Thomas Jefferson University

Cannabinoid Chemistry & Toxicology

The Graduate Certificate in Cannabinoid Chemistry and Toxicology is designed to equip those working in and regulating the emerging legal cannabis industry with an understanding of analytical methodologies for the identification and interpretation of cannabis and cannabinoid products.

Program Length

1-2 years

Program Format

Online with a weekend-long accelerated required lab component for select courses


BA I See more

Start Date

Fall 2020

cannabis related educational offerings

Thomas Jefferson University, recognized internationally for its progressive embrace of emerging health professions, has partnered with the Center for Forensic Science Research & Education to add their specialized expertise in research and development in cannabinoid detection and characterization to this certificate offering.  The program is designed to set the standard for science-based product design, cultivation, manufacturing and quality control to support medical quality products expected from regulatory bodies and patients alike.

Course Name
Credit Hours Course Number Format
Botany and Chemistry (prerequisite)
3 CCT 507 Online
Toxicological Analysis and Interpretation of Cannabinoids
3 CCT 600 Hybrid/Lab
Forensic Analysis of Cannabis and Cannabis Derived Products
3 CCT 601  Hybrid/Lab
Quality Control and Quality Assurance in Medical Cannabis Analysis and Dispensing
3 CCT 508  Online

Upon completion of the Certificate Program in Cannabis Chemistry and Toxicology students should be able to:

  • Identify botanical features of the cannabis plant
  • Discuss the chemistry of the constituents of botanical cannabis and synthetic cannabinoid drug classes
  • Describe the classification system for cannabinoids, cannabinoid compound ratios in plant materials, cannabis-derived products and their constituents, oils, terpenoids, flavenoids, hydrocarbons and nitrogen containing compounds
  • Describe methodologies for concentration, extraction and purification of plant constituents
  • Perform analytical techniques for the identification of plant and synthetic cannabinoids, contaminants and adulterants in cannabis products
  • Describe the obligations of testing laboratories to promote quality and reliability in analysis and manufacture   
  •  Describe the identification and quantitation of cannabinoids and metabolites in biological fluids and tissues applying general principles of analytical toxicology
  • Application of these techniques and interpretation of the results in a workplace drug testing, human performance, in-utero exposure, and postmortem analysis

Forensic Science Education

This certificate is offered in partnership with the Center for Forensic Science Research & Education.  For over twenty years the Center has been at the forefront of the forensic community, providing novel developments in research, training and education in the forensic sciences.  Their internationally recognized staff have partnered with the Institute of Emerging Health Professions at Thomas Jefferson University to provide an unparalleled learning experience in this emerging field.

Program Information

2019-2020 Academic Year  

Fall 2019 Start Date:  September 3, 2019
To view the academic calendar, please visit our Academic Calendar page.

Tuition and fees vary by program and term. For more information, please review our Tuition Information (PDF) in the 'Institute of Emerging Health Professions' section. 



Dr. Marilyn Huestis was the former Chief of Chemistry and Drug Metabolism at NIDA’s Intramural Research Program (IRP) where she conducted controlled drug administration studies. She was a toxicologist studying the effects of illicit drugs on the body, brain, and in utero. Her doctoral research focused on cannabis (marijuana), and she went on to study a wide range of illicit drugs, including cocaine, methamphetamine, ecstasy, and heroin. Dr. Huestis served on the National Commission on Forensic Sciences, was president of the Society of Forensic Toxicologists, Chair of the Toxicology Section of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, and president of The International Association of Forensic Toxicologists, among many other positions, awards, and recognitions.

Contact Us

Program Contact

Admissions Contact

Seth Carver

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