Course Summary

Synthetic cannabinoids are often used by people who think it is the same as regular marijuana. Synthetic cannabinoids are more potent than tetrahydrocannabinol and more psychoactive than the natural occurring substance found in marijuana. Compared to the marijuana tried in prior years, synthetic cannabinoids stimulate brain receptors similar to how the active ingredient of marijuana also affects the same brain receptors however are much more potent than tetrahydrocannabinol. Synthetic cannabinoids can cause psychological consequences, from psychosis to anxiety. The rise of synthetic cannabinoids is increasing, which means the rise of psychiatric problems will begin to occur. Education will be the most important aspect when it comes to stopping this concerning trend.

Course Format


Course Syllabus

  • I. Introduction
  • II. Pharmacological Profile
  • III. Epidemiology
  • IV. Clinical Effects of Synthetic Cannabis
    • 1. Cardiovascular
    • 2. Central Nervous System
    • 3. Pulmonary
    • 4. Hepatic/Renal
    • 5. Rhabdomyolysis
    • 6. Gastrointestinal
  • V. Drug Use, Withdrawal and Long-Term Effects
  • VI. Treatment
  • VII. Medical Use of Synthetic Cannabis
    • 1. Cancer Cell Viability
    • 2. Obstructive Sleep Apnea
    • 3. Post-traumatic Stress Disorder and Insomnia
  • VIII. Cannabis Substance Use Disorder
    • 1. Synthetic Cannabis Use and Aggression
  • IX. Case Study: Synthetic Cannabis and Alcohol Combined Use
  • X. Case Study: Myocardial Infarction with Synthetic Cannabis Use
  • 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.

Kellie Wilson, PharmD

Kellie Wilson is a Doctor of Pharmacy practicing in Anaconda, Montana, where she lives with her husband and four children. She attended the University of Montana in Missoula where she graduated in 2009 with a doctorate in pharmacy. She later worked in Boise, Idaho for a large, retail pharmacy for 2 years, and then returned home to Montana to oversee an independently owned retail and long-term care pharmacy in Anaconda. As an independent retail pharmacist she has become very involved in psychiatric pharmacy for two major behavioral health organizations that are located around all of Montana. Kellie’s passion is retail pharmacy because she enjoys the interactions with customers as well as the challenges and rewards of staying current with the continuous changes in the pharmacy field.

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