AUT offers medicinal cannabis paper

18 May, 2020
Ali Seyfoddin

AUT is the first university in New Zealand to offer a comprehensive postgraduate course on medicinal cannabis. The Science of Medicinal Cannabis will be offered from Semester 2 (starting 20 July) by AUT’s School of Science.

Dr Ali Seyfoddin, course leader and senior lecturer in drug delivery, describes the course as Cannabis 101 for those interested in the medicinal cannabis industry.

“Education is an important component of New Zealand’s medicinal cannabis scheme and it’s essential that research and education providers provide courses for those wishing to enter the industry. We have ongoing research on medicinal cannabis cultivation, extraction and formulation which will inform much of the course’s content.”

The course will introduce the medicinal cannabis scheme framework and provide a general overview of the chemistry and pharmacology of cannabis. This includes how to cultivate medical grade cannabis, how to extract and analyse cannabinoids and how formulate medicinal cannabis products.

Dr Seyfoddin says, “This is a useful course for any postgraduate student or healthcare professional interested in expanding their knowledge on medicinal cannabis. There will be theory and practical components although, with the ongoing COVID-19 situation it may be run it as an online course.”

Industry demand

Chris Fowlie, CEO of AUT’s research partner ZeaCann, says the medicinal cannabis industry needs qualified staff with relevant expertise.  

“This course will teach the skills needed to work in the field. Hundreds of new jobs are expected to be created, with the potential for medicinal cannabis exports to rival those of wine or wool.

“We're excited to help AUT deliver this course as part of our ongoing research partnership. Zeacann will leverage our extensive network of industry partners to provide practical content and access to global experts and key industry players.”

ZeaCann's research and production partners include manufacturers, growers, processors, botanists, pharmacies, laboratory and extraction equipment suppliers, and a network of contract growers spanning all cultivation styles.

Subject areas covered by the course include but are not exclusive to:

  • Introduction to medicinal cannabis: History and legislation
  • Current New Zealand legislative framework for the cultivation and use of medicinal cannabis
  • The New Zealand medicinal cannabis scheme
  • Botanical aspects of cannabis, including breeding and cultivation of cannabis cultivars
  • Pre-formulation processing of herbal cannabis
  • Cannabinoid pharmacology, cannabinoid receptors and the endocannabinoid system
  • The chemistry of cannabinoids
  • Medicinal uses of cannabis
  • Extraction of cannabinoids
  • Analysis of cannabinoids
  • Cannabinoid delivery systems and dosing

Course details

Introduction to Medicinal Cannabis (BIOL803)

Related programmes

How to apply

The course is taught online in Semester 2 (20 July - 6 November 2020). This course is a postgraduate course so you would need an undergraduate degree to be considered. The cost would be approximately $1,200.

To apply for a single course, you need to select Certificate of Proficiency in the online application.

Apply online

The initial application won't let you indicate your course choice. Once you have applied, Admissions will ask you to confirm your choice.

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