Background: Cannabis refers to a flowering plant in the family Cannabaceae, which has been used medically, recreationally, and industrially. The history of cannabis has been both long and complex, however, the last few decades have seen a large increase in the volume of literature on this topic. The objective of the present bibliometric analysis is to capture the characteristics of peer-reviewed publications on the topic of cannabis and cannabinoid research.
Methods: Searches were run on April 02, 2021, and results were exported on the same day to prevent discrepancies between daily database updates. Only “article” and “review” publication types were included; no further search limits were applied. The following bibliometric data were collected: number of publications (in total and per year), authors and journals; open access status; journals publishing the highest volume of literature and their impact factors; language, countries, institutional affiliations, and funding sponsors of publications; most productive authors; and most highly-cited publications. Trends associated with this subset of publications were identified and presented. Bibliometric networks were constructed and visualized using the software tool VOSviewer.
Results: A total of 29 802 publications (10 214 open access), published by 65 109 authors were published in 5474 journals from 1829 to 2021. The greatest number of publications were published over the last 20 years. The journal that published the largest number of publications was Drug and Alcohol Dependence (n=705). The most productive countries included the United States (n= 12 420), the United Kingdom (n=2236), and Canada (n=2062); many of the most common intuitional affiliations and funding sponsors also originated from these three countries.
Conclusions: The number of publications collectively published on the topic of cannabis follows an upward trend. Over the past 20 years, the volume of cannabis research has grown steeply, which can be largely attributed to the existence of a large amount of funding dedicated to research this topic. Future research should continue to investigate changes in the publication characteristics of emerging cannabis research, especially as it is expected that the body of publications on this topic is expected to rapidly grow.