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ADVANCED CERTIFICATE

Medicinal Cannabis

Explore the medical applications of cannabinoids to manage common health conditions in primary care.

Medicinal Cannabis leaves and oil

Overview

Acquire the knowledge to manage and prescribe medicinal cannabis for various conditions such as multiple sclerosis, tremors, diabetes, hypertension, glaucoma, autoimmune disorders, and more.

  • Learn the therapeutic properties of cannabis and its uses in mainstream medicine.
  • Acquire knowledge from published case studies, peer reviewed research, and scientific learning resources.
  • This course is for medical doctors and International Medical Graduates.
  • CPD-accredited and university-reviewed.

CPD requirements

Fulfils 50 hrs for medical professionals in Australia*

Study modes

100% online

Course fee

$1495
Special rates available

Study duration

82 hrs
Self-paced

*provided an outcome measurement activity with a minimum of 5 hours is completed.

Griffith university logo 200 x 100

Course benefits

  • Effectively treat multiple sclerosis-related symptoms.
  • Use advanced techniques to manage treatment-resistant pain and migraines.
  • Address autoimmune and inflammatory disorders with cannabinoids.
  • Support patients suffering from inflammatory bowel disease, particularly Crohn's disease.
  • Offer comprehensive care for your patients with autism, ADHD, OCD, and Tourette's.

Get unlimited access to all course content, additional learning materials, ongoing post-course support, and more.

NOTE: GPs working in Australia (except for in Tasmania) may prescribe medicinal cannabis, however, as part of the guidelines of the Therapeutic Goods Administration Special Access Scheme-B, you will need to acknowledge that you have the knowledge necessary to do so. This program will equip you with the knowledge required to manage and prescribe medicinal cannabis for various conditions and can serve as part of your documentation showing you have undertaken education in this field when you decide to become an authorised prescriber. More information here.

Course contents

Multiple sclerosis, spasticity, tremor and dystonia

This module examines the role of medicinal cannabis in treating neuro-inflammatory and neurodegenerative conditions such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, and dystonia syndrome. It explores the involvement of the endocannabinoid system in the regulation of motor behaviour and the high density of cannabinoid receptors in the central nervous system, suggesting that modulating this system may be pertinent in treating motor symptoms such as spasticity, tremor, and dystonia. Medicinal cannabis in the form of an oro-mucosal spray has been shown to be beneficial at reducing spasticity in multiple sclerosis and has been registered on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods for some years. Other medicinal cannabis formulations may also be useful in managing movement disorders such as Parkinson’s and dystonia. This module also reinforces the important role of medicinal cannabis in alleviating non-motor-related symptoms such as depression, pain, insomnia, and anxiety as well as more broadly improving the patient's quality of life.

Treatment resistant pain, neuropathic pain, cluster headaches and migraines

Cannabis-based medicine has been used to treat various pain states for centuries. But given the growing challenges in chronic pain management, we have begun to seek a more scientific, evidence-based approach to its use. This module weighs the evidence from significant research, reviews, and clinical trials regarding the use of medicinal cannabis in chronic, neuropathic, and intractable pain. It examines the role of cannabinoids in managing pain as an adjunctive or opioid-sparing therapeutic agent or as a third-line therapy when other treatments have failed. The module also examines medicinal cannabis use in ubiquitous headache disorders, which confer a significant personal and social burden of pain and disability and are also, often inadequately managed by conventional treatments. The module devotes a unit to the practical considerations of medicinal cannabis therapy. It recommends a treatment agreement between doctor and patient and outlines the features it should include such as setting goals, managing expectations, scheduling follow-up, and planning an exit strategy.

Autoimmune disorders and inflammatory conditions

This module examines the use of medicinal cannabis in the treatment of autoimmune disorders and inflammatory conditions, particularly rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia. These conditions are common, debilitating chronic pain syndromes with serious comorbidities and can impose a considerable personal and social disease burden. The conventional treatments for both conditions are problematic, lacking specificity in fibromyalgia and poor adherence to the pharmacological load. Side effects in rheumatoid arthritis are considered. For both conditions, cannabis and cannabinoids may offer a source of hope for sufferers and their physicians. When other treatment lines have been exhausted, medicinal cannabis may be a reasonable option to reduce pain and comorbidities, support deficient endocannabinoid tone and affect disease progression by modulating autoimmune and inflammatory responses. The module, therefore, provides guidelines for choosing a cannabis product and formulation, managing dosing and titration, and enfolding this into a holistic approach to reducing inflammation.

Inflammatory bowel disease – Crohn’s disease

As the incidence of inflammatory bowel diseases rises, medicinal cannabis has been increasingly researched for employment in these diseases, particularly in the symptomatic relief from abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhoea and an improved sense of well-being. This module examines the role of medicinal cannabis in the management of Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. As with many chronic disorders, lifelong therapy is required and the pharmacological load in these conditions can be considerable with unacceptable side effects and only moderate control of symptoms. Given these factors, there is a role for medicinal cannabis; not curative or as a substitute for conventional medications aimed at altering the underlying disease, but for symptom management and improved quality of life. The module takes the form of four case studies, which examine different methods of approaching medicinal cannabis therapy given the relative paucity of specific recommendations for usage. The cases represent four inflammatory bowel states and guide the practitioner through negotiating what is in essence, a very personalised medicine.

Autism, ADHD, OCD and Tourette's

This module considers the role of medicinal cannabis in the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and Tourette's syndrome - all of which are encompassed in a wide spectrum of disease states. These neuropsychiatric disorders present a complicated diagnostic area where certain disease states may be comorbidities of another. Indeed, all conditions may exist concurrently with various ratios of each. In each condition, there is some form of dysregulation of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) and associated positive response to cannabis medicine when used to stimulate and support the ECS to facilitate better neurological functioning. Given that these conditions usually commence in childhood, the module discusses protocols and ethical considerations for treating the paediatric population with cannabinoid medicines. Case studies highlight the caution and flexibility required to achieve acceptable results with this highly individualised therapy, including careful, stepwise titration and monitoring with THC, consideration of different chemovars, and frequent communication with patients and carers.

Diabetes, glaucoma and hypertension

This module examines the role of medicinal cannabis in type 1 and type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, the comorbidity of glaucoma (secondary to retinopathy) and hypertension, which accelerates the risk and course of cardiovascular and other comorbidities. The module discusses salient evidence and research findings such as the effects of recreational cannabis use in diabetes, the uniquely diverse properties of THCV, and the anti-diabetic effects of Rimonabant. THC, CBD, and minor cannabinoids such as THCV, may be beneficial in the management of diabetes but  should be used adjunctively with conventional treatments. Careful monitoring of changes in the diabetic patient's blood sugar is necessary and glycaemic medications altered only if indicated. Cannabinoids may also treat a raft of diabetes-associated conditions such as hypertension and retinopathy. Case studies explore the use of medicinal cannabis for symptoms such as neuropathic pain, insomnia and restless leg syndrome in both cannabis experienced and naive patients as well as possible benefits such as changes in weight, blood sugar, and blood pressure.

Women's health: Endometriosis, PMS and osteoporosis

This module examines the endocannabinoid system in the female reproductive tissues and the potential role of medicinal cannabis in women’s health. The symptoms of endometriosis and premenstrual syndrome may be extreme, debilitating and significantly impact the quality of life. Conventional treatments for these conditions are limited, with severe side effects making medicinal cannabis treatment a reasonable option. Conversely, osteoporosis may be asymptomic until fractures profoundly impact the morbidity and mortality of the patient. The module also considers research indicating that endocannabinoid dysregulation is involved in each of these disorders and the potential for activation or suppression of certain receptors with cannabinoids may support healthy endocannabinoid system homeostatic function in women's health. THC and CBD may play a role in modulating pain, reducing inflammation, regulating immune function, rebalancing endocannabinoid tone, enhancing bone healing and regeneration, and treating/preventing age-related and hormone deficiency-related bone loss and osteoporosis. The module guides the practitioner through choosing a cannabis product for these conditions.

COPD, asthma, eczema, psoriasis and skin conditions

This module discusses the considerable potential for medicinal cannabis (particularly CBD) to treat skin disorders, particularly those with an inflammatory component. It examines conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, fibrotic disorders (scleroderma), and non-melanoma skin cancer. The endocannabinoid system of the skin maintains cutaneous homeostasis and plays an important role in the regulation of the physiology of the skin, including the hair follicle and the immune system. The dysregulation of this system is linked to a wide variety of dermatological disorders. Research suggests that modulation of the endocannabinoid system could be a promising strategy for the treatment of skin disorders. The module also explores the relatively new area of cannabis support for pulmonary conditions given the bronchodilatory effect of THC and the anti-inflammatory effect of CBD. There is also the potential for endocannabinoid system-mediated immune modulation and anti-inflammatory responses. The module offers guidelines for the treatment of skin and pulmonary conditions with medicinal cannabis including the specific cannabis formulations for topical and inhaled administration.

Did you know you can also study most of these course modules in HealthCert 365?

If you're not interested in pursuing a full certificate in this field but simply want to enhance your skills in specific topics covered in this course, you can access the content of this and other courses for a flat fee of $83 per month (paid annually) within HealthCert 365.

Meet your instructors

 
Marco Falasca transp
 
Prof Marco Falasca
Professor of Metabolism

Professor, Metabolism, School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, Curtin University, Australia

Professor Marco Falasca graduated in Pharmacy and then in Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the University of Camerino, Italy. His education further includes a Diploma of Specialisation in Applied Pharmacology at the University of Bari and a FORMEZ Research Award (PhD equivalent) at the Consorzio Mario Negri Sud, Italy. After three years at the New York University Medical Center, Department of Pharmacology (Head Prof Joseph Schlessinger), Prof Falasca took up a position as Head of the Unit of Physiopathology of Cell Signalling within the Consorzio Mario Negri Sud in 1998.

In 2001 he moved to London where he was appointed as Principal Research Fellow, Senior Lecturer within the Department of Medicine at the University College London. In 2007 he was appointed as Professor of Molecular Pharmacology at the Queen Mary University of London. He is currently Professor of Metabolism at Curtin University, Australia. He has published more than 100 papers in reputed journals and has been serving as an editorial board member for several international journals.

The focus of Prof Falasca’s research in the past 25 years has involved the investigation of signalling pathways regulating intracellular physiological and pathological processes. Prof Falasca’s current specific projects are dedicated to the investigation of the mechanisms involved in development and progression of pancreatic diseases.

 
Jonathon Arnold transp
 
Prof Jonathon Arnold
Professor of Cannabinoid Pharmacology

Deputy Academic Director of the Lambert Initiative for Cannabinoid Therapeutics at the University of Sydney, Australia.

Professor Jonathon Arnold is a world leader in the science of cannabis and the cannabinoids. He is Deputy Academic Director of the Lambert Initiative for Cannabinoid Therapeutics at the University of Sydney, Australia. This is a cross faculty research initiative that specialises in the discovery and development of cannabis-based medicines. In 2018 he was one of four scientists selected to advise the World Health Organisation (WHO) on their historical review of cannabis and the cannabinoids.

Prof Arnold has over 20 years’ experience in cannabinoid pharmacology and has published extensively on the molecular, cellular, neurobiological and behavioural actions of the phytocannabinoids, cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Since 2016 he and his team have conducted epilepsy research to improve the understanding of the anticonvulsant properties of the phytocannabinoids. He recently published a high-profile paper which shed new light on the mode of action of CBD in the treatment of childhood epilepsy (Altmetric 75). This paper received the Epilepsia Brain Science Prize honouring the most significant advance in knowledge in the field of epilepsy in 2019.

 
Vicki Kotsirilos transp
 
A/Prof Vicki Kotsirilos
AM, MBBS, FACNEM, FASLM

 

Expert Reviewer

Awarded Honorary Fellowship of the RACGP

Adjunct Associate Professor, NICM Health Research Institute

Research Committee Member, NICM Health Research Institute

Associate Professor Vicki Kotsirilos AM is a respected general practitioner with over 30 years of clinical experience, integrating evidence-based holistic therapies such as acupuncture, nutritional and herbal medicine with mainstream healthcare.

A/Prof Kotsirilos keeps up to date with the research in these areas culminating in the development of the successful textbook A Guide to Evidence-Based Integrative and Complementary Medicine. She is also a regular writer for Medical Observer, publishing a monthly column on evidence-based Integrative Medicine and circulates research updates for Australian doctors.

A/Prof Kotsirilos holds adjunct associate professorial positions with NICM and La Trobe University's, Department of Dietetics and Human Nutrition, Faculty of Health Sciences, and formerly with Monash University. She was the founding Chair of the RACGP Integrative Medicine Working group, as well as the founder and Founding Past President of the Australasian Integrative Medicine Association (AIMA).

A/Prof Kotsirilos served as an active board member on AIMA for 20 years, forging positive relations with government and peak medical bodies such as the AMA and RACGP. She has served on many state and federal government committees, such as the Therapeutic Goods Administration, Complementary Medicine Evaluation Committee (eight years) and as the GP member on the Adverse Drug Reactions Advisory Committee (five years). In addition, A/Prof Kotsirilos served on the Victorian Council of the AMA and for several years worked closely with the Medical Panels, Victorian Workcover. She continues to work for regulatory federal government bodies such as AHPRA.

 
Orit Holtzman transp
 
Dr Orit Holtzman
MBBS, PhD

 

Chief Medical Officer, Compass Lifestyle Clinics

Co-Founder & Vice President, ANZCCP
 
Dr Orit Holtzman is the Chief Medical Officer of Compass Lifestyle Clinics, where she practises functional and cannabinoid medicine, and the Co-Founder and Vice President of the Australian and New Zealand College of Cannabinoid Practitioners (ANZCCP). 

Dr Holtzman holds a Bachelor of Science in biology and psychology from the University of Tel Aviv, a PhD in neuroscience from the University of NSW, and an MBBS from the Sydney Medical School at the University of Sydney. She is also a Kresser Institute Trained Practitioner in functional and evolutionary medicine. 

After working in the public hospital system, Dr Holtzman has begun exploring holistic health solutions and become passionate about utilising medicinal cannabis as a therapeutic agent. She began prescribing cannabis in 2019, when she joined Compass Lifestyle Clinics. Dr Holtzman has prescribed medicinal cannabis for hundreds of patients for various indications, and is an authorised prescriber for multiple conditions. She is also a sought-after medical educator, teaching doctors about medicinal cannabis and the endocannabinoid system. 

Dr Holtzman lives in the beautiful Blue Mountains in NSW with her husband and three children. 
 
Joe Kosterich (3)
 
Dr Joe Kosterich
MBBS

 

Lecturer, Curtin Medical School
 
Dr Joe Kosterich is a general practitioner, speaker, author, media presenter and health industry consultant. He writes for numerous medical and mainstream publications and is a regular on radio and television. He is often called to give opinions in medico legal cases, is clinical editor of a medical magazine, adjunct professor (teaching) at UWA and a lecturer at Curtin Medical School.

Dr Kosterich has a special interest in medicinal cannabis, men’s health, chronic disease and mental health. He has self-published two books and maintains a website and blog with health information and commentary. Through all this, Dr Kosterich continues to see patients as a GP each week.

 
John Teh transp
 
Dr John Teh
MBBS

 

Cannabinoid Clinician, Clinical Educator
 
Medical Director, PlantMed
 
Dr John Teh is the Medical Director of Plantmed Medical Cannabis Clinic, Australia. He has been working within the Medicinal Cannabis industry since the legalisation of cannabis for medicinal use in Australia in February 2016.

Dr Teh is actively involved in Cannabis Medicine education, training medical practitioners and allied health professionals in all areas of cannabinoid therapeutics. He is a medical advisor to various cannabis producers and suppliers within Australia, and consulted the Thailand government prior their introduction of their medicinal cannabis program in 2019.

Dr Teh has vast experience treating a variety of patients with Medical Cannabis and integrates nutrition and plant based medicines which support cannabinoid treatment in his practice. His wealth of knowledge makes him sought after in all areas of cannabis medicine and education.

Study modes

Study 100% online

100% online

Study at your own pace and to your own schedule. 

  • View and replay video lectures at your convenience.
  • Participate in online case discussions with your peers.
  • Participate in course webinars prior to the examinations and ask questions.
  • Complete your assessment online and receive your CPD hours and certificate.
HealthCert 365 - a digital CPD library

HealthCert 365

Easily meet your CPD requirements and gain valuable skills – all in one place for $83 per month. 

  • Customise your learning experience by accessing and focusing only on course modules that interest you the most.
  • Gain access to 200+ additional CPD activities and 50-hour special focus CPD programs, sourced from all HealthCert university-assured programs.

Advanced Certificate of Medicinal Cannabis

$1495 

 .
  • Meets the 50hr annual CPD requirement*
  • 100% online 
  • Flexible start and completion time

*provided an outcome measurement activity with a minimum of 5 hours is completed.

 

Bundle two courses and save 5%, or three courses and save 10% upon enrolment.
Talk to us about deferred payment options, registrar scholarships and special rates.

Example of Advanced Certificate of Medicinal Cannabis
This certificate meets the 50hr annual CPD requirement for medical practitioners

HealthCert courses have become the standard by which you gauge all others.

Dr K. Abolarinwa

Good courses with excellent speakers. I particularly enjoyed the case study scenarios which helped to integrate the knowledge gained.

Dr A. Tucker

This is the pathway to improve your confidence and evolve into the GP you aspire to be.

Dr S. Shinwari

Accredited CPD activities in this certificate

This is an RACGP-approved CPD activity under the RACGP CPD program.

RACGP CPD Accredited activity
RACGP Activity Number Activity Title Education Hours Performance Hours Total Hours
414172 Multiple sclerosis, spasticity, tremor, dystonia 414172 4.5 6 10.5
414209 Inflammatory bowel disease - Chrons Disease and Ulcerative Colitis 414209 4.5 6 10.5
414236 COPD, asthma, eczema, psoriasis, skin conditions 414236 4.5 6 10.5
414217 ASD - Autism, ADHD, OCD, Tourettes 414217 4 6 10
414230 Womens health and endometriosis, PMT, osteoporosis 414230 4 6 10
414189 Treatment resistant pain, neuropathic pain, cluster headaches and migraines 414189 4.5 6 10.5
414204 Auto immune disorders - Rheumatoid arthritis, Fibromyalgia 414204 4 6 10
414226 Diabetes, Glaucoma, hypertension 414226 4 6 10
Grand Total 82

Outcome measurement

Outcome measurement activities are not a requirement of our professional and advanced certificates. You may use an optional HealthCert outcome measurement activity or develop your own.

HealthCert provides several options to meet your outcome measurement hours requirement. These options are self-submitted activities and hours may vary depending on your focus area.

  • Plan Do Study Act (PDSA) options on a specific topic.
  • Plan Do Study Act (PDSA) on your identified area. A generic template is provided.
  • Outcome Improvement Activity relating to specific topics within the course. 

The purpose of outcome measurement activities is to improve your clinical confidence in managing an identified learning gap. The outcome improvement activities are designed to examine current clinical care, align clinical practice with best practice standards and identify opportunities for improvement.

Pre- and post-course information

Entry requirements

This Advanced Certificate of Medicinal Cannabis is for medical doctors who wish to learn how to improve patient outcomes with medicinal cannabis, especially those patients with conditions commonly seen in general practice. This qualification is the second stage of the Professional Diploma of Medicinal Cannabis, equipping you with a medical cannabis certification online.

This medical cannabis training course is for physicians and degree-qualified medical professionals. The prerequisite course is the Professional Certificate of Medicinal Cannabis (or qualification deemed equivalent).

Participants do not have to pass an IELTS test but, as the courses are delivered in English, proficiency in listening, reading and writing English is assumed.

Participants will require access to a computer/laptop, an internet connection and a basic level of technology proficiency to access and navigate the online learning portal.

Recognised prior learning (RPL)

Professionally recognised qualifications and prior studies may be recognised for entry into this course if the learning outcomes match exactly. Please ask a HealthCert Education Advisor for an individual assessment of your prior qualifications and experience.

Certification

This certificate course meets the minimum 50 hours CPD annual requirement across all three mandatory CPD activity types, provided an outcome measurement activity with a minimum of five hours is completed. You may use an optional HealthCert outcome measurement activity or develop your own.

Outcome measurement activities are not a requirement of Professional or Advanced Certificates.

Upon successful completion of the exam, course participants will receive an Advanced Certificate of Medicinal Cannabis.

This certificate course:

  • Is reviewed by Griffith University in compliance with RACGP/ACRRM standards.
  • Is quality-assured by Australian & New Zealand College of Cannabinoid Practitioners (ANZCCP).
  • Qualifies for CPD hours from the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP).
  • Qualifies for CPD hours from the Australian Council of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM).
  • Meets World Federation of Medical Education standards.
Pathways

Professional Diploma Pathway

This course is the second stage of the three-part Professional Diploma of Medicinal Cannabis. The education pathway is Professional Certificate of Medicinal Cannabis, Advanced Certificate of Medicinal Cannabis and Professional Diploma of Medicinal Cannabis.  

GPs working in Australia (except for in Tasmania) may prescribe medicinal cannabis, however, as part of the guidelines of the TGA SAS-B, you will need to indicate that you have the knowledge necessary to do so. This program will equip you with the knowledge required to manage and prescribe medicinal cannabis for various conditions and can serve as part of your documentation showing that you have undertaken education in this field when you decide to become an authorised prescriber. More information here.

University quality-assured and CPD-accredited education provider 

Quality assured by Griffith University
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Frequently asked questions

Don't see your question? Explore other faqs or talk to us.

What are the costs and payment options of the course?

Fees will vary based on the program and study option selected (fully online vs online + optional practical workshop). Payments can be made upfront or in monthly instalments. Special rates and various payment options are available. GP registrars and doctors in training enjoy a scholarship of up to $500. Talk to us to learn more.

What is the Alumni Support Program?

Completion of any HealthCert course or attendance at an event will enable you to access the HealthCert Alumni Program which includes:

  • Access to special alumni rates for new courses when they are released.
  • Special alumni price for HealthCert Conferences.
  • Exclusive advanced access to HealthCert events.
  • Regular Alumni Webinars pertaining to the course(s) you have attended. These will provide content review of the course and an opportunity to discuss case studies.
  • Access to the video lectures as seen during the course(s) that you have attended.
How will I receive my certificate?

HealthCert Education is pleased to issue digital credentials for alumni. Digital credentials are a permanent online record of your successful completion of a HealthCert course and are issued to all course participants in addition to PDF certificates. If you are based in Australia, you also have the option to order a hard copy of your digital certificate for a small additional fee.

How long will the course take to complete?

The recommended study duration of this certificate course is 82 hours, which includes study of the pre-course activities and readings, online lectures, live tutorials, and online assessment. This self-paced course offers the flexibility of 100% online study in your own time, at your own pace, in your own home or office, with no mandatory face-to-face requirements. You are not required to be online at specific times but can view and replay video lectures at your convenience.

Is this course recognised in my country?

All HealthCert courses meet World Federation of Medical Education standards. This certificate course qualifies for CPD hours from the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) and the Australian Council of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) in Australia. If you live or work outside Australia, please contact us on admin@healthcert.com to discuss whether this course can be recognised in your country.

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