Nursing: Medical Marijuana: Panacea or Snake Oil

Fri Sep 25 | 11:59 pm
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About the Webinar Course

This webinar course has been previously recorded.  

Marijuana as medicine has been embraced for thousands of years. It was listed in the United States Pharmacopeia from 1850 until 1942 to treat labor pains, nausea, and rheumatism. Nonetheless, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) classified it as a Schedule 1 drug in 1970. Pharmacologically, it impacts the whole body, combining anxiolytic, sedative psychedelic and analgesic properties. In 2017, the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) describing the use of marijuana as a medicine. To date, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved any medicinal products that are either derived from or contain botanical marijuana. Even so, in 1996, medical use of marijuana was legalized in California. In the past 20+ years, an additional 28 states have enacted their own laws allowing the medical use of marijuana. 

To guide good prescribing practices, it is critical to follow the scientific data. Recent research appears to argue for the use of specific analogues rather than whole marijuana. Although not well-supported by clinical research, the availability of medical marijuana is increasing. In addition to medical marijuana, generalized legalization of recreational marijuana is also on the upswing, paralleling overall increases in use. As a result, clinicians are more likely than ever to encounter marijuana usage in their practice settings and must be prepared to manage this reality and associated risks.

Learning Outcomes:
Upon completion of this webinar course, the learner should be able to:
  • Describe the history of marijuana.
  • Identify two marijuana indications according to the United States Pharmacopeia (published prior to its illegalization).
  • Name marijuana’s main psychoactive component.
  • Characterize three dysphoric reactions associated with marijuana use.
  • State two potential uses for medical marijuana in the treatment of HIV/AIDS.
  • 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:
Bradley Gillespie, Pharm. D.

Bradley Gillespie, Pharm. D., trained as a clinical pharmacist, has practiced in an industrial setting for the past 20+ years. His initial role was as a Clinical Pharmacology and Biopharmaceutics reviewer at the FDA, followed by 15 years of leading early development programs in the pharma/biotech/nutritional industries. In addition to his industrial focus, he remains a registered pharmacist and enjoys mentoring drug development scientists and health professionals, leading workshops, and developing continuing education programs for pharmacy, nursing, and other medical professionals.

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