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Medical Cannabis: The Oncology Nurse’s Role in Patient Education About the Effects of Marijuana on Cancer Palliation

Carey S. Clark

cannabis, oncology, palliation, marijuana, nursing
CJON 2018, 22(1), E1-E6. DOI: 10.1188/18.CJON.E1-E6

Background: Cannabis, also known as marijuana, is legal either medicinally or recreationally in 29 states and the District of Columbia, with a majority of the U.S. adult population now living in states where cannabis is legal for medicinal use. As an advocate for patient autonomy and informed choice, the oncology nurse has an ethical responsibility to educate patients about and support their use of cannabis for palliation.

Objectives: This article aims to discuss the human endocannabinoid system as a basis for better understanding the palliative and curative nature of cannabis as a medicine, as well as review cannabis delivery methods and the emerging role of the oncology nurse in this realm.

Methods: This article examines the literature and uses a theoretical-conceptual method to explore the oncology nurse’s role in supporting the use of medicinal cannabis by patients with cancer.

Findings: The oncology nurse can play a pivotal role in supporting patients’ use of cannabis for palliation.

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