Can Nurses Use CBD Oil

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Laura Kinsella, BSN, RN, CEN, is an emergency room nurse in Washington, DC. Healthcare providers who want to avoid enrollment in IPN or PRN, or suspension, after testing positive for THC, will need evidentiary and scientific support for your defense, and a defense attorney who has experience with this new and evolving area of law. Medical Cannabis: What Nurses Need to Know This article will inform nurses to better educate patients who are taking, or are considering taking, medical cannabis. Course Details Overview

The Nurse’s Guide to CBD

CBD (cannabidiol) oil is a popular cure-all that you may have seen hyped or scrutinized by the media. But what exactly is it, is it safe, and how is it different from the use of medical marijuana?

THC, CBD, and Hemp

Marijuana comes from the leaves of the Cannabis plant, which produces a variety of active chemical compounds referred to as cannabinoids. There are dozens of cannabinoids; THC ( tetrahydrocannabinol ) and CBD are two of the more widely studied. THC is the psychoactive compound in marijuana that causes intoxication, or a high, by activating the brain’s reward and pleasure center, causing the release of dopamine. By contrast, CBD is not psychoactive and therefore does not cause a high. It is also not believed to be addictive.

Hemp also derives from Cannabis , but generally refers to plants cultivated for non-drug use. Hemp also contains much higher concentrations of CBD and a much lower concentration of THC (<0.3%). Historically, hemp has been used to make rope, fabrics, or textiles.

Medical Marijuana

Medical marijuana is now legal in 33 states and the District of Columbia. For recreational use, marijuana is legal in 10 US states and in DC. In recent years, the number of patients who are turning to Cannabis for medical treatment is increasing. Marijuana has been a therapeutic treatment for cancer patients; it has been shown to treat pain, nausea, and cachexia. Marijuana is also now used as a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, chronic pain, Crohn’s disease, and many other conditions.

CBD is generally sold formulated into an oil and has been touted as a solution to pain, insomnia, anxiety, and a wide range of other medical conditions. CBD oil is expected to become a billion-dollar industry in coming years. It is important to note, however, that despite the oil’s growing popularity, it remains largely unstudied and unregulated.

CBD is readily available for purchase online, but it has varying levels of legality in the United States. Although several US states have specific laws regarding CBD, it remains a controlled substance by the Drug Enforcement Agency, and is classified as a Schedule I drug. This designation remains despite the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill (which legalized the broad cultivation of hemp, under outlined restrictions).

There is a lack of high-quality, large-population studies on CBD use in humans. Large-scale, randomized clinical trials are needed, but it has been proposed as a potential therapy for a range of conditions, including anxiety, Parkinson’s, chronic pain, schizophrenia, and multiple sclerosis. Many users anecdotally claim it has pain-relieving benefits and use it as a treatment for muscle aches, inflammation, and pain. Other people use it to ease anxiety and insomnia.

There currently exists only one FDA approved medication that contains CBD: a seizure medication called Epidiolex, which is used to treat two particularly severe seizure disorders in children.

CBD is most commonly available in the form of an oil or drops. It may also be formulated into a balm, patch, or topical. There are also edible formulations, such as chewing gum, gummies, cookies, and brownies.

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Nursing Considerations

It is not likely that a patient will mention the use of CBD oil during a medication reconciliation, so it is important to ask patients about all products they use, including herbs, supplements, and oils. Patients should know that CBD oil may interact with other medications (such as blood thinners), and it could potentially increase the level of certain drugs in the bloodstream. Although side effects are anecdotally infrequent, it may cause sedation, fatigue, or nausea or diarrhea.

CBD Oil Consumption Can Result in THC-Positive Urine Screenings and Disciplinary Action in Florida

If You Test Positive for ‘Marijuana’ But Don’t Actually Use It, the Consequences Can Shatter Your Medical or Nursing Career. Here’s What You Need to Know About CBD Oil

Recently, Chapman Law Group retained several licensees who found themselves in trouble with the Florida Department of Health (DOH) for testing positive for THC in either pre-employment urine screenings or random tests at work.

The allegation is that they are unlawfully using marijuana in violation of state law, and therefore they might be impaired. What is curious, however, is that several of our clients do not make use of marijuana.

If you are a CBD oil user, you could find yourself in this predicament.

What You Should Do if You Are a Licensed Medical Professional, Consume CBD Oil, and Test Positive for THC?

If you tested THC-positive and you are also a consumer of CBD oil, it is likely that CBD oil is the reason for testing positive in your urine screening.

Medical professionals are frequently subject to urine screenings. Under the law, practitioners cannot make use of substances they are not legally permitted to use. In fact, testing positive for a substance without a prescription is a violation of the law, and the Department has the authority to impose discipline.

The worst thing that could happen is testing positive for “marijuana” when one does not actually make use of it.

What Are Consequences for a Positive Urine Screening?

The consequences of testing positive are serious. Employers are required to report those who test positive for unlawful substances. The DOH is required to investigate all complaints received, and it will open an investigation against the licensee.

At the base of the DOH’s inquiry will be whether the licensee suffers from substance abuse disorders, whether they are an impaired practitioner, and whether they are unsafe to practice and a risk to public safety.

Licensees could be required to go to IPN/PRN for evaluation and may be required to enter a monitoring contract.

Licensees can be fired from their job and find themselves having to pay for expensive evaluations or treatments without generating income. In addition, licensees could risk indefinite suspension of their license.

Often individuals refrain from hiring an attorney because they are concerned with costs. But consider the costs you might pay up front for legal defense and the costs you would end up incurring if you were forced into IPN or PRN. You should not be penalized based poor scientific understanding and unsupported allegations.

You will need an attorney who has a thorough understanding of CBD oil and its effects and a law firm who is able to produce scientific evidence in support of your defense. Chapman Law Group has both.

What is CBD?

CBD is a cannabinoid compound extracted from the flowers and buds of the hemp plant. Hemp is a close relative of marijuana; in fact, the two come from the same plant, Cannabis Sativa L.

While marijuana is classified by the DEA as a Schedule I substance and is illegal on the federal level, hemp is not. The main difference is found in the chemical properties of hemp and marijuana.

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Tetrahydrocannabinol, also known as THC, is the compound known to cause intoxication effects on the body. Both hemp and marijuana have THC, but marijuana contains significant levels of THC, while the THC levels within hemp are negligible and do not have psychoactive effects.

What is CBD Oil?

CBD oil is rich with Cannabidiol, a chemical compound known as CBD, which is derived from the Cannabis Sativa L. plant .

CBD is considered an all-natural remedy for a long list of ailments. It is effective as an anti-inflammatory which can help with the treatment of pain, and is also known to have effects on the brain by alleviating symptoms of depression or anxiety, and insomnia. Perhaps even more significant, CBD was recently approved for treating serious medical conditions such as epilepsy.

Hemp CBD oil is easy to purchase, does not require a prescription from a physician and can be ordered over the internet. Particularly appealing is that this product does not cause any psychoactive effects on the body .

While the medical benefits of CBD are still not well understood, the CBD market is in full bloom. According to recent market research studies, the Hemp CBD market is expected to reach $22 billion by the year 2022. Because of ease of access, and reported medical benefits, Hemp CBD oil now is the hot new product in the homeopathic market.

What’s the Difference Between CBD Oil Derived from Marijuana and CBD Oil Derived from Hemp?

CBD oil can be extracted from both the marijuana or hemp plant. Its derivation will affect the legality of the product and whether you need a prescription.

CBD Oil from Marijuana

CBD oil derived from marijuana is considered illegal on a federal level. The DEA is unambiguous when it comes to marijuana and derivative products: they are addictive and have no known medical benefits. Because of this, they are considered a Schedule I substance — keen to LSD and ecstasy — and therefore illegal.

On the state level, the legality of Marijuana CBD oil depends where you live. For example, Florida legalized medical marijuana, making marijuana OK for medical treatment purposes.

In short, if you live in Florida, you will need a valid prescription in order to purchase Marijuana CBD oil or any product derived from the marijuana plant for that matter.

CBD Oil from Hemp
CBD oil derived from hemp is different because hemp is not considered a drug.

The 2018 Farm Bill legalized CBD derived from hemp at the federal level. The law amends the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 by including a definition of hemp as “the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of that plant […] with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.” The Farm Bill also makes changes to the Controlled Substances Act (21 USC 812) and specifically legalizes Tetrahydrocannabinol found in hemp .

This mean products derived from hemp are not classified as a drug, therefore not illegal.

How Does CBD Oil Consumption Affect Medical Professionals?

Perhaps unknown to the public is that CBD oil can cause THC-positive results in urine screenings. In fact, whether you consume CBD oil derived from marijuana or hemp, you are likely to test THC-positive.

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If you are a medical professional who makes use of these homeopathic supplements, as mentioned above, you should be cautioned that while hemp is not illegal, marijuana consumption is. And it will result in disciplinary action by the DOH.

The main issue is that current urine screening methods used by employers are not sophisticated enough to distinguish between CBD and THC compounds. Urine screenings today are designed to detect the body’s reactions to certain compounds, and our bodies simply react the same way to both CBD and THC. In addition, urine screenings also cannot distinguish from CBD derived from marijuana as opposed to hemp.

There is no way to prove the CBD compound was derived from hemp, which is legal, as opposed to marijuana, which is illegal.

The unfortunate result: a licensee could be subject to a Department of Health investigation for consuming a perfectly legal, commercially sold product.

At Chapman Law Group, Our Florida Health Care License Attorneys Will Fight Your CBD Oil-Based THC Impairment Allegations and Defend Your Medical/Nursing Career

If you test positive for THC, the DOH has every right to open an investigation based on suspicions of impairment. And, unfortunately, simply claiming that you do not make use of marijuana is not enough to defend yourself against impairment allegations.

If you want to avoid disciplinary action — enrollment in IPN or PRN , or, worse, suspension — you will need evidentiary and scientific support for your defense, and a defense attorney who has experience with this new and evolving area of law.

Chapman Law Group has the experience, the resources, and reputable experts for your license defense. We represent healthcare providers throughout Florida, including Miami, Tampa, Jacksonville, Tallahassee, Sarasota, Fort Lauderdale, Gainesville, West Palm Beach, Orlando, and Lakeland.

Contact us today and let us put our 35 years of experience in healthcare defense to work for you.

Medical Cannabis: What Nurses Need to Know

This article will inform nurses to better educate patients who are taking, or are considering taking, medical cannabis.

Course Details

Overview

Cannabis has a long history as a medicine, in spiritual use, and for recreational use. Currently, 33 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico allow medical cannabis use under specific qualifying conditions, and 11 states (and the District of Columbia) allow adult recreational use.

Nurses frequently care for patients who use or are considering using medical cannabis. In 2018, the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) released guidelines for nurses who care for patients who use medical cannabis. Because cannabis science isn’t taught in most nursing schools (except in the context of misuse), nurses must find information about cannabis on their own. This article will inform nurses to better educate patients who are taking, or are considering taking, medical cannabis.

Key Learning Outcomes
  1. Describe effects of cannabinoids.
  2. Compare cannabis preparations.
  3. Discuss cannabis administration.
Presented By

Eloise Theisen, MSN, AGPCNP-BC
Eloise Theisen is the chief executive officer at Radicle Health in Walnut Creek, California, and incoming president of the American Cannabis Nurses Association.

Eileen Konieczny, RN, BCPA
Eileen Konieczny is past-president of the American Cannabis Nurses Association and author of Healing with CBD: How Cannabidiol Can Transform Your Health Without the High.

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