Course Overview


Although cannabis is the most widely used illicit drug in Australia, it is known to have therapeutic indications for use in specific health circumstances. This Course reviews the pharmacology and efficacy of medicinal cannabis.

Learning Outcomes

  • Health professionals will be able to make informed decisions from a pharmacological viewpoint regarding the prescription of cannabis for medicinal use

Topics include:

  • How does medicinal cannabis work?
  • What are its effects?
  • What evidence is available for its potential use?
  • What are the contraindications?

Target audience

This Course is designed to enhance the knowledge of nurses and various other health professionals with respect to the pharmacology and efficacy of medicinal cannabis.


The purpose of this Course is to develop an understanding of the modes of action, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of cannabis and how the drug works from a pharmacological perspective and investigate the evidence for and against its proclaimed efficacy in a variety of conditions.


Recent changes to legislation mean that nurses and other health professionals are likely to experience increased questioning and potential patient demand for medicinal cannabis-based products. The evidence base for the use of medical cannabis is currently incomplete and constantly evolving – therefore there is a need for ongoing research and education in this area. Recent systematic reviews and meta-analyses indicate that there is some therapeutic potential of medical cannabis, however, further research and trials are warranted. There is a need for education that explains the pharmacological effects of medical cannabis and the implications for certain therapeutic situations.