Medical Cannabis: A New Frontier for Pharmacists

Activity Preview

The legalization and expansion of medical cannabis has generated much controversy within the medical community, with the pharmacy profession being largely left out of legislative discussions and the formulation of regulations related to medical cannabis. This is concerning given the variety of clinical issues that arise with use of medical cannabis, including an understanding of the disease states for which use is considered potentially beneficial. In addition, the potential for drug–drug interactions is a relevant concern that needs to be evaluated before patients begin using medical cannabis. Pharmacists are the most qualified health professionals to take on this role. Unfortunately, relatively few states among those that allow the use of medical cannabis require pharmacist dispensing. As use of medical cannabis grows, pharmacist involvement is anticipated to expand. Pharmacists need to make sure they are adequately equipped to be a resource to clinicians who may have patients using medical cannabis. Equally important, they must be prepared to discuss the issue with patients who are either considering or currently using medical cannabis. An adequate understanding of both legal and clinical issues is essential for optimal intervention.

Learning Objectives

At the completion of this activity, the participant will be able to:

1. Summarize the potential therapeutic benefits of agents that interact with the endocannabinoid system.

2. Identify potential drug-drug interactions in patients utilizing either THC or CBD.

3. List the commonly encountered side effects of medical cannabis.

4. Discuss issues relative to drug testing in patients utilizing either THC or CBD.

5. Perform a risk-benefit analysis for a patient who is considering the use of medical cannabis.

Activity type: Knowledge-based

Target Audience: Pharmacists 

Learning level: 1

Accreditation Information

The American Pharmacists Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education as a provider of continuing pharmacy education.  This activity is approved for 2.0 contact hours of CPE credit (0.20 CEUs). The ACPE Universal Activity Number for this activity is 0202-0000-19-248-H04-P.

To obtain credit for Medical Cannabis: A New Frontier for Pharmacists, complete the assessment with a grade of 70% or better, complete the evaluation, and then claim credit. Participants need to have a valid username and password to claim credit. After credit has been claimed, please visit CPE monitor for your transcript.

APhA's continuing pharmacy education policy allows two opportunities to successfully complete the continuing pharmacy education assessment. Please note that the questions may not appear in the same order as printed and only two attempts to pass the assessment will be granted.  The current policy of the APhA Education Department is to not release the correct answers to any of our CPE tests. This policy is intended to maintain the integrity of the CPE activity and the assessment.

Initial release date: October 1, 2019
Expiration date: October 1, 2022 - NO CREDIT GRANTED AFTER THIS DATE


Medical Cannabis: A New Frontier for Pharmacists is a home-study continuing education activity for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians developed by the American Pharmacists Association.

Advisory Board

Merrill Norton, PharmD, ICCDP-D, Clinical Associate Professor, University of Georgia College of Pharmacy, Athens

Jake Nichols, PharmD, MBA, President and CEO, Strategic Recovery Resources, Natick, MA Correspondence: 8 Brigham Ct., Natick, MA 01760;


Merrill Norton, PharmD, ICCDP-D, Jake Nichols, PharmD, MBA, and APhA’s Government Affairs and editorial staff declare no conflicts of interest or financial interests in any product or service mentioned in this activity, including grants, employment, gifts, stock holdings, and honoraria. For complete staff disclosures, please see the Education and Accreditation Information section at


There is no fee associated with this activity for members of the American Pharmacists Association. There is a $25 fee for nonmembers.

System Requirements

Computer and internet access are required to complete this activity.  Please visit our website and view the Technology System Requirements to have a positive learning experience.