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Evaluating the Therapeutic Potential of Cannabinoids

Activity Type:

  • On Demand

Release Date: 7/1/2017

Expiration Date: 2/1/2020

  • AMA PRA Category 1 Physician: 0.5
  • Participation: 0.5



The effects of regular marijuana use on brain integrity and cognition have important implications for policy makers considering medical and recreational marijuana laws. Nevertheless, the impact of marijuana on the brain remains a point of debate. While frequency and duration of use, duration of abstinence, and cannabinoid content influence the impact of marijuana on the human brain, it has been reported that age of initiation and high levels of consumption may be especially significant factors associated with brain alterations related to marijuana use. Findings suggest that age of first use of marijuana may be associated with altered prefrontal cortical development in adolescents and may lead to disruptions in normal developmental trajectories of cortical circuits, which underscores the importance of preventing marijuana use in children and adolescents. This course examines multimodal magnetic resonance imaging data (structural MRI, diffusion tensor MRI, functional MRI and magnetic resonance spectroscopy), as well as clinical and neuropsychological results acquired in adolescent and young adult marijuana users. It discusses the relationship between age of first marijuana use and total lifetime marijuana use and demonstrates the association of different patterns of functional connectivity, morphometric measures and metabolite levels with risk and exposure.

**This content was captured at the 2016 APA Annual Meeting and may reference information from various sources and terminology from previous editions of the DSM. 


  • General Member - $6.25
  • Resident-Fellow Member - Free
  • Medical Student Member - $6.25
  • Non-Member - $12.50

Educational Objectives

  • analyze the effect of marijuana’s effect on the adolescent brain as shown in longitudinal studies
  • distinguish the structural MRI differences in marijuana smokers associated with age of marijuana initiation
  • describe specific magnetic resonance spectroscopy findings in patients with marijuana use

Target Audience

Psychiatrists, Resident/Fellows

Estimated Time to Complete

Estimated Duration: 30 minutes
Begin Date: July 1, 2017
End Date: February 1, 2020

How to Earn Credit

Participants who wish to earn AMA PRA Category 1 Credit ™ or a certificate of participation may do so by completing all sections of the course including the evaluation. A multiple choice quiz is provided based on the content. A passing score of 100% must be achieved. Retakes are available for the test. After evaluating the program, course participants will be provided with an opportunity to claim hours of participation and print an official CME certificate (physicians) or certificate of participation (non-physicians) showing the event date and hours earned. 

Continuing Education Credit

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The APA designates this enduring CME activity for a maximum of 0.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Faculty and Planner Disclosures


  • Donald C. Goff, M.D., Nathan Kline Institute, New York University School of Medicine. Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests. Program


  • Tristan Gorrindo, M.D., Director of Education, American Psychiatric Association. Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests.
  • Ozra Nobari, M.D., University of Minnesota. Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests.
  • Ricardo A. Juarez, M.S., Deputy Director, Development and Engagement, American Psychiatric Association. Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests.
  • Claire Van Wagner, Membership Development Coordinator, American Psychiatric Association. Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests.

Hardware/Software Requirements

This internet-based CME activity is best experienced using Internet Explorer 8+, Mozilla Firefox 3+, Safari 4+. This Web site requires that JavaScript and session cookies be enabled. Certain activities may require additional software to view multimedia, presentation, or printable versions of the content. These activities will be marked as such and will provide links to the required software. That software may be: Adobe Flash, Adobe Acrobat, Microsoft PowerPoint, and Windows Media Player.

Optimal System Configuration:

  • Flash Player: Adobe Flash Player 10.3+ 
  • Browser: Firefox (latest version), Internet Explorer 8.0+, Safari 7.0+, Microsoft Edge (latest version) or Google Chrome (latest version)
  • Operating System: Windows XP+ or Mac OS X 10.4+ 
  • Internet Connection: 1 Mbps or higher

Minimum Requirements:

  • Windows PC: 500-MHz Pentium II; Windows XP or higher; 128 MB RAM; Video Card at least 64MB of video memory; Macromedia Flash Player 10.3 or higher; Sound Card at least 16-bit; audio playback with speakers for programs with video content
  • Macintosh:Mac OS X 10.4+ or higher with latest updates installed; 1.83MHz Intel Core Duo or faster; RAM: 128MB or more; Video Card: at least 64MB of video memory; Sound Card: at least 16-bit; audio playback with speakers for programs with video content

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All materials copyright American Psychiatric Association ©2017.