New research has found that marijuana analysis has “grown steeply” over the last couple of decades.

As legislation continues in many states and countries around the world, research on the plant has exploded.

In a new study that was published last week in the Journal of Cannabis Research, an in-depth breakdown of the scientific literature of marijuana was offered that shows how research has expanded over time despite federal barriers.

The researchers were able to identify nearly 30,000 cannabis-related studies that have been published in 5,474 journals from the years 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 wrote.

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).

The researchers also found the most common related phrases that were associated with research objectives with “medicine” being 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.

“Since the 1980s, an increase in the volume of open access publications was observed, with the 2010s marking the decade with the highest percentage of open access versus subscription publications (n = 6745, 48.92 percent). Between the 1960s and 2010s, a steady increase in the number of publications published in the areas of ‘immunology and microbiology,’ ‘neuroscience,’ ‘nursing,’ ‘psychology,’ and ‘social sciences’ was observed. The subject area that consistently contributed to the highest proportion of cannabis publications was ‘medicine,’ with the 2010s marking the decade with the highest percentage of all cannabis publications (n = 8460, 61.36 percent),” the research adds.

Between 2000 and 2018, the researchers said, more than $1.5 billion in funding has been dedicated to cannabis research.


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