Legalization of Cannabis in countries, like Canada, and global demand for non-hallucinating
chemical components, such as Cannabidiols (CBD), have stimulated the increased interest from academics,
industry, and regulatory agencies. Subsequent research publications in scientific journals in
this field are expected to grow rapidly. However, there have been few research reviews that have quantified
patterns in research publications concerning cannabis, nor a literature-based perspective on the
historical development, current status, and future direction of cannabis research. Here, a bibliometric
analysis is performed to address this gap in the scientific literature. A total of 1167 relevant articles
(Supplementary file 1) were screened and analyzed using three software tools: HistCite, CiteSpace,
and Bibliometric Online Analysis Platform. The performances of relevant countries, institutions, authors,
and journals were presented, and the evolutionary trends of different categories were revealed.
The historical development of cannabis and CBD research can be clearly divided into three stages,
which focus on the chemistry, pharmacology, and molecular biology aspects of Cannabis sativa in
general and then a focus on CBD related publications. A timeline was drawn to highlight the major
trends in the literature, including scientific discoveries. In the end, several suggestions for future research
directions in this field are provided.