Marijuana research explodes thanks to legalization

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Thousands of new marijuana studies are now being released

Thanks to a push by states to legalize marijuana, more headway in the area of research has happened in the past seven years than what took place in the past several decades. To date, the majority of the studies have only confirmed what many already knew – there seems to be an endless supply of benefits to cannabis and the plant’s natural components.

Using online research databases such as Web of Science and PubMed, a team out of Israel reviewed how many marijuana studies had been conducted from 2000 to 2017. What it found was that there have literally been thousands of studies conducted annually over the seven-year period. Additionally, the research showed that marijuana studies are accelerating at a rate much greater than scientific research as a whole.

For example, PubMed showed that scientific publications as a set increased two and a half times during the covered period. The Marijuana subset, however, increased by four and a half, jumping from 620 to 2,388. Medical research studies increased by nine times, climbing from only 82 in 2000 to 742 in 2017.

The researchers concluded, “The results of the present study demonstrate an ongoing increase in the number of publications related to cannabis in general and to medical cannabis in particular. The spike in medical publications on medical cannabis that began in 2013 is impressive and encouraging.”

66% of all of the studies were conducted in the US, despite the current federal ban on the plant. Canada was next with 7.5%.

The increase coincides with an increase of legalization at the state level in the US. According to the researchers, “The absence of an increase in publications on cannabis until recent years would appear to be related to the United Nations Single Convention that prohibited the use of cannabis for recreational purposes and had broad support in most of the developed countries.”

They added, “It is noteworthy that the significant growth in the number of publications on medical cannabis since 2013 parallels legislation permitting the use of recreational cannabis in the states of Washington and Colorado in 2012 and in Alaska and Oregon in 2014, and subsequently in many other countries around the world.”

The push for more research is paying off. While we cannot, unfortunately, turn back the clock, marijuana is now being shown as an effective treatment for a number of ailments, including epilepsy, Alzheimer’s and even cancer. If only progress hadn’t been stifled for so long, there’s no telling how many people could have benefitted from Mother Nature’s wonder medicine.