John I Yoder

John I Yoder

Position Title
Professor Emeritus

Department of Plant Sciences


Cannabis sativa: The Plant and its Impact on People

Dr. Yoder taught the graduate course – Cannabis sativa: The Plant and its Impact on People – offered through Plant Sciences in 2018.

This seminar style course provided 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 explored its origin, evolution and ethnobiology.

Students learned 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 covered the status of clinical trials using synthetic and plant derived cannabinoids to treat neurological disorders. In addition, students learned how cannabis is currently cultivated and the rapidly changing legal landscape associated with its production and utilization.


These seminars were video recorded and are available here on the Department of Plant Sciences Cannabis and Hemp website.   

Dr. Yoder is currently developing a series of education videos on cannabis with colleagues at UCLA, UCI and UCSD. These will be developed into an online course to be offered in 2020.  The videos will also be made available to the public as well as packaged as a UC-wide online course.