Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


47th Annual Convention; Online; 2021

All times listed are Eastern time (GMT-4 at the time of the convention in May).

Event Details

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B. F. Skinner Lecture Series Paper Session #444
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Exploring the Health Consequences of Cannabis in Animal Models
Monday, May 31, 2021
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
Area: BPN; Domain: Basic Research
Chair: Sally L. Huskinson (University of Mississippi Medical Center)
CE Instructor: Sally L. Huskinson, Ph.D.
Presenting Author: MICHAEL TAFFE (UC San Diego Health)

The use of cannabis for medicinal and recreational purposes continues to expand as legal barriers are dismantled. This leads to a growing need to assess possible health consequences, including with a focus on specific cannabinoid compounds such as Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Understanding of the effects of CBD by itself, and in combination with THC, are only recently being explored in well-controlled studies. This talk will discuss the effects of CBD and THC along, and in combination, in animal models. Most pre-clinical models of cannabinoid effects use parenteral injections of cannabinoids, while human use continues to be by inhalation via combusted plant material and, now, e-cigarette devices. Models of vapor inhalation in rats will be discussed with a focus on the differences compared with traditional injection routes of administration.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience: Board certified behavior analysts; licensed psychologists; graduate students.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) discuss the scope of cannabis use; (2) explain the spectrum of health concerns resulting from cannabis; (3) compare the utility of several animal models of cannabis use; (4) analyze cannabis policy discussions in terms of scientific knowledge.
MICHAEL TAFFE (UC San Diego Health)
Dr. Michael A. Taffe obtained his bachelor’s degree from The Colorado College in 1990 and went on to complete doctoral studies in Experimental Psychology at the University of California, San Diego in 1995. Following a brief postdoctoral stint in the Department of Psychiatry at UCSD, he joined The Scripps Research Institute as a post-doc and was eventually appointed to the faculty of TSRI in 2000. Dr. Taffe was recruited to join the faculty of the Department of Psychiatry at UCSD in 2019. The work of Dr. Taffe’s laboratory has been focused on the potential harms and health risks that attend both acute and chronic exposure to recreational drugs, including MDMA (“Ecstasy”), alcohol, ?9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and the designer cathinone psychostimulants (“bath salts”). The laboratory also investigates neurobiological alterations associated with prescription opioid abuse and potential new treatment strategies for Oxycontin dependence. The therapeutic development work in the laboratory extends to evaluating anti-drug vaccines for potential use against methamphetamine, oxycodone and “bath salts” abuse and dependence. Investigations with cannabidiol focus primarily on the way it modulates the behavioral effects of THC.



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