Five Emerging Trends in Cannabis and CBD Research for 2023

Lately, there has been a surge in investigations into cannabis due to the increasing number of jurisdictions legalising marijuana for both therapeutic and leisure purposes. This legal availability has also resulted in a rise in academic interest as scientists passionately explore the potential applications and effects of cannabis.

This article delves into the most current and hopeful trends in cannabis research, from advancements in growing techniques to developing innovative methods for administering cannabis-derived drugs.

Five emerging trends
  1. Advanced farming and processing methods 

As the cannabis sector sees a rise in profits, more enterprises are sinking capital into cutting-edge cultivation strategies and managed farming methods. This comprises devising and leveraging progressive growth systems like hydroponics and aeroponics and implementing genetic manipulation to breed new varieties with specific sought-after traits.

There’s a burgeoning scholarly interest in sustainability and ethical issues, partly stoked by consumer awareness and media attention. Techniques for precise watering, the creation of organic pest control products, energy conservation, and circular cannabis extraction processes are prominent research areas aiming to decrease the ecological toll of cannabis production.

With growing discourse among interested parties about the necessity for cannabis norms, the emphasis on standardisation and quality assurance in cannabis farming is expanding. This involves adopting Best Farming Practices, Best Manufacturing Practices, routine inspections, and employee education to guarantee uniform and specific goods.

Acquiring top-notch products for medical studies requires a careful selection of reliable vendors. With numerous products flooding the market, it is essential to prioritise using quality pharmaceutical goods for academic purposes and the benefit of doctors and patients.

  1. Growing emphasis on cannabidiol’s medicinal promise

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-intoxicating substance present in the cannabis plant. Contrary to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabis’s main mind-altering component, CBD does not induce a “high” and has received particular focus in cannabis studies. Animal and human research imply CBD might aid in managing depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, Alzheimer’s disease, and pain.

CBD has likewise drawn interest as a potential cure for substance dependency. A 2022 published study reported 13 underway clinical trials purposed to evaluate CBD’s effectiveness in treating drug addiction. Disorders examined in those trials encompassed cannabis use disorder (five shots), opioid use disorder (four tests), alcohol use disorder (three attempts), and cocaine use disorder (one trial).

Given CBD’s likely beneficial impacts on human health, more investigations must be conducted to confirm its safety and effectiveness. This encompasses creating quality control standards for testing, currently a research void. Moreover, the creation of high CBD, low THC cannabis varieties via genetic cultivation shows promise to speed up progress in cannabis research.


  1. Emergence of minor cannabinoids

Beyond the primary phytocannabinoids, THC and CBD, cannabis generates smaller quantities of over 120 other cannabinoids. These phytocannabinoids found in lesser amounts in the cannabis plant are called minor (or scarce) cannabinoids and include cannabinol (a derivative of THC) and cannabigerol (the forerunner of CBD).

Minor cannabinoids haven’t been as thoroughly studied as CBD or THC. However, recent studies have demonstrated potential medicinal benefits for neuropathic pain, neurodegenerative diseases, epilepsy, cancer, and skin conditions.

Preliminary research outcomes appear encouraging, but most current understanding of minor cannabinoids’ medicinal advantages stems from limited studies rather than extensive clinical trials. Although there is a high demand for cannabis products, it is essential to note that their effectiveness has yet to be fully proven in clinical trials. It is crucial to thoroughly understand their mechanism of action and how minor cannabinoids may interact with other medications before attributing any therapeutic properties to them.

In line with this trend, the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) issued a Notice of Special Interest intending to foster mechanistic research of minor cannabinoids and cannabis terpenes’ therapeutic advantages. As scientists deepen their grasp of the cannabis plant and its substances, we will probably better understand minor cannabinoids’ health benefits and their potential use in the pharmaceutical sector.

  1. Innovative and enhanced systems for administering cannabis-derived drugs

A crucial hurdle in crafting cannabis-derived medications is devising efficient methods to convey active components into the body. Conventional consumption means, like smoking, can jeopardise individuals’ health and might not offer uniform dosing. Additionally, low water solubility and inadequate bioavailability obstruct the successful clinical creation of oral cannabinoid formulations.

Academics and pharmaceutical enterprises are probing novel delivery techniques to make cannabis items safer and more potent. For instance, sublingual formulations containing cannabinoids are intended for spraying beneath the tongue and absorbing through oral mucous membranes, facilitating swift and effective uptake into the bloodstream.

Utilising nanotechnology to deliver cannabis-derived medications is another potential research area. Demonstrated polymeric nanocarriers’ potential for ocular CBD drug delivery, transdermal patches, which permit the gradual release of active compounds via the skin, are also increasingly used as cannabinoid delivery methods. This approach sidesteps first-pass metabolism and results in steady cannabinoid blood levels.

Refining techniques for delivering cannabis-derived medicines is a vibrant research field with immense potential for future therapies.

  1. Legal shifts broaden cannabis research 

On December 2, 2022, US President Joe Biden enacted The Medical Marijuana and Cannabidiol Research Expansion Act, a federal policy breakthrough that removed numerous obstacles to cannabis research. Before this legislation, conducting marijuana research in the US was daunting as scientists required clearance from multiple bodies, sometimes taking years.

Even with marijuana’s sustained classification as a Schedule I substance, the new law facilitates trials and the formulation of new FDA-approved drugs employing marijuana or CBD. This represents a substantial stride towards understanding cannabis’s medicinal qualities and potential therapeutic applications.

Investigators, clinicians, and regulatory officials must collaborate to ensure that phytocannabinoid products meet essential therapeutic and safety standards. This can be accomplished by:

Implementing rigorously designed clinical trials

Establishing protocols for cannabis production, labelling, and testing

Creating mechanisms to monitor and report adverse occurrences

Cooperating in the production of education and information resources

By pursuing these steps, regulators and practitioners ensure that patients can access secure and efficient phytocannabinoid products while safeguarding public health.


2023 is already filled with news about CBD as the market continues to rise.

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