About this Course

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Beginner Level

No background required.

Approx. 18 hours to complete
Subtitles: English

What you will learn

  • Learn about the basic pharmacology of cannabis and how cannabinoids effect the body.

  • Learn about the history of cannabis cultivation and legality.

  • Learn about the barriers and approaches to cannabis research.

  • Learn about the epidemiological data on cannabis use in terms of cognition, education, and behavior.

Skills you will gain

Legality of cannabisCBD and THCPublic HealthPharmacologyHistory of cannabis
Shareable Certificate
Earn a Certificate upon completion
100% online
Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Flexible deadlines
Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.
Beginner Level

No background required.

Approx. 18 hours to complete
Subtitles: English

Offered by

University of Colorado Boulder logo

University of Colorado Boulder

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course


Week 1

4 hours to complete

Introduction to Course and to Cannabis

4 hours to complete
9 videos (Total 127 min), 10 readings
9 videos
Lecture - Introduction to Professor and Course6m
Lecture - Why is this topic (and course) important?19m
Lecture - What is Cannabis?18m
Interview with Nolan Kane12m
Lecture - Physiological Effects of Cannabinoids in the Body16m
Lecture - More on Cannabinoids in the Brain19m
Lecture - Deep Dive on Cannabinoid Pharmacology11m
Interview with Meg Haney15m
10 readings
Lecture PDF - Introduction to Professor and Course10m
NAS Report (Including link to required materials)30m
Lecture PDF: Why is this topic important?10m
Lecture PDF - What is cannabis?10m
Lecture PDF - What does cannabis do in the body?10m
Lecture PDF: More on Cannabinoids in the Brain10m
NAS Report30m
Lecture PDF -Deep Dive on Cannabinoid Pharmacology10m
Taming THC – Entourage Effect (Russo, 2011)10m
The Case for the Entourage Effect (Russo, 2019)10m

Week 2

4 hours to complete

History of Cannabis

4 hours to complete
7 videos (Total 97 min), 11 readings, 1 quiz
7 videos
Lecture - Cannabis History10m
Lecture - Legal History16m
Lecture - Legalization in States and Countries7m
Lecture - History of Products and Formulations20m
Lecture - Business Models - Are Marijuana Companies Rolling in Cash?19m
Interview with Mark January19m
11 readings
Lecture PDF - Cannabis History10m
NAS Report - History of cannabis & its pharmacology10m
History of Cannabis and Its Preparations in Saga, Science, and Sobriquet (Russo, 2007)10m
The Pharmacological History of Cannabis (Russo, 2014)10m
Lecture PDF - Legal History10m
NAS Report - Cannabis policy10m
Lecture PDF - Legalization in States and Countries10m
Lecture PDF - History of Products and Formulations10m
Lecture PDF - Business Models10m
Jeffrey Vinik thinks cannabis stocks are a bad idea: ‘Nobody’s going to make money’10m
Marijuana is getting cheaper. For some states, that's a problem.10m
1 practice exercise
Quiz #130m

Week 3

5 hours to complete

Barriers to Research and How to Evaluate Research

5 hours to complete
6 videos (Total 81 min), 8 readings, 2 quizzes
6 videos
Lecture - Barriers to Research17m
Lecture - End Result of Barriers to Research18m
Lecture - How to Evaluate Evidence16m
Lecture - Internal and External Validity12m
Lecture - Placebo Effect12m
8 readings
Lecture PDF - Barriers to Research10m
NAS Report - Barriers to cannabis research10m
Lecture PDF - End Result of Barriers to Research10m
NAS Report - Research gap10m
Lecture PDF - How to Evaluate Evidence10m
Watch these Videos10m
Lecture PDF - Internal and External Validity10m
Lecture PDF - Placebo Effect10m
1 practice exercise
Quiz #210m

Week 4

5 hours to complete

Risks Associated with Cannabis Use

5 hours to complete
8 videos (Total 99 min), 11 readings, 1 quiz
8 videos
Lecture - Cannabis and Brain Morphology10m
Lecture - Cannabis and the Brain Part II10m
Lecture - Impact of Legalization on Epidemiology15m
Interview with Kevin Gray20m
Lecture - Changes in Potency11m
Lecture - Public Health Data12m
Lecture - General Guidelines to Reduce Harm and Maximize Benefits15m
11 readings
Lecture PDF - Cannabis and Brain Morphology10m
NAS Report10m
Dr. Carl Hart Debates Bill O'Reilly (Video)10m
Lecture PDF - Cannabis and the Brain Part 210m
Lecture PDF - Impact of Legalization10m
Lecture PDF - Changes in Potency10m
Lecture PDF - Public Health Data10m
Practical considerations in medical cannabis administration and dosing10m
Lecture PDF - General Guidelines10m
An observational postmarketing safety registry of patients in the UK, Germany, and Switzerland who have been prescribed Sativex® (THC:CBD, nabiximols) oromucosal spray10m
THC:CBD in Daily Practice: Available Data from UK, Germany and Spain10m
1 practice exercise
Quiz #310m



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About the Medical Cannabis: The Health Effects of THC and CBD Specialization

The legalization of cannabis (i.e., marijuana) and the recent federal legalization of cannabidiol (CBD) has led to unprecedented access to cannabinoids (e.g. THC and CBD), a projected 60 billion dollar industry (cannabis and hemp) by 2025, and the fastest growing jobs sector in the economy according to recent reports in the media. Despite all of this, there is very little evidence-based information about the health effects of cannabis or about how to maximize the potential benefits while minimizing harm. Parents of children with seizure disorders, veterans with PTSD and chronic pain, cancer patients, and our aging parents deserve better. People WANT evidence-based information about the potential risks and benefits of cannabis products so that they can weigh the pros and cons of cannabis versus other options. They also want to know how to maximize the positive effects of cannabis while minimizing the side effects. This specialization is designed to provide that information. The specialization is useful to a range of learners. It is intended for patients and their loved ones who have questions about cannabis and CBD products as well as for health care providers and others who work in public health who want to provide helpful information to patients. It is also intended for people who want to work in the cannabis industry. For all of these groups, understanding the evidence base is critical in terms of communicating the risks and potential benefits....
Medical Cannabis: The Health Effects of THC and CBD

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