Cannabis and cannabinoid-based products are becoming increasingly available to use and consume. Whether available as an over-the-counter product (for example, cannabis edibles), nutritional supplement (for example, cannabidiol [CBD] oil), or as a Food and Drug Administration-approved medicine (for example, Epidiolex), the health effects of cannabis and cannabinoid-based products are only beginning to be understood. This course examines the most up-to-date science on the health effects (both therapeutic and potentially adverse) of cannabis in humans using principles from toxicology, epidemiology, and psychopharmacology. In the first unit, we examine the basics of cannabinoids, including pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, neurotransmission, and methodologies for evaluating the scientific evidence of health effects of cannabis. In the second unit, we examine the scientific evidence for select therapeutic effects of cannabis, including its use in medicine, chronic pain, mood disorders, and epilepsy. In the final unit, we examine emerging evidence related to adverse effects of cannabis, including potential effects on intelligence, respiratory disease from vaping, and psychosis.
Harvard Summer School
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