International Academy on the Science and Impact of Cannabis
Speaker Series

The International Academy on the Science and Impact of Cannabis (IASIC) is excited to present the IASIC Speaker Series. Presented free of charge, this ongoing educational seminar series will focus on the science, data and peer-reviewed research surrounding marijuana and will be led by international medical experts. This non-partisan and non-political series is continually developed, organized, and guided by doctors.

Motivational Interviewing for Loved Ones: A New Approach for Parents of Teens and Young Adults

Date: December 1, 2021
Time: 10:00AM - 11:00AM Eastern / 7:00AM - 8:00AM Pacific

Presented by: Emily Kline

Dr. Emily Kline is a psychologist, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Boston University School of Medicine, and the director of psychological services for the Wellness and Recovery After Psychosis Clinic at Boston Medical Center. She is an expert on early intervention in psychosis and the needs of families dealing with mental illness. Her research focuses on mental health care access, treatment outcomes, and family communication. Dr. Kline also enjoys writing and speaking for popular audiences about young adult development and family communication.

A communication strategy called motivational interviewing is widely used by health professionals to enhance people’s motivation to make healthy changes. Dr. Emily Kline has developed a motivational interviewing-inspired curriculum for parents of teens and young adults struggling with issues ranging from substance use to school refusal to serious mental illness. In this workshop, Dr. Kline will teach attendees about the principles of motivational interviewing and share how parents can use these skills to have closer relationships and more productive conversations with their teen and young adult children.

Moderated by: Catherine Antley

Cannabis and Mental Health

Date: December 8, 2021
Time: 10:00AM - 11:00AM Eastern / 7:00AM - 8:00AM Pacific

Presented by: Thida Thant

Dr. Thida Thant is an assistant professor and consultation-liaison (CL) psychiatrist at the University of Colorado Department of Psychiatry. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Plan II honors from the University of Texas at Austin, attended medical school at the University of Texas Medical School in Houston and completed her general adult psychiatry residency and psychosomatic medicine fellowship at the University of Colorado. She is currently the director of the University of Colorado Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry Service and the Psychiatric Consultation for the Medically Complex clinic (PCMC) in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. Her academic interests include marijuana and its impact on psychiatric practice in states with legalized marijuana, the creation and implementation of marijuana curricula in medical education and psychiatric care for medically and neurologically complex patients. She has spoken at multiple conferences on the topics of chronic medical illness, marijuana and consultation-liaison psychiatry, has authored book chapters about cannabis in books such as Marijuana and Mental Health and Cannabis in Medicine and has developed and published a cannabis curriculum through AAMC's MedEdPortal titled "What You Need to Know About Cannabis: An Evidence-Based Crash Course for Mental Health Trainees."

This session will review literature regarding cannabis and it's impact on various mental health disorders. It will discuss how to consider the current state of literature in the context of your patient's clinical presentation, how to evaluate the risk/benefit in your patient and how to approach psychoeducation regarding the impact of cannabis on mental health disorders such as depression, bipolar, anxiety, sleep and psychosis.

Moderated by: Libby Stuyt

Marijuana and Ocular Conditions

Date: December 28, 2021
Time: 2:00PM - 3:00PM Eastern / 11:00AM - 12:00PM Pacific

Presented by: Jean Hausheer

Dr. Hausheer practices comprehensive cataract and refractive eye care in Lawton Oklahoma with a predominantly native American, military, and rural patient base as Clinical Professor Dept of Ophthalmology, with the Dean McGee Eye Institute, affiliated with the University of Oklahoma. She also works as Adjunct Clinical Professor of Rural Health with Oklahoma State University Family Medicine and Emergency Medicine residency programs in Lawton.
She obtained her medical degree from the University of Missouri Kansas City School of Medicine, and Internship and Ophthalmology residency training at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester Minnesota.

The endocannabinoid system strongly influences a wide variety of physiologic processes within the human body by targeting specific receptors in most organ systems, including the ocular system. Glaucoma is an optic neuropathy that has a wide variety of risk factors, but only one controllable factor: intraocular pressure. There is an ongoing scientific effort to investigate if targeting the ocular endocannabinoid system can effectively treat this and other blinding diseases affecting the human eye. Marijuana is a drug with numerous molecular components, some well characterized and others poorly studied, that has inconsistent effects on intraocular pressure. As things currently stand, there is a lack of scientific evidence that effectively demonstrates marijuana as a useful monotherapy or a superior treatment option to treat glaucoma, as compared to traditional treatment modalities like topical or oral medications, laser, or glaucoma surgery. As legalization of marijuana increases across the United States and other North American countries, it is paramount for physicians and the lay public, to understand the effects of marijuana and other endocannabinoids on the ocular system, and patient perceptions and concerns regarding treatment of eye disease with these substances.

Moderated by: Kenneth Finn

Marijuana Biology: Does Potency Matter?

Date: January 6, 2022
Time: 4:00PM - 5:00PM Eastern / 1:00PM - 2:00PM Pacific
Presented by: Bertha Madras

Bertha K Madras, PhD, Professor of Psychobiology at Harvard Medical School (35 years), is based at McLean Hospital and cross-appointed at the Massachusetts General Hospital. She directs the Laboratory of Addiction Neurobiology at McLean Hospital. Her experiences in neuroscience research, drug addiction, education, government and public service offer a unique perspective at the intersection of science and public policy. Her research focuses on neurobiology, pharmacology, brain imaging, drug discovery for addiction, neuropsychiatric disorders, and drug policy. She is author of more than 200 scientific manuscripts, articles, book chapters and co-editor of books: “The Cell Biology of Addiction”; “Effects of Drug Abuse on the Human Nervous System”; “Imaging of the Human Brain in Health and Disease”.
She is a recipient of 19 U.S. and 27 international issued patents with collaborators. She served as Deputy Director for Demand Reduction in the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), Executive Office of the President, a presidential appointment confirmed unanimously (99-0) by U.S. Senate. In a 2015 landmark Federal Court case, she served as the sole expert witness for U.S. Department of Justice in de-scheduling of marijuana. In 2017, she was appointed as one of six members of the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis along with Govs. C. Baker (MA); C.. Christie, (NJ, ret.); R. Cooper (NC); Congress. P. Kennedy (RI, ret.); Attorney General P. Bondi (FL, ret.) She currently is a member of the National Academy of Medicine Collaborative on the Opioid Crisis.
She was sole author of a World Health Organization commissioned report, “Update of Cannabis and its Medical Use” (2015) and co-authored “The Health and Social Effects of Nonmedical Cannabis Use. Dr. Madras recently served as a panelist on Narcotics at the Vatican Pontifical Academy of Sciences.
Education. She developed an international course on the Cell Biology of Addiction at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories and a museum exhibit, a CD (licensed by Disney) “Changing Your Mind: Drugs in the Brain” and play, in collaboration with the Museum of Science, Boston. She is the recipient of research and public service awards, to include a NIDA Public Service Award, CPDD Innovator Award, and a 2006 Better World Report designation of her brain imaging invention as “one of 25 technology transfer innovations (university to industry) that changed the world”.

This session will cover:

1. The endocannabinoid system in the body is a primary target of THC, the key cannabinoid in marijuana:
-what is the endocannabinoid signaling system?
-where is it localized?
-what are its functions?

2. How do THC and endocannabinoids act?
-what are phytocannabinoids (compounds made by plants)?
-what are THC actions in the body? (receptor targets in brain, peripheral tissues)
-do THC and opioid signaling systems crosstalk?
-do actions by THC (plant-derived) or endocannabinoids (made by brain) differ?
-does THC affect neurodevelopment?
-medical marijuana and recreational marijuana; do they differ?

3. What are the consequences of THC actions?
-does THC engender neuroadaptive changes?
-are the effects of THC related to dose and frequency of use?
-what are short- and long-term implications of marijuana?

Moderated by: Eric Voth

Where Does Cannabis Go in the Body and How It May Affect Teenagers’ Brain?

Date: January 25, 2022
Time: 1:00PM - 2:00PM Eastern / 10:00AM - 11:00AM Pacific
Presented by: Zerrin Atakan

After completing her psychiatric training in Hacettepe University, Turkey, Dr
Atakan moved to the UK with a research scholarship, where she obtained her
membership degree from the Royal College of Psychiatrists. From 1990 until 2003,
she worked as a psychiatric intensive care Consultant and from 2003 until 2007
was the Lead Consultant at the National Psychosis Unit at the Maudsley Hospital,
London. She works as a part-time clinician and an Honorary Senior Lecturer and a
Senior Researcher at The Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neurosciences,
King’s College London, where she has been studying the effects of cannabis
compounds on behaviour and brain regions since 2000, as well as researching in
the development of an intervention model to treat those with psychosis who
continue to use substances. She has written numerous articles on the effects of
cannabis compounds in peer reviewed, high impact journals and makes frequent
presentations on psychoses and cannabis related topics.

This presentation will begin with the composition of the cannabis plant, outlining its complexity with over 400 chemicals and four major compounds. It will then provide an overview of the endocannabinoid system within the brain and the body. This will be followed by the characteristics of the adolescent brain, particularly focussing on the possible effects of THC on the pruning process. It will also provide information on the effects of cannabis use on cognitive functioning, as well as the possible induction of THC on disrupting the excitatory-inhibitory balance of neural networks.

There will then be a discussion on why some teenagers are more at risk of developing an enduring psychotic illness following the use of high-THC cannabis.

Moderated by: Kenneth Finn

Marijuana and the Pediatric Patient: Psychosocial Screening and Intervention in the Age of Legal Marijuana 

Date: February 8, 2022
Time: 1:00PM - 2:00PM Eastern / 10:00AM - 11:00AM Pacific

Presented by: Shannon Murphy

Dr. Shannon Murphy is a pediatrician who currently volunteers her time in drug education. Dr. Murphy received her undergraduate degree at Vanderbilt University and her M.D. from Emory School of Medicine. She completed her pediatric training at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and subsequently worked as a primary care pediatrician in a community group practice in Alabama. She has served on a Practice Advisory Committee on Adolescent Substance Use for the American Academy of Pediatrics and currently sits on the Board of Directors for National Families in Action (NFIA), a national non-profit substance use prevention organization. Dr. Murphy’s primary focus is on adolescent health and well-being. She is actively involved in developing education-based community outreach programs throughout the state with a concentration on marijuana education for teens, parents, and community organizations.

Psychosocial screening is an essential part of the adolescent medical visit. Recent changes in marijuana laws around the country have impacted adolescent views on marijuana and teens’ perception of harm regarding marijuana use has decreased. Currently, marijuana now surpasses tobacco use for many young people. The adolescent visit is an important opportunity to address common misperceptions regarding use. This talk will give the provider an update on today’s marijuana and includes a). a brief review of those health effects that make the adolescent population particularly vulnerable to marijuana use, b). a discussion on cultural norms and how they affect adolescent and young adult use, and c). the importance of self-efficacy in choosing healthy behaviors.

Moderated by: Catherine Antley

Cannabis and Mental Health in Young People

Date: February 17, 2022
Time: 4:00PM - 5:00PM Eastern / 1:00PM - 2:00PM Pacific

Presented by: Mary Cannon

Professor Mary Cannon is Professor of Psychiatric Epidemiology and Youth Mental Health in the Department of Psychiatry, RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences, Ireland and a consultant psychiatrist in Beaumont Hospital, Dublin. Her areas of research interest are young people’s mental health and early life risk and protective factors for later mental disorders particularly schizophrenia. Her research is funded by the European Research Council and the Health Research Board (Ireland). Professor Cannon is interested in advocacy in the field of mental health and has served on a governmental Task Force on Youth Mental Health and a ministerial rapid response group on Substance Use in Third Level Students. She is vice -chair of the Youth and Student Psychiatry Faculty in the College of Psychiatrists of Ireland. She is a member of the Editorial Boards for the British Journal of Psychiatry, Schizophrenia Bulletin and the Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine.

This session will present the evidence from epidemiological studies on the association between cannabis use in youth and a range of mental health problems and cognitive problems.

Moderated by: Eric Voth

Presented by:

Mary Cannon
MB BCH BAO FRC PSYCH MSC PHD, Professor of Psychiatric Epidemiology and Youth Mental Health
Cannabis and Mental Health in Young People


Marijuana's Impact on Driving

Date: February 24, 2022
Time: 4:00PM - 5:00PM Eastern / 1:00PM - 2:00PM Pacific

Presented by: Phillip Drum

Phillip A Drum, Pharm, D., FCSHP received his doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of California – San Francisco. He is a 30+ year licensed pharmacist who has had a wide range of experiences – from community pharmacy practice, a residency in Hospital Pharmacy, practice as a hospital-based Oncology pharmacist, Pharmacy Administration work as a Clinical Coordinator and later a Regional Manager and leader of regional pharmacy training and patient safety programs. He has been active in Pharmacy Associations and has spoken state-wide and nationally on various pharmaceutical topics. As a result of a family tragedy, he has been active in research on driving and marijuana and educating the public over the dangers of marijuana in society.

This seminar will discuss the impact marijuana use has on driving. Review of pharmacokinetics of major cannabis components. Review data from impaired driving fatalities and methods used to monitor impaired drivers.

Moderated by: Kenneth Finn

Presented by:

Phillip Drum
Pharm. D., Clinical Psychologist
Marijuana's Impact on Driving


Cannabis and the Adolescent Brain

Date: March 1, 2022
Time: 1:00PM - 2:00PM Eastern / 10:00AM - 11:00AM Pacific

Presented by: Sharon Levy

Sharon Levy, MD, MPH is a Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrician, Addiction Medicine specialist, Director of the Adolescent Substance Use and Addiction Program at Boston Children’s Hospital, and Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School. Over the past 20 years she has evaluated and treated thousands of adolescents with substance use disorders, and she has written extensively on the topic. In 2016 she established the nation’s first accredited Pediatric Addiction Medicine Fellowship training program. She has expertise in the integration of substance use treatment services into pediatric primary care.

Cannabis products continue to become more readily available across the country and as a result adolescents have increased access. This talk will focus on the health outcomes associated with cannabis use during adolescence, as well as methods for identifying and treating substance use in adolescents.

Moderated by: Catherine Antley

Presented by:

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Cannabis Use Disorder: A Toxic Couple

Date: April 5, 2022
Time: 1:00PM - 2:00PM Eastern / 10:00AM - 11:00AM Pacific

Presented by: Roberto Olivardia

Roberto Olivardia, Ph.D., is a Clinical Psychologist and Lecturer in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. He maintains a private psychotherapy practice in Lexington, Massachusetts, where he specializes in the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD), Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and in the treatment of eating disorders in boys and men. He has spoken on numerous podcasts and webinars and presents at many talks and conferences around the country. He currently sits on the Professional Advisory Boards for Children and Adults with ADHD (CHADD) and the Attention Deficit Disorder Association (ADDA). He also serves on the Scientific Advisory Board for ADDitude and is Featured Expert on Understood.org.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a condition characterized by attention dysregulation, impulsivity, hyperactivity and executive functioning issues. Cannabis is one of the most widely abused substances among people with ADHD. Studies show that those diagnosed with ADHD are more likely to develop a Cannabis Use Disorder. One study found that 34% to 46% of those seeking treatment for cannabis dependence had an ADHD diagnosis. Cannabis is not medicinal for ADHD. Cannabis carries lifelong psychological and physical consequences to the developing brain and body, and people with ADHD are especially vulnerable to its effects. This webinar will first educate viewers on the facts on ADHD, a widely misunderstood diagnosis. Understanding why people with ADHD are at higher risk for dependence will be reviewed through knowledge on the ADHD brain, as well as other psychological factors. Though marijuana use is a hotly debated topic, this webinar focuses on strong scientific studies and clinical examples to drive home the cannabis-ADHD connection, as well as important treatment implications when someone with Cannabis Use Disorder also has ADHD.

Moderated by: Kenneth Finn

Presented by: