The use of cannabis is uncommon in most healthcare settings due to its implications on safety and patient care.
Nevertheless, some CNAs, LPNs, and registered nurses use cannabis and CBD oil under the proper circumstances.
Nurses must consider numerous factors to ensure they don’t violate state laws or facility guidelines.
Before smoking cannabis, nurses must confirm that it’s legal in their state and doesn’t affect local regulations.
They must also determine whether the healthcare facility’s policies allow the use of cannabis during non-work periods.
For instance, some facilities may allow individual staff to use medical cannabis under certain conditions.
This article explores the nuances affecting whether nurses can use cannabis while employed.
Regardless, you must follow state laws, regulations, and employer guidelines to use cannabis legally and correctly.
Consuming mood-altering substances without legal and healthcare facility consent can have severe consequences.
It includes disciplinary actions, unpaid leave, demotions, termination, and legal consequences.
Therefore, you must understand state laws, regulations, and employer guidelines to ensure you don’t break the roles.
State Laws and Regulations
Numerous states allow citizens to use cannabis legally.
Nevertheless, cannabis is still illegal in various states without a medical prescription.
As a result, it’s essential to determine whether the state allows the use of cannabis before buying or using the drug.
It’s also beneficial to understand the state’s regulations regarding cannabis use.
For instance, citizens may need to limit the cannabis they purchase or carry at a given time.
They may also need to buy it from a qualified seller to avoid illegal purchasing or potentially harmful added substances.
DISA provides a map of marijuana legality by the state for a quick overview of where individuals can legally purchase it.
Investopedia also goes in-depth into the different marijuana laws by state for those requiring additional information.
Healthcare Facility Policies
Delivering exceptional medical care is vital to maintain healthcare standards and providing patients with adequate care.
As a result, many healthcare facilities prohibit the use of cannabis or other drugs, even if it’s legal within their state.
The extent of medical care, the facility’s patient demographic, and guidelines influence whether cannabis is allowed.
Facilities that do not allow the use of cannabis may conduct routine or randomized tests to ensure employees follow policies.
Nurses who fail the drug test may face disciplinary action, including job termination.
Nurses may also face legal action for medical errors while under the influence of mood-altering substances like cannabis.
Therefore, nurses must follow their facility guidelines precisely to ensure they don’t break the institution’s rules.
Cannabis negatively impacts job performance, which is highly risky in specific healthcare settings.
Most facilities will not allow nurses to use it during work hours, including breaks.
They may also advise specific periods when nurses refrain from using cannabis.
Some travel nurses use cannabis during an extended work break.
However, they may need to test negative before accepting prospective work assignments.
The safe route is to avoid using cannabis while operating as a healthcare worker due to its various risks.
It Must Not Impair Work Performance
As previously mentioned, some healthcare facilities may allow the use of cannabis under the proper circumstances.
Cannabis adversely impacts cognitive performance, response time, alertness, decision-making, and reactivity.
As a result, nurses must not be under the influence to ensure they don’t negatively affect patient care.
Healthcare facilities may institute various policies to maintain high healthcare standards.
It may include restricting the period nurses use cannabis and limiting usage over a specified time.
They may also restrict usage to those who use medical cannabis to ensure it doesn’t impact work performance.
Finally, using cannabis in settings where nurses assist high-risk patients most likely goes against facility guidelines.
Most healthcare facilities prevent the use of cannabis unless it’s for medical use and taken under certain conditions.
- Nurses must not violate DUI or other drug laws
- Mood-altering substances must not impair performance
- Nurses must follow their employer’s drug policies
- Nurses must avoid using illegal drugs
What About CBD Oil?
Many individuals use CBD oils to alleviate back, leg, and foot pain from long work shifts, commutes, or excessive exercise.
Some people also use CBD for arthritis, anxiety, insomnia, and other medical conditions.
Most CBD oils are not psychoactive drugs if adequately prepared.
As a result, they’re unlikely to interfere with daily performance if correctly employed.
Numerous facilities allow healthcare workers to use CBD oil outside of work.
However, some employers and states may ban the use of cannabis and certain CBD products.
Therefore, nurses must consult their employers and check their drug policies to ensure it’s ok to use.
Nurses must also review the label to ensure that the CBD oil is THC free or contains 0.3 percent or less.
Oils with high levels of THC may cause nurses or doctors to fail a drug test.
Even more, not all CBD products accurately list their THC amount, causing some oils to possess higher or lower levels.
To be safe, obtaining a CBD oil prescription from a licensed professional is highly recommended to minimize risks.
Nurse.com explores several potential benefits of CBD for Nurses if you want to learn more.
Nursing School Policies
Most colleges and nursing schools require students to take drug screen testing during admission enrollment.
According to Campus Drug Prevention, cannabis use is illegal, and students in the United States cannot use it.
Schools also prohibit smoking on campus grounds regardless of whether the person is a student, teacher, or non-student.
Besides cannabis, numerous universities have banned the use of vapes and tobacco.
It’s true that some states made Canibus legal and decriminalized it for recreational use.
However, many healthcare institutions, universities, and government agencies do not allow recreational cannabis.
Those who test positive may face punitive actions, including unpaid leave, demotions, termination, or legal consequences.
Nevertheless, every employer/university is different, so it’s highly beneficial to understand their drug policies.
Some institutions allow the use of cannabis or certain mood-altering substances under certain circumstances.
You must consult your employer first if you want to use cannabis or other mood-altering substances.
They’ll provide you with their drug policy guidelines to help you determine whether you can use cannabis.
You’ll also want to check your state laws to certify that it’s legal and decriminalized to avoid legal consequences.
It’s better to be safe and not use cannabis unless the state and your employer permit it.
Finally, TopLawyer.law provides an FAQ on the uses of cannabis and CBD products to help nurses and doctors make informed decisions.