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Cannabis Supporting Your Practice

Special Series Part One, Impairment and Intoxication: Cannabis and Dental Management


Dr. Jose Lança is an M.D., Ph.D., and Assistant Professor of Pharmacology in the Faculty of Dentistry, and in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto.

In this three-part interview series, we’re talking with Dr. Lança about what dentists need to know cannabis impairment and the law (part one); as well as drug interactions (and implications) that can occur in patients regularly consuming cannabis and/or taking certain prescription medications (part two).

In part three, Dr. Lança delivers important insights on treating patients within the current opioid crisis and provides evidence-based, alternative treatments for pain management.

During this first interview of the series, we’re talking about impairment from a pharmacological and practical perspective.

Topics include:

Understanding cannabis impairment

  • THC blood levels impairment laws in Canada (Bill C-46).
  • Calculating impairment where both THC and alcohol are present.
  • Pharmaco-dynamic interactions between alcohol and THC.
  • Determining impairment levels based on co-use of both substances–formulaic breakdown and meaning.

What to do if a patient arrives for an appointment while intoxicated by cannabis?

  • Taking a pragmatic mindset when a patient arrives for an appointment impaired or intoxicated.
  • Limitations of valid consent for impaired patients.
  • Treating patients taking cannabis for medical purposes.

For dentists who consume cannabis: Ensuring you are not treating patients intoxicated

  • Reviewing legal requirements for dentists and healthcare professionals.
  • What to consider when evaluating how long should you wait after taking cannabis.
  • Concentration and potency of modern-day, legal cannabis products.
  • Understanding THC metabolism rates.
  • The impact of age on impairment and metabolism of cannabis.

Get the conversation with your patients started by posting this cannabis and oral health fact sheet created by the Ontario Dental Association in your office. And here’s a list of references to learn more about the topic.

We always want to hear your thoughts and questions.

Leave a comment about this post in the box below, send us your feedback by email, or call us at 1-855-716-2747.

Until next time!

CDA Oasis Team

Read/download the transcript of the conversation (PDF)

Special Series Part Two, Drug Interactions: Cannabis and Analgesics, Sympathomimetics, Liver Enzyme Inhibitors
Special Series, Part Three: Effective Alternative Treatments to Opioids

Cannabis & Alcohol Consumption (6.32″)

Read/download the transcript of the conversation (PDF)

Managing the Intoxicated Patient (10.05″)

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