Get started today

The Endocannabinoid System: A Deep Dive

Presented by Professor Kylie O'Brien, PhD

About this module:

The endocannabinoid system is a major regulatory system in the body, responsible for regulating nearly all our bodily systems and functions. Our endocannabinoid system is broadly composed of endocannabinoids, enzymes that synthesise and degrade them, and cannabinoid receptors but there is much more than this involved. In this module, you will learn about the components of the endocannabinoid system in detail, including how endocannabinoids are synthesised and degraded, the location and function of the cannabinoid receptors, and the mechanisms of action of the endocannabinoid system in regulating homeostasis. 

This module is science-rich and pitched at the level of healthcare practitioners and others with a background in biomedical sciences.
Learning Outcomes

At the end of this module, learners will be able to:

  • Describe the key components of the endocannabinoid system.
  • Explain why the endocannabinoid system is an important system within the body.
  • Explain how the endocannabinoid system works in terms of its actions on neurotransmitters.
  • Explain the key locations of cannabinoid receptors in the human body.
  • Describe the enzymatic breakdown pathways of endocannabinoids anandamide and THC, including the key metabolic enzymes involved.

Professor Kylie O'Brien, PhD

Professor Kylie O’Brien PhD is an Adjunct Professor at Torrens University. She has a strong academic career in the fields of Chinese medicine, integrative medicine, and, since 2018, in medicinal cannabis. She has worked for the Victorian Department of Human Services, and held senior leadership roles in the university and private education sector. An internationally recognised expert in Chinese medicine and integrative medicine, she has published extensively, including a book on integrative oncology (US: Springer, 2017). Kylie’s second book, with co-author Dr Philip Blair, O’Brien K, Blair P, Medicinal Cannabis and CBD in Mental Healthcare, Springer, 2021 has now been published (Springer). She is a member of the Australian government’s Tertiary Education and Quality Standards Agency (TEQSA) Expert Panel and a previous member of the TGA Advisory Committee for Complementary Medicines.

Kylie has been leading doctor education on medicinal cannabis in Australia since 2018. Her courses were the first to receive RACGP Category 1 CPD accreditation. She also set up the pathway via the National Institute of Integrative Medicine Ethics Committee for doctors to apply to become authorised prescribers of medicinal cannabis under the TGA’s Authorised Prescriber Scheme.
Created with