CBD, THC, GVH, MMJ: Practical Ways to Make Sense of the Alphabet Soup (203)

3:45 pm – 4:45 pm Thursday, September 15
Many pediatric oncology patients report medical marijuana (MMJ) and hemp-based CBD use. Hemp is now federally legal under the Farm Bill since December 2018 and hemp-based cannabinoid products are widely available. Research focused on cannabis and its’ use in oncology, hematology, and bone marrow transplant is continuing to grow. A study in Israel looks at adding cannabis to the treatment of graft versus host disease following bone marrow transplant.
A Canadian study found approximately 20% of all pediatric cancer patients use cannabis at one point during treatment. While each of these studies is a great start, there is also a call for evidence based medicine in medical marijuana. This will continue to be a challenge until cannabis is federally legal. At the same time, there is more data available on pharmacological interactions. In addition to interactions with chemotherapy, there are also significant interactions with the supportive care medications often used in hematology, oncology, and bone marrow transplant such as antidepressants. Nurses and advanced practice nurses have a key role in discussing medications and interactions with patients and families. Improved practical information on how to assess for use, drug interactions, and patient education will increase patient safety. Additionally, nurses can influence patient care protocols and processes for alternative therapy administration enabling an open dialogue between providers, parents, and patients regarding treatments, symptoms, adverse effects, and drug interactions.
Molly Hemenway DNP MS RN CPNP-AC/PC
CNE Hours: