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PROFESSIONAL DIPLOMA

Medicinal Cannabis

Advance your knowledge in the applications of medical cannabis for patients in primary care.

Medicinal cannabis oil

Overview

Understand the medical applications of cannabinoids in general practice as a tool to improve patient outcomes.

  • Stay ahead of the curve in managing common conditions in general practice with cannabinoids.
  • Gain a medical cannabis certification and enhance patient outcomes.
  • This course is suitable 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

Griffith university logo 200 x 100

Course benefits

  • Improve your care for geriatric and palliative patients using medical cannabis.   
  • Provide effective epilepsy treatment through advanced medicinal cannabis use.
  • Use medicinal cannabis in the management of PTSD and other mental health conditions.
  • Explore additional approaches to support cancer patients beyond symptom relief.
  • Make the Special Access Scheme-B (SAS-B) application on the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) online portal to confidently take control of patient care.

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

Geriatric and palliative medicine

This module briefly revisits the history of cannabis use and its legislation in Australia in 2016. Two main cannabinoids are distinguished: THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (Cannabidiol). The module describes common and rare side effects, results and varied responses of patients to medicinal cannabis. Medicinal cannabis does not work equally for everyone – dosages vary and outcomes are different for each patient. The module describes the use of cannabinoids to relieve pain in patients with malignant diseases compared to placebos. Four case studies demonstrate how medicinal cannabis can be considered for geriatric and palliative care treatment. In conclusion, medicinal cannabis may have a legitimate role for certain patients in certain circumstances and each patient’s management is to be individually considered.

Medicinal cannabis and epilepsy

This module studies the symptoms of Epilepsy 101, medicinal cannabis treatment options and modes of transmission. Several ways of application are outlined, as well as different products: artisanal preparations, unapproved products and approved medication of purified CBD. Dravet syndrome (DS) is explained, including treatment options, side effects and efficacy are discussed. A section describes Lennoz-Gastautsyndrome (LGS) and reviews research and treatment options including side effects. Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC) symptoms are explained and studies and treatment options are discussed. Other potential applications of CBD are outlined including childhood epilepsy, next generation cannabis-based medicines, biosynthesis of cannabinoids in the plant and anticonvulsant effects.

PTSD – treatment in clinical practice

Module 3 assesses the use of medical cannabis for PTSD, including dosage and treatment in clinical practice. It describes what PTSD is and what the signs, symptoms and characteristics are. The conventional treatment of PTSD (e.g. sleeping medications or antidepressant medications), is being compared to the cannabinoid treatment options. The current position of the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) on PTSD is that compensation for PTSD treatment with medicinal cannabis is not allowed. However, research into medicinal cannabis is rapidly evolving and DVA will continue to monitor the developing research and published evidence. Two case studies look into symptoms, current medications, treatments using CBD, and provides reviews and results of these studies.

Advanced mental health

This module commences with the importance of understanding the science of medicinal cannabis and the role it can play when treating mental health. Advantages and side effects are outlined. When managing complex mental health issues, the module describes treatment and techniques for schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, severe anxiety and depression. PTSD patients, often in military and first-responders frequently utilise medicinal cannabis. A comparison is made between THC-dominant (street cannabis), to CBD-dominant (hemp) or balanced (e.g. nabiximols). The module summarises studies of the use of medicinal cannabis and mental disorders. The module also addresses the use of medicinal cannabis in conjunction with conventional medications, potential toxicities, most common symptoms treated and side-effects. Larger trials on the use of medicinal cannabis for treating mental health are in progress.

Cancer: A creative approach – where to beyond symptom relief

This module assesses cancer research for potential treatment with medical cannabis leading to a curative approach that goes beyond symptom relief. The module evaluates treatment options for breast and pancreatic cancer patients with medical cannabis and evaluates the use of medical cannabis to mitigate the side effects of cancer and its treatment. It looks into early diagnosis, treatment, defining and aetiology of cancer as well as defining and targeting the hallmarks of cancer. Clinical and side-effects of CBD and Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are listed. Outcomes of studies into cannabinoids in pain management and palliative medicine are included.

Treatment resistant patients and patients with high cannabinoid needs

Module 6 is about planning the management of complex chronic disease including poly pharmacy, multiple system disease and evaluate the challenges of effectively integrating cannabis medicines, including liver metabolism considerations and drug interactions. The results of a study into patients with chronic diseases (conditions that last one year or more and require ongoing medical attention, long lasting conditions with persistent effects), are included where patients have at least two conditions and were prescribed a minimum of four drugs. When choosing a cannabis product, the preferences of the patient, age and clinical condition are to be considered. The module describes dosing of THC and CBD and minimum/ maximum doses. A case study looks into current medications, past treatments, clinical history, treatment options, progress and life quality.

Endocannabinoid support – advanced techniques for maximising ECS efficiency

This module evaluates clinical endocannabinoid deficiency (CED) and plan support to maximise the efficiency and function of the endocannabinoid system including diet, supplements terpenes and therapies. Migraine, fibromyalgia, IBS and related conditions display common clinical, biochemical and pathophysiological patterns that suggest an underlying clinical endocannabinoid deficiency that may be suitably treated with cannabinoid medicines. This module concludes that the adverse effects of UCMS-transferred microbiota were alleviated by selectively enhancing the central ECB or by complementation with a strain of the Lactobacilli genus. The findings provide a mechanistic scenario for how chronic stress, diet and gut microbiota generate a pathological feed-forward loop that contributes to despair behaviour via the central ECS. Finally, a case study of a patient with a long history of migraine headaches, insomnia and anxiety is described, looking at past treatments and treatment options.

Complex chronic disease

This module looks at the planning of clinical treatment and dosing for conditions with medicinal cannabis. General rules of dosing with cannabis medicines are given, noting that doses of cannabis medicines should be administered with consistency and regularity. Minimal doses that are clinically effective should be a principle aim. Each person is individual in their response to cannabis medicines. Patient age and previous cannabis use/ experience must be taken into consideration. Initially, conventional medications should be maintained at current dosing rates. Cannabis medications should be titrated slowly and conventional medications reduced as symptoms lessen. Treating of rheumatoid arthritis, neuropathic pain, fibromyalgia, headaches and migraine, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s (tremor and dystonia), Chron’s disease and ulcerative colitis, chemotherapy induced nausea and vomiting, anxiety and depression, insomnia, PTSD, epilepsy, ASD, ADHD, OCD and Tourette's, diabetes, hypertension, glaucoma, geriatric/palliative care and complex mental health issues are reviewed in this module.

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.

Professional Diploma of Medicinal Cannabis

$1495 

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

 

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 Professional Diploma 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
433893 Epilepsy – Adult and child 433893 4.5 6 10.5
434278 Advanced mental health 434278 4 6 10
433884 Geriatric and palliative medicine 433884 4.5 6 10.5
434297 Endocannabinoid support – advanced techniques for maximising ECS efficiency 434297 4.5 6 10.5
436022 Complex chronic disease 436022 4.5 6 10.5
434272 PTSD – Treatment in clinical practice 434272 4 6 10
434290 Treatment resistant patients and patients with high cannabinoid needs 434290 4 6 10
434286 Cancer – a curative approach – where to beyond symptom relief 434286 4 6 10
Grand Total 82

Outcome measurement

The peer reviewed comprehensive clinical audit associated with this professional diploma exceeds the annual CPD outcome measurement hours.

Pre- and post-course information

Entry requirements

This Professional Diploma of Medicinal Cannabis is for medical doctors who wish to gain their medical cannabis certification to learn how to improve patient outcomes with medicinal cannabis, especially those patients with conditions commonly seen in general practice. This qualification is last stage of the Professional Diploma of Medicinal Cannabis.

This course is for physicians and degree-qualified medical professionals. The prerequisite course is the Advanced 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.

Upon successful completion of the exam, course participants will receive a Professional Diploma 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 last stage of the three-part Professional Diploma of Medicinal Cannabis. The education pathway is Professional Certificate of Medicinal CannabisAdvanced 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
RACGP Major Provider
ACRRM-2023-logo_200x100

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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