Marijuana Research Has Exploded In Recent Years Despite Barriers Caused By Prohibition, New Study Finds

Marijuana Research Has Exploded In Recent Years Despite Barriers Caused By Prohibition, New Study Finds
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The volume of studies on marijuana has “grown steeply” over the past couple decades as more U.S. states and countries around the world have moved to end prohibition, a new research analysis concludes. That’s in spite of the fact that U.S. federal policy has severely encumbered scientists from obtaining and studying the plant due to its ongoing status as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). The new study, published last week in the Journal of Cannabis Research, provides an in-depth breakdown of the scientific literature of marijuana that has expanded over time despite those barriers. The researchers were able to identify nearly 30,000 cannabis-related studies that have been published in 5,474 journals from 1829 to 2021. “Since the 1960s, an upward trend with respect to the volume of publication can be observed, with 2020 marking the year with the most publications,” the authors said. The journals that have most frequently hosted marijuana research studies are the journals of Drug And Alcohol Dependence (706 papers), Addictive Behaviors (419) and the British Journal of Pharmacology (356). In terms of the subject matter of the studies, the scientists also pinned down the most common related phrases that were associated with research objectives. Perhaps unsurprisingly given the strong interest in the therapeutic potential of marijuana, “medicine” was the most common term. The researchers said that the recent spike in cannabis studies can be “attributed to a large amount of funding dedicated to researching this topic.” To be sure, that funding—both privately and government-funded—has increased tremendously. Just this month, for example, the federal government announced funding opportunities for researchers to study the benefits and risks of marijuana for cancer patients. Past bibliometric studies on cannabis research have been limited to specific cannabinoids and areas of scientific interest, the authors said. This…

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