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Course Summary

Cessation or a substantial reduction in the use of cannabis can cause cannabis withdrawal syndrome. Cannabis withdrawal syndrome may occur with daily, or almost daily, heavy and prolonged use. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) has four criteria that must be met to establish a diagnosis of cannabis withdrawal syndrome. Cannabis withdrawal syndrome may lead to impairment. A recovery treatment plan must address the symptoms of withdrawal and discourage the patient from returning to cannabis use. These treatment plans may include pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy, alone or in combination.

Course Format


Course Syllabus

  • I.       Introduction
  • II.      Prevalence of Cannabis Withdrawal Syndrome
  • III.     Pharmacology of Cannabis
  • IV.     Pharmacokinetics of Cannabis Use and Clinical Effects
  • V.      Cannabis Withdrawal
    • 1.        Diagnosis
    • 2.        Clinical Course
  • VI.    Risk Factors of Cannabis Withdrawal Syndrome
    • 1.        Age
    • 2.        Gender
    • 3.        Genetics
    • 4.        Psychiatric Comorbidity
    • 5.        Race/Ethnicity
  • VII.     Symptoms of Cannabis Withdrawal Syndrome
  • VIII.    Pharmacotherapy of Cannabis Withdrawal Syndrome
    • 1.        Cannabinoid Receptor Agonists
    • 2.        Nabiximol
    • 3.        Dronabinol
    • 4.        Lofexidine
    • 5.        Gabapentin
    • 6.        Guanfacine
  • IX.    Psychotherapy
    • 1.        Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
    • 2.        Motivational Enhancement Therapy
    • 3.        Contingency Management
    • 4.        Multidimensional Family Therapy
    • 5.        Review of the Literature
  • X.    Case Study: Drug-Induced Psychosis
  • XI.   Summary


Dana Bartlett, RN, BSN, MSN, MA, CSPI

Dana Bartlett is a professional nurse and author. His clinical experience includes 16 years of ICU and ER experience and over 27 years as a poison control center information specialist. Dana has published numerous CE and journal articles, written NCLEX material, textbook chapters, and more than 100 online CE articles, and done editing and reviewing for publishers such as Elsevier, Lippincott, and Thieme. He has written widely on the subject of toxicology and was a contributing editor, toxicology section, for Critical Care Nurse journal. He is currently employed at the Connecticut Poison Control Center. He lives in Wappingers Falls, NY.

Abimbola Farinde, PhD, PharmD

Abimbola Farinde, PhD., PharmD is a healthcare professional and professor who has gained experience in the field and practice of mental health, geriatrics, and  pharmacy. Dr. Farinde has worked with active duty soldiers with dual diagnoses of a traumatic brain injury and a psychiatric disorder providing medication therapy management and disease state management. She has also worked with mentally impaired and developmentally disabled individuals at a state supported living center. Her different practice experiences have allowed her to develop and enhance her professional and clinical skills over the years. Dr. Farinde always strives to maintain a commitment towards achieving professional growth as she transitions from one phase of her career to the next.

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