Cannabis Curriculum

Certificate in Cannabis Studies (Online)

The Undergraduate Certificate in Cannabis Studies is taught by world renowned faculty and experts in areas including medicinal plants, functional foods research, natural product chemistry, biosynthesis, microbiology, and formulation research and development in the pharmaceutical and nutraceutical industry. Students will access state of the art equipment for cannabis chemistry analysis and testing of cannabis related products through virtual laboratory experiences, providing students with a unique online learning advantage from URI’s College of Pharmacy.

The certificate is delivered in asynchronous online, seven-week modules that allows for flexibility to fit your schedule, and the four 3-credit courses can be completed in as little as 2 semesters.


BPS 206 Foundations of Cannabis Studies (3 credits)*

In this course, student will gain an understanding of the history of cannabis in
the United States and the legislation and regulations that continue to shape its
medical and recreational use. The ethical issues surrounding cannabis will be
explored, and students will learn to evaluate the credibility of various sources
of cannabis information. The endocannabinoid system will be introduced in
addition to the pharmacology of the major phytocannabinoids, THC and CBD.
This course will lay the foundation for the remaining requirements of the
certificate in cannabis sciences.

*Students must take this course prior to proceeding with the other courses in the certificate. The remaining three courses can be taken in any order.

BPS 316 Cannabis Product Development (3 credits)

Students will be taken through the process of developing a safe cannabis
product for therapeutic use. The process begins with extraction and purification of plant material. Analytical testing methods for quantification of cannabinoids and identification of contaminants will be described. Formulation and drug delivery forms will be evaluated. The student will be introduced to good manufacturing practices (GMPs) for the production of safe, reliable therapeutic products.

BPS 312 Cannabis Chemistry and Pharmacognosy (3 credits)

The cannabis plant will be explored through the lens of the natural products it
produces. Various cannabinoids, flavonoids, terpenoids, and other classes of
natural products will be described. Methods for the extraction and separation
of the natural products will be evaluated. Students will be introduced to the
biosynthetic pathways that produce the products and form the genetic basis for
strain variability. Differences in compound ratios of diverse strains and the
effect it has on therapeutic outcomes will be examined. Finally, the entourage
effect between the cannabinoids and the other chemical constituents of
cannabis will be investigated.

BPS 314 Cannabis Therapeutics (3 credits)

This course will investigate the therapeutic effects of cannabis on various
medical conditions by exploring physiology, pathophysiology, and the
cannabinoids’ mechanism of action. Evidence-based research and case studies
will be used to evaluate the effectiveness of treatment. Side effects, drug
interactions, and other risks will be examined. Different routes of
administration and the effect on bioavailability will be evaluated.

Continuing Education Credits

The University of Rhode Island College of Pharmacy is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education as a provider of continuing pharmacy education. This is an application-based educational activity.

Pharmacists will receive up to 6.0 contact hours (0.6 CEUS) for each educational activity. Each course in the certificate program is considered a separate educational activity. Completion of the full certificate would result in up to 24.0 contact hours.

Program Evaluation
All participants will have the opportunity to review the educational sessions and speakers and to identify future educational needs.

Requirements for CE credit
A program evaluation must be completed at within 60 days of the program completion date in order to receive CE credit. CE credit will be transferred to the CPE Monitor upon successful completion of the program evaluation. Transfer of CE credit should be verified at where CE statements are available to print. Instructions for completing a program evaluation and reporting pharmacy CE credit will be sent at the completion of each course for which CE credit is requested by the student.

Statement of Disclosure
In accordance with the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) Standards for Continuing Pharmacy Education, The University of Rhode Island College of Pharmacy requires that program faculty disclose any relationship (e.g., shareholder, recipient of research grant, consultant or member of an advisory committee) that the faculty may have with commercial companies whose products or services may be mentioned in their presentations. The faculty have no relevant financial relationships to disclose.


Get in touch.

URI Online Student Support Center


Program Coordinator

Stephanie Forschner-Dancause, Ph.D.
URI College of Pharmacy