VIN PHAR107-0620: Cannabis in Veterinary Medicine

The lectures for this course will be presented in an audio format using a webinar platform.

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Presenters: Dr. Gary Richter, MS, DVM, CVA, CVC, GDVWHM
Dr. Trina Hazzah, DVM, DACVIM (Oncology), CVCH
Course Open: June 8-July 9, 2020
Real Time Sessions (RTS): Mondays June 15, 22, and 29, 2020; 8:00-10:00 pm ET (USA)
Course RTS Times in Your Area: World Clock Converter

Level and Prerequisites: This basic comprehensive course will be open to veterinarians and veterinary technicians/technologists actively interested in the use of cannabis in veterinary medicine.
VIN CE Course: Open to veterinarians and veterinary technicians/technologists. This course is RACE approved for veterinarians and veterinary technicians/technologists. (RACE 22-36084)

Course Information:
Cannabis has been integrated with human civilization for tens of thousands of years. It's usefulness spans nearly every necessity including food, fiber, fuel, and spirituality, but its versatility as medicine has led to the revived interest in this ancient plant. The naturally occurring phytocannabinoids and terpenes produced by cannabis exert a profound physiologic effect on both humans and animals. By accessing the endocannabinoid system within the central and peripheral nervous system as well as via other mechanisms throughout the body, cannabis has multiple actions including acting as an anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-neoplastic, and anticonvulsant, all while promoting homeostatic balance. The keys to successfully using cannabis as medicine in veterinary patients lies in understanding the physiology of the endocannabinoid system and how cannabis interacts with it. As an additional challenge, the legal landscape pertaining to cannabis can be complex and intimidating. This lecture series sheds light on the history of cannabis, the endocannabinoid system and how it pertains to veterinary patients, the current legal hurdles facing the veterinary community, and considerations for choosing the right cannabis preparations to successfully treat specific medical conditions.

Please note - completion of this course does not authorize the participant to prescribe, discuss, and/or distribute any type of cannabis product. Participants should explore the local, regional, and national restrictions concerning cannabis as it applies to them and to their practice.

Week 1 (Real Time Session June 15, 2020): The ethnobotany of cannabis, current legal landscape, and the endocannabinoid system
Presenters: Dr. Gary Richter, Dr. Trina Hazzah
Format: Audio
Objectives: Upon completion of this session, the participant should be able to
  • understand the history of cannabis and its influence on civilization.
  • discuss cannabis' entry into the modern world and its medical uses in the 19th and 20th centuries.
  • discuss the complex legal history of cannabis from the 20th century to the present and provide a framework for veterinarians to understand where the veterinary profession's current legal standing is regarding the use of cannabis in practice.
  • understand basic terminology including cannabis, hemp, marijuana, terpenes, flavonoids, and chemovar.
  • understand the structure and function of the endocannabinoid system.

Week 2 (Real Time Session June 22, 2020): Cannabis: Phytocannabinoids, Terpenes, and Cannabinomimetics
Presenters: Dr. Gary Richter, Dr. Trina Hazzah
Format: Audio
Objectives: Upon completion of this session, the participant should be able to
  • understand phytocannabinoids and their biological activity.
  • understand the concept of endocannabinoid deficiency.
  • understand terpenes and their biological activity.
  • discuss cannabinomimetic plants.

Week 3 (Real Time Session June 29, 2020): Cannabis: Specific indications and dosing guidelines
Presenters: Dr. Gary Richter, Dr. Trina Hazzah
Format: Audio
Objectives: Upon completion of this session, the participant should be able to
  • understand the multiple factors that lead to the ultimate content of a medical cannabis product.
  • understand the laboratory methods used to analyze cannabis medicines for content and safety.
  • discuss the challenges and concerns surrounding consistency of medicine.
  • have a working knowledge of recent studies evaluating cannabis efficacy.
  • discuss concerns with THC toxicity.
  • discuss cannabinoid ratios as they pertain to medical therapy.
  • discuss cannabis dosing guidelines and product formats.

Successful completion (scoring 80% or better) on the end-of-course test is required to earn a certificate of completion for the course. To learn more about the requirements for earning a CE certificate, please refer to Receiving Your CE Credit and Course Completion Certificate.

Course Materials: Course materials will be available in the course library prior to each Real Time Session.
Required Textbook(s): There is no required textbook for this course.

About the Presenter(s):
Gary Richter has been practicing veterinary medicine the San Francisco Bay Area since 1998. In addition to conventional veterinary medical training, Dr. Richter is certified in veterinary acupuncture as well as veterinary chiropractic. As owner and Medical Director of Holistic Veterinary Care in Oakland, California, Dr. Richter understands the benefits of both conventional and holistic treatment methods for the preventative and therapeutic care of pets. His focuses on the integration of holistic and general practice veterinary medicine, regenerative medicine, as well as educating professionals and pet owners on the benefits of integrative care. The safe and effective use of medical cannabis in dogs and cats is central to both Dr. Richter's medical practice and educational outreach. By integrating medical cannabis with other conventional and alternative therapies, Dr. Richter has been able to improve the quality and quantity of life of pets living with medical conditions ranging from arthritis to inflammatory bowel disease to cancer. He has written numerous articles for web based and print publications on various topics including strategies to integrate the use of medical cannabis into conventional medical therapies for pets. Additionally, he regularly provides continuing education lectures to veterinarians on the use of cannabis in animals. His book, "The Ultimate Pet Health Guide- Breakthrough Nutrition and Integrative Care for Dogs and Cats" was released in 2017 and includes an entire chapter on the use of cannabis for pets. Dr. Richter is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association, the Society of Cannabis Clinicians, the International Cannabinoid Research Society is currently the President Elect of the American College of Veterinary Botanical Medicine.

Trina Hazzah was born and raised in Washington DC. She attended Tuskegee University School of Veterinary Medicine where she earned her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 2006. She completed her small animal internship at Red Bank Veterinary Hospital in New Jersey and a 3-year residency in medical oncology at the Veterinary Oncology and Hematology Center, in Connecticut. She has also completed the requirements to be a Certified Veterinary Chinese Herbalist from the Chi Institute of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine.
Dr. Hazzah's area of interest is Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) and offers a novel approach to veterinary cancer therapy by combining conventional Western therapies with complementary Eastern therapies to provide a whole patient treatment approach. She feels that quality of life is an essential priority in the treatment of her cancer patients and strives to find a perfect balance between effective treatment while optimizing patient comfort. Dr. Hazzah developed an interest in cannabis medicine during her quest for finding effective integrative approaches for her cancer patients. When her own cat developed a highly aggressive lung cancer, cannabis was the only modality that drastically improved his quality (and quantity) of life. She has spent the last 4 years reading though available literature, attending multiple cannabis conferences and symposiums, while also learning from cannabis physicians. She has since given numerous lectures to veterinarians educating them on the topic of cannabis medicine. Dr. Hazzah is a member of the Society of Cannabis Clinicians, Canadian Association of Veterinary Cannabinoid Medicine, Veterinary Cancer Society, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine, American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association, and the American Veterinary Medical Association.

Total CE Credit: 6

Tuition: Member $138 ($124 early bird special if enrolled by May 25, 2020)
Non-Member $231 ($208 early bird special if enrolled by May 25, 2020)
Prices are listed in US dollars.

*To ensure participants are ready and prepared for classes, enrollment will close on June 15, 2020 at 5 pm ET (USA) or when the maximum number of participants is reached.

*For more information on how online CE works, see the Participant Resource Center.

To Enroll:
  1. Enrollment qualifications: VIN CE courses are open to VIN member and non-member veterinarians. Veterinarians enrolling in a VSPN CE course must be a VIN member. Veterinary support staff must be a VSPN member to enroll in a VSPN CE or a VIN CE course open to VSPN member enrollment.
  2. Each enrollee must be able to receive emails from and addresses. Email is our major form of communication with participants; personal emails are highly recommended rather than clinic/hospital email addresses.
  3. Each person is individually responsible for his/her own registration. To ensure that all information received is secure and correct, please do not enroll for a course on behalf of another individual.
  4. For further assistance call 800-846-0028 ext. 797 or email . Please include the course title, your full name, and contact information in your correspondence.
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"This program (22-36084) is approved by the AAVSB RACE to offer a total of 6 CE Credits, with a maximum of 6 CE Credits being available to any individual veterinarian or veterinary technician/technologist. This RACE approval is for the subject matter categories of: Medical, using the delivery method of Interactive-Distance: (Web-based, Teleconference or Audio-Conference). This approval is valid in jurisdictions which recognize AAVSB RACE; however, participants are responsible for ascertaining each board's CE requirements."

Course withdrawal and refund policy: A complete refund of the paid course price will be issued when your withdrawal request is received prior to the listed start date of the course. If you wish to withdraw after the start date please contact the VIN office 800-846-0028 ext. 797 to discuss eligibility for a pro-rated refund.

*For more information on VIN's upcoming CE courses, check the VIN Course Catalog.

Katherine James, DVM, PhD, DACVIM (SAIM)
VIN Education Director

VIN CE Services:
800-846-0028 or 530-756-4881; ext. 797
or direct line to VIN/VSPN from the United Kingdom: 01 45 222 6154
or direct line to VIN/VSPN from Australia: 02 6145 2357