Cannabis sativa research trends, challenges, and new-age perspectives

In this 2021 journal article published in iScience, Hussain et al. of TU Dortmund University review more than two centuries of cannabis research and discuss its transition from herbal medicine to illegal drug, and back again. After a brief introduction, the authors lay out their review first by examining research trends dating back to 1783 and then discussing the modern understanding of Cannabis sativa L. in the scope of physiology and legal status. The authors then look at the genomic and transcriptomic analyses of the Cannabis plant and where that is pushing research and laboratory analysis. They also discuss therapeutic potentials revealed during COVID-19, as well as how some cannabis research has led to issues in the realm of patenting. They conclude that as research and testing trends continue to advance (e.g., as with AI-based genetic and molecular analysis), it will be “possible to obtain enhanced expression rates, which will lead to enhanced cannabinoid yields in an economically feasible manner,” and pharmacological research advances will likely further highlight the “tremendous potential in drug discovery.”

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