The University of Vermont is offering for-credit coursework related to cannabis through its Larner School of Medicine. The class, Pharm 200, has been offered at the school for two years, and is designed to introduce students to pharmacology and human physiology concepts “underlying medicinal and other cannabis use,” according to Karen Lounsbury Ph.D who teaches the class.
“Another section is on the medicinal chemistry of cannabis: what chemicals are there, which are biologically active, what other components might alter their activity,” Lounsbury said in a Forbes report. “This also gets into the pharmacology of cannabis, how they chemicals get into the body, where they go, and how they’re metabolized.”
The “biggest section” of the course is therapeutics, she explained, which includes medical cannabis applications for pain, nausea, autoimmune disease and disorders, inflammation, mental health disorders, and Parkinson’s disease.
Additionally, the university offers courses for non-matriculated students, including a Cannabis Speaker Series, on-demand Cannabis Science and Medicine Continuing Medical Education modules, Community Medical School video presentations, and a Cannabis Science and Medicine Professional Certificate program.
Lounsbury noted that the class comes as interest increases around CBD research, where just a few years ago there were just five active studies but now there are 39 clinical CBD studies worldwide.
“The National Institute of Health is also funding over 40 projects, mostly through the National Institute on Drug Abuse, which now has 15 projects approved for CBD research,” she explained, adding that “a lot more research is needed.”