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The First College Course on the Science of Medical Marijuana

Group of University students in lecture hall

If someone told you that you could take a college course that maps out exactly how cannabis works, would you take that class?

I know I would.

The University of Vermont is going to be making that possibility a reality as they are the first to open a course dedicated to medical marijuana science. There are other universities that cover marijuana related topics – mostly law topics – but this will be the first class entirely dedicated to the science behind medical marijuana.

The class is intended to uncover the “secrets” of marijuana. With the plant being listed as one of the “most dangerous” drugs there is very little solid research around it. Ten – heck even five years ago, this class would not have been possible.

As different states legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes more studies have been made possible – unfortunately though, with it still being banned under federal law even these studies have their limitations.

“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,” said Vermont pharmacology professor Wolfgang Dostmann. “Just demystify the whole thing and say what it is, what is going on with it, how does it work.”

This is a really unique class – there isn’t a college course in the U.S. (or anywhere that I’m aware of) that covers things like THC and CBD, their differences and how they affect us and why they are useful in different conditions.

Many of us who have taken the time to learn these things have had to scour the internet for information – looking for things like studies done by doctors in states where medicinal marijuana is legal. Between these sites and bloggers like us at Marijuana Times who take that information and make sure anyone can find it and learn about the subject.

Since the information about cannabis is so sparse, even on the web, you shouldn’t be surprised to find that the textbook options for the class are limited to non-existent. Since most of the books that do have tidbits of information on scientific material also contain information about cleaning pipes and baking edibles, the professors have decided to write their own textbook.

This class is truly something that we’ve been in need of – and hopefully it will expand as we uncover more and more about medical marijuana. The class is open to non-enrolled students so that law enforcement and medical professionals – as well as anyone who is genuinely interested in the subject – can attend. If it weren’t several states away from me, I would love to attend this class, which will be officially starting in spring of 2016.