Cannabis Plant
First undergraduate course in Physiology of Cannabis offered this spring at UC Davis. Courses for medical students and the general public are also planned.
Undergraduate courses in physiology and cannabis offered at UC Davis. 

Two undergraduate courses on cannabis and physiology offered at UC Davis

An undergraduate course on “Physiology of Cannabis” (HPH 115) is offered every Spring quarter at UC Davis (since Spring 2017) to raise awareness and understanding of how cannabis and cannabinoids affect the body. Another undergraduate course title "Cannabis and Cannabinoids in Physiology and Medicine" (HPH 440) is offered every Winter quarter (since Winter 2018). 

Designed for students in the biological sciences, the three-unit "Physiology of Cannabis" course covered the biology of cannabis and cannabinoids as well as their physiological effects in multiple systems, underlying mechanisms and therapeutic values. It also surveyed the history of cannabis use, covered the endocannabinoid system and discussed potential medical targets for cannabis and their relative effectiveness.

The "Cannabis and Cannabinoids in Physiology and Medicine" course is designed for fourth year students, and its goals for these students are twofold: 1) to understand the physiological effects exerted by cannabis and cannabinoids on major organ systems in humans, and; 2) become proficient in communicating the pros and cons of medicinal uses of cannabis/cannabinoids with patients and peers.


Graduate course – Cannabis sativa: The Plant and its Impact on People – in Plant Sciences at UC Davis

This seminar style course, first offered in the Fall of 2018, provides a scientific overview of the biology, genetics, biochemistry and pharmacological potential of Cannabis sativa. Cannabis is among the world’s earliest domesticated plant species and this class will explore its origin, evolution and ethnobiology.

Students learn how specialized metabolites synthesized by cannabis interact with receptors in the mammalian endocannabinoid neurotransmitter system and how these interactions affect pain sensation, mood, memory and other central nervous functions. The course covers the status of clinical trials using synthetic and plant derived cannabinoids to treat neurological disorders. In addition, students learn how cannabis is currently cultivated and the rapidly changing legal landscape associated with its production and utilization.

Videos of the seminars can be found here.

Cannabis and Hemp Industry

The Cannabis and Hemp Industry: Cultivating Knowledge and Growing Opportunities (February 20, 2020)

As part of the Future of Work Series at UC Davis, which brings together experts from academia, government, and industry to discuss new and emerging fields of research and employment, a cannabis entrepreneur and the Chief Scientific Consultant for a cannabis analysis lab shared their thoughts on this rapidly developing industry. More information here.

The speakers: 

Dr. Donald Land is the Chief Scientific Consultant for Steep Hill, one of the leading scientific cannabis analysis labs in the world. He is also a Professor of Chemistry, Forensics, and Biotechnology at UC Davis

Vince Lane is an entrepreneur and investor with over twenty five years of startup and corporate experience. He's also a UC Davis alumnus. Vince's background spans across real estate, business development, technology, IT, entertainment - and now cannabis/hemp.

hemp seeds

The Seed Biotechnology Center offered a course on Hemp Breeding and Seed Production October 29-30, 2019.

Hemp Breeding and Seed Production was a two-day course designed to enhance the knowledge of professionals working on hemp improvement and propagation. The course covered hemp seed production topics such as flowering, pollination, seed development, harvesting and certification. Course participants also learned about hemp genomics, genetics, sex expression, types of cultivars with corresponding breeding schemes and intellectual property protection options. The course was delivered in an interactive format with lectures and discussions. The instructors included experts from the public and private sectors. 165 students participated. As there was strong interest in the course (100 still on a waiting list) and positive comments from participants, it will be offered again next year (time TBD).

You can add your name to the course Interest/Waiting List to be notified when the next course offering is confirmed and registration is open.