A University of Colorado Boulder psychology professor has come up with a series of online courses on medical marijuana for the public.
When asked about how the idea of creating such course came to his mind, Kent Hutchison said that the thought came to him after seeing his mother and others struggle to find consistent, reliable information on cannabis. Notably, Hutchison’s mother dealt with chronic pain for decades and relocated to Colorado in 2014 to see if cannabis could help.
Named “Medical Cannabis: The Health Effects of THC and CBD Specialization”, the course has been created in collaboration with coursera.org, an online learning platform.
Any person can take up the course; however, those who want to receive a certificate of completion need to subscribe for a $49 monthly fee. Besides catering to the curious public, the course will reportedly also help budtenders and medical providers.
“At the University, Hutchison teaches a similar course to undergraduates. In fact, he says, the student feedback helped him a lot in creating the online course. “There’s nothing quite like this course out there,” Christopher Haynes, associate director for learning experience design at CU Boulder, was quoted as saying by the local media. “Via Coursera, he (Hutchison) will be able to reach audiences far outside the university who want to learn more on marijuana, even if they don’t need the completion certificate”.
The course consists of 4 parts which include the history of marijuana and guidelines to reduce risk, benefits against chronic pain and cancer, opioid use disorder, mental health, insomnia and the future of marijuana research. Furthermore, the course also includes interviews of as many as 15 scientists who are studying different aspects of the drug.
A 2017 National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine report that reviewed marijuana research published since 1999 is behind the core research published in the course. Interestingly, Hutchison was one of the panel members that drafted the report.
“Ideally what we want is providers, budtenders and family members all getting the same information that’s evidence-based and isn’t influenced by fear and social stigma,” Hutchison said.