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Closing the Medical Cannabis Education Gap

Man Smoking Marijuana While On Computer
Photo by Darrin Harris Frisby/Drug Policy Alliance

Joint Opinions

Closing the Medical Cannabis Education Gap

The battle over the legalization of medical cannabis is slowly being won state-by-state. Currently, 23 states and the District of Columbia leading the way and an additional 15 states have passed “CBD-only” medical marijuana bills.

As legalization marches on, patients and caregivers across the country are seeking out more information about the benefits of using medical cannabis for everything from pain management and cancer to pediatric seizures and neurologic disorders. But unfortunately, many doctors to whom these patients turn for advice, insight and guidance on potential treatment regimens simply don’t have the answers or understanding about the science behind medical cannabis.

Remarkably, the physiology behind the endocannabinoid system (ECS) is generally not covered in medical school programs.

This lack of core curriculum on the ECS means future physicians are not learning how the ECS affects homeostasis or helps the body respond to stress, not to mention the potential of utilizing medical cannabis to treat specific diseases. In my opinion, not knowing about the physiology behind medical cannabis is like doctors skipping the nervous system class in medical school.

Enter The Medical Cannabis Institute (TMCI), an online resource that provides healthcare professionals around the globe with CME-certified (continuing medical education) courses on medical cannabis – from the fundamentals to disease-specific case reviews. By collaborating with medical cannabis science organizations, as well as credentialed physicians and researchers from leading universities (including the San Francisco Medical Center and the University of Colorado), TMCI developed a series of online courses by topic.

The online courses are designed to educate healthcare professionals and even caregivers and patients in an efficient, yet effective way. Physicians, who are trailblazers in this new area of medical treatment, are able to take the courses without traveling to an in-person, live event.

TMCI also launched the first online medical cannabis curriculum that presents, in sequential order, a series of 12 courses. This series is designed to take a practicing clinician from the basics of the plant, its history and the underlying physiologic (endocannabinoid) system to the pharmacology and clinical practice of medical cannabis. The curriculum is provided by the Society of Cannabis Clinicians (SCC), an educational and scientific society of qualified physicians dedicated to the expansion of knowledge on the medical use of cannabis.

The curriculum covers topics ranging from cardiovascular and neurologic disorders to oncology, pain management and palliative care. Additional courses cover the fundamentals of medical cannabis, legal issues, safety and patient education.

Would you take courses on medical cannabis? Tell us in the comments.

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