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Cannabis Researchers Published 4,300 Scientific Papers in 2022

NORML announced recently that, according to a PubMed.govIn 2022, more than 4,300 research papers on cannabis were found using keyword searches. An estimated 4,200 papers were published in 2021. Over the 12 years, over 30,000 research papers about cannabis have been published. There are currently approximately 42,500 scientific papers on cannabis.

While it’s common to hear opponents of cannabis state that more research is necessary before legalization can occur, NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano released a statement to counter that argument. “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,” 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.”

NORML compiled a number of scientific studies involving cannabis from 2000-2021. They explored the findings from numerous studies that examined a variety medical conditions including chronic pain and Huntington Disease. Multiple Sclerosis is another example. The review analyzes the evolution of researcher’s scope of cannabis. “As clinical research into the therapeutic value of cannabinoids has proliferated so too has investigators’ understanding of cannabis’ remarkable capacity to combat disease,” NORML wrote. “Whereas researchers in the 1970s, ’80s, and ’90s primarily assessed marijuana’s ability to temporarily alleviate various disease symptoms—such as the nausea associated with cancer chemotherapy—scientists today are exploring the potential role of cannabinoids to modulate disease.”

In recent months, many interesting studies have been released by the scientific community. The latest study has been published in Journal of Sleep ResearchThe researchers found that marijuana was an effective treatment to insomnia. After two weeks, 60% of participants were no longer diagnosed as having clinical insomnia. Another study found evidence that cannabis has “uniquely beneficial effects” on those with bipolar disorder, while one found a link between cannabis consumption and physical activity in HIV+ patients. And there are many more studies underway, such as King’s College London which recently launched a massive 6,000-person study in September, with a goal of publishing early results in 2023 or 2024.

Cannabis has become more popular than ever before. President Joe Biden’s recent monumental signing of the Medical Marijuana and Cannabidiol Research Expansion Act which “establishes a new registration process for conducting research on marijuana and for manufacturing marijuana products for research purposes and drug development.” Biden also signed an infrastructure bill in 2021, which contained provisions for cannabis. It states that in two years, the Attorney General and Secretary of Health and Human Services must submit a report that addresses how researchers can receive increased samples of various strains, establishing a “national clearinghouse” that will help researchers better distribute cannabis products for research, and an increased amount of samples for researchers who don’t live in states with medical or adult-use cannabis legalization. 

Side by side, research on the potential benefits of other psychedelic drugs is also increasing. A study was published in the journal. PsychopharmacologyEvidence has been found that psilocybin is effective in treating autism spectrum disorders. University College of London also released results from a study which examined brain imaging of individuals who participated in psychedelic getaways. A second study by the University of Melbourne examined the benefits of ayahuasca and the potential risks.