Cannabis Science Certificate


  • College of Health Professions

Institute of Emerging Health Professions

Degree Earned

  • Certificate

Program Length
1 year

Program Type

  • Online


Name: Ruth Charbonneau, JD, RN
Position: Program Director
Contact Number(s):
Name: Brooke Worster, MD
  • Medical Advisor, Cannabis Programs
  • Associate Professor
Organization: Institute of Emerging Health Professions
Contact Number(s):

Contact Admissions

Contact Number(s):

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Course Descriptions

The courses in the certificate program are designed to accommodate and interest students with diverse academic background and career interests. Students may enroll into the program in fall, spring, or summer.

Our cannabis courses are taught by faculty members who are recognized as national experts and leaders in the cannabis field. All cannabis courses are online and mostly asynchronous.

CSC 511 Botany & Chemistry of Cannabis

The Botany & Chemistry of Cannabis course covers the history of cannabis as a medicinal plant from ancient times until today, taxonomy, macro and microscopic characterization, cultivation, storage, tissue culture and cryopreservation of genetic material. The different chemical classes in cannabis, including the cannabinoids and terpenes and their biosynthesis, and the chemovars of cannabis and the trends in potency changes in the illicit market over time in the USA, are described. Students will learn the morphological and histological characteristics of the different organs of cannabis such as flowers, leaves, roots, stems, isolated elements and powders, and the microscopic examination of the cannabis plant and chemical tests to identify the plant are described. The course will require students to critically review and present publications in small groups and complete assignments.

CSC 512 Forensic Analysis of Cannabis & Cannabis-Derived Products

This course will review and apply practical concepts important to successful chemical analysis of cannabis plant materials, products, and other samples relevant and pertaining to cannabis. The course will open with a focus on the importance of sample preparation and the various strategies employed for samples, which range from plant materials to oils, edibles, drinks, etc. This topic will be followed by the concepts of chromatography, including capillary gas chromatography (GC) and high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) coupled with various detectors. Importantly, mass spectrometer (MS) detectors will be discussed in considerable detail for a full understanding and appreciation for the merits of GC/MS and LC/MS, including tandem mass spectrometry (GC/MS/MS and LC/MS/MS). Student will gain an understanding and appreciation of the analytical techniques associated with modern chemical analysis of cannabis and cannabis-related samples.

CSC 513 Cannabinoid Pharmacology

This course will review the endogenous cannabinoid system consisting of the endocannabinoid neurotransmitters, the cannabinoid receptors, synthetic pathways for the endogenous neurotransmitters and enzymes that degrade the neurotransmitters stopping signal propagation. The endogenous cannabinoid system modulates multiple other neurotransmitter system functions placing this system into an important regulatory role. The pharmacology of ∆9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD), and cannabigerol (CBG), three of more than 109 natural cannabinoids in the cannabis plant are explored. The onset, peak, and duration of cannabinoid pharmacokinetics of THC, its active metabolite, 11-hydroxy-THC, and its inactive metabolite, 11-nor-9-carboxy-THC, in blood are investigated following smoked, vaporized, and oral ingestion. Although cannabinoids are primarily inhaled, oral ingestion is common with the introduction of many cannabinoid food and beverages for medicinal and/or recreational intake. Participants in this course will be able to describe how plant cannabinoids function through the endogenous cannabinoid system to produce its well-known effects, including increased heart rate, euphoria, cognitive and motor impairment, and executive function deficits among others. In addition, THC pharmacokinetics in blood and its interpretation will enable the student to understand the complex relationships between cannabinoid pharmacokinetics and blood cannabinoid concentrations.