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DUI: Cannabis

Terminology and facts about Cannabis relevant to toxicology

What parts of Cannabis sativa have the highest levels of the primary psychoactive substance? flowering tops > leaves > stems > seeds > roots
What are the metabolites of Delta-9-THC? 11-hydroxy-THC (THC-OH, active metabolite) 11-nor-9-carboxy-THC (THC-COOH, inactive metabolite)
Describe the metabolism of Delta-9-THC. Delta-9-THC-->THC-OH-->THC-COOH
What are the physiological effects of Cannabis? Red eye, increased heart rate, dry mouth, increased appetite, vasodilation, eyelid tremors, body tremors
Describe the duration of effects of Cannabis Peak effects occur at 10-30 minutes. Average duration of euphoria is 2-3 hours. Baseline return is 3-5 hours. Residual effects can last up to 24 hours.
What is counterclockwise hysteresis? A delay between effects and plasma concentrations. A drug crosses the blood-brain barrier quickly (fast onset), but it takes about 45 minutes for the drug concentration to reach equilibrium in blood and tissues.
Describe the cannabinoid receptors. CB1 and CB2 are G protein coupled receptors. Sense molecule outside cell-->active signal transduction-->cellular response.
What is the endogenous ligand for the cannabinoid receptors? anandamide
What are the half lives of THC and THC-COOH? THC: 24 hours THC-COOH: 20-57 hours (acute user), 3-13 days (chronic user)
What is the plasma:whole blood ratio for THC? 10 ng/mL whole blood = 20 ng/mL plasma
What are the limitations of the combined model estimation of last consumption? Postmortem cases due to PMR. Ultra-chronic users.
What is the Daldrup Intoxication Factor? Molar ratio: ([THC]+[THC-OH])/[THC-COOH]. The ratio correlates to the feeling of intoxication.
What is the Cannabis equivalent to the ethanol per se law? 7-10 ng/mL THC (plasma) produces the same risk of MVA as 0.05 BAC.
What whole blood concentrations of THC are typically seen at ADFS? THC: 2.7 ng/mL THC-COOH: 22 ng/mL
What effects does abstinence have on the residual effects of Cannabis use? Cannabis abstinence improves divided attention impairment in chronic users. However, after 3 weeks, impairment can still be observed in comparison to control groups.
What is the main task involved in driving that is affected by Cannabis use? Vigilance.
How long can you store samples containing THC? Can be stored in blood for 3-6 months at -20C. Degrades in heat, light, and air.
What are the hallmark signs of Cannabis use? Difficulty following instructions. Short term memory and attention deficits. Issues with vigilance. Time-space distortion. Body and eyelid tremors. Increased reaction time. Psychomotor and cognitive impairment. Motor skill and tracking decrements.
Created by: bdcox15
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