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Sep 24, 2019

Marilyn A. Huestis, PhD, recently retired as chief of chemistry and drug metabolism at the Intramural Research Program of the National Institute on Drug Abuse but remains highly active in the field. She is a senior fellow at the Lambert Center for the Study of Medicinal Cannabis and Hemp at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, Pa.; consultant to the US Department of Transportation; and serves on the Science Advisory Boards of Smart Approaches to Marijuana and National Families in Action. She is known for her research on how marijuana use affects driving and how exposure to parents’ marijuana use affects the developing fetus, breast-feeding newborns, and young children, as well as the new psychoactive substances.

Key Points

  • THC is fat soluble – brain is one of the fattiest tissues in the body.
  • In chronic, frequent users, THC comes out of the blood rapidly, but active THC that is stored in the body’s fatty tissues, including the brain, leaches out slowly and can be detected for as long as 30 days.
  • What is body burden?
  • Cannabinoid system can turn off both excitatory and inhibitory neurons.

Next Up? Dr. ElSohly on Does Marijuana Reduce Opioid Use, Deaths?