Cannabis is having a big moment and it doesn’t look like it’s slowing down anytime soon. Just in the past year, we saw cannabis become an essential service, voters in five states approved new legalization initiatives, and public support for legalization soared higher than ever before.
Virtually every day you see a new eye-opening stat about the cannabis industry — at the start of 2021 there were the equivalent of over 320,000 full time legal cannabis jobs in the US, and the cannabis foods market alone could grow to more than $6.5 billion in less than five years.
If you’re looking for your plan B in cannabis, or just want to learn more about an industry that’s going to have an ever-larger role in our world in the years to come, you might want to consider an online cannabis course.
Here are seven of the top online cannabis courses available today.
- Monthly expert webinars
- Unlimited access to all courses and certification programs
- Resume consultation and mock job interviews
- Highly accredited
- Curriculum has been compiled through collaboration with a number of industry leading science and medical experts
- Comprehensive packages available
- Full access to online training, webinars, education library
- Group training packages available
- Doctor developed, interactive format
Cannabis Training University
- Seven courses and nine certifications for the price of one.
- Ability to purchase a complete curriculum with access to 200 videos, 5,000 pages of eBooks
- Great value considering how much is offered
Coursera Medical Cannabis Specialization
- Sign up for free “Experiential assignments”
- Offered by the University of Colorado Boulder
- Practice quizzes, assignments, hands on project plus access to peer feedback
- Live classroom option provides the feeling of in-person classes
- A total of 12 courses — 2 live/online, 10 self-paced online
- Three free courses available
Who it’s best for: People who are new to the world of cannabis
Degrees/certificates offered: Introduction to CBD; Terpenes: The Healing Link between Essential Oils and Cannabis; Budtender Basics Certification; Marijuana 101 Certification; Grow Basics Certification; Horticulture Specialist Certification; Cannabis Business Certification; Colorado Safety and Regulations Certification; and, the Washington Safety and Regulations Certification.
Tuition Cost: $187 to unlock unlimited access to all courses
“Flexible class hours, Good teachers, Affordable, Helpful career services, Good career preparation.”
– User on Indeed.com
“A great introductory course for those with little to no knowledge of cannabis. I appreciate the explanations of each major strain.”
– Brandon, Grow Basics student
THC University offers nine separate online certification programs that the school says take between 3-6 months to complete. Students get unlimited access to all courses, live chat support Monday through Friday, access to monthly expert webinars, a mock job interview, resume consultation, and more.
The courses make use of micro focused lessons, videos, and games, as well as a drag-and-drop interface.
Some reviewers describe it as being a bit more entry level and basic as far as the cannabis material covered, and thus more suitable for people who are perhaps less familiar with the world of weed.
Upon completion, students receive a certificate and access to a sprawling cannabis jobs board.
Who it’s best for: People who are already in the industry and want to improve their expertise and training.
Degrees/certificates offered: Professional interpening; Cannabis for All; Cannabis Consultant Training; Extractions and Concentrates; Cannabis Education for Businesses.
Tuition Cost: Individual courses are $249 per student (“Cannabis for All” is $49 per student), all courses package costs $399, the “Expert Bundle” including all courses + tools is $479. Group rates also available: $186.75 per student for groups of 25-49, and $124.50 per student for groups of 50 or more. Accreditation: Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment, Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division, Department of Health of Puerto Rico, American Culinary Federation. School also makes use of an expansive overview group of science, medical, and legal experts
“I have seen greater confidence and product knoweledge from budtenders after receiving this training and I would recommend Trichome Institute to anyone seeking to enhance their understanding of cannabis.”
– Jordan Baker, Sr. Retail District Manager, Cookies
“Flexible class hours, Good teachers, Affordable, Positive environment, Good career preparation, Hands-on training”
– User on Indeed.com
Since 2014, the Trichome Institute has provided students with training covering all aspects of cannabis, from the basics of the plant itself to the nuts and bolts of the industry and the finer aspects of marijuana.
The Institute offers four courses — Professional Interpening, Cannabis Consultant Training, Extraction & Concentrates, and Cannabis for All. They also offer “Cannabis Education for Businesses,” a program designed for businesses who would like to train their entire staff.
The institute describes Professional Interpening as “the first ever multilevel cannabis sommelier certification program,” perfect for people looking to learn about terpenes and other often-overlooked aspects of what makes cannabis work.
The Cannabis Consultant Training course is an “on-demand course for consultants, entrepreneurs, and dispensary staff,” while
“Extractions and Concentrates” is a course covering the fundamentals of concentrates and extractions, and “Cannabis for All” a course designed for the canna-curious.
The Trichome Institute’s courses are for the most part intricate deep dives into the world of cannabis targeted towards people who work in the industry and would like to improve their knowledge. It’s perhaps not the best entry-level course (except for the Cannabis for All class), though, at the same time, it’s a better option for people who find other cannabis curriculums a bit too basic.
Who it’s best for: Anyone from industry professionals to customers looking to learn more about how to best use cannabis and hemp CBD
Degrees/certificates offered: Medical cannabis core curriculum, dosage protocols and methodologies, CBD essentials and applications.
Tuition: $249 yearly subscription includes all three courses ($179.40 each for groups of 20 or more)
“Flexible class hours, Good teachers, Affordable, Good career preparation”
– Liz H.
“This is an excellent online program that helped me as a patient finally discover how to best use cannabis for healing.”
– Shawn G.
Healer’s online cannabis curriculum provides three separate, extensive courses that are carefully curated to help industry professionals, healthcare providers, and cannabis users better understand how cannabis works, and how to best use it.
Subjects covered in the three courses (Medical Cannabis Core Curriculum, Dosage Protocols and Methodologies, CBD Essentials and Applications) range from the Endocannabinoid System to the Pharmacology of Cannabis, Treatment Strategies, What is CBD and How Does it Work, and “All About Terpenes.” The school also makes it easy for students to try all of their coursework, with a yearly flat fee that provides complete access to all courses.
The curriculum provides both an eye-level introduction to concepts in cannabis for people who may be less versed in the field, as well as more fine-grained educational material. All of the courses are based on peer-reviewed science, proven protocols, and the clinical experience gained by Dr. Dustin Sulak, the founder of Healer.com and Integr8 Health, and a member of the Board of Directors of the Society of Cannabis Clinicians.
The courses all have an engaging, interactive format that includes videos, short assignments, quizzes and guides, and allow students to track their process at their own pace.
Healer also provides their own certification upon completion of courses, as well as access to monthly live webinars.
Who it’s best for: People looking to get certification to help them land a particular cannabis job. Degrees/certificates offered: Grower certificate, cooking certificate, career certificate, medical certificate, trimming certificate, business certificate, laws certificate, budtender certificate, master certificate.
Tuition Cost: The “Master of Marijuana” certification includes all nine certifications for $247. Accreditation: A member of the National Cannabis Industry Association, CTU’s faculty and staff include a large number of accredited, well-known industry experts.
“The content is Phenomenal. They make it easy to use and easy to learn. You can learn as you go on your own time and make it easy to understand”
“I finished my CTU courses a month ago and was blown away by the amount of information included for the low price. Thank you for making my cannabis education affordable and informative.”
– Peter Feinstien Denver, CO
The Cannabis Training University offers “a complete curriculum for all levels of experience,” and its faculty includes marijuana attorneys, accountants, growers, chefs, dispensary owners, and much more.
Founded in 2009 in San Francisco, CTU began as a series of live seminars before it went online in 2011. The online university is headquartered in the marijuana Valhalla that is Denver, Colorado, providing its staff with access to some of the greatest minds and innovators in the cannabis world.
The university offers six courses — How To Grow Marijuana, Marijuana Cooking & Extractions, Cannabis Laws & Regulations, Marijuana Dispensary & Delivery Service Management, Becoming a Budtender: Essential Skills Training, Marijuana as Medicine, Cannabis Jobs, Cannabis Resumes, and Cannabis Business Plans. It also provides a “Master of Marijuana” certification that includes all nine of the scholl’s certifications for the price of one.
The school can also arrange customized cannabis staff training.
CTU boasts of having more graduates working in cannabis than any other marijuana university, and with their extensive array of courses, and the resources available to students, it’s easy to understand why.
Who it’s best for: People interested in learning specifically about medical cannabis
Degrees/certificates offered: Four courses are included in this specialization: History of Medical Cannabis; Cannabis, Chronic Pain and Related Disorders; Cannabis, Mental Health, and Brain Disorders; and, Healthy Aging and the Future of Cannabis Research.
Tuition Cost: Free
Accreditation: University of Colorado Boulder
“AMAZINGLY in-depth information coming from the very latest scientific research. Some of the studies covered in the class had just been released days before it was posted. Extremely impressive, and very valuable!”
– Danielle M.
“Well organized course with clear and engaging lectures. The materials are good references and the literature well assembled. As an educator myself, I appreciated the course flow, the content, and Dr. Hutchinson’s expertise and delivery. Thank you.”
– Luann D F
Offered through the University of Colorado Boulder (Go Buffs!), The Medical Cannabis: The Health Effects of THC and CBD Specialization course is a great way for patients, health care providers, and the curious to learn all about the “risks and benefits of different types of cannabis and CBD products” and how their use can be optimized.
The organizers of the course say that upon completion, students will be able to “evaluate and communicate verified scientific research on the health effects of cannabis and cannabinoids (including CBD and THC),” which is really at the very core of what it means to understand medical cannabis.
There are four courses offered in the specialization, including History of Medical Cannabis, Cannabis, Chronic Pain, and Related Disorders, Cannabis, Mental Health, and Brain Disorders, and Healthy Aging and the Future of Cannabis Research. Every specialization includes a hands-on project which must be completed by the end of the course, but this is arguably one aspect of the class that will make it seem less online and more hands-on.
Every attendee receives a shareable certificate, access to videos and readings, practice quizzes, and graded assignments and quizzes with feedback to help boost their knowledge of all things medical marijuana.
Who it’s best for: People looking to gain expertise in growing weed and budtending
Degrees/certificates offered: Live classrooms include business of cannabis semester and the horticulture semester. Self-paced online courses include Horticulture, Business of Cannabis, the Budtending Certification Program, CBD and Hemp: Science, Market, Trends, and Regulatory Landscape, the Business of Cannabis Cultivation, the Economics Behind Cannabis.
Tuition cost: Self-paced online courses range from $295 each to $995. Both live classroom courses cost $1,995.
Accreditation: No academic accreditation but faculty and staff bring a wealth of real-world experience and know-how to the table.
“The classes are well organized and full of interesting information covering history, politics, law, ingestion, cultivation and cooking methods. They also give great lectures on licensing and business strategies that could really come in handy should you decide to go into business.”
– Jay K, Yelp user
“I just finished my 14 week basic course. I thought I knew a lot about Cannabis. Come to find out I knew very little about this magical healing plant.”
– Edward H, Yelp user
Oaksterdam University has become something of a byword for “cannabis university,” and since it opened in 2007, more than 40,000 alumni have passed through its doors.
Billing itself as the first cannabis college, Oaksterdam University offers a wide range of courses available in a variety of formats, including live/online and self-paced online.
The live classroom courses provide the sensation of being in a live lecture, with interactive chat and streaming lectures, while the live webinar option (course titled “California Regulatory Agencies”) is much like the online presentations we’ve all gotten used to the past several months. Most attendees will probably opt for the self-paced courses, which they can complete at their leisure.
The university offers access to a number of resources including a job board, real-world projects and exercises, and growth demos run by master cultivators. The university is committed to the success of students and offers a range of tools including progress tracking, mastery exercises, and student support staff to help out.
Oaksterdam also offers three free courses: Horticulture Sample Class; Cannabis, Pain and the Opioid Crisis; and. Advocacy. If you’re looking to try out a sample Oaksterdam University class before making a bigger commitment, that may be your best option.
Oaksterdam is very well regarded in the cannabis industry and even if one of the course curricula may be a bit more entry level, it is clear that Oaksterdam has earned its status as an industry leader in cannabis deduction.
Who it’s best for: Healthcare professionals who want to learn about medical cannabis
Degrees/certificates offered: Medical Use of Cannabis v1.0; Maryland Provider Education: Medical Use of Cannabis; New York State Healthcare Provider Education: Medical Use of Cannabis; Washington Provider Education: Medical Use of Cannabis; Illinois Provider Education: Medical Use of Cannabis; Clinical Cannabinoid Medicine Curriculum; Core Knowledge of the Endocannabinoid System.
Tuition: Courses range from $39 to $289 each Accreditation: Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), Continuing Medical Education (CME), and Continuing Nursing Education (CNE) for some courses. Courses on state law and cannabis are approved by the New York State Department of Health, the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission, the Washington State Department of Health, and the New Mexico Medical Society (NMMS).
“It was all online, but what I learned was phenomenal! The hardest part of training was not being able to have any discussion, but I was able to complete in my own timeline.”
– Indeed user
“Flexible class hours, Good teachers, Affordable, Good career preparation”
– Indeed user
“Bridging the Gap for Medical Professionals” is the tagline of the Medical Cannabis Institute, an online cannabis university geared specifically towards healthcare professionals who “want to learn about medical cannabis and its potential clinical application.”
The school takes a science-based approach to cannabis meant to help professionals “deliver quality care and address patient questions.” The school’s content is provided by the Society of Cannabis Clinicians and the American Cannabis Nurses Association, who arguably know more about the subject than just about anyone else in the business.
The school offers a total of eight courses, two of which offer a certificate upon completion, while five others can provide physician continuing medical education accreditation.
The courses offered are affordably priced and they seem tailor-made for healthcare professionals who are curious about medical cannabis and would like to fill in the blanks from their medical school education. The courses include more specific subjects such as the Endocannabinoid System, in addition to a wider understanding of why and how medical cannabis can be an effective treatment.
Who should consider getting an online cannabis degree?
Budtenders are often the first face that many cannabis consumers meet when they first encounter the legal cannabis industry, and during the pandemic, they have become front line workers in an essential industry.
Along with this newfound status, Budtenders often serve as the consumer’s main source of information about cannabis, and can be asked to answer all types of questions about cannabis products, the cannabis plant, and what users should expect.
An online cannabis course can provide budtenders with a deep knowledge base about the science of cannabis, how it works on the human body, and what separates one product from another — beyond just the price, packaging, hype, and so on.
If you want to open a dispensary
The cannabis industry is booming and with new legal markets opening up in states across the US, entrepreneurs are clamoring to get in on the green rush.
For people looking to open dispensaries — or other cannabis businesses — an online cannabis degree can provide them a deeper understanding of cannabis and how it works, as well as insight into whether or not it’s a great career path for them. In addition, some cannabis courses can actually provide certification that is accredited by the cannabis authorities in specific states.
Pharmacists / medical professionals
Medical cannabis is becoming more and more entrenched in the mainstream in North America, but that doesn’t mean that all healthcare professionals are intimately familiar with cannabis and cannabis medicines, or that many aren’t still a bit reluctant to recommend it.
An online cannabis course can provide healthcare professionals with a deeper awareness about cannabis beyond the headlines and the stereotypes, backed up by peer-reviewed research about the efficacy and safety of cannabis.
These courses can also help medical professionals understand more about how to use cannabis therapy and treatments in their own practice.
Beyond all the potential career benefits of an online cannabis course, it can also just be a fun, enriching way for a cannabis fan to learn more about cannabis and what makes marijuana work. Basically, for people who love weed or just find it fascinating, a cannabis course is a great way for them to learn more, and also open up new paths of curiosity and exploration.