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University of Colorado Boulder

Healthy Aging and the Future of Cannabis Research

University of Colorado Boulder via Coursera


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This Healthy Aging and Future of Cannabis Research course is designed to have you think critically about the health effects of cannabis (i.e., marijuana) in the context of inflammation, exercise, and aging. You'll learn how inflammation and the microbiome may be related to the disorders discussed in class, and how cannabis may influence these disorders through modulating inflammation. We'll describe the relationship between the endocannabinoid system and exercise, and how cannabinoids may affect exercise performance and recovery. You'll learn how to identify key features of aging and how cannabinoids may influence the aging process. Obtaining this knowledge will be helpful in terms of informing public policy, public health, and personal decisions regarding the use of cannabis products.


  • Inflammation and the Microbiome
    • In this module, we will discuss how our gut microbiome and endocannabinoid system influences inflammatory disease states. We will also discuss how the gut and brain communicate and regulate inflammatory states through what is known as the "gut-brain axis."
  • Sports, Exercise, Recovery, and Cannabis
    • In this module, we will discuss the role of endocannabinoids in exercise, and how cannabis may impact exercise. We will also discuss the importance of exercise recovery, and how cannabis may impact recovery.
  • Healthy Aging and Cannabis
    • In this module, we will discuss the common challenges older adults face while aging such as pain and depression, as well as common treatments used for these conditions tailored to this population. We will also discuss the research on cannabis for these conditions, and discuss the specific risks that this population faces with regards to cannabis use.
  • The Future of Cannabis Research
    • In this module, we will do a quick overview of the main takeaways from this series of courses regarding the risks and benefits of cannabis use. We will discuss the controversies around using cannabis as a therapeutic and consider how cannabis could be used as an alternative medicine. We will discuss lingering questions and gaps in the literature and research that need to be filled. Lastly, we will discuss the Citizen's Science Initiative - a crowdsourcing data science project with the purpose of collecting much needed and relevant data on the health effects of cannabis for specific clinical populations.

Taught by

Kent Hutchison


4.7 rating at Coursera based on 90 ratings

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