Courses in the MS in Medical Cannabis Science and Therapeutics program are designed to accommodate students with and without a background in science or medicine. Faculty are dedicated to making courses interesting and accessible to all students regardless of academic background.
In this introductory course, participants will learn about the cultural history of medical cannabis use, explore how federal law and policy relating to medical and non-medical use of cannabis has evolved in the United States, and discuss ethical issues related to medical cannabis. Additionally, students will learn how to identify credible sources of information related to medical cannabis, and educate patients and other professionals.
This course introduces students to the factors influencing drug action in the body. Students will learn about receptor theory, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, dose-response relationships, and drug tolerance and dependence. This course will develop participants’ skills to evaluate cannabis (and its components) from a mechanistic and pharmacologic perspective with the ultimate goal of providing the most appropriate cannabis regimen for individual patients.
This course introduces students to the chemical characteristics of cannabis components. The course will describe the classification system for cannabinoids, cannabinoid compound ratios in plant materials, cannabis-derived products and their constituents, oils, terpenoids, flavenoids, hydrocarbons and nitrogen containing compounds. This course also introduces students to the science of designing dosage forms. Topics include the formulation, development, evaluation, selection and administration of safe, effective, reliable, drug delivery systems, with a focus on development of medical cannabis products. The wide variety of cannabis delivery systems and routes of delivery and the impact of those delivery systems have on the bioavailability of cannabis will be evaluated in this course.
This introductory course provides an overview of patient care skills, including communication and documentation. The course also introduces students to the most common uses of medical cannabis, including pain, nausea/vomiting, and anxiety disorders. Students will learn how to assess these conditions and determine when medical cannabis could be a therapeutic option. Side effects, drug interactions, and precautions are also discussed.
In this advanced level course, students will learn in-depth about the physiology, pathophysiology, and treatment strategies of selected conditions, including pain, muscle spasm, nausea/vomiting, and anorexia/cachexia. Students will evaluate available evidence, complete case studies, and explore dosing strategies and formulations. Side effects, drug interactions, and precautions are also discussed. (Pre-requisite: MCST 604 – Clinical Effects of Cannabis).
In this course, students will learn about the physiology, pathophysiology, and treatment strategies of selected conditions, including epilepsy, sleep disorders, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder, among others. Students will evaluate available evidence, complete case studies, and explore dosing strategies and formulations. Side effects, drug interactions, and precautions are also discussed. (Pre-requisite: MCST 604 – Clinical Effects of Cannabis).
In this course, students will explore the consequences of cannabis use, including adverse effects and misuse or addiction. Students will evaluate available evidence, analyze case studies, and participate in group discussions. This course explores the effects of cannabis on populations, including effects on the workplace, public spaces, impaired driving, adolescent use, and unintentional poisoning, among others. (Pre-requisite: MCST 604 – Clinical Effects of Cannabis).
This course introduces students to the components of the cannabis plant and the resultant biosynthetic pathways that form active and inactive agents. Students will learn the genetic basis for the differences in components between different strains and the subsequent impact on medicinal efficacy, as well as the role that plant components have on the entourage effect. (Pre-requisite: MCST 602 - Principles of Drug Action and Cannabinoid Pharmacology).
This course relates chemical characteristics of cannabis components to their pharmacological activity. The course covers a variety of cannabis targets, methods for improving drug activity, and the principles of rational drug design and characteristics such as solubility, stability and metabolism. Additionally, this course will explore methodologies for concentration, extraction, and purification of plant constituents, along with scope and limitations of analytical techniques for the identification and quantification of plant and synthetic cannabinoids, contaminants, and adulterants in cannabis products. (Pre-requisite: MCST 603 - Basic Cannabinoid Chemistry and Delivery).
In this course, students will be exposed to the federal controlled substances act and state counterparts. This will include a review of schedules I through V and the rules for prescribing and dispensing C-II though C-V. DEA and state inspections, Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs, and registration with state authorities will also be addressed. The course will then move into treatment of Schedule I substances and the differences between marijuana and other controlled substances. Physician recommendations, as opposed to prescriptions, will be addressed in light of the First Amendment. Medical Board actions against physicians will also be included. Since the Controlled Substances Act prohibits the prescribing and dispensing of Schedule I substances, the course will explore, compare, and contrast state laws and regulations regarding medical cannabis and focus on how marijuana was singled out for exemptions at the state level and why the federal government has refrained from prosecutions in the states that have decriminalized it for medical use. The course will also focus on those states that have decriminalized marijuana for recreational use and the likely consequences, if any, in those states. Other topics include but are not limited to authorized caregivers, licensed dispensaries, involvement of pharmacists and other licensed health care professionals in dispensaries, public testing facilities, regulations, state administration, authorized conditions, patients’ requirements and restrictions, advertising, location of dispensaries, caregiver requirements, quantity limits, and other regulations. (Pre-requisite: MSPC 601 - Introduction to Medical Cannabis History, Culture, and Policy)
Participants in this course envision and plan a pilot project designed to assess clinical, scientific, economic, or public health outcomes related to medical cannabis. Students will learn how to establish a research question, establishing appropriate methods, and select outcomes to assess. Deliverable will be a proposal that is suitable for submission to an institutional review board. Students will also learn how to critically evaluate medical and scientific evidence.
In this course, students will attend and reflect on expert seminars discussing current scientific, clinical, and legal issues related to medical cannabis. Additionally, students will work with peers and an organization/client to identify a knowledge gap and design an educational intervention, to be completed longitudinally over the course of the master’s program. Students will create a professional portfolio to showcase the work completed as part of the MS in Medical Cannabis Science and Therapeutics program.