CDA Essentials 2017 • Volume 4 • Issue 6

29 Issue 6 | 2017 | S upporting Y our P ractice LEGALIZATION OF MARIJUANA Pharmacology The active constituents in cannabis are called cannabinoids. They link to cannabinoid receptors CB 1 or CB 2 . • CB 1 receptors are mostly located in the central and peripheral nervous system (hippocampus, basal ganglia, cerebellum, neocortex, spine). They mediate the psychotropic and behavioural effects of cannabis, such as motor activity and coordination, cognition, appetite, sedation, short-term memory, and pain. 1 • CB 2 receptors are mostly expressed in the immune system tissues (spleen, tonsils, thymus gland), brain (ventral tegmental area and hippocampus), and digestive system. They mediate immune responses, such as immunosuppression and inflammation. 1 While there are over 100 different cannabinoids in the plant, research has mostly focused on two: THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol). THC binds to both CB 1 and CB 2 receptors and is the main psychoactive element of cannabis, while CBD shows low affinity for either receptor and acts as an anti-inflammatory agent. 1 The Cannabis Act will likely become law in 2018, following its introduction in the House of Commons earlier this year. T he legislation would legalize recreational use of marijuana in adults 18 years and older, and would maintain the existing program for access to medical marijuana. What could this law mean to dentists and dental teammembers? What Dentists Need to Know