate its use properly.
The American Cannabis Nurses Association (ACNA) is a national membership organization that aims to increase nurses’ knowledge of endocannabinoid therapeutics and has developed a core curriculum on cannabis nursing. In the future, the ACNA plans to offer credentialing in this specialty, which will also be recognized by the American Nurses Association.
The Role of the Cannabis Nurse
A cannabis nurse doesn’t actually handle the substance or administer it to patients. Instead, they use standard nursing practice paired with knowledge surrounding the endocannabinoid system and the use of medical cannabis to treat a variety of diseases and symptoms.
Currently, cannabis nurses primarily work to educate and advocate for their patients and fellow healthcare providers. For examples, cannabis nurses can help patients determine what cannabis products will work best for their needs and come up with a proper treatment plan that maximizes benefits and reduces side effects. They can also inform healthcare professionals on the uses of medical cannabis, so they can become registered providers and better serve their patients with alternative treatments.
How to Find Cannabis Nurse
Cannabis nursing is very much a new field, so finding a cannabis nurse may take some searching. While some nurses work in dispensaries to support staff and patients, others work for certain products as brand ambassadors or reps.
At Sage Decoded, we’re in the business of educating and advocating for medical cannabis patients and healthcare professionals who are interested in learning the benefits of this power plant.
Our founder, Nicole Brown, created the business after turning to medical cannabis to treat her own chronic anxiety. She now offers one-on-one consultations and speaks on the topic of medical cannabis to better educate patients and healthcare professionals on its uses and benefits.