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A review for Australian nurses: Cannabis use for anti-emesis among terminally ill patients in Australia

Chan, A ORCID: 0000-0003-2614-0178, Molloy, L ORCID: 0000-0002-6120-9380, Pertile, J and Iglesias, M ORCID: 0000-0001-5781-2091 2018 , 'A review for Australian nurses: Cannabis use for anti-emesis among terminally ill patients in Australia' , The Australian Journal of Advanced Nursing, vol. 34, no. 3 , pp. 43-47 .

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Abstract

Objective:The objective of this article is to describe the potential benefits of medicinal cannabis in emesis control and theposition of nurses looking after palliative patients who are on medicinal cannabis treatment in Australia.Setting:Palliative carePrimary argument:Cannabis is the most commonly abused drug and its use for medical purposes was restricted throughout theworld since the early 20th century. However many clinical studies show that the natural cannabinoid compoundscan stimulate the cannabinoid receptors in the brain leading to attenuation of signal transmission, resulting inalleviation of the vomiting stimuli. The debate about the use of cannabis as an anti-emetic agent in patients withlife-limiting conditions has renewed interest in recent years. The principle of palliative care is to improve the qualityof life of patients living with life-limiting conditions based on the best evidence available. Although some evidencesuggests cannabis may have therapeutic effects on some palliative patients and the Australian CommonwealthGovernment has recently changed the legislation, the concept of using medicinal cannabis in emesis control is verynew to many Australians including the health care providers.Conclusion:In comparison to conventional medications, medicinal use of cannabis in palliative care is a new phenomenon andnurses as well as general public may be less prepared for the use of cannabis as a medical modality in all clinicalsettings. This review is intended to raise awareness of the physiological mechanism of cannabis and its medicinaluse to the nurses in Australia.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Chan, A and Molloy, L and Pertile, J and Iglesias, M
Keywords: Medicinal cannabis; symptom management; antiemetic drug; nursing care; palliative care; cannabinoids.
Journal or Publication Title: The Australian Journal of Advanced Nursing
Publisher: Australian Nursing & Midwifery Federation
ISSN: 1447-4328
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2017 Australian Journal of Advanced Nursing

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