Back to Product & Resources listing
Microlearning Toolkit: Cannabis Prevention 101
Microlearning Toolkit: Cannabis Prevention 101
October 24, 2021
Microlearning Toolkit Header Cannabis Prevention 101

Brush up on your cannabis knowledge with this series of short lessons on cannabis and prevention! Each lesson consists of a 5-10 minute video followed by a brief quiz. Topics include the basic differences between THC, CBD and hemp, how drug screening and confirmation for cannabis works, the effects of cannabis consumption on road safety, and the role of prevention in cannabis policy decisions.

 

How to use:

Complete the lessons yourself to increase your knowledge or share these lessons with your coalition members, for parent or youth education programs, or with others in your community. Lessons can be viewed in the online quiz format through the links below or can be taught along with the discussion guide available for download to use with a group.

 

Option 1: Online Quiz Format

To complete the lessons using the online quiz format, follow the link to each lesson below.

 

Cannabis, THC and CBD – What are they?

Cannabis, hemp, THC, CBD, what’s the difference? This lesson briefly reviews each of these substances and where they come from.

 

Cannabis and Drug Screening and Testing

How does drug screening for cannabis work and what does it detect? This lesson reviews what drug screening and confirmation testing are, what they can (and can’t) detect and other considerations of urine drug screening.

 

Cannabis and Driving Safety

How does cannabis use impact driving and road safety? This lesson reviews the impacts of cannabis use on road safety and policy and enforcement considerations in states with and without legalized cannabis.

 

Cannabis Policy - Where Prevention Fits

What is the role of prevention in cannabis policy at the municipal/local or organization level? This lesson reviews the various types of policy that preventionists can be aware of and how to strategize for effective policy change.

 

Option 2: Discussion Guide

To use the lessons with a group in a discussion format, follow the discussion guide below. Each lesson includes a link to the video, followed by a set of discussion questions and answers.

 

Color Bar

 

Lesson 1: Cannabis, THC and CBD – What are they?

Cannabis, hemp, THC, CBD, what’s the difference? This lesson briefly reviews each of these substances and where they come from.

 

Watch the video

 

Discussion Questions

  • What does the term cannabis refer to?
  • What are THC and CBD? Are they related?
  • Is hemp the same as cannabis?
  • Why is it important that we understand the terminology of cannabis?

 

Answers

Cannabis refers to the plant (typically Cannabis Sativa or Cannabis Indica) that THC, CBD, and other cannabis products are derived from. Cannabis is the scientific name for the plant that may be referred to as a marijuana plant in some settings.

 

THC (delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol) are the two most common of the 500 chemicals found within the cannabis plant. THC is the psychoactive component that causes the “high” feeling and can impair cognitive and motor function. THC is illegal on the federal level but legal for medical or adult-use in many states.

 

CBD is not psychoactive and is thought to balance some of the negative effects of THC. It has potential medical applications in large doses as an anticonvulsant used to treat epilepsy. The FDA currently allows CBD products such as lotions and topical products, but not CBD for consumption in food or beverages.

 

Hemp is a variant of the cannabis plant without THC. Hemp plants can be farmed and harvested for fibers often used to make rope, fabric and other applications. Hemp agriculture is governed by the USDA and cannot contain more than 0.03% THC in dry weight.

 

Learn more

 

Color Bar

 

 

Lesson 2: Cannabis and Drug Screening and Testing

How does drug screening and confirmation testing for cannabis work and what does it detect (or not)?

 

Watch the video

 

Discussion Questions

  • What are the key differences between a urine drug screen and a confirmation test?
  • Can secondhand exposure to THC result in a positive drug screen?
  • Can CBD-use result in a positive drug screen?
  • Does your state have policies limiting use of drug screening tests in the workplace or other settings?

 

Answers

Urine screens are commonly used to provide quick results. They are often used at point-of-care testing and typically identify "positive" or "negative" results for the presence of certain drug classes in the urine. Screens can lead to false positive or negative results. Confirmations are more accurate laboratory tests that take longer but provide more accurate and detailed results. A confirmation can identify specific substances and the amount of substance present in the test.

 

If a screening test uses the standard cutoff of 50ng/mL, it extremely unlikely for someone to test positive having only been exposed secondhand given the amount of smoke they would have to be exposed to at that level. For screening tests that use a lower cutoff like 20ng/mL, it is possible because the results can be more variable, but still not likely.

 

CBD does not cross well with most urine drug screens, meaning it is unlikely that it would lead to a positive result, but it is possible that large amounts of CBD combined with other factors like trace amounts of THC in the products could result in a positive test. However, follow up confirmation testing can distinguish THC from CBD. One related issue is that studies have shown that CBD products are not always accurately tested and labeled regarding their CBD and THC content, so it is possible for someone who uses CBD products regularly to have inadvertent THC exposure if products are not accurately labeled.

 

State policies regarding the use of urine drug screening in different settings may vary, especially for use in the workplace. Some states have policies limiting use of drug screening for cannabis while others may not.

 

Learn More

Moeller, Karen E., Julie C. Kissack, Rabia S. Atayee, and Kelly C. Lee. “Clinical Interpretation of Urine Drug Tests: What Clinicians Need to Know About Urine Drug Screens.” Mayo Clinic Proceedings (2017)

 

Color Bar

 

 

Lesson 3: Cannabis and Road Safety: How does cannabis use impact driving and road safety?

This lesson reviews the impacts of cannabis use on road safety and policy and enforcement considerations in states with and without legalized cannabis.

 

Watch the video

 

Discussion Questions

  • What are the possible effects of cannabis that can impair driving ability?
  • What are some examples of negative effects of cannabis use on driving?
  • For how long after cannabis use could driving ability be impaired?
  • What are some of the enforcement challenges related to cannabis-impaired driving?

 

Answers

Cannabis use can impact several areas related to driving. THC, the psychoactive component of cannabis, can impair motor coordination and impair perception. It can also slow reaction time and impair ability to make decisions, all of which can influence driving. Under the influence of cannabis, some common driving safety effects are delayed braking, not maintaining a consistent speed or driving too slow (which can be dangerous) and not maintaining a safe distance between cars.

 

While THC levels begin to drop within a few minutes of stopping use (while smoking), performance can be impaired for another 1-2 hours after use, which may be longer than a person feels the subjective high. For edible products, the peak effects occur anywhere from 2-4 hours after use and may last as long as 4-12 hours.

 

A major challenge for enforcement of cannabis-impaired driving is that there is no accurate roadside test currently available, especially since cannabis can remain in a person’s system for several days or longer. A standardized field sobriety test may be used but is not always effective. Combined use of alcohol and cannabis is becoming more common, and alcohol can be detected through roadside testing. Use of primary enforcement seatbelt laws may help prevent cannabis-impaired driving.

 

Learn More

 

Color Bar

 

 

Lesson 4: Cannabis Policy - Where Prevention Fits

What is the role of prevention in cannabis policy at the municipal/local or organization level? This lesson reviews the various types of policy that preventionists can be aware of and how to strategize for effective policy change.

 

Watch the video

 

Discussion Questions

  • Besides the federal and state level, what are other policy levels where cannabis policy should be considered?
  • Zoning, limits on number of dispensaries, and school buffer zones are some examples of cannabis policies that can be enacted at what level?
  • What elements are important to making effective policy change?

 

Answers

In addition to federal and state laws on cannabis, many other policy levels should consider cannabis. Some examples include municipalities, K-12 and college/university school systems, healthcare organizations, housing/residential programs, and employers.

 

While some state laws on cannabis may include stipulations on zoning, density limits or buffer zones, these policies are often enacted at the local/municipal level. A community that is deciding to opt-in or opt-out of a state cannabis policy should consider these factors.

 

Training, communication, monitoring and evaluation, and strategy for periodic policy review/revision are key elements of the policy change cycle. These elements align with the Strategic Prevention Framework in many ways.

 

Learn More