Cannabinoids: Core Concepts

Course Description:
This course is part of our Core Concepts Series, which reviews potentially impairing drug classes from three scientific perspectives: Pharmacology, Forensic Toxicology, and Clinical Toxicology. A future supplemental series will add law enforcement and DRE perspectives for each drug class as well.

What You’ll Learn:

Pharmacology of Cannabinoids
– Role and pharmacodynamics of endogenous cannabinoids
– Physical effects and absorption mechanisms of cannabinoids
– Distribution and metabolism processes for cannabinoids
– Interpretation, tolerance, and impairment metrics for cannabinoid use

Forensic Toxicology of Cannabinoids
– Influence of THC in the brain and body
– Comparative effects of THC and alcohol in driving contexts
– Cannabis and driving considerations, including oral fluid metrics
– Analytical challenges, drug-facilitated crimes, and workplace safety implications

Clinical Toxicology of Cannabinoids
– Natural cannabinoids and clinical testing protocols
– Synthetic cannabinoids and their observable clinical effects

Upon completion, learners will have an enhanced understanding of cannabinoids, capable of applying this knowledge across different contexts.

Recommended Learners:
DRE
Toxicologist
CC Cannabis Cover
Dr. Marilyn Huestis

Dr. Marilyn Huestis

Professor Dr. Dr. (h.c.) Marilyn A. Huestis retired as a tenured senior investigator and Chief, Chemistry and Drug Metabolism Section, IRP, National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health in 2016 after 23 years of conducting controlled drug administration studies. She was an Adjunct Professor, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD from 1999-2017. Currently, she is...See full bio. 

Dr. Erin Karschner

Dr. Erin Karschner

Dr. Erin L. Karschner received her Ph.D. in Toxicology with a concentration in Forensic and Analytical Toxicology from the University of Maryland-Baltimore. She performed her doctoral and post-doctoral research at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). During her time at NIDA, Dr. Karschner conducted a clinical research study with cannabinoid pharmaceuticals and studied cannabinoid disposition in chronic cannabis smokers. See full bio. 

Dr. Sharon Kelley

Dr. Sharon Kelley

Dr. Sharon Kelley is the CEO for the Kelley Consulting Group, Associates for Global Narcotics Training and Associates in Emergency Medical Education. While completing her Bachelors in Pre-Medical Sciences she served as a Tampa police officer which afforded her firsthand experience in recognition of street and prescription drug abuse. She received a Masters Degree in Drug Chemistry from the University of Florida and then went on to obtain her PhD in Toxicology. See full bio. 

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Cannabinoids: Core Concepts

Course Description:
This course is part of our Core Concepts Series, which reviews potentially impairing drug classes from three scientific perspectives: Pharmacology, Forensic Toxicology, and Clinical Toxicology. A future supplemental series will add law enforcement and DRE perspectives for each drug class as well.

What You’ll Learn:

Pharmacology of Cannabinoids
– Role and pharmacodynamics of endogenous cannabinoids
– Physical effects and absorption mechanisms of cannabinoids
– Distribution and metabolism processes for cannabinoids
– Interpretation, tolerance, and impairment metrics for cannabinoid use

Forensic Toxicology of Cannabinoids
– Influence of THC in the brain and body
– Comparative effects of THC and alcohol in driving contexts
– Cannabis and driving considerations, including oral fluid metrics
– Analytical challenges, drug-facilitated crimes, and workplace safety implications

Clinical Toxicology of Cannabinoids
– Natural cannabinoids and clinical testing protocols
– Synthetic cannabinoids and their observable clinical effects

Upon completion, learners will have an enhanced understanding of cannabinoids, capable of applying this knowledge across different contexts.

Recommended Learners:
DRE
Toxicologist
CC Cannabis Cover
Dr. Marilyn Huestis

Dr. Marilyn Huestis

Professor Dr. Dr. (h.c.) Marilyn A. Huestis retired as a tenured senior investigator and Chief, Chemistry and Drug Metabolism Section, IRP, National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health in 2016 after 23 years of conducting controlled drug administration studies. She was an Adjunct Professor, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD from 1999-2017. Currently, she is...See full bio. 

Dr. Erin Karschner

Dr. Erin Karschner

Dr. Erin L. Karschner received her Ph.D. in Toxicology with a concentration in Forensic and Analytical Toxicology from the University of Maryland-Baltimore. She performed her doctoral and post-doctoral research at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). During her time at NIDA, Dr. Karschner conducted a clinical research study with cannabinoid pharmaceuticals and studied cannabinoid disposition in chronic cannabis smokers. See full bio. 

Dr. Sharon Kelley

Dr. Sharon Kelley

Dr. Sharon Kelley is the CEO for the Kelley Consulting Group, Associates for Global Narcotics Training and Associates in Emergency Medical Education. While completing her Bachelors in Pre-Medical Sciences she served as a Tampa police officer which afforded her firsthand experience in recognition of street and prescription drug abuse. She received a Masters Degree in Drug Chemistry from the University of Florida and then went on to obtain her PhD in Toxicology. See full bio. 

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