University of Vermont Medical School Medical Cannabis Pogram



A Retired Dentist Explores Medical Cannabis Through UVM

Posted by Erica Houskeeper on February 7, 2020

James Brent is starting a new chapter in retirement.

Once he retired from dentistry after 42 years in private practice, the Missouri resident enrolled in UVM’s Cannabis Science and Medicine Professional Certificate.

Dr. Brent was eager to learn the pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetics, and dosing for medical cannabis.

“I’m kind of an herbal hobbyist. I took some classes in that area. Then in 2018, Missouri passed an amendment to the state constitution for medical cannabis. I thought I better learn something about why this works,” he says. “I’ve always been a student and I like learning. Since retiring, I’ve thought a lot about integrative health.”

The UVM online medical cannabis certificate is a seven-week program that covers cannabis history, business, law and policy, plant biology, biological effects on humans, production and safety, pharmacology, and clinical research.

UVM’s Online Medical Cannabis Certificate

Cannabis is now legal across the country. Used as an alternative to medications for chronic pain and other conditions, cannabis is also the fastest growing industry in the country.

“I grew up in the 60s and cannabis was part of the culture then. I look at cannabis as plant medicine and a lot of herbalists will say you need to develop a relationship with the plant,” says Dr. Brent. “It’s nice to know about the pharmacodynamics, which is how cannabis works on the body. And about the pharmacokinetics, which is how the body metabolizes cannabis.”

Dr. Brent also learned how to make infusions and tinctures, which have since helped his 90-year-old mother, who suffers from chronic pain. Professionally, he is working toward offering health and wellness coaching.

“We don’t have a health care system. We have a disease-care system,” Brent says. “I am presently trying to help clients and physicians, who are interested, approach cannabis as an herbal medicine substitute for allopathic pharmaceuticals used for pain. Plant medicines—herbs—are traditionally used to treat specific types of patients rather than a specific disease. Incorporating lifestyle and dietary changes as well as other medicinal herbs to restore homeostasis have the potential to improve the effectiveness of pain therapies.”

UVM’s online medical cannabis certificate assures professionals they can accurately inform patients and customers, as well as gain a competitive advantage as a knowledgeable, trustworthy provider who can effectively minimize the risks and maximize the benefits of cannabis for therapeutic use.

“The staff and curriculum were great. I particularly enjoyed the research aspect and learning to write the required papers and the online interaction with other students,” Brent says. “The UVM cannabis program provides a reputable source of information for not only medical professionals but anyone who wants to deep dive into the benefits of cannabis as medicine.”


cannabis drying (2)

Medical Cannabis

It is time to consider cannabis as an herb with medicinal properties rather than an intoxicating drug. Here are some articles that may improve your understanding of the plant._

Cannabis, Herbs and The Mind/Body Connection

By James Brent

Cannabis, Herbs, and the Mind/Body Connection There are numerous references to the quote attributed to Hippocrates, “All disease begins in the gut”. Our postnatal bodies are built from the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat. Our food influences the body’s hormones, immune system, brain chemistry, microbiome, detoxification and structure.…

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Cultivating a Deeper Relationship with Cannabis Medicine

By James Brent

Herbalists are generally trained in the traditional uses of plants as medicine. Scientific study is also used for guidance. It is my belief that we learn from both our personal experience and from others. There is another aspect of learning that uses intuition, or an inner voice. Many herbalists develop a relationship with a plant…

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Lavender and Cannabis

By James Brent

Lavender (Lavander officianlis) has peer reviewed research describing a decrease in blood brain barrier permeability in rats, 100-200mg per kg per day IP (1). It provides neuroprotection, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiety benefit. It may be helpful in mild pain and depression. Oral  doses  using  alcohol tinctures or oil infusions were preferred over topical application or…

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Medical Cannabis: What Patients Need To Know

By James Brent

It is important to consider what is meant by “Sativa” and “Indica” cannabis. Sativa can be defined by the plant structure ( a tall, narrow leaf plant originating in warm, humid regions or the psychoactive effect which is uplifting and stimulating. Indica can be defined by its structure a shorter, bushy wide leaf plant originating…

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Considerations For Purchasing Cannabis

By James Brent

THC is the psychoactive cannabinoid that some people consider a beneficial effect. Many people consider this an unwanted effect. THC does have some other benefits such pain relief, appetite stimulant, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, anti-bacterial and neuroprotective. CBD is the cannabinoid that is most associated with medical treatment and has those benefits, is not psychoactive. It also…

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Cannabis Safety Guide

By James Brent

I have chosen Nevada as a model for creating a testing safety reference guide. Nevada appears to have  the most comprehensive requirements for laboratory testing and accreditation. Testing includes:  moisture content, potency analysis, terpene analysis, foreign matter inspection, microbial screening, heavy metal screening, and pesticide residue analysis. Laboratory accreditation requirements include: following a minimum of…

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A Case For Medical Cannabis

By James Brent

A Case for Medical Cannabis, Commonly Known as Marijuana      Establishing fact and fiction in the debate about marijuana and its’ usefulness in medicine or potential harm to society has created a large divide between the opposing views.  The following information is an attempt to provide some help in understanding what has been researched concerning…

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By James Brent

This is a quote that read on the Society of Cannabis Clinicians educational web site: “ Consider cannabis as drug with some psychoactive properties rather  than as an intoxicant with some therapeutic properties”.  I prefer to consider cannabis as a medicinal adaptogenic and tonic herb. The phytochemicals in plants serve purposes for the plant which…

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