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This publication describes the major characteristics unique to cannabis, both to the drug itself and to the societal context of its use, including an overview of the epidemiology of cannabis use and a discussion of cannabis and the brain. The article also reviews current research related to the medical and neuropsychological effects associated with cannabis consumption, prevention and treatment approaches targeting cannabis-related problems, and cannabis control policy. This review concludes with recommendations and strategies pertaining to cannabis use.

Educational objectives:

Upon completion of this activity, participants should be able to:

  • Discuss current understanding of cannabis and cannabis users
  • Describe effects of cannabis on the brain and body
  • Review cannabis use as it relates to various medical and psychiatric conditions

Reading Resources:

  1. Zimmer L, Morgan JP. Marijuana myths, marijuana facts: A review of the scientific evidence. New York: Lindesmith Center, 1997.
  2. National Institute on Drug Abuse. Research Reports Series: Cannabis Abuse, 2010.
  3. Li M, Brady J, et al. Cannabis use and motor vehicle crashes. Epidemiological Reviews, in press.
  4. Compton W, Grant B, et al. Prevalence of cannabis use disorders in the U.S.: 1991-1992 and 2001-2002. Journal of the American Medical Association 2004;291:2114-2121.


Dr. Douaihy has no relevant relationships with any entities producing health care goods or services.

Accreditation Statement:

The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine designates this enduring material for a maximum of 0.5 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM. Each physician should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Other health care professionals are awarded (0.05) continuing education units (CEU) which are equivalent to 0.5 contact hour.

For your credit transcript, please access our website 4 weeks post-completion at and follow the link to the Credit Transcript page. If you do not provide the last 5 digits of your SSN on the next page you will not be able to access a CME credit transcript. Providing your SSN is voluntary.

Release Date: 11/14/2013 | Last Modified On: 11/14/2013 | Expires: 11/14/2014

This course has been expired.