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Tag: cannabis research

Interview with Dr. Raphael Mechoulam: The Future of the Cannabis Industry

Down to Earth travelled several countries in 2019. While abroad, we furthered our research on the current status of the cannabis industry and where it is headed. It was during these travels that we were lucky enough to interview and listen to one of the pioneers of the cannabis industry, Dr. Raphael Mechoulam.

Who is Dr. Raphael Mechoulam?

Dr. Raphael Mechoulam is 89 years old and currently teaches Medicinal Chemistry at the Hebrew University of Israel in Jerusalem. It was in the 1960’s that Dr. Mechoulam- an organic chemist, and his team discovered the successful use of CBD (Cannabidiol) to treat epileptic patients. Journals did not publish his study on the Chronic administration of cannabidiol to healthy volunteers and epileptic patients until 1980. For over three decades, Dr. Mechoulam’s research remained stagnant and practically untouched by the medical industry. More than three decades passed before the medical field accepted CBD as a treatment for epilepsy. It was not until 2018 that the Food & Drug Administration finally approved the first cannabis-derived drug, Epidiolex, for the treatment of seizures in only two forms of epilepsy.

Interview with Dr. Mechoulam

We had a chance to chat with Dr. Mechoulam and ask him his views on the future of the cannabis industry, the use of synthetic derivatives, where he sees the industry heading, and how he would like to see the industry evolve.

During our interview, Dr. Mechoulam expressed hope that worldwide research and advancements in the cannabis industry and synthetic derivatives continue. Still, he was also realistic and wary about how the medical industry uses cannabis. The medical industry will likely continue to extract what it can from natural cannabis and change it in a manner to be controlled by industries. Rather than using cannabis in its natural essence, which can be much more accessible and available as well as provide many of the same benefits as its synthetic derivatives, the medical industry will continue to develop synthetic derivatives that can be patented and owned for the opportunity of monetary gain.

Down To Earth visiting at Raphael Mechoulam Office – Jerusalem University

Dr. Mechoulam’s Vision and Hope for the Cannabis Industry

Dr. Mechoulam is sure that the revolutionary cannabis industry will continue to have a great positive impact in the medical world. For instance, advancements and research of cannabis will create more medicines for specific treatments and purposes. However, he is dismayed that corporations will likely take advantage and use the opportunities for their own priorities and commercial gains.

Dr. Mechoulam’s hope is that the world sees cannabis as more of a supplement. The pharmaceutical and medical industry stringently controls and regulates medicinal substances, but not supplements. Viewing cannabis as a supplement allows easier access to those who need it.   

Dr. Mechoulam continues his breakthrough research into the uses and applications of cannabis and its synthetic derivatives. He is truly the father of the cannabis industry, because he has been a catalyst for the explosion of CBD, its availability, and its continued acceptance throughout the world. We hope that his hard work and passion continues to inspire new discoveries and maybe one day even the Nobel Prize for his crucial research and contributions to modern medicine.

Cannabis Research Uncovers New Cannabinoids

Scientists discovered the human endocannabinoid system (ECS) fewer than 30 years ago. This innovation has led scientists to unearth more than 100 compounds, known as cannabinoids, that affect the ECS. Read on to learn more about cannabinoids, the endocannabinoid system, and the amazing cannabis research of today. 

What are Cannabinoids and the ECS?

Every person has an endocannabinoid system in their bodies. This system helps us regulate functions like mood, appetite, sleep, and memory. It was first discovered in the 1990s when scientists were researching Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is the main psychoactive compound in cannabis. Over time, scientists discovered that cannabis actually contains dozens of different compounds that they called cannabinoids. Each of these compounds interacts with cannabinoid receptors throughout our bodies and affect us in different ways. Our body produces some cannabinoids on its own, which are necessary to keep us healthy.

The compounds found in marijuana mimic the cannabinoids that our bodies create. Increasingly, the medical community is recognizing the benefits of cannabinoids. The two most well-known cannabinoids are THC and CBD. THC causes that high that cannabis is famous for, and it also may help to reduce pain and increase appetite. THC works by binding to our body’s CB1 receptors, which are found mostly in our central nervous system, and CB2 receptors, which are usually found in the peripheral nervous system.

New Cannabinoids Discovered

Because it was discovered so recently, there is still a lot to learn about our ECS and how it affects the functions of our bodies. Cannabis research is becoming increasingly popular, though, as more and more people are claiming that it brings them relief from various ailments. Because of the potential health benefits and the recent push to legalise marijuana for recreational and medical uses worldwide, we can expect that new cannabinoids will be discovered. In fact, scientists recently announced that two new cannabinoids, THCP and CBDP have been found. 

While we don’t yet know how these new cannabinoids affect humans, cutting-edge techniques make it easier to isolate and study individual cannabinoids. Right now, most strains of cannabis are bred to be heavy in THC and CBD. In the future, we may see strains that have other dominant cannabinoids. 

These new cannabinoids are likely similar in function and structure to THC and CBD. Does this mean they have similar effects? Animal studies suggest that THCP may be many times more potent than THC. However, we can’t yet be sure what effects they have on humans.

The discovery of these new cannabinoids will likely fuel even more cannabis research. Most of the 150 known cannabinoids have not been isolated or studied on their own, but learning about each of these distinct compounds can lead to further advancements in cannabis medicine. This is an exciting time for both medicine and science as we learn more about the effects of this amazing plant.   

Down To Earth’s full-spectrum oils are a great place to start if you’re interested in trying CBD. Full-spectrum products contain traces of THC which can work hand-in-hand with CBD to make it more effective. Contact us for more information on the products we offer. 

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