Research papers – how to guide

Canimed Features

How to research papers & present to your doctor as evidence

In order for your doctor to take you seriously about using medical cannabis, it is always a good idea to provide peer reviewed research paper on the subject. Prof Mike Barnes, suggests it is a good idea to present at least 6 peer reviewed journal to your doctor. But where do you start?

First thing is to be searching in the right place. Google is good, however, this will through up everything, and you could end up on a website that has been written in someone’s bedroom, or a recreational cannabis sight, which has a lot of myths on, not hard data to back it up. These people have a lot of very good knowledge however, your GP or specialist is not going to take this seriously.

Start by trying a couple of these links below to trusted scientific search engines and sites that only include peer review work:

Google Scholar


Research Gate


Now, not all journals are ranked the same and have what is known as an impact factor. This number is based on depth and quality of research, popularity, age, type of research, quantity and links to organisations. A good example of a high-ranking journal is Nature and is every scientist’s dream to get a paper published in it. The higher the number, the more stringent the peer reviewing process is and the harder it is to publish in.  Nature has an impact factor of 41.5, Cancer Journal for clinicians as an impact factor of 187, both of which are in the top 10.

Here is a link to the top 100 impact factor.

If you can find the research in these journals it is seem highly creditable and respected. However, this is not always possible, so here are a couple other things to look for. The age is one of the first, the more recent the better.  How many times the research has been citied by other authors, high numbers of citations tell you that other scientists have quoted it in their work.

Also take a look in what country the research was conducted in and the institute it was conducted by. Check that the research institute has a good reputation if there are not many citations.


Once you have the paper that relates to the disease of interest and cannabis, see what the abstract says. This will give you a feel for if the paper is talking positivity or negatively about the subject. The last thing you want to do is take a paper in that concludes that cannabis-based medicine aggravates the disease. Go straight to the summary/conclusion if the paper is freely available. If there is a charge for the paper, simply take a screen shoot of the screen including the abstract and present this to your doctor.

We hope this will help with your research and give you confidence to talk with your doctor or specialist.






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