Cannabis was legalized in Canada on October 17, 2018. As a result, nurses have had to think differently and learn more about cannabis. CNA can help. We have two main roles:
- Share current cannabis resources: CNA will review and share the best evidence and resources on medical and non-medical cannabis.
- Create new cannabis resources: through a grant from Health Canada, CNA will consult with nurses across Canada to create a framework and resources. Read more.
How has my province interpreted the cannabis law?
The Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction has developed an interactive map of Canada that depicts the differences in health policy in each province and territory.
Non-medical (recreational) cannabis
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
Canada’s Lower-Risk Cannabis Use Guidelines (LRCUG): [PDF, 721.5 KB] 10 Ways to Reduce Risks to Your Health When Using Cannabis (2018)
Health Canada cannabis evidence briefs (2018):
- August 2016: Submission to the federal task force on cannabis legalization and regulation [PDF, 293.7 KB] (August 2016)
- August 2017: CNA contributions to the House of Commons standing committee on health (HESA) and the Senate standing committee on social affairs, science and technology (SOCI) — Bill C-45, An Act Respecting Cannabis and to Amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, the Criminal Code and Other Acts
- Fall 2017: Survey for Canadian Nurses on the Legalization of Cannabis [PDF, 471.6 KB]
- March 2018: CNA hosted a Health Canada-funded pan-Canadian interactive think-tank where presenters and attendees (including collaborating partners) provided substantial expertise on nursing practice, current cannabis research, knowledge translation, and education for patients and the public. A report from this think-tank is available upon request (English only).
Upcoming CNA resources
Health Canada’s Substance Use and Addictions Program (SUAP) has granted CNA $1.3 million to create a national nursing framework on the legalization of Cannabis. The framework will be one component of a federal public education campaign.
The SUAP project was launched in May 2019.
Over the summer and fall of 2019, CNA consulted stakeholders, including nurses from all designations and diverse practice settings, pharmacists, bioethicists, and people with lived experience to identify learning needs regarding cannabis.
Nurses reported that they need information in the areas of cannabis components, such as THC and CBD; the endocannabinoid system; stigma; risks of cannabis use, such as addiction and psychosis; life-milestone-related concerns, such as cannabis during pregnancy and breastfeeding; approaches to care, such as trauma-informed practice and harm reduction, and; a clear understanding of the medical indications for medical cannabis. Overall, the call for clarity and evidence in the face of myth and contested knowledge was loud and clear.
SUAP advisory committee members, invited stakeholder consultation participants and guests came together for a cannabis think tank on November 26, 2019. Together, participants ventured out to cannabis shops, listened attentively to the stakeholder consultation findings, and deliberated about the complex elements that will forge the future national framework.
Currently, scripts and storyboards are underway for the e-learning modules, with a planned launch for June 2020. The framework is in draft form for consultation.
Please contact us for a copy of the November 2019 Cannabis Think Tank Summary Report (English only).
CNA will share project updates on social media and in our CNA Now e-newsletter. If you’d like to learn more, you can also contact us.