As the benefits of medical marijuana become more apparent, more people are willing to try this alternative treatment. Unlike younger patients who are already acquainted with cannabis, some older people still have a hard time understanding it. To address this problem, the medical field is witnessing an increase in nurses who specialize in marijuana medication.
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Why We Need Cannabis Nurses
The American Cannabis Nurses Association (ACNA) is an organization that promotes the safe and effective use of medical marijuana. The American Nurses Association, the largest group of its kind in the US, has called for the reclassification of cannabis from a controlled substance. Such a change would allow medical professionals to freely research on and pass the advantages to patients.
Cannabis is fully legal for adults over 21 in 11 states and the District of Columbia. 33 states also allow medical marijuana. As legislative attitudes change, it’s important to have trained nurses who fully understand its effects on the healthcare system.
Benefits of Cannabis Nursing
1). Helps in Reducing Stigma
Although several states have made positive steps towards legalizing cannabis, federal laws still classify it as a controlled substance. That means many patients who are likely to benefit from medical marijuana still associate it with criminal activities. Since nurses have your best interests at heart, they’re also best placed to explain all the health benefits of cannabis. Recent studies show higher use among adults aged 65 years and above, mainly due to increased awareness of the associated health gains.
2). A Source of Valuable Data
The cannabis industry creates a variety of medical solutions, but it’s the nurses on the ground who implement and observe the results. Their interaction with patients provides useful feedback that the industry can use to improve research and product development. As opposed to unsubstantiated claims that some marketers make, nurses base their findings on facts.
3). Helps Minimize Unwanted Side Effects
Unlike synthetic drugs, medical cannabis doesn’t have toxic side effects. Most are benign and last a short while. Your body also builds tolerance as you continue taking your medication. However, some patients report side effects such as bloodshot eyes, dizziness, hallucinations, and fast heartbeats. These effects might get worse if you combine medical marijuana with alcohol or other medication. A cannabis nurse considers all these factors before suggesting custom dosage.
4). Assists in Understanding and Developing Strains
There are several strains of medical marijuana available to treat a variety of health problems. While that is good news, it also creates confusion on the ideal strain for your particular condition. Since a cannabis nurse understands your exact symptoms, they can prescribe the right strain to treat them. They can also help growers to develop strains that minimize or eliminate negative side effects for specific conditions.
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5). Nurses Can Standardize Dosage
Unlike other types of medication that have standard dosage for various conditions, medical marijuana doesn’t. In most instances, patients use as much as they’re comfortable with. Although it helps with pain relief, it could expose you to problems such as cannabis use disorder (CUD). Through practical research, cannabis nurses can help develop standard doses that a majority of patients can use safely.
6). A Better Understanding of Comorbidities
As a patient, you may only concentrate on the main condition you’re suffering from. Comorbidities complicate some symptoms while reducing the effectiveness of your medication. Nurses already understand the link between various health problems. They are better at diagnosing symptoms, picking the right strain for treatment, and prescribing the ideal dosage. If you’re on other types of medication, they’ll give recommendations on whether it’s safe to include medical marijuana. Other areas of concern include pregnancy, lactation, and hormonal imbalance.
7). Cannabis Nurses Can Help with Legislation
As the push to legalize cannabis gathers steam, lawmakers depend on the insights of various stakeholders. They include consumers, growers, manufacturers, and medical professionals. Since most of them have an emotional or economic attachment to marijuana, they’re likely to give one-sided arguments for their support. Nurses act as a bridge between consumers and other industry stakeholders. Their arguments are more logical and based on practical observations. They can help the legalization debate by presenting insights backed by scientific data.
Cannabis nurses could be the most informed individuals in the industry. Other than their basic medical training, they take additional courses on medical marijuana. Areas of focus include a thorough knowledge of the endocannabinoid system, the effective handling of cannabis products, and the legal implications.
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If you’re seeking effective alternative treatment for your pain and other health conditions, Medical Marijuana Doctors are your answer. Our practice focuses on the research and implementation of the positive aspects of medical cannabis. Our medically trained and licensed physicians also help evaluate whether you qualify for a medical marijuana card. Other than visiting our Florida, New York, and Maryland practices, you can conveniently apply for one online.
Please make an appointment today for more details.