In this video, National Geographic travels to Israel to speak with the father of Cannabis research, Dr. Raphael Mechoulam. He was the first scientist to isolate THC in 1964, and he has continued to study the plant and its properties for more than 40 years. Shamans, physicians, and pharmacists have used marijuana as medicine for thousands of years, but science regards most of the reports of relief as “anecdotal”, based on personal accounts without hard facts.
Research In The U.S.
Marijuana’s status as a Schedule 1 drug means that according to the federal government, it has no accepted medical use. The U.S. Government strictly controls all American marijuana studies, and researchers who want to study cannabis must get it from just one facility at the University of Mississippi. Some say the small supply is of low quality. Some scientists claim that if their studies could show positive effects of marijuana, their studies are denied. It is a charge the government denies.
Israel is among the leading countries in cannabis research, where Dr. Mechoulam works at Hebrew University, fathering nearly 2 generations of peer-reviewed research. The THC is dissolved in an oil-based solution so that measured doses can be administered accurately. Researchers here have seen promising results in the treatment of brain trauma, diabetes, cancers, and osteoporosis.
Life seems to be very complicated in every place of the world. Most of us are anxious from time to time; most of us are depressed from time to time. We want to change that, and in many cases, such a change can be brought forward by cannabis, so that’s why people use it.” – Dr. Mechoulam
So if a stranger walked up to you and poured pebble-like seeds into your hand, then said: “Plant them, and your harvest can be made into rope, cloth, or paper. It could help the sick, or intoxicate.” What would you say? Would you keep the seeds, or chuck them away?
Do you think that other governments should recognize the research of Israel in the field of medical cannabis for the purpose of changing their laws? Do you think restrictions on research should be loosened, given the number of medicines already made from cannabis, and the patents the U.S. government holds on cannabis as a medicine? Let us know! Share your thoughts with us on social media or in the comments section below.