School of Nursing


Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


Tonia Kennedy


secondhand marijuana smoke, marijuana cardiovascular, marijuana and adolescents/adolescence, marijuana hyperemesis, marijuana pregnancy, marijuana mental, medical marijuana




Review of current research on cannabis use indicates a knowledge gap among caregivers and the need for a tool making it easier to share accurate information with patients. A single-page point-of-care handout, similar to that used to advise the public about cigarette smoking, can help fill that gap. Metadata review of 76 articles was used to build a survey completed by 18 emergency room personnel (physicians, nurses, techs, hands-on administrators) before and after a brief presentation of the handout. Data analysis indicates the presentation increased awareness of marijuana use and health effects an average of 35.7%; level of comfort discussing marijuana by 18%; and general knowledge about marijuana and derivatives by 14%. The handout and brief PowerPoint presentation, both based on current best evidence, substantially increased caregiver knowledge of the health effects of marijuana use. Despite social media, marketing, and cable “news” assertions, recreational marijuana use is not harmless. While medicinally refined and approved, THC and CBD derivatives have specific health benefits, but there is important research ongoing, including intentional recreational use (smoked and edible) and how unintentional indoor and outdoor secondhand smoke inhalation can negatively affect gestational, developmental, mental, emotional, cardiovascular, and physical health. Especially concerning are emotional and educational effects on children due to parental use lasting from birth through adolescence and increased dependence among those using before adulthood. There are no safe levels of THC or CBD during pregnancy. Intentional commercial manipulation of THC also can increase dependence, and there is no standardization of THC levels in commercial products.

Available for download on Saturday, October 19, 2024

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