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.

Program Length

1-2 years

Program Format



BA l See more

Application deadline

December 20, 2019

Start Date

January 13, 2020


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
Cultural History, Regulation, and Policy of Cannabis OR
Cannabinoid Research Design
CPY 510
CPY 520
Cannabinoid Pharmacology & Toxicology
3 CPY 501
Cannabinoid Pharmacokinetics
3 CPY 506

Are you interested in taking the Cultural History, Regulation, and Policy of Cannabis or Cannabinoid Research Design course? Courses will begin on January 13, 2020. Learn how to apply here as a non-matriculated student.

Program Details

2019-2020 Academic Year  

Spring 2020 Start Date:  January 13, 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.

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Seth Carver

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