SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Starting this fall, the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine is offering the first-ever certificate program specializing in medical marijuana.
The three-semester class promises to teach health care professionals the basics of medical cannabis, so they can begin to use it in their practice.
"We thought it was important for health care professionals to have objective information about medical marijuana," says school President Jack Miller.
Miller says part of the program's purpose is to help dispel some of the myths surrounding medical marijuana.
"There's a lot of misinformation," Miller says. "If CBD worked for everything that people said it worked for, we wouldn't need another medicine. It seems like the claims are that it will help everything. But really a lot more research needs to be done."
Across town, that research is happening. UC San Diego's Center for Medical Cannabis Research has been studying the benefits of the drug since 2000.
"It's clear from our research and other people's work that there are some medicinal properties to compounds within marijuana," says CMCR Director Dr. Igor Grant.
But, Grant cautions that it still may be too soon to have a degree program focused on medical marijuana.
"There are some things we know, but a lot of things we don't," he says. "It would be interesting to see what their (PCOM) curriculum is."
Pacific College's website says the certificate program focuses on the endocannabinoid system and its effects on the human body. They also teach doctors how to advise and prescribe the drug to patients.
Stefanie Gaines, one of the first students to take the course, says she's excited about adding marijuana-based treatments to her practice in acupuncture.
"I think the future is looking awesome for medical cannabis," she says.