Lifelong Learning for a Brighter World

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The Science of Cannabis

Separate fact from fiction.

A collaborative program involving the Peter Boris Centre for Addictions Research, the Michael G. DeGroote Centre for Medicinal Cannabis Research, and McMaster Continuing Education

SCC 102 - Therapeutic Applications of Cannabis C21

Academic Credit Value:
3 units
Course Delivery Mode:
Online
Hours of Study:
39 hours
Course Prerequisite(s):
N/A
Course Anti-requisite(s):
N/A
Instructor Name:
Dr. Iris Balodis
Course Dates:
05/03/2021 - 07/11/2021



Required Course Materials:
All materials are available online or through McMaster Library
Optional Course Materials:
Course Description:
Cannabis has been used for medicinal purposes for millennia, but the evidence supporting (and contradicting) its many applications has only emerged in the last few decades. Furthermore, medical use of cannabis in Canada came to exist from outside the typical protocols in medicine. Fundamentally, this course will provide a grounding in the principles of evidence-based medicine and apply those principles to medical cannabis. This will include an extended introduction into the GRADE (Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development, and Evaluations) approach. In addition, the course will systematically examine the evidence for using cannabis for treating pain, spasticity, nausea, sleep, and psychiatric disorders, such as autism, anxiety, addiction, post-traumatic stress disorder, and schizophrenia. Finally, the course will review promising future directions in medicinal cannabis, including both novel cannabinoid medicines and novel treatment application.
Learning Outcomes:
1. Identify the 3 principles of evidence-based practice
2. Apply the GRADE approach to assess the certainty of evidence
3. Explain current and emerging patterns of medicinal cannabis use
4. Critically evaluate the evidence for cannabis as a treatment for chronic pain
5. Critically evaluate the evidence for cannabis as a treatment for sleep and certain psychiatric disorders
6. Describe the emerging application of synthetic and isolated cannabinoids for medicinal purposes
Course Evaluation
Quizzes – 20% (8 x 2.5% each)
Discussion – 7.5%
Applying GRADE Exercise – 20%
Infographic – 20%
Evidence Assessment Module – 30%
Key Takeaways Exercise – 2.5%
Course Format:
This course is designed to present the fundamental concepts and theories in the therapeutic applications of cannabis and promote the application to the workplace and professional practice. Course activities will include instructor presentations, required readings and experiential learning activities (i.e. case studies, group discussions, projects, etc.).
Assignment Submission:
Course assignments are submitted to the appropriate A2L Assignment folder by the specified due date
Late Coursework:
Late assignments will be subject to a 2% per day late penalty (includes weekends and holidays) for up to seven (7) days. After this date, no assignments will be accepted and a grade of zero (0) will be applied. Extensions for course work must be approved by the instructor before the due date (see Academic Regulations below), and will be granted for illness or emergencies only. Students may be asked to submit supporting documentation for an extension request.  

Policy & Procedures:

Academic Regulations (Attendance, Coursework, Tests/Exams):
In accordance to McMaster University’s General Academic Regulations, “it is imperative that students make every effort to meet the originally scheduled course requirements and it is a student’s responsibility to write examinations as scheduled.” Therefore, all students are expected to attend and complete the specific course requirements (i.e. attendance, assignments, and tests/exams) listed in the course outline on or by the date specified. Students who need to arrange for coursework accommodation, as a result of medical, personal or family reasons, must contact the course instructor within 48 hours of the originally scheduled due date. It is the student’s responsibility to contact the Program Manager to discuss accommodations and procedures related to deferred tests and/or examinations within 48 hours of the originally scheduled test/exam, as per policy. Failure to contact the course instructor, in the case of missed coursework, or the Program Manager, in the case of a missed test/examination, within the specified 48-hour window will result in a grade of zero (0) on the coursework/exam and no further consideration will be granted.

*Note: Supporting documentation will be required but will not ensure approval of accommodation(s).
Academic Integrity
You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity. Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: “Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty”), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university.

It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at http://www.mcmaster.ca/academicintegrity/

The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:
Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
Improper collaboration in-group work.
Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.
Academic Accommodations:

Students with disabilities who require academic accommodation must contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) at 905-525-9140 ext. 28652 or sas@mcmaster.ca to make arrangements with a Program Coordinator. For further information, consult McMaster University’s Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities policy.

Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous or Spiritual Observances (RISO)
Students requiring academic accommodation based on religious, indigenous or spiritual observances should follow the procedures set out in the RISO policy. Students should submit their request to their Faculty Office normally within 10 working days of the beginning of term in which they anticipate a need for accommodation or to the Registrar's Office prior to their examinations. Students should also contact their instructors as soon as possible to make alternative arrangements for classes, assignments, and tests.

Conduct Expectations
As a McMaster student, you have the right to experience, and the responsibility to demonstrate, respectful and dignified interactions within all of our living, learning and working communities. These expectations are described in the Code of Student Rights & Responsibilities (the “Code”). All students share the responsibility of maintaining a positive environment for the academic and personal growth of all McMaster community members, whether in person or online.

It is essential that students be mindful of their interactions online, as the Code remains in effect in virtual learning environments. The Code applies to any interactions that adversely affect, disrupt, or interfere with reasonable participation in University activities. Student disruptions or behaviours that interfere with university functions on online platforms (e.g. use of Avenue 2 Learn, WebEx or Zoom for delivery), will be taken very seriously and will be investigated. Outcomes may include restriction or removal of the involved students’ access to these platforms.

On-line Elements:

Copyright and Recording
Students are advised that lectures, demonstrations, performances, and any other course material provided by an instructor include copyright protected works. The Copyright Act and copyright law protect every original literary, dramatic, musical and artistic work, including lectures by University instructors.

The recording of lectures, tutorials, or other methods of instruction may occur during a course. Recording may be done by either the instructor for the purpose of authorized distribution, or by a student for the purpose of personal study. Students should be aware that their voice and/or image may be recorded by others during the class. Please speak with the instructor if this is a concern for you.

Turnitin.com:
In this course, we will be using a web-based service (Turnitin.com) to reveal plagiarism. Students will be expected to submit their work electronically to Turnitin.com and in hard copy so that it can be checked for academic dishonesty. Students who do not wish to submit their work to Turnitin.com must still submit a copy to the instructor. No penalty will be assigned to a student who does not submit work to Turnitin.com. All submitted work is subject to normal verification that standards of academic integrity have been upheld (e.g., on-line search, etc.). To see the Turnitin.com Policy, please go to McMaster Academic Integrity Policy.
Course Changes:

The instructor reserves the right to modify elements of the course and will notify students accordingly.

Extreme Circumstances
The University reserves the right to change the dates and deadlines for any or all courses in extreme circumstances (e.g., severe weather, labour disruptions, etc.). Changes will be communicated through regular McMaster communication channels, such as McMaster Daily News, A2L and/or McMaster email.
Course Withdrawal Policy:
Policies related to dropping a course and course withdrawals are posted to the Centre for Continuing Education’s program webpage, FAQs & Policies (https://www.mcmastercce.ca/cce-policies#Dropping).
Storm Closure Policy:
In the event of inclement weather, Continuing Education will abide by the University’s Storm Closure Policy: https://www.mcmaster.ca/policy/Employee/storm_emergency_policy.pdf, and will only close if the University is closed. All in-class courses, exams and room bookings by internal and external clients will be cancelled if Continuing Education is closed. On-line courses will take place as scheduled.
Grading Scale:

Grade

Equivalent Grade Point

Equivalent Percentages

A+

12

90-100

A

11

85-89

A-

10

80-84

B+

9

77-79

B

8

73-76

B-

7

70-72

C+

6

67-69

C

5

63-66

C-

4

60-62

D+

3

57-59

D

2

53-56

D-

1

50-52

F

0

0-49

Course Schedule:
 

Module and Topic(s)

Assignments/Graded Components

1 – Introduction to Evidence-Based Clinical Practice

Quiz (2.5%)

2 – Critical Appraisal of Randomized and Observational Studies

Quiz (2.5%)

3 – Introduction to the GRADE Approach

Quiz (2.5%)

4 – Trends in the Use of Cannabis for Medical Purposes in Canada

Quiz (2.5%)

Applying GRADE Exercise (20%)

5 – Cannabis and Chronic Pain

Discussion (5%)

6 – Cannabis for Sleep

Quiz (2.5%)

7 – Cannabis for Psychiatric Disorders

Quiz (2.5%)

Infographic (20%)

8 – Cannabis for Substance Use Disorders

Quiz (2.5%)

 

9 – Cannabis Hype vs. Hope: What Can We Learn from the Opioid Epidemic?

Quiz (2.5%)

10 – Emerging Applications of Medicinal Cannabis and Conclusions

Key Takeaways Exercise (2.5%)

Evidence Assessment Module (30%)