Popular College Course On Medical Marijuana Faces Challenges

A very popular class about medical marijuana at the University of Vermont is facing challenges due to a lack of official research to support the teachings of the class. How can that be?

Cannabis has had a negative reputation for decades and is illegal almost everywhere, despite the fact that scientists have discovered several health benefits of this plant. Medical marijuana is used to treat conditions like glaucoma, HIV and cancer in 23 states, including Vermont.
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The University of Vermont is offering a course on medical marijuana but the professors are finding it difficult to teach about medical marijuana due to a lack of science on the drug. Association of American Medical Colleges and Universities says that The University of Vermont is the first to offer a full course on medical marijuana. Many other institutions have provided classes only on law and policy about marijuana.

Pharmacology professor Wolfgang Dostmann from the University of Vermont said, “What we’re trying to do with this course is to sort of demystify this whole subject matter, to try to treat this like any other drug, like alcohol or amphetamines or opioids. Just demystify the whole thing and say what it is, what is going on with it, how does it work.”

Scientists don’t know which elements of the drug, or what amounts of it, work best for patients. Thus making it very difficult for professors to teach about marijuana and to provide accurate information to the students enrolled. Professors of Vermont had to expand the classroom twice since nearly 90 graduate and undergraduate students have signed up for the Vermont class. Law enforcement officials, members of the legislature and general public are also welcome to take the class about medical marijuana at Vermont.

The contents included in the subject are:
* Cannabis taxonomy.
* Medical chemistry of cannabinoids.
* The chemicals found in marijuana.
* Physiological effects of the drug.
* Emerging therapeutic applications.
* Historical, political, and socioeconomic influences on marijuana legislation.
Read: Researchers Prove Marijuana Doesn’t Affect Your Intelligence

But the professors say they are hampered by a lack of access to high-quality research. “Without having enough clinical trials,” Lounsbury said, “we won’t really know whether this is applicable or whether it is a snake oil.” Well, the class may attract many stoners. There’s no books explaining the topics the university plans on teaching, so the professors are planning to write their own textbook as study materials.

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