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Introduction to Medical Cannabis: Seed to Sale

Gain knowledge of medical cannabis and how it works in the human body as you unpack the history, use, and benefits of cannabis.

896 enrolled on this course

A picture of cannabis leaf and hemp seeds together with some medical capsules

Introduction to Medical Cannabis: Seed to Sale

896 enrolled on this course

  • 2 weeks

  • 3 hours per week

  • Digital certificate when eligible

  • Open level

Find out more about how to join this course

Explore the history of cannabis, from prohibition to new classification

While cannabis has been used for millennia for its medicinal and psychoactive properties, its use has been criminalised for a large part of history.

On this two-week course from the University of the West Indies, you’ll explore the history of cannabis, the substance’s past prohibition, and reclassification in recent years. You’ll also delve into the biochemical and medicolegal aspects of cannabis to gain a comprehensive understanding of the plant.

Discover the biochemistry of cannabis and its medicinal benefits

Cannabis has been medically proven to aid the treatment of cancer, epilepsy, and chronic pain. Yet, some social constructions of cannabis tend to highlight the substance abuse paradigm.

This course will delve into the biochemistry of cannabis to demystify its medicinal benefits and examine its effects on the endocannabinoid system. It will provide you with a scientific understanding of how cannabis works in the body.

Historically, cannabis has been largely criminalised around the world. However, this is beginning to change as medicinal cannabis usage has become more widespread.

On this course, you’ll examine medicinal cannabis laws worldwide in order to investigate and discuss international legal and policy framework for the production and use of cannabis.

Learn with the experts at the University of the West Indies

The Faculty of Medical Sciences at the University of the West Indies has 73 years of medical education and research, including cannabis research and the development of cannabis-related products.

With the insight and expertise of your course instructors, you’ll develop an in-depth understanding of the history, biochemistry, and legal aspects of cannabis.


  • Week 1

    Introduction to Medicinal Cannabis

    • Welcome to Medicinal Cannabis

      Learners will be introduced to the course, meet their facilitators and express their interests in Medicinal Cannabis.

    • About Cannabis

      Learners will be introduced to the history, nomenclature and taxonomy of Medicinal Cannabis.

    • Pharmacology and Biochemistry of Cannabis

      Learners will be exposed to the biochemical and pharmacological components of Cannabis.

    • Introduction to the Endocannabinoid System

      In this activity, learners will be introduced to the Endocannabinoid System and its components.

    • Review and Wrap Up

      Congratulations on making it to the end of Week 1! During this week you would have been introduced to Medicinal Cannabis and its various components. Now it is time to review and test how much you have learned.

  • Week 2

    Cannabis Prohibition & Medicolegal Considerations

    • Introduction to Cannabis Prohibition and Medicolegal Considerations

      This activity will provide a brief overview of the various prohibitions and the medicolegal considerations of which you should be aware.

    • Prohibition of Cannabis

      In this activity, you will be introduced to the history of Cannabis prohibition, as well as the Opium and other related Conventions.

    • Medicolegal Considerations

      Learners will be introduced to Medicolegal Considerations for Cannabis Reform and Global and Caribbean Frameworks/Laws.

    • Review and Wrap Up

      Learners will have the opportunity to gauge their knowledge and understanding of the topics discussed through a summative assessment of the week's components.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Summarise the cultural history, biochemistry, and pharmacology of cannabis.
  • Summarise the nomenclature and taxonomy of Cannabis as well as its current relevance.
  • Describe the components of the endocannabinoid system.
  • Explain how the function of the endocannabinoid system can be manipulated.
  • Explain the legal framework for cannabis in specific countries.

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for healthcare and business professionals, as well as individuals who would like to expand their understanding of the biochemistry, pharmacology, and medicolegal aspects of cannabis.

Who will you learn with?

Dr. Damian Cohall is a Deputy Dean and a Senior Lecturer in Pharmacology at The University of the West Indies, Cave Hill. His research interest is pharmacognosy, especially related to Cannabis.

Who developed the course?

The University of the West Indies

The University of the West Indies (The UWI) is the Caribbean’s premier, higher education institution. One of only two regional universities in the world, it comprises five campuses across the English-speaking Caribbean and 10 global centres in partnership with universities in North America, Latin America, Asia, Africa, and Europe. The UWI stands among the top 1.5% of universities globally, following Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings 2022.

  • Established

  • Location

    The West Indies

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Choose the best way to learn for you!

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Develop skills to further your career

  • Access to this course
  • Access to 1,000+ courses
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Digital certificate when you're eligible

Cancel for free anytime

Buy this course

$109/one-off payment

Fulfill your current learning need

  • Access to this course
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Printed and digital certificate when you’re eligible

Limited access


Sample the course materials

  • Access expires 5 May 2024

Find out more about certificates, Unlimited or buying a course (Upgrades)

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