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Faculty:
Norton, Merrill
Forensic Marijuana: The Science of Medical Cannabinoids

Credits: 1 CE Distance Learning

With the legalization of marijuana for medical and recreational purposes in some states and a majority of US citizens advocating for the legal right to use marijuana, the use of marijuana will increase and impact the human brain in many ways. The human brain can experience multiple complications with regular use of cannabis and the long-term effects of these complications are unknown. Our understanding of marijuana’s long-term brain effects is limited. Research findings on how chronic cannabis use affects brain structure, for example, have been inconsistent. It may be that the effects are too subtle for reliable detection by current techniques. A similar challenge arises in studies of the effects of chronic marijuana use on brain function. Although imaging studies (functional MRI; fMRI) in chronic users do show some consistent alterations, the relation of these changes to cognitive functioning is less clear. This uncertainty may stem from confounding factors such as other drug use, residual drug effects (which can occur for at least 24 hours in chronic users), or withdrawal symptoms in long-term chronic users. This presentation is designed to help clear up some of the inconsistencies by taking a look at the latest neurobiology and pharmacology of marijuana and its impact on the human brain.

$12.95