The legalization of cannabis (i.e., marijuana) and the recent federal legalization of cannabidiol (CBD) has led to unprecedented access to cannabinoids (e.g. THC and CBD), a projected 60 billion dollar industry (cannabis and hemp) by 2025, and the fastest growing jobs sector in the economy according to recent reports in the media. Despite all of this, there is very little evidence-based information about the health effects of cannabis or about how to maximize the potential benefits while minimizing harm. Parents of children with seizure disorders, veterans with PTSD and chronic pain, cancer patients, and our aging parents deserve better. People WANT evidence-based information about the potential risks and benefits of cannabis products so that they can weigh the pros and cons of cannabis versus other options. They also want to know how to maximize the positive effects of cannabis while minimizing the side effects. This specialization is designed to provide that information.
The specialization is useful to a range of learners. It is intended for patients and their loved ones who have questions about cannabis and CBD products as well as for health care providers and others who work in public health who want to provide helpful information to patients. It is also intended for people who want to work in the cannabis industry. For all of these groups, understanding the evidence base is critical in terms of communicating the risks and potential benefits.