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Cannabinoid Chemistry

Explore the chemistry of cannabis and take on a career in a rapidly growing industry.

The demand for trained chemists is growing as states legalize cannabis for medicinal and recreational use. With a Cannabinoid Chemistry degree from York College of Pennsylvania, you’ll be ready to take on an exciting science career in this emerging field.

An extension of YCP’s respected Chemistry and Forensic Chemistry programs, the Bachelor of Science in Cannabinoid Chemistry is the first degree of its kind in Pennsylvania and within the mid-Atlantic region. As a Cannabinoid Chemistry major, you'll specialize in natural product extraction, purification, and analysis. 

If you're interested in pioneering the cannabis industry in Pennsylvania and beyond, YCP's Cannabinoid Chemistry degree is for you.

A student holds a pipette full of red liquid while wearing safety goggles and gloves in the lab.

Majoring in Cannabinoid Chemistry

  • Key Courses

    Cannabinoid Chemistry Program Courses

    By earning a Bachelor of Science in Cannabinoid Chemistry, you’ll examine the extraction and identification of compounds from plant material. Coursework combines multiple topics in horticulture, toxicology, chemical analysis, biochemistry, and pharmacology. 

    A few core courses within the Cannabinoid Chemistry major include:

    • CHM 160: Natural Products and Society
    • CHM 324: Physical Chemistry for Biosciences
    • CHM 362: Advanced Spectroscopy of Natural Products
    • CHM 364: Medicinal Plant Chemistry
    • CHM 366: Hemp and Cannabinoid Science and Industry

    You’ll explore the field of cannabis chemistry through cutting-edge lab work, engaging lectures, research discussions, internship opportunities, and more. 

    York College’s Cannabinoid Chemistry degree adheres closely to guidelines suggested by the American Chemical Society.

  • Career Opportunities & Benefits

    Careers in Cannabinoid Chemistry

    A Cannabinoid Chemistry bachelor degree will prepare you to work in the developing cannabis industry and in roles related to the extraction and purification of other plant products.

    Careers in related fields include hops analysis for breweries, essential oil purification and analysis, drug and pharmaceutical analysis, and quality control in the food and beverage industries. 

    Here are a few examples of possible professions: 

    • Cannabis Chemist
    • Analytical Chemist
    • Extraction Technician
    • Production Technician
    • Food Safety and Quality Assurance Chemist
    • Scientist
    • Researcher
    • Product Developer

    This multidisciplinary major can lead to a career path in healthcare, industrial laboratories, agriculture, government agencies, academics, and more.

    Cannabinoid Chemistry Degree Salary Information

    As with any profession, the salary range for careers in the field of Cannabinoid Chemistry varies based on the specific role, level of experience, and location. According to Indeed.com, the median salary range for Cannabis Chemists is $72,306, while Laboratory Analysts earn $50,384 annually. 

    Benefits of a Cannabinoid Chemistry Degree

    A Bachelor of Science in Cannabinoid Chemistry will prepare you to immediately enter the workforce or enroll in a graduate program.

    Some of the benefits of pursuing a Cannabinoid Chemistry degree include: 

    • Access to professional equipment at YCP’s state-of-the-art laboratories
    • Internship opportunities with companies in the cannabis trade
    • Attendance at guest lectures with industry leaders
    • Development of in-demand skills that are transferable across professions and industries.
  • Internships & Work Experience

    Internships & Work Experience

    As a Cannabinoid Chemistry major, you can gain hands-on experience through internships with businesses and laboratories in the cannabis industry. Conveniently located in Central Pennsylvania, York College is driving distance to multiple state-approved laboratories and local companies operating in the cannabis trade. 

    Designed to strengthen your confidence and expand your understanding in the field, internships provide an opportunity for you to apply practical skills and lessons learned in the classroom to a real-world setting.

  • Mentorship & Community

    Mentorship & Community

    The Chemistry Department’s dedicated faculty and staff are available to provide guidance and support as you pursue your Cannabinoid Chemistry degree. Our mentorship and expertise can help you make the most of your education and experience at YCP. 

    Students studying chemistry at YCP are invited to join the Chemistry Society, a student-led academic club. Together, members explore new aspects of chemistry, provide peer support, and foster a social network among students through field trips and special projects.

  • High-Demand Skills

    Cannabinoid Chemistry Degree Skills and Requirements

    When you choose to earn a Bachelor of Science in Cannabinoid Chemistry from YCP, the benefits of your education extend far beyond the classroom. You’ll graduate with sought-after technical and soft skills that position you for professional success. Program graduates can: 

    • Scientifically analyze cannabinoids found in the hemp plant, including CBD
    • Understand evolving laws and regulations governing the cannabis industry
    • Utilize instrumentation in a professional laboratory setting
    • Comply with ethical standards
    • Communicate effectively about scientific processes
    • Understand and apply theories, methods, and techniques in the discipline
    • Think creatively and critically

    Best Minors for Cannabis Chemistry Students

    As a Cannabinoid Chemistry major, you can expand your skill set and enhance your résumé by declaring a minor. YCP offers several minor programs that complement a Cannabinoid Chemistry bachelor degree, including: 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What can I do with a Cannabinoid Chemistry degree?

    A Bachelor of Science in Cannabinoid Chemistry will prepare you to work in any role requiring expertise in the extraction and purification of plant products. With a Cannabinoid Chemistry degree, you can confidently pursue a career in healthcare, industrial laboratories, agriculture, government agencies, or academics. 

  • What degrees are there for cannabis?

    There are a limited number of colleges and universities in the U.S. that offer a bachelor’s degree or certificate program in cannabis science. York College’s Bachelor of Science in Cannabinoid Chemistry is the first and only of its kind in the mid-Atlantic region. The Cannabinoid Chemistry major adheres closely to the guidelines suggested by the American Chemical Society.

  • How much do cannabis chemists make?

    According to Indeed.com, the median salary for Cannabis Chemists is $72,306. As with any profession, the salary range for careers in the field of Cannabinoid Chemistry varies based on the specific role, level of experience, and location.

Program Requirements

Required Courses and Degree Requirements for Graduation
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2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog

Contact Us
Chemistry Department
Jessica M. Fautch, Ph.D.
Chair, Chemistry Department
Campbell Hall, Room 211A
Phone: 717.815.1328
jfautch@ycp.edu
Hours:
Contact for appt.