Even as far back as the 1800s, scientists realized that marijuana had many beneficial effects. Photo by Abir Sultan/Flash90. By Abigail Klein Leichman . ‘Working in a small country certainly has its positive aspects,’ Raphael Mechoulam says. ‘It couldn’t have happened in the United States.’
If some 7,000 Israelis can fill a prescription for marijuana to ease pain and enhance appetite, it’s only because half a century ago, Hebrew UniversityProf. Raphael Mechoulam isolated and synthesized THC, the main psychoactive compound in the cannabis plant.
Speaking at his office in the Department for Medicinal Chemistry and Natural Products at the Hadassah-Hebrew University medical school, the octogenarian pharmacologist explains that scientists as far back as the 1800s realized the beneficial effects of pot but legal problems stifled serious study.
“The laws in many countries were such that people in academics didn’t want to work in this field,” the grandfather and still-active researcher tells ISRAEL21c. “Chemists couldn’t get cannabis and biologists had nothing to work…
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