Nurse Education – Medical Use of Cannabis (Marijuana)

Nurse Education – Medical Use of Cannabis (Marijuana)

What do you think about the Medical Use of Marijuana? It remains a topic of strong debate in the  healthcare arena and within our local communities.   There are a myriad of views and opinions, with many supported by research.  Did you know the   NSW Branch of the Cancer Council has a position statement on the medical use of Marijuana  which  you can  read here>>  The document also makes reference to other countries and is an interesting read.

In part the Cancer Council of NSW identifies the following:

” Cannabis may be of medical benefit to cancer patients where conventional treatments are unsuccessful, in the following circumstances:

  • in relieving nausea and vomiting in patients undergoing chemotherapy;
  • as an adjunctive analgesic in patients with moderate to severe pain; and/or
  • as an appetite stimulant for cancer patients experiencing weight loss and   muscle wasting.

Smoking is a particularly harmful route of cannabis (marijuana) administration, largely because carcinogenic substances are inhaled into the lungs.

Synthetic cannabis products, particularly Nabiximols delivered via an oral spray, offer advantages in providing symptom relief without unwanted psychological or tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) related effects, as well as being a preferable route of administration for anti-emetic therapy.

Cancer Council NSW supports limited exemptions from criminal prosecution, such as those provided by the Cannabis Cautioning Scheme, for cancer patients who have been certified by an approved medical practitioner as having particular conditions, and who have been counselled by such a practitioner about the risks of smoking cannabis.

Cancer Council NSW supports the current clinical trial of the synthetic cannabis product Nabiximols via oral spray for relieving uncontrolled persistent pain in patients with advanced cancer, part of which is being conducted in Australia.”

The Nurses for Nurses Network is holding a fabulous Nursing Retreat in Byron Bay in June 2015, where  Nurses will have the opportunity to attend an informative lecture on the Medicinal Uses of Marijuana amongst other subjects.  This is a fantastic opportunity for personal growth and relaxation as well as obtaining continuing professional development hours for your AHPRA Evidence Portfolio.  Find out more here>>

There are 6 comments for this article
  1. Kim Colborne at 5:51 pm

    I am totally supportive of the use of medical grade and controlled Marijuana for those that need it. The effects that it exerts on pain, nausea and quality of life make it worth legalisation without further political posturing. When will we accept that complimentary therapies and “alternative” solutions are just that, and need to be incorporated in main stream medicine??

    • Lynda Weir at 11:54 pm

      I also believe that complimentary therapies and alternate medications should be used along with mainstream medications as this would assist in improving the quality of life for those that suffer from not only cancer but other illnesses such as seizures etc.

  2. John Goard RN at 12:42 am

    Well about time and lets stop pussing footing around with drugs that are “illegal” it’s about time the powers that be woke to themselves and realized a lot of the pain relief for example used in this country is worse than some of the processors – diacetylmorphine for example shunned by the powers that be out here in Australia yet still used feely in the UK – as afar as I am aware.

  3. Marie-Louise Moses at 12:13 pm

    Medical Marijuana has great beneficial uses. As a society we need to look at and be clear about the drug and its benefits through education TV programmes and discussions. Remove religion and politics from the equations and enable people the legal choice and access to this medication if it is of benefit for them. Although our morphines etc are effective in some ways, when my mum was dying she could not die quickly enough for her. She wanted to die but was irritable and in a hurry.Mum was treated and cared for beautifully and her pain management was good but not always effective I do believe if marijuana had been available she may have been more relaxed, her pain easier and her journey passing over to the other side easier. My father has a great deal of chronic pain and other acute discomforts and some medications have not been effected. He is an anxious man suffers with depression and a lot of meds. and, other therapies tried for these conditions have been of little effect. He is now 90 and I believe would benefit from medical Mar,. Thank you. ML

  4. Christine at 2:51 pm

    I believe one of the main reasons Authorities are against legalising the use of medical marijuana is because it is so good and therefore will effect the monopoly of monies made by drug companies etc. And even if and when it is legalised, people shouldn’t have to purchase synthetically made products when it is so cheap and easy to produce.

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