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Scientists Have Published Over 30,000 Papers About Cannabis Over the Past Decade

Updated: Dec 25, 2023

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For the third consecutive year, researchers worldwide published over 4,000 scientific papers specific to cannabis, its active constituents, and their effects, according to the results of a keyword search of the National Library of Medicine/ website.

“Despite claims by some that marijuana has yet to be subject to adequate scientific scrutiny, scientists’ interest in studying cannabis has increased exponentially in recent years, as has our understanding of the plant, its active constituents, their mechanisms of action, and their effects on both the user and upon society,” NORML’s Deputy Director Paul Armentano said. “It is time for politicians and others to stop assessing cannabis through the lens of ‘what we don’t know’ and instead start engaging in evidence-based discussions about marijuana and marijuana reform policies that are indicative of all that we do know.”

Over the past decade, there has been a dramatic increase in scientific inquiries about the cannabis plant — with researchers publishing more than 32,000 scientific papers about cannabis since the beginning of 2013. Much of this uptick is a result of researchers’ newfound focus on marijuana’s therapeutic activities as well investigations into the real-world effects of legalization laws.

In all, more than 70 percent of all peer-reviewed scientific papers about marijuana have been published in the past ten years, and over 90 percent of this literature has been published since 2002.

As of this writing, cites over 45,900 scientific papers on marijuana dating back to the year 1840. Available to the public online since 1996, PubMed is a free resource supporting the search and retrieval of biomedical and life sciences literature.


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