Module 2 - Guidance on the Recommendation of Medical Cannabis

Guidance on the Recommendation of Medical Cannabis

Created by Meredith Fisher-Corn, MD and Stephen B. Corn, MD

Editors' Note: Medical marijuana has become an important area of study in healthcare. Doctors and healthcare professionals must understand the medical, legal, and social issues to best respond to their patients' questions and attend to their needs. This content area is not intended to encourage or dissuade the use of medical marijuana, but has been created to provide a balanced portrayal of the research in this area.

The opening section of this comprehensive course describes the endocannabinoid system, the cannabis plant, and how the components of the cannabis plant (the phytocannabinoids) interact with the endocannabinoid system. Thus, it lays the foundation for a discussion on medical cannabis therapy. Considering that the practice of medicine is based on scientific evidence, and the literature is used to help guide healthcare providers in making decisions about the use of medications, we will now provide a broad overview of the significant current cannabis literature and research. We will also discuss guidelines for the recommendation of medical cannabis.

This section explores work done by the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB).

Learning Objectives

After reading this material, a participant will be able to:

  • Describe The National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine 2017 report The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids: The Current State of Evidence and Recommendations for Research and recognize this document as a resource for clinical information on the effects of cannabis 
  • Explain why the findings from studies examining recreational cannabis use may not be applicable to medical cannabis use 
  • Discuss the differences between medical and recreational cannabis with patients and colleagues
  • Describe the Federation of Medical State Boards' (FSMB) "Model Guidelines for the Recommendation of Marijuana in Patient Care" and use these guidelines in clinical practice 
  • Describe the FDA drug approval process and contrast the FDA drug approval process with the testing performed on medical cannabis 


Meredith Fisher-Corn, MD   

Stephen B. Corn, MD   
Founding Editor-in-Chief 

Alan Ehrlich, MD
Clinical Associate Professor, University of Massachusetts School of Medicine (UMMS)

Meredith Fisher-Corn, MD
Editor-in-Chief of

Course Fees

Massachusetts Medical Society (MMS) Member: $30.00
Non-MMS Member: $55.00
Allied Health Professionals: $24.00


Text & Graphics

CME Credit

2.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™, risk management study 

Accreditation Statement for Joint Providership
This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and
policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint
providership of the Massachusetts Medical Society and The Answer Page, Inc. The 
Massachusetts Medical Society is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for 

AMA Credit Designation Statement 
The Massachusetts Medical Society designates this enduring material for a maximum of 2.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

PAs may claim 2.5 Category 1 credits for completing this activity. NCCPA accepts AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™ from organizations accredited by ACCME or a recognized state medical society.

Continuing Education Credit for Pharmacists
The Board of Registration in Pharmacy in Massachusetts, (BOARD), accepts three continuing education types:  ACPE,  AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ , and continuing education activities approved by any State Board of Pharmacy.  Click here for a list of all state Boards of Pharmacy.

This activity may meet the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine for risk management study.

A score of 70% or higher is required to receive  AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™.  

Activity Term

Start: June 15, 2017   
End: June 30, 2018

System requirements:

Windows, XP, Vista, 7, 8 
Mac OSX 10.6 higher 
Most modern browsers including: 
Firefox 18.0+ 
Chrome 26+ 
Safari 5+ 
Flash player is required for some Online CME courses.

iOS devices beginning with OS version 5 or higher (includes, iPhone, ipad and iTouch devices) 
Android devices including tablets and phones. 
Windows RT and tablets on Windows 8 are also supported.


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