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Cannabis – Implications for Dental Professionals

Cannabis is a commonly used drug with significant adverse effects and potential for abuse and dependence. Its therapeutic use for specific medical conditions – including neuropathic pain and spasticity in multiple sclerosis, analgesia in cancer patients and prevention of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting – has been approved by Health Canada. Considering the recent legislative changes for the non-medical use of cannabis, it is expected that its use, adverse effects and risks will become more frequent. Therefore, it is important for healthcare professionals to increase awareness of the organization of the endocannabinoid system, cannabinoid exposure and implications to dental and systemic health.

Dr. A. José Lança, MD, PhD

lanca-photo-390-by-390-292x292Dr. José Lança is an Assistant Professor of Pharmacology in the Faculty of Dentistry and Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto (U of T). He is also affiliated with the School of Graduate Studies and Centre for the Study of Pain at U of T.

Dr. Lança has been the Undergraduate Program Director in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Faculty of Medicine, at U of T and has contributed extensively to curriculum development and teaching of pharmacology. He teaches extensively and is the director of several undergraduate, as well as graduate courses, in Pharmacology and Therapeutics at U of T.

Dr. Lança has recently been invited by Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada, to write and present a review on the “Effects of Cannabis Use on Oral Health”. This review has recently been completed.

His dual professional background (MD/PhD) allows him to integrate pertinent research and clinical relevance. He has authored several chapters in medical pharmacology textbooks. He has also edited a pharmacology textbook and has published extensively in various areas including herbal medications, neuropharmacology, and pharmacology of alcoholism and drug abuse.