Fundamentals of Cannabis Science (3 units)
This course will provide students with an
essential grounding in the science of cannabis. The course will start with a
historical context for the use (and misuse) of cannabis in Canada and around
The second focus will be on the nature of the genus Cannabis, its species, and its numerous
constituents. A particular emphasis will be placed on delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), the two most commonly studied
As cannabis is a psychoactive drug, the third focus will be on
its effects in the brain.
Therapeutic Applications of Cannabis (3 units)
Cannabis has been used for medicinal
purposes for millennia, but the evidence supporting (and contradicting) its
many applications has only emerged in the last few decades. Furthermore,
medical use of cannabis in Canada came to exist from outside the typical
protocols in medicine.
Fundamentally, this course will provide a grounding in
the principles of evidence-based medicine and apply those principles to medical
cannabis. This will include an extended introduction into the GRADE (Grading of
Recommendations, Assessment, Development, and Evaluations) approach. In
addition, the course will systematically examine the evidence for using cannabis
for treating pain, spasticity, nausea, sleep, and psychiatric disorders, such
as autism, anxiety, addiction, post-traumatic stress disorder, and
Finally, the course will review promising future directions in
medicinal cannabis, including both novel cannabinoid medicines and novel
Risks and Harms of Cannabis (3 units)
Cannabis is a psychoactive drug that is established to have a variety of
risks and harms. This course will review the strength of evidence behind the
different risks associated.
Priority topics are impairment leading to
accidents; cannabis misuse/cannabis use disorder; associations with anxiety,
depression, and schizophrenia; effects of cannabis on cognition and brain
development; and adverse consequences for lung health.
Finally, the course will
review guidelines for reducing risk when consuming cannabis and evidence-based
practices in the treatment of cannabis use disorder.