Foundations of Cannabis Therapeutics with Ethan Russo, MD: An Evidence-Based Medical Cannabis Education Course – Course Webinar Bundle

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Unlocking the Science Behind Medical Cannabis

Welcome to the Foundations of Cannabis Therapeutics—a transformative medical cannabis education course designed by CReDO Science and presented by eminent global medical cannabis psychopharmacology researcher and board-certified neurologist, Dr. Ethan Russo. If you’re ready to delve into the intricate world of cannabis, this evidence-based cannabis education program is your gateway to understanding its therapeutic potential.

Includes the following Dr Russo Webinars:

  • Delta 8 Webinar
  • CReDO Science Webinar CBG the Up & Coming Cannabinoid
  • Limonene & THC: Support of Cannabis Synergy & The Entourage Effect
  • CReDO Science Q&A Session with Dr. Ethan Russo

If you are a dispensary, medical group, or company and interested in multi-seat pricing or a customized, white label course, please call 844.411.0500.

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Why This Course Matters:

  • Evidence-Based Approach: Dr. Russo’s expertise ensures that every aspect of this cannabis education course is grounded in scientific rigor. Say goodbye to myths and misinformation—our curriculum is built on peer-reviewed research and 28 years of clinical cannabis experience. Each module is complete with peer-reviewed article references for those who want to take a deeper look.
  • Comprehensive Understanding: Whether you’re a physician, healthcare professional, caregiver, patient, or industry insider, this cannabis education course equips you with essential knowledge. From the basics of cannabis to the intricacies of the endocannabinoid system, we cover it all.
  • Safety First: Learn how to use cannabis safely and effectively. We demystify dosing, interactions, and potential risks, empowering you to make informed decisions.

Course Highlights:

This medical cannabis educational program offers more than 10 hours of video instruction on the following topics:

  1. Cannabis Basics:
    • Understand the plant’s anatomy, chemical constituents, and historical context.
    • Explore the differences between THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids.
    • Uncover the secrets of terpenes and their impact on cannabis effects.
  2. The Endocannabinoid System (ECS):
    • Dive deep into the ECS—the body’s natural cannabis-like system.
    • Learn how cannabinoids interact with receptors (CB1 and CB2) to regulate various physiological processes.
    • Discover the role of the ECS in pain modulation, mood regulation, and immune function.
  3. Clinical Applications:
    • Explore evidence-backed uses of medical cannabis for conditions such as chronic pain, epilepsy, anxiety, and more.
    • Understand the cannabis flower and product selection, administration methods, and personalized treatment plans.
  4. Safety Protocols and Best Practices:
    • Master responsible cannabis use.
    • Empower patients and consumers with accurate information.

Meet your Guides

Meet Your Guides: Dr. Ethan Russo & Nishi Whiteley

In this medical cannabis educational program, Dr. Ethan Russo and his business partner, Nishi Whiteley, work together to deliver comprehensive data about the cannabis plant, its components and how those components impact the human endocannabinoid system (ECS).  In most modules, Ms. Whiteley will serve as the course moderator providing an introduction and asking questions at the end; Dr. Russo will present the content and answer follow-up questions.

Dr. Russo and Ms. Whiteley met in 2012 and have been working together in various ways since 2014. In 2020, they started CReDO Science with the sole purpose of making cannabis safer and better. They do that through licensing their innovations, providing clinical consulting for botanical drug development and research projects, formulation work and now through providing a comprehensive medical cannabis education course.

Ethan Russo, MD

Dr. Russo’s legacy in cannabis research spans decades. His work has shaped medical cannabis policies, influenced patient care, and inspired countless professionals. As a trusted authority, he brings unparalleled insights to this course. He is the individual other experts and leaders turn to when they need guidance.

Ethan Russo, MD, Founder and CEO of  CReDO Science,is a board-certified neurologist, psychopharmacology researcher, author, and a highly sought after conference speaker and medical cannabis education provider.

Dr. Russo has the distinction of having integral roles in over 20 cannabis-based clinical trials. From 2003-2014, he served as Senior Medical Advisor, medical monitor and study physician to GW Pharmaceuticals, United Kingdom for numerous Phase I-III clinical trials of Sativex® for alleviation of cancer pain unresponsive to optimized opioid treatment and initial studies of Epidiolex® for intractable epilepsy; Sativex® and Epidiolex® remain the only two botanical cannabis pharmaceuticals.

A prolific writer, he is the author of Handbook of Psychotropic Herbs, co-editor of Cannabis and Cannabinoids: Pharmacology, Toxicology and Therapeutic Potential, and author of The Last Sorcerer: Echoes of the Rainforest, an exciting fiction novel inspired by his time in the rainforest.

He was founding editor of Journal of Cannabis Therapeutics, selections of which were published as books: Cannabis Therapeutics in HIV/AIDS, Women and Cannabis: Medicine, Science and Sociology, Cannabis: From Pariah to Prescription, and Handbook of Cannabis Therapeutics: From Bench to Bedside. He has also published numerous book chapters, and over seventy articles in neurology, pain management, cannabis, and ethnobotany. His research interests have included correlations of historical uses of cannabis to modern pharmacological mechanisms, phytopharmaceutical treatment of migraine and chronic pain, herbal synergy and phytocannabinoid/terpenoid, serotonergic and vanilloid interactions.

His scientific library is available at His full biography can be accessed here. Additional information can be found at Research Gate and LinkedIn.

Nishi Whiteley

Nishi Whiteley (pronounced Nee-sha), is the co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of CReDO Science.

A lay expert in medical cannabis, she is the author of the book Chronic Relief: A Guide to Cannabis for the Terminally & Chronically Ill and the curator of the informational website Whiteley became a cannabis advocate, author and educator after her mother experienced great relief from cannabis at the end of her battle with lung cancer. She has co-authored several peer-reviewed journal articles with Dr. Russo including serving as the lead author of Cannabidiol: A Race to Relief published in HerbalGram. She is dedicated to helping medical professionals, patients and caregivers bridge the gap between cannabis science and safe practical application.

In addition to her work at CReDO, she serves as an advisor to Breeder’s Best a breeder-forward cannabis genetics licensing company and to Andira Pharmaceuticals, a Canadian cannabinoid-based pharmaceutical development company specializing in wound care and the treatment of metastatic breast cancer.

Read her full bio here.


This medical cannabis educational program led by renowned cannabis expert Dr. Ethan Russo, includes over 10 hours of video presentations complete with extensive references and hyperlinks to additional useful content. The following are titles to each module.

  • Introduction to the Endocannabinoid System (ECS)
  • History of Cannabis
  • Introduction to the Cannabis Plant
  • Cannabis Components
  • Delta-8-THC
  • Intake Methods & Therapeutic Strategies
  • Cannabis Adverse Events & Harm Reduction
  • Cannabis & Evidence Based Medicine

Disclaimer: This medical cannabis education course does not constitute medical advice. Always consult with a qualified healthcare provider before using cannabis or related products.

What to Expect

As part of the Medical Marijuana 411 adult online education, enrollees may start and stop at any time. Any student completing our certifications and/or coursework will have a permanent student dashboard to review materials at any time. If in the future, you want to review any information, simply log-on to your dashboard to re-visit the content. All coursework and graphics can be downloaded for future re-use with customers, clients and patients.

After completing this curriculum, participants should have a good working knowledge of the concepts of the endocannabinoid system and cannabis therapeutics. Students will receive a Certificate of Completion and have the option of purchasing a Certificate signed by Dr. Ethan Russo.

Course Syllabus

Module 1 Introduction to the ECS – 73 slides presented by Dr. Ethan Russo, Q&A by Nishi Whiteley  1:12:30

In this module the learner will receive a broad overview of the function and components of endocannabinoid system, how it works and is intertwined with all major biological functions, and how endocannabinoids and phytocannabinoids stimulate and/or active the ECS. Also covered is the microbiome, its importance to overall human health and the nexus of the ECS and human microbiome.

  • Cannabis sativa
  • Overview of the ECS; receptors, receptors throughout the body, enzymes signaling,
  • ECS in early brain development
  • ECS stimulation
  • Cannabis synergy – the Entourage Effect
  • Endocannabinoid synthesis and catabolism
  • Increased ECS activity
  • Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency
  • Cannabis effects on cancer
  • Plants and pain (opium poppy, willow bark, capsaicin+)
  • Human microbiome, microbiota and the ECS, care and feeding
  • Probiotics and prebiotics
  • Effects of THC on microbiome of rats
  • Acne and neurodegeneration
  • ECS and the gut-brain-skin axis
  • New approach to neurological therapeutics

Module 2 Cannabis Historical Overview: How it Informs Modern Therapeutics – 71 slides presented by Dr. Ethan Russo, Q&A by Nishi Whiteley  1:06:31

In this fascinating look at cannabis history, Dr. Russo explores the many ancient uses of cannabis across the globe along with the ancient texts where cannabis is mentioned, gradually moving through different historical periods highlighting the writings of prominent physicians all the way through modern times.

  • Cannabis evident in ancient times
  • Review of ancient texts
  • Historical overview of key people throughout history
  • Early medical use of cannabis:
  • Early delivery methods
  • Empirical medicine of the 19th Century
  • Modern research in various indication
  • Why cannabis left the pharmacopoeia
  • Patterns of cannabis use in Brazil, India, Jamaica
  • RCTs for pain

Module 3 Introduction to the Cannabis Plant – 70 slides presented by Dr. Ethan Russo, Q&A by Nishi Whiteley  0:55:46

This module is dedicated to helping the student gain a broad understanding of the physical parts of the cannabis plant, origin, evolution, and taxonomy of the plant and all its many varieties and types. You will also learn about the risks associated with the common use of pesticides in cannabis cultivation and methods used to test for pesticides in plant material.

  • Cannabis origin story and early cultivation
  • Cannabis in early Europe
  • Cannabis evolution and classification system
  • Human utilization
  • Pentyl cannabinoid synthesis
  • Propyl cannabinoid synthesis
  • Typical THC distribution throughout the plant
  • Anatomy of the capitate glandular trichome
  • Plant parts
  • Species controversy
  • Chemotaxonomic analysis of terpenoid variation
  • Global cannabis crop evolution
  • Genetic structure
  • Pesticide use in cannabis
  • Indoor cultivation
  • Good agricultural practices (GAP)
  • Hemp disease and pests, treatment options
  • Federally registered pesticides
  • Ideal cannabis classification system
  • Certificate of analysis
  • Landraces

Module 4 Components of the Cannabis Plant – 124 slides presented by Dr. Ethan Russo, Q&A by Nishi Whiteley 1:47:39

 This module takes a broad look at the chemical components of the cannabis plant including the most researched cannabinoids, a few you may not have heard of as well as common terpenes, flavonoids and other components from the plant. You will learn about scientific cannabis naming conventions, the importance of Certificate of Analysis (COAs) and how to read them. Finally, this module covers the entourage effect, why landraces matter and short comparison of capturing cannabinoids from the plant versus yeast.

  • Earnest Small Typology
  • Overview of phytocannabinoids and their chemical structures
  • Entourage Effect
  • Chemical ecology of phytocannabinoids
  • Terpenoids
  • Isolated waxy ballast
  • Ideal cannabis classification scheme
  • PhytoFacts™ COA Review of Type I-IV
  • Cannabis Synergy
  • Responder Analysis
  • Review of key peer-reviewed journal articles
  • Biosynthesis: sativa vs yeast
  • Landraces

Module 5 Delta-8 THC – 32 slides presented by Dr. Ethan Russo, Q&A by Nishi Whiteley  0:39:50

In this module, we take a slightly different approach. The module reviews the history, chemical structure and existing research about Delta-8 THC. It also explores the differences of naturally occurring Delta-8 from chemically derived Delta-8, the current contamination conundrum facing chemically converted Delta-8 THC and its risks to users. This module highlights outcomes from studies by the following authors:

  • Crystallized Delta-8 Roger Adams 1942
  • LaGuardia Report mentions Delta-8
  • Gaoni & Mechoulam convert CBD to Delta-8
  • Hively, R.L et al. 1966 paper
  • Hollister, L. E., & H. K. Gillespie. 1973 study
  • Karniol, I. G., and E. A. Carlini. 1973 study
  • Abrahamov, A., and R. Mechoulam. 1995 – anti-emetic in pediatric oncology
  • Vaclavik, L. et al. 2019.
  • Babalonis, S., et al. 2021
  • Rosenthal, J., et al.2021
  • Hudalla, C. 2021.
  • Kruger, J. S., and D. J. Kruger. 2022
  • Klein, T. A. et al. 2022
  • Geci, M., M. Scialdone, and J. Tishler. 2023
  • Tagen, M., and L. E. Klumpers. 2022
  • Benowitz, N. L. et al. 2023
  • Simon, T. A. et al. 2023
  • Vandrey, R., et al. 2023

Module 6 Intake Methods & Therapeutic Strategies – 49 slide presented by Nishi Whiteley, Q&A by Dr. Russo  1:17:11

In this module you will learn about intake methods, risks, harm reduction and practical considerations for how to choose one intake method over another based on time of onset, pros, cons and needs. You will also learn about cannabis quality, what to look for on cannabis product labels/COAs as well as the different paraphernalia needed for most form factors and practical usage tips.

  • Review of ECS role in biological functions
  • Foundational principles of cannabis use
  • Difference between hemp and cannabis
  • Cannabis processing supply chain from flower to product
  • Concentrates
  • Product from flower overview
  • General quality tips
  • What to look for on a label
  • What to look for in a COA
  • Dried cannabis quality
  • Dry herb dosing
  • Vaporization – the healthier option
  • Things to know before you inhale
  • Dry herb prep
  • Glass cleaning
  • Cannabis form factors
  • Intake methods
  • Protocol Considerations
  • Possible positive side effects
  • Possible negative side effects
  • Harm mitigation
  • Opioid Sparing effect/cannabis and opiates

Module 7 Cannabis Adverse Events & Harm Reduction – 121 slides presented by Dr. Ethan Russo, Q&A by Nishi Whiteley  1:45:58

Cannabis is a safe and effective medicine but is not without risks or potential side effects. In this module the learner will gain insight into recorded adverse events in key scientific studies including the taboo topics of cannabis use during pregnancy and adolescence. The module will also explore cannabis use and mental health issues including schizophrenia and review the recent finding showing genetic predisposition for cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome (CHS), which is the result of overstimulation of the ECS.

  • Cannabis adverse events in clinical trials
  • Chronic cannabis use in U.S. Government Compassionate Use Program 2002
  • Neurocognitive impairment
  • Clinical Framework for assessing cannabis-related impairment risks
  • Practical consideration in medical cannabis dosing
  • Toxic psychosis; synthetic THC vs. Sativex™
  • National Academies: Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids
  • Cardiovascular issues pros and cons
  • Impact of cannabis on different systems of the body
  • Impact of cannabis use on head and neck squamous cell carcinoma
  • Cannabis concentrates (dabs) research
  • Vape pens, propylene glycol and formaldehyde
  • E-cigarette, or vaping, product use associated lung injury (E/VALI)
  • Pesticides in smoked cannabis
  • Insecticides found in Washington state cannabis
  • Cannabis effects on human gestation
  • Maternal marijuana use and neonatal outcomes
  • Medical cannabis and mental health
  • Association of cannabis use with cognitive functioning of adolescence
  • Chronic use study – Beck Depression Inventory
  • Cannabis use trends in schizophrenia
  • Cannabis addiction ratings
  • Tolerance and intoxication
  • Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome (CHS)

Module 8 Cannabis & Evidence Based Medicine – 77 slides presented by Dr. Ethan Russo, Q&A by Nishi Whiteley  1:25:14

This module is dedicated to helping the learner gain basic understanding of how medical cannabis research works, challenges associated with studying cannabis and the regulatory pathways for approval. This module will also take a look at the standards of evidence and segway into a review of the U.S. government’s latest official scientific assessment of the existing body of cannabis research.

  • Definition of terms
  • Four pillars of medicine
  • Medical efficacy – levels of evidence
  • Randomized clinical trials
  • Standardization
  • Advantages of pharmaceutical cannabinoids
  • Why traditional market cannabis fails standardization requirements
  • What patients really want
  • Additional FDA regulatory requirements
  • How American cannabis research works (or doesn’t)
  • US cannabis research roadblocks
  • Placebo effect
  • National Academies: The Health Effect of Cannabis and Cannabinoids Conclusions
  • Cannabis dosing
  • Cannabis routes of administration
  • Levels of evidence for cannabis based medicine
  • Review of cannabis use in different indications
  • Cannabis Efficacy: Where are we now?
  • Problems with cannabis laboratory analysis
  • Cannabis basic science research – needs and issues
  • Clinical research priorities


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