This weekend was the first conference held by the newly formed Institute of Cannabis Research in Colorado. The 3 day conference was attended by approximately 550 people from 10 countries around the world and 21 states across America. Cannabis experts gathered to discuss ideas as well as new science and discoveries in medical, industrial, legal, economic and social aspects of marijuana. Among the speakers who attended the conference was Dr. Raphael Mechoulam of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Mechoulam is known as the “Father of Cannabis Research.” The conference will include an annual Mechoulam Lecture with this first one being delivered by the man himself.
Mechoulam’s Achievements with Cannabis
Mechoulam has spent the last 60 years researching cannabis. He’s best known as the first modern scientist to research biology, organic chemistry and pharmacology of marijuana including recent research into cannabinoids. His research began in 1964 and he and his team first isolated THC as well as the first 2 endogenous cannabinoids in humans. He also discovered the endocannabinoid system in vertebrates. Through his career he has managed to write several books and over 350 articles that have been extremely important in progressing marijuana research. He is still working today to understand the synthesis of endogenous cannabinoids and how they work within the body.
A Call for CBD Legalization
He was the keynote speaker at the conference, stating that if the U.S. would just legalize CBD, it would reveal the compound’s incredible potential as medicine. “I believe that CBD has to be moved from the highest illegal situation next to heroin, which doesn’t make sense, because it’s not toxic, doesn’t cause any addiction, so it should be moved,” Mechoulam told The Denver Post and The Cannabist in a brief interview following his speech. “And once it’s moved, more people will be using it. And I hope it will become a major (medicinal) drug.”
The Outstanding Benefits of CBD
Mechoulam’s speech at the conference went into his research which included hundreds of articles and his discovery of the endocannabinoid system and the compounds that make up marijuana. He also talked about the medical findings his team made, which included THC’s ability to stop vomiting and reduce other side effects of chemotherapy and how CBD can treat or delay Type 1 diabetes and work as an anti-psychotic for people with schizophrenia. He made it clear that the research of how cannabis can be used medicinally is already there, waiting for someone to make use of it.
As it stands, marijuana and CBD oil are regarded as a Schedule 1 drugs, which is the highest risk drug category, alongside heroin and LSD. Until it has been rescheduled or descheduled, conducting research or working with marijuana in general can be a risky business. There are currently bills in place working to change the classification of marijuana so that patients can have access to the plant without issue, no matter the state in which they live. Mechoulam’s research has provided the foundation for revealing the immense benefits of marijuana, how it works in the body and how it can be used to help so many people all across the world.