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Canadian Pharmacists Association
Canadian Pharmacists Association
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Medical Cannabis CE

Cannabis Course Banner

Cannabis and Patient Care in Pharmacy (Certificate Level)
(2.5 CEUs)

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Canadians have increased their use of recreational cannabis. It is more important than ever that pharmacists are prepared to provide effective medication management and counseling to their patients taking cannabis…both for medical and non-medical reasons.

Our self-directed online continuing education certificate course provides you with evidence-based information on cannabinoid products and their therapeutic effects. It covers the pharmacist’s role in safety and harm reduction, including counselling recreational users on how to minimize risk in general, as well as counselling on the impacts of cannabis on their existing medical conditions and medication therapy.

This course is an updated and expanded version of CPhA’s prior collection of cannabis education programs (therefore some content may be familiar) and includes all essential components to meet the competencies for and Patient Care in Pharmacy, as outlined by the Canadian Council for Continuing Education in Pharmacy (CCCEP). At the moment, only the Ontario College of Pharmacists requires pharmacists to fulfill these competency requirements, but this course has been designed to be nationally applicable.

Program Outline and Learning Objectives

  1. Introduction
  2. Cannabis and its pharmacologic properties
    1. Describe the components of the endocannabinoid system and its effect on physiologic function
    2. Describe the main components of cannabis and their pharmacologic impact
    3. Discuss the uses, advantages and disadvantages of available prescription cannabinoids
  3. The legal landscape: Access, possession and use
    1. Distinguish between cannabis for medical purposes and for non-medical purposes
    2. Summarize the key tenets of cannabis-related federal and provincial legislation that impact how you provide care to your patients
    3. Describe the process by which patients may obtain cannabis for medical purposes
  4. Therapeutic effectiveness: What does the evidence say?
    1. Explain the limitations of available evidence on the safety and effectiveness of cannabis for therapeutic purposes
    2. List the disease states/conditions for which cannabis or cannabinoids may provide benefit
    3. Recommend reliable evidence sources for health care providers
  5. Pharmacokinetics and route of administration: Considerations for dosing & titrating
    1. Describe cannabinoid pharmacokinetics and the impact of route of administration
    2. Compare benefits and potential risks of different routes of administration
  6. Safety: Contraindications, adverse events, interactions, cannabis use disorder
    1. List contraindications, short-term and long-term potential adverse events arising from cannabis use
    2. Identify potential pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic interactions between cannabis and mediations
    3. Identify signs of cannabis use disorder and describe assessment tools
  7. The pharmacist’s role: Professional and ethical responsibilities towards all patients using cannabis
    1. Summarize ethical principles for pharmacists as they apply to cannabis use
    2. Explain the broader role of pharmacists in supporting patient care related to cannabis use
  8. Putting it all together: Developing care plans for patients taking cannabis for medical and non-medical purposes
    1. Describe an effective approach to assessing and advising patients about their cannabis use
    2. Recognize challenges in educating patients objectively and in an evidence-based manner
    3. Apply evidence-based treatment guidelines and/or recommendations with respect to cannabis as an adjunctive therapeutic modality for certain conditions
    4. Use information related to adverse effects, pharmacokinetics and drug interactions with cannabis in the development of a patient care, assessment and monitoring plan

Accreditation and Completion Requirements

This continuing education certificate program is accredited under file #8002-2020-2968-I-P (expires Jan 20, 2021) for 2.5 CEUs by the Canadian Pharmacists Association (CPhA), a CCCEP-approved accredited provider. To earn your Certificate in Cannabis and Patient Care in Pharmacy you must complete all course presentations, complete and submit the self-reflective activity and complete and score greater than 70% on the post-test. You will have 3 attempts to complete the post-test.

Participants who complete and pass the entire program may state that they hold a Continuing Education Certificate in Cannabis and Patient Care in Pharmacy.

The program certificates do not provide participants with professional certification credentials.

This course is only available in English.


A link to access the course content will be provided in your registration confirmation email