Our Lecturers

The Academy of Medical Cannabis is supported by some of the world’s leading experts in Cannabis-Based Medicinal Products (CBMPs) and their related therapies across a diverse range of specialisation.

Professor Mike Barnes

Amongst these professionals, we work closely with Professor Mike Barnes to deliver live training sessions for those looking to work with Cannabis Based Medicinal Products (CBMPs).

Professor Mike Barnes is a neurologist and rehabilitation physician. He has been involved in cannabis for nearly 20 years, having first assisted with the development of Sativex – the first licensed cannabis medication.

In 2016 he wrote a definitive report on cannabis for the APPG on Drug Policy Reform. Thereafter, he helped the family of Alfie Dingley obtain the first cannabis prescription in the UK.

He formed the Medical Cannabis Clinicians Society at the time of the law change in 2018. He then opened the first cannabis clinic – The Medical Cannabis Clinic with the LYPHE Group.

Professor Mike Barnes

Professor Mike Barnes started the Academy of Medical Cannabis in 2018 where he continues to teach doctors, specialists and health care practitioners with a certified course.  
In 2021 he started the Cannabis Industry Council which now has over 100 members from all sectors of the industry.

Professor Barnes is also Clinical Director of the excellent T21 study run by Drug Science which is gathering invaluable data regarding the immense value of cannabis as a medicine.

Professor Mike Barnes, Director of Education for the Academy, is a preeminent figure in the international field concerning CBMPs. As the first doctor in the United Kingdom to successfully prescribe a cannabis-based therapy, his experience and knowledge is invaluable. He answers questions submitted by you below:

Cannabis is a plant and drug that is thought to pre-date humans. Fossilised pollen indicates that cannabis evolved around 20-25 million years ago after diverging from its closest plant relative Humulus (or hops) around 27.8 million years ago.

According to the NHS, 10% of regular cannabis users become dependent upon the substance. This risk of dependency is believed to be higher if you begin cannabis use in your teenage years or use cannabis every day. Like other drugs, you can also develop a tolerance to cannabis, meaning that higher quantities of the substance may be eventually required by users to garner the same effects they originally felt when they were cannabis naïve.

The consumption of cannabis affects the body’s endocannabinoid system. Put very simply, the endocannabinoid system acts like a modulator of the release of other neurotransmitters in the body. The endocannabinoid system seems to have very far-reaching effects. This is unsurprising given the substantial distribution of cannabinoid receptors throughout the body. The endocannabinoid system is thought to influence bodily functions such as: memory, pain modulation, sleep, appetite, the stress-response and the action of the reproductive systems.

There are rarely any technical limitations towards what conditions can have cannabis-based medicines applied to them. There are, however, certain conditions where cannabis-based medicines are known to be effective, and others where there is no evidence base for effective treatment. The most common condition patients seek cannabis-based therapies for is chronic pain. Other common conditions include PTSD, anxiety, depression, insomnia and a range of spasticity and movement disorder related symptoms.

While cannabis-based medicines have a broadly safe risk/benefit profile, a lot of patients are concerned that using these medicines may result in the associated “highs” or other undesirable side effects of consuming recreational cannabis. Depending on whether the medicine is THC-containing, is pure CBD or contains other cannabinoids, side effects may vary. These are, however, rarely more severe than an extremely common array of mild effects such as drowsiness, dry mouth, dizziness or other marginal impairment factors.

Cannabis-based prescriptions commonly require the patient to have exhausted what are regarded as first-line treatment options for their condition or set of symptoms. Having established that these therapies were ineffective, where there is an evidence base for the application of cannabis-based medicines a clinician may consider referral to a specialist cannabis-prescribing doctor.

Anyone who can get a prescription from a medical professional in a country where medical cannabis is legal can access medical cannabis. Conditions that might merit a prescription from a doctor include: epilepsy, Multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, anxiety, depression and fibromyalgia amongst other conditions. The type of prescription offered is dependent upon a consultation with a medical professional regarding the personal needs of the patient and contra-indications with other medicines they may be taking.

Cannabis-based medicines have a good risk/benefit profile. Where properly GMP manufactured and appropriately dosed and prescribed towards patients with a cannabis-treatable condition who do not possess any of the limited contraindications such as pregnancy or a history of psychosis, they are potentially safer than some first-line treatment options such as opioid painkillers. Cases of severe harm as a result of their use are extremely rare.

Technically no; while there have been some suspected cases of cannabis overdose, medical specialists are unclear on whether these cases were as a result of pre-existing conditions or other contributing factors.

Start Getting New Knowledge and Experience, Together!

Medical cannabis based treatment promises to deliver significant therapeutic benefits for patients suffering from debilitating conditions where conventional treatments have failed.

By becoming part of our group of dedicated specialists, you’ll be providing access to revolutionary treatment and improving the quality of life of patients in need.

You’ll also be leading the way amongst your peers with this innovative therapy by raising awareness about the benefits of prescribing medical cannabis in a safe and effective way.

Next Training Days:

27th January 2022/24th March 2022/19th May 2022