Cannabis for Clinicians: An introduction to the science, effects, and how it is used

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Cannabis for Clinicians: An introduction to the science, effects, and how it is used

November 2 @ 1:00 pm 2:30 pm CDT

Medical cannabis is legal in 37 states and adult-use is legal in 18. There are an estimated 48 million cannabis consumers in the United States (CDC, 2022) and this number will continue to rise as more states consider allowing its use. Unfortunately, most health care professionals have not received any formal education on cannabis or the endocannabinoid system and are left with many questions about safety and its effects. This session will review a brief history of medical cannabis and cover the basics of what clinicians need to know about medical cannabis and its effects on the brain and body, how consumers are utilizing cannabinoids, and the pros and cons of the different delivery methods. This presentation will primarily be given in a lecture format with a small number of case studies referenced. It is designed to be a very concise introduction to medical cannabis for clinicians.


  • Describe the body’s endocannabinoid system
  • Discuss the history of medical cannabis
  • Discuss the effects of cannabinoids
  • Report the cannabis delivery methods
  • Share the pros and cons of the different cannabis delivery methods


April Hatch RN, MSN began her career working as a nurse in acute care before obtaining a Master’s in Public Health Nursing. She knew the best way for patients to get well was to provide the education they needed to make their own informed healthcare decisions. April completed the first accredited medical cannabis program for healthcare professionals at Pacific College, is Healer Certified (including hands-on training with Dr Dustin Sulak in Maine) and has completed several other programs on medical cannabis designed for nurses. She is a member of the American Cannabis Nurses Association (in which she serves on the Policy and Government Affairs Committee), the Society of Cannabis Clinicians, the Hospice & Palliative Nurses Association, and the American Holistic Nurses Association. April’s participation and roles in the cannabis industry include working with both industry associations and nonprofits, she’s an advisory board member for the Kansas Cannabis Coalition, a member of the Mo Cann Trade Health, Education, and Training committee, and a board member for JAINE, a non–profit for women in cannabis. She currently provides cannabis education with individual patients, groups of patients with specific needs, and has a comprehensive Retail Staff Training program, which is now available virtually. To say that April is a valuable resource to the industry would be an understatement. Her passion keeps her constantly busy in reaching her main goals – educate, advocate, and support patients and the cannabis community. As a professor who was integral to the development of the Cannabis Pharmacology course at St Louis University, she is committed to the students of the Cannabis Science and Operations Program to ensure they receive a valuable cannabis education that is evidence based and accurate.

Michael Rose, MA, LPC, NCC, BC-TMH is a Licensed Professional Counselor, National Certified Counselor and Board Certified-TeleMental Health Provider. He has been in the mental health field for 15+ years and has been in private practice for almost a decade. In his private practice, Michael specializes in LGTBQIA+, Substance Use, Couples & Family and ADHD.