Not every written article qualifies as a research paper. A research paper presents an initial hypothesis, also known as a research question. It then seeks to prove that hypothesis through evidence and logical arguments. However, collecting evidence to test the research question does not need to happen in a laboratory.
Depending on the broader thematic area within which the research is located, research methodologies differ. However, what is common to all research papers is that they present the author’s own findings and analyses. The conclusion reflects the author’s own perspective on the research question.
We have stayed strictly within these characteristics of a research paper in conducting our own research on the topic. We discovered two main types of published articles on hemp:
- Those published in a variety of academic journals, both printed and online; and
- Those published in online journals specifically devoted to hemp, with their primary aim being advocating for decriminalizing and popularizing the use of this plant of multifaceted use.
Our Selection Methodology
We carefully determined our selection criteria to identify the top 10 research papers on hemp. The preliminary logical presupposition guiding our search is: articles published in academic journals of repute are more authentic as they go through a process of peer review.
Based on that, we have used the following criteria to identify the research papers we present here:
- The research paper is not older than 15 years (2004), so that the information presented is not outdated.
- The author/s present original findings and/or analyses with evidence to back their claims.
- Research papers using either secondary or primary research methodology, or a mixed-method approach have been included.
To explain the third criterion: papers selected may have used any of the three recognized research methodologies. The method may be secondary research, i.e. all evidence is collected from previously published research papers, to answer an original research question.
The paper may also be based on primary research, meaning that the author/s conducted their own experiments or interviews, etc. to generate data previously unavailable. Such original data supports the answer to the research question. The research may also have used a mix of both secondary and primary research.
We have not restricted the thematic area in any way. The research papers presented here relate to a variety of academic disciplines to suit varied reader needs and tastes. However, to compare research papers from the same discipline, we have checked how many times they have been cited by others.
Alternately, we have checked how many online libraries/archives feature them. That is also a globally recognized quality check. The only exception made relates to a Congressional Research paper, which has been included for its authenticity and topical value.
However, there is no ranking of the papers we present here. No ranking is possible when the research papers belong to different disciplines. The numbers signify nothing more than serialization. However, we have followed a chronological order, presenting the latest ones first and going back in time.
- VanDolah, Harrison J., Bauer, Brent, A. & Mauck, Karen, F. “Clinician’s Guide to Cannabidiol and Hemp Oils.” Mayo Clinic Proceedings, September 2019, vol.94, issue 9, pp.1840-1851.
This is a secondary research-based paper providing an overview of scientific articles that explain how to distinguish between marijuana and hemp. It also summarizes the findings from articles that elucidate the variations of CBD oil and hemp seed oil.
The paper goes on to present an outline of the current legal status of CBD and hemp seed oils in the US. The paper concludes with a guideline for clinicians on how to use the safest products that have evidence for their efficacy.
- Dingha, Beatrice, et al. “Industrial Hemp Knowledge and Interest among North Carolina Organica Farmers in the United States.” Sustainability, 2019, vol.11, issue 9.
This primary survey-based research reports that 85% of certified organic growers in North Carolina want to learn more about hemp cultivation so that they can grow hemp as an alternative source of income. The aim of the paper is to inform decision-makers about the key concerns of organic farmers in the state about this newly legalized crop.
- Sanders, Laura. “The CBD Boom is Way Ahead of Science.” Science News, 2019.
This is informative mixed-method research that details how much scientific knowledge is currently available about the various health benefits of CBD oil and products using it. The author uses both an extensive survey of published literature, and actual interviews.
She concludes that user knowledge is currently scientific research. In fact, such reports are encouraging research. The legalization of hemp in the US through the Farm Bill 2018 has also been a positive trigger.
- Hildebrand, R.L. “Hemp and Cannabidiol: What is a Medicine?” Missouri Medicine: The Journal of the Missouri State Medical Association, 2018, vol.115, issue 4, pp.306-309.
This is a secondary research article pointing out that CBD oil-based products have mushroomed in the US and companies are propagating a number of medical benefits of these products. However, very few such claims are backed by preclinical and clinical trials.
It is important for physicians to check for appropriate scientific research findings when prescribing CBD-based medication. It is equally important to be aware of the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) approvals, warns the author.
- Renée Johnson. “Hemp as an Agricultural Commodity.” Congressional Research Paper, 2018, June 22.
The aim of this paper was to inform the US legislative about all things concerned with hemp to help them decide on the decriminalization of hemp. As a result, this is an exceptionally informative paper on just about anything one needs to know about this versatile plant.
- Schluttenhofer Craig & Yuan, Ling. “Challenges towards Revitalizing Hemp: A Multifaceted Crop.” Trends in Plant Science, 2017, vol.22, issue 11, pp.917-929.
This is an expert piece on the kind of research findings already available on the various uses of hemp, including medicinal applications. It then goes on to pinpoint the kind of research necessary to fully domesticate the plant and explore the full range of its pharmaceutical uses.
- Gulluni, Nadia, et al. “Cannabis Essential Oil: A Preliminary Study for the Evaluation of Brain Effects.” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine Volume: Hindawi, 2018.
This is primary research that reports on the positive effects of CBD oil and hemp seed oil on the functions of the autonomic nervous system (ANS), the mood of the volunteers, and the heart rate. The authors suggest that essential oils from hemp have the potential of effective use for treating anxiety and depression.
- Andre, Christelle M., Hausman, Jean-Francois & Guerriero, Gea. “Cannabis Sativa: the Plant with the Thousand and One Molecule.” Frontiers in Plant Science, 2016, vol.7, issue 9.
This is a secondary research paper that describes in detail why the hemp plant is of interest to both the pharmaceutical and construction industries. It then goes on to explain in detail the molecules of hemp that are of interest to non-pharmaceutical industries for the various uses possible of the hemp stalks.
- Rodriguez-Leyva, Delfin & Pierce, Grant N. “The Cardiac and Hemostatic Effects of Dietary Hemp Seed.” Nutrition and Metabolism, vol.7, 2010.
This is an article based on secondary research. Through a systematic review of published reports of scientific experiments, the authors point out how the intake of hemp seeds as a dietary supplement has a positive impact on cardiovascular and hemostatic health.
- Van der Werf, Hayo M.G. & Turunen, Lea. “The Environmental Impacts of the Production of Hemp and Flax Textile Yarn.” Industrial Crops and Products, vol. 27, 2008, pp.1-10.
This is primary research based on experiments with different methods of producing hemp and flax textile. The authors point out that the methods are more or less comparable, though pesticide use is higher in the case of flax. They also indicate the bio retting of hemp fibers is more environment-friendly, as it reduces water use.