Thomas Jefferson University

Cannabinoid Pharmacology

Institute of Emerging Health Professions

The graduate certificate in Cannabinoid Pharmacology is designed to teach learners the mechanisms of drug action and aspects of pharmacokinetics as it relates to cannabis.

*We are no longer taking applications for this certificate. We are sorry for the inconvenience.

Are you interested in learning more about Cannabis? Check out our new Cannabis Science Graduate Certificate.


The legal cannabis industry is projected to be one of the fastest growing sectors of the US economy over the next decade.  There are, however, few educational programs that prepare scientists, researchers, and clinicians to join this burgeoning field.  This first-of-its-kind graduate certificate in Cannabinoid Pharmacology is now available for interested students with a suitable background in chemistry, biochemistry, pharmacology, toxicology, or physiology.

Forensic Science Research 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. 


Upon completion of the Certificate in Cannabinoid Pharmacology program, students should be able to:

  • Discuss the mechanisms of drug action (pharmacodynamics)
  • Explain central nervous system neurotransmission
  • Describe aspects of pharmacokinetics (administration, distribution, metabolism, excretion)
  • Discuss the pharmacology of stimulants, depressants, cannabinoids, hallucinogens, antipsychotics
  • Summarize current knowledge of drug abuse disorders and addiction
  • Describe the historical use of cannabis
  • Analyze the status of and changes in public opinion regarding cannabis use
  • Discuss past and current US government cannabis-related regulations and regulatory topics
Course Name Credit Hours Course Number
Applied CNS Pharmacology and Toxicology (optional)
3 CPY 500 Online
Cannabinoid Pharmacology & Toxicology
3 CPY 501 Online
Cannabinoid Pharmacokinetics
3 CPY 506 Online



Marilyn Huestis, PhD

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.

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.


Robert B. Forney Jr., PhD 

Dr. Forney is a graduate of Indiana University School of Medicine in toxicology. He was a fellow at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and the Cuyahoga County Coroner’s Office in Cleveland. He is Chief Toxicologist of Office of the Lucas County Coroner serving 20 counties in NW Ohio and SE Michigan.  In this role, he directs the analysis of biological specimens for the drugs and writes opinions about the significance of the findings to the cause and manner of death. He has testified in criminal and civil matters throughout the US.

Dr. Forney is also Clinical Associate Professor, University of Toledo Medical Center.  He teaches medical residents the diagnosis and treatment of poisoning and drug overdose.  He also consults with area emergency department personnel on suspected poisoned patients.

Dr. Forney is a long standing faculty member of the internationally acclaimed Robert F. Borkenstein Course on Alcohol and Highway Safety, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana.

Dr. Forney is past chair and member of the Executive Board of the National Safety Council (NSC) Alcohol and Drug Impairment Division, a Fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, member of the Society of Forensic Toxicology, the International Association for Chemical Testing (IACT) and a lifetime member of Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society.  He has received two prestigious awards in forensic toxicology, the Kurt M. Dubowski Award by IACT (2009) and the Robert F. Borkenstein Award by the NSC (2013).

Contact Us

Program Contact

Institute of Emerging Health Professions

Related Programs