Raphael Mechoulam, RIP

Raphael Mechoulam, the Israeli chemist who first isolated THC, died in his home. He was 92 years old. The American Friends of the Hebrew University confirmed his death. Mechoulam had been a professor at the university since 1966. Who Was Raphael Mechoulam? Raphael Mechoulam was an Israeli organic chemist and professor of Medicinal Chemistry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Cannabis research and Mechoulam are essentially synonyms. This, of course, is likely due to his discovery and isolation of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol […]

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The Cannadelics Sunday Edition: Magic Mushroom Spores & DIY Mushroom Grow Kits

Welcome to The Cannadelics Sunday Edition, our weekly newsletter, sent to you every Sunday morning at 11am est with the main articles of the week. This week we look into DIY mushroom grow kits, and DIY mushroom spores, as well as other drugs your can grow on your own.

If you happen to like mushrooms, we have a great newsletter for you!

But first thing first, Prof. Raphael Mechoulam, the ‘godfather’ of cannabis research passed away this weekend. We would like to honor and celebrate his life and groundbreaking work on Cannabis and cannabis research. Rest in peace dear payoneer.

In our deals section, you could find rare opportunities on Amanita gummies, Power 9 gummies and Magic Mushroom spores.

As always, the best deals on cannabis and psychedelic products are saved to our subscribers, as well as free premium content, so subscribe below:

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The Cannadelics Sunday Edition: RIP Mechoulam, Magic Mushroom Spores, DIY Mushroom Grow Kits & THCM (3/12/2023)


Welcome to the Cannadelics Sunday edition, going out every Sunday with the top stories from the cannabis and psychedelics industries. This week we have an interesting selection of stories, as well as an exciting deal on magic mushroom spores. Scroll down to learn more.

Before moving forward, let us take a moment to honor and celebrate the life and groundbreaking work of Professor Raphael Mechoulam, who recently passed away on Friday. Widely regarded as the “godfather” of cannabis research, Professor Mechoulam made significant contributions to the field and helped pave the way for a better understanding of the potential benefits of cannabis.

We extend our heartfelt condolences to his loved ones and colleagues. May he rest in peace and be forever remembered as a beloved pioneer in the field of cannabis research.


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DIY Mushroom Grow Kits – Grow Your Own Shrooms:

This week we are focusing on growing mushrooms at home! Not only DIY mushroom grow kits is a great way to save money and stress by having the product available to you at moment’s notice, but it’s a really fun hobby for someone who isn’t looking for anything too complicated or labor-intensive. Learn more below!

Stock Up on Magic Mushroom Spores

DIY mushroom spores
DIY Mushroom kits:
Stock Up on Magic Mushroom Spores

While gardening often requires a lot of time, labor, space, and supplies, the opposite is true for shrooms. With a few easy-to-find items, good quality mushroom spores, and some clean substrate, you can set up the whole thing in a dresser drawer then literally just sit back and watch the magic happen. If you want to stock up on spore syringes, you’re in the right place!

Continue reading »

DIY Mushroom Grow Kits:

Psychedelics Are Coming: Learn to Grow Mushrooms On Your Own

One of the great things about psilocybin is, much like cannabis, the mushrooms it comes from, can be grown in home. So, here are some basic instructions to highlight the general process. Prospective growers should do further research, and remember, these instructions are for growing all mushrooms.

Continue reading »

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Grow Your Own Shrooms – Best DIY Mushroom Grow Kits on the Market

Growing mushrooms does not have to be some intimidating and complicated endeavor. It should be fun and relatively hands off. In my opinion, the best cultivation products combine the elements of affordability, convenience, and ease of use. If a product is well-priced, user-friendly, and makes your life easier in some way, what could really be better? With that in mind, I made the following list of what I think are some of the best magic mushroom grow kits on the consumer market.

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Grow It Yourself: Different Drugs You Can Grow at Home

grow drugs at home - DIY mushroom grow kits
Grow It Yourself: Different Drugs You Can Grow at Home

Everyone knows that you can grow weed at home, regardless of how much of a hassle it may be. But did you know you can also grow many other “drugs” at home? Psilocybin, mescaline, DMT, salvia, ibogaine, and many other hallucinogens are plant-based, and some can easily be grown in a personal garden space. 

Continue reading »


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DIY mushroom spores
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Additional Reading:

Important news and stories from the week.

RIP Prof. Raphael Mechoulam, the ‘Father of Cannabis Research’

Professor Raphael Mechoulam
Professor Raphael Mechoulam. Image credit: Wikipedia

Professor Raphael Mechoulam, an award-winning Israeli chemist, instructor of Medicinal Chemistry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and esteemed medical cannabis researcher, has passed away on Thursday, March 9th, 2023, at 92 years of age. Professor Mechoulam was a respected intellectual, a visionary, and a true leader in his field. His contributions to science and medicine will continue to have a lasting impact on the cannabis industry and society as a whole. RIP dear Mechoulam, you will forever be in our hearts.

Continue reading »

THCM: And What It Means for Pregnant Women

THCM from cannabis smoke, and pregnant women
THCM from cannabis smoke, and pregnant women

First and foremost, it’s not good to smoke anything while pregnant – point, blank, period. However, it can be safer than alternative medications when you’re at a loss for treatment options, so many women choose to self-medicate. Recently pregnant women have been checked for the compound THCM, to see if they’ve smoked weed while pregnant. What exactly is THCM? And what are the implications of the test? 

Continue reading »

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Are Pain Medications Preventing You from Healing?

Are Pain Medications Preventing You from Healing?

We all know that pharmaceutical pain medications are much stronger than most natural alternatives. Think cannabis vs oxycontin, it’s no comparison. So why are a growing number of people turning away from opioids in favor of milder treatment options? Aside from obvious safety issues with the former, the answer to this question lies in part in how we, as a society, view pain in the first place.

Continue reading »

Join Us This Summer to Learn About Leary’s Secret Basement Tapes

To kick off the summer, Zach Leary, son of renowned psychedelic researcher Timothy Leary, is hosting a tight knit event called the Basement Tapes, during which he will share with attendees numerous different never-before-seen videos, documents, and articles that will give the public a much better understanding of psychedelic therapy. Leary is working in partnership with the Psychedelic Institute, a non-profit organization dedicated to spreading knowledge and improving access to “medically-safe and evidence-based” psychedelic therapies.

Continue reading »


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Keep Yourself Informed

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News from the Week:

*** Meth Is More Legal Than Cannabis In US & World

*** What’s The Deal with Shoddy Vape Carts Lately?

*** Are Cigarette Butts Recyclable?

*** Did Jimi Hendrix take Drugs?

*** Oils, Tinctures, Tea? How to Make An Amanita Extract

*** Amanita Pantherina: Another Amanita Mushroom Gets You High

DIY Mushroom Grow Kits and Spores Conclusion

We hope you enjoyed this week’s review. We work hard to find and verify the best products, so we may include affiliate links to support the maintenance and development of this site. We hope you enjoyed our Do It Yourself articles.

The Cannadelics team 

*** Disclaimer: As the legality of cannabinoids and psychedelics changes between state to state, you should always check with your local authorities first.

The post The Cannadelics Sunday Edition: Magic Mushroom Spores & DIY Mushroom Grow Kits appeared first on Cannadelics.

‘Father of Cannabis Science’ Raphael Mechoulam Dead at 92

Raphael Mechoulam, the first person to synthesize THC, earning him the moniker the “Father of Cannabis Science,” has died, Analytical Cannabis reports. He was 92 years old, and his legacy will most certainly live on for centuries to come. The esteemed chemist is also called the father of cannabis research. Some of his additional game-changing contributions to drug science include isolating and synthesizing other cannabinoids, such as cannabidiol (CBD), cannabigerol (CBG), and cannabichromene (CBC). 

While THC, CBD, and CBG are basically household names today, that would not be the case if it weren’t for Dr. Mechoulam, so smoke one out for him in remembrance. A medicinal chemistry professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel, his work laid the groundwork and got the ball (or blunt) rolling to prompt future breakthroughs, such as illumination into the human body’s internal cannabinoid receptors in the 1980s and ’90s, as detailed in the 1993 academic paper titled Molecular characterization of a peripheral receptor for cannabinoids

Make sure to pay your respects today, as Dr. Mechoulam’s friends and fellow scientists are, as you pass the peace pipe around with your buddies. “This is a very sad day for me, for the science community and for the cannabis community. Professor Raphael Mechoulam or as we called him Raphi, was one of the greatest scientist[s] I ever met and was my teacher and mentor in many aspects. I truly believe he [deserved] a Nobel prize!” wrote David “Dedi” Meiri, an associate professor at Technion, the Israel Institute of Technology, and one Mechoulam’s colleagues, in a touching online statement. “Thank you Raphi for all the great things you did and discover[ed] in your life and thanks for all the help and support you gave me. Rest in peace my dear friend,” he continues. 

Born in Sofia, Bulgaria, in 1930, Mechoulam and his family relocated to Israel, where he began studying chemistry. His inspiration to start his successful hunt for THC began after wise observance of other drugs’ mechanisms. In an interview with CNN in 2014, Mechoulam pointed out that: “Morphine had been isolated from opium in the nineteenth century, early nineteenth century, cocaine had been isolated from coca leaves [in the] mid-nineteenth century. And here we were, mid-twentieth century, and yet the chemistry of cannabis was not known. So it looked like [an] interesting project.” According to the National Library of Medicine, in 1964, he succeeded. And the story behind how Mechoulam obtained the cannabis he studied may surprise you. 

While working as a chemist in the early 1960s at the Weizmann Institute, Mechoulam got some weed from the Israeli police with his goal already in place: to discover and isolate what makes pot psychoactive. Once THC and other cannabinoids, such as the aforementioned CBD and CBG, were identified, in 1992, Mechoulam and his team discovered the chemical arachidonoyl ethanolamine, which you know as anandamide (derived from the Sanskrit word ananda, which means bliss). Anandamide is something our body’s endocannabinoid system produces on its own (as if we are built to use cannabis) and activates the CB1 receptor. 

Deeply passionate and hardworking, Mechoulam continued his research right up to his death. At the age of 88, at the cannabis conference CannMed in California in 2019, he announced another breakthrough, synthetically stable cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), the main phytocannabinoid in fiber and seed-oil hemp, which contains anti-inflammatory, anti-convulsant, and anti-cancerogenic properties, and that’s likely just the tip of the iceberg. “We have taken the unstable acid molecules of the cannabis plant and synthesized them to provide a stable, consistent basis for researching new therapies across a wide range of medical needs,” Mechoulam explained at the conference. He also used his stage time to encourage the scientific community to invest more into cannabis research, as enough time has already been lost, citing the many people from the past who would have vastly benefited from medicinal cannabis should it have been available. “Did we have to wait 30 years? No,” he said. “We could have helped thousands of children, and we didn’t.” 

Rest in Power, Dr. Mechoulam, and may everyone lucky enough to have access to the results of his work enjoy the power of plant medicine today. 

The post ‘Father of Cannabis Science’ Raphael Mechoulam Dead at 92 appeared first on High Times.

RIP Prof. Raphael Mechoulam, the ‘Father of Cannabis Research’.

Israeli medical cannabis pioneer, Professor Raphael Mechoulam, has passed away today at the age of 92.

Professor Raphael Mechoulam, who passed away at the age of 92, will be remembered as a pioneer in the field of medical cannabis research. As a researcher at the Hebrew University, he was the first to isolate the psychoactive compound THC in cannabis and also discovered the important medical compound CBD. His groundbreaking work paved the way for further research and advancements in the field, contributing to the growing understanding of the potential benefits of cannabis in medicine. Professor Mechoulam was a respected intellectual, a visionary, and a true leader in his field. His contributions to science and medicine will continue to have a lasting impact on society.

RIP dear Mechoulam, you will forever be in our hearts.

(Image credit: Wikipedia)

In this informative and thoughtful interview, Professor Raphael Mechoulam discusses how he got started studying medical cannabis, some of the biggest challenges facing cannabis research today, and what we should focus on to improve cannabinoid medicine on a global scale.
A cannabis-based treatment for cancer may finally be on the horizon, thanks to the research of none-other-than Professor Raphael Mechoulam.
One of the most prestigious scientific awards, Technion’s Harvey prize in Chemical Engineering and Medical Sciences, went to Professor Raphael Mechoulam – the “Godfather” of modern cannabis medicine.

Read more about Raphael Mecoulam and his work.

The post RIP Prof. Raphael Mechoulam, the ‘Father of Cannabis Research’. appeared first on Cannadelics.

Hall of Fame: The Mount Rushmore of Cannabis Legends

Willie Nelson, Snoop Dogg and Tommy Chong may be some of the more obvious honorees for Cannabis Now’s Legacy: Hall Of Fame, but they’re hardly alone. Cannabis giants Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, Ed Rosenthal, Dale Sky Jones and Steve DeAngelo also make the cut of the Cannabis Now “Hall of Fame” for 2023.

Tommy Chong

The grandfather of weed and one-half of the most iconic stoner comedy duo in history needs no introduction. READ MORE.

Hall of Fame: Steve DeAngelo

Steve DeAngelo

The cannabis advocate and author was dubbed “the father of the legal industry” by the former Speaker of the California Assembly. READ MORE.

Snoop Dogg

The Long Beach native and hip-hop superstar’s love of cannabis is legendary. READ MORE.

Melissa Etheridge

The breast cancer survivor and Grammy-award-winning singer/songwriter attributes cannabis to opening her conscientiousness when writing music. READ MORE.

Hall of Fame: Dale Sky Jones

Dale Sky Jones

The President and CEO of Oaksterdam University provided the model for cannabis reform as the spokesperson for the first statewide legalization initiative, California’s Prop 19. READ MORE.

Ann Lee

Republicans Against Marijuana Prohibition (RAMP) founder Ann Lee is an unexpected ally in the fight again prohibition. READ MORE

Dr. Raphael Mechoulam

The father of cannabis research paved the road for scientists to better understand the herb’s immense resource for medical purposes. READ MORE.

Willie Nelson

The country music outlaw has been an outspoken cannabis advocate for decades—and out-smoked a few notable names. READ MORE.

Ed Rosenthal

The author and activist is widely regarded as the world’s leading expert on cannabis cultivation. READ MORE.

Mike “BigMike” Straumeitis

The renowned and respected CEO of Advanced Nutrients is as passionate about philanthropy as he is about the cannabis plant. READ MORE.

Keith Stroup

The founder of NORML has spent much of his professional life working to legalize cannabis. READ MORE.

Nikki Lastreto and Swami

The Emerald Triangle power couple is a cornerstone of California’s craft cannabis community. READ MORE.

Ricky Williams

The retired NFL star has used his platform and extensive experience to change the conversation around cannabis for athletes and patients. READ MORE.

This story was originally published in the print edition of Cannabis Now.

The post Hall of Fame: The Mount Rushmore of Cannabis Legends appeared first on Cannabis Now.

The Endocannabinoid System

Excerpted from Weed: A Connoisseur’s Guide to Cannabis

Since it is a relatively recent scientific discovery, many traditional medical professionals are still unaware of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) and its crucial role in establishing balance within our bodies. Present in all humans as well as animals, plants, and fungi (essentially anything that has a cellular structure with an envelope-enclosed nucleus), the endocannabinoid system is a full-body signaling network that includes receptor sites CB1 and CB2, configured to respond to cannabinoids. These receptors are in the brain, organs, connective tissues, bones, glands, and immune cells and the ultimate goal of their activation is so the body can achieve homeostasis—that is, maintain stability—to prevent disease. A properly balanced endocannabinoid system is incredibly vital to our health; its balance affects inflammation, pain, appetite and mood. In fact, fully understanding the endocannabinoid system could unlock the therapeutic potential to treat almost all diseases. Cannabinoids are present at our earliest stages of development: they play a part in fertility and are in breast milk, and they continue to take part in many essential roles of survival (regulating stress, anxiety and appetite and preserving neurons to slow the progression of disease) throughout the course of life. By communicating and coordinating between different cell types, the ECS regulates our physiology and moods.

“How well we can apply our understanding of the ECS will have a great impact on medicine and our health, as we continue to navigate an ever increasingly chaotic and stressful world,” says Jahan Marcu, editor and chief of The American Journal of Endocannabinoid Medicine. “Since the dawn of time, the ECS has helped humans adapt and overcome seemingly insurmountable odds, and the hope of the modern, scientific understanding of the ECS continues to sharpen our ability to adapt to stress while preserving our health. The more we understand the ECS, the more we increase our chances of flourishing and surviving.”

Cannabinoids function like neurotransmitters, they are involved in sending chemical messages between nerve cells, or neurons, throughout the brain, nervous and immune systems. Interacting with the body’s internal receptors are two types of cannabinoids: endocannabinoids, those produced internally, and phytocannabinoids, those found in the cannabis plant. Scientists also create synthetic cannabinoids in lab settings. 

History of Cannabinoid Science

While cannabis has been an aid to humanity since ancient times, the first insight into its chemical properties came in the 1930s, with the identification and isolation of cannabinol (CBN). Another cannabinoid, cannabidiol (CBD) was discovered and isolated in the 1940s and scientists edged closer to isolating the most well-known cannabinoid, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Enter Raphael Mechoulam, the father of cannabis research. In 1963 Mechoulam, a biochemist in Israel, discovered more about the structure of CBD. By 1964, he and his colleagues made a breakthrough by isolating and discovering the rock star of all cannabinoids, THC.

By the 1980s, a detailed picture of the pharmacology of plant cannabinoids was emerging, but exactly how they worked to produce their effects was still unknown. Scientists assumed the chemical properties of cannabis must be working with a receptor within our bodies, but it wasn’t until the late 1980s and early 1990s that they were able to uncover this receptor, CB1, followed by another, CB2. CB1 receptors are primarily found in brain and spinal cord nerve cells, while CB2 receptors are mainly in immune tissues. The discovery of the CB1 receptor, which interacts with THC’s psychoactive properties, was a significant breakthrough for cannabinoid science. 

“The cloning of the cannabinoid receptor was crucial,” cannabis author Martin Lee writes in an article for the medical marijuana-focused publication O’Shaughnessy’s. “It opened the door for scientists to sculpt molecules that ‘fit’ these receptors like keys in a slot. Some keys —’agonists’— turned the receptor on, others —’antagonists’— turned it off.”

“By tracing the metabolic pathways of THC, scientists stumbled upon a unique and hitherto unknown molecular signaling system that is involved in regulating a broad range of biological functions,” Lee explains.  

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is an internal signaling system present in every animal except insects and has a long evolutionary history, which helps explain its importance. In 1992, Mechoulam joined colleagues in making another surprising finding, a cannabinoid generated within the human body, an endocannabinoid. Named anandamide after the Sanskrit word ananda, meaning “bliss,” this discovery was a revelation. It showed that internally-generated cannabinoids worked within a full-body system and helped uncover how cannabinoids from plants can also tap into these networks.

“I understand that there are more than a hundred plant cannabinoids,” Mechoulam tells me. “There are also a huge number of anandamide-like endogenous [internal] cannabinoids in the animal body.”

The Bliss Molecule

Anandamide was an amazing breakthrough because it shows how our bodies regulate our ECS internally: Whether or not we are also supplementing it with cannabis, the ECS plays an active role in our health. When anandamide interacts with the cannabinoid receptors within our body, it creates a sensation of bliss. The body produces anandamide when we exercise and it’s responsible for the “runner’s high” that’s both exhilarating and euphoric. The euphoria associated with exercise shows that our endocannabinoid system interacts with the elements in the cannabis plant, but can also be boosted by other activities and plants. Exercise and massage and eating leafy greens loaded with caryophyllene and foods high in omega-3s also activate the ECS. After the discovery of anandamide, 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), a second endogenous cannabinoid, was uncovered. The full functioning of 2-AG is still unknown, but it plays a part in regulating the circulatory system. 

The Entourage Effect

The entourage effect is the idea that cannabinoids and terpenes work best in synergy with each other. This widely recognized theory suggests that the properties present in cannabis work together to create effects and explain why cannabinoids in isolation, such as Marinol, a synthetic form of THC, don’t work as well as medications that incorporate other chemical elements of the plant.

Turning this theory into a marketing tactic, many cannabis oils and tinctures advertise “full-spectrum” extract offerings, meaning that the product includes a range of cannabinoids and terpenes. The idea is that these products maintain the full profile of the plant and are therefore more beneficial.

Creating New Cannabinoids

Within the cannabis plant, cannabinoids concentrate in the resinous, tiny microscopic mushroom-looking heads (trichomes) found on the flowers and leaves. In 2019, researchers at UC Berkeley announced they had successfully produced cannabinoids on yeast, eliminating the need to work with the plant altogether. By engineering the yeast to transform fatty acids into cannabinoids, researchers said that they could create new types that did not previously exist. The idea behind creating cannabinoids through the fermentation process centered around enabling manufacturers to produce cannabinoids more cheaply, efficiently and reliably than plant-based cultivation.

Clinical Cannabinoid Deficiency

The concept of a critical cannabinoid deficiency was introduced in the early 2000s and hypothesizes that a lack of cannabinoids is the trigger for conditions like migraines, irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia and clinical depression. These common conditions lack objective signs and often overlap. The idea behind clinical cannabinoid deficiency suggests that the body is not producing enough cannabinoids to keep systems in their natural balance, and therefore cannabinoids should be supplemented to maintain homeostasis.


The discovery of the endocannabinoid system was a total game-changer and spurred the creation of organizations devoted to spreading the word about the nascent field of endocannabinology. An activist group called the Alliance for Cannabis Therapeutics (founded in 1981) was already studying the medicinal effects of cannabis; a new organization called Patients out of Time evolved from that group and started holding regular conferences in 1995. Alongside that organization was another more exclusive group made up of the world’s most well-respected cannabinoid researchers, the International Cannabinoid Research Society. Incorporated in 1992, it is a consortium of about 650 botanists and scientists who study the ECS. The group’s mission is to promote the exchange of scientific research surrounding cannabinoids and serve as a source of information regarding the chemistry, pharmacology, and therapeutic uses of cannabis. The organization hosts annual symposiums at locations worldwide and releases an official journal that publishes a broad range of human and animal studies.

Medical professionals are also coming around to cannabis therapeutics. A small group of dedicated nurses founded the American Cannabis Nursing Association (ACNA) in 2006 to represent the emerging field of endocannabinoid therapeutics to professional nurses, thus providing them with the tools to understand and advocate for patient needs when it comes to the proper functioning of the ECS. Nurses trained by the ACNA learn about things such as appropriate dosing and cannabinoid interaction with other drugs.

Courtesy of The Quarto Group

The post The Endocannabinoid System appeared first on High Times.

The Most Influential People in the Cannabis Industry – Past, Present, and Future

Cannabis is an industry built on rebellion, healing, innovation, and perseverance. The cannabis industry is full of incredible people who laid the groundwork in the fields of research and activism to get us where we are today – one of the fastest growing industries on earth with a global economic impact estimated to be roughly $90 billion.

In short, cannabis consumers of the past, present, and future are indebted to all the people on this list. Their tireless work and dedication has led to important medical advancements, cultural cannabis acceptance, and legal reform in an industry where every advancement is a hard-fought win.

The people highlighted here are AMAZING. Of course, we couldn’t include everyone on this list, but there are many many more influential people in the world of cannabis that deserve a shout out. If you’d like to suggest anyone in particular, drop us a line in the comment section below! And if you’d like to learn more about the cannabis industry as a whole, make sure you subscribe to the CBD FLOWERS WEEKLY NEWSLETTER, a leading source for industry information, as well as exclusive deals on flowers and other products!

Dr. Raphael Mechoulam

It seems appropriate to begin with the ‘Godfather of THC’ himself, renowned Israeli scientist, Professor Raphael Mechoulam from Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Mechoulam is famous for his groundbreaking discoveries in cannabis research, starting with identifying THC in 1964, as well as many other cannabinoids to follow.

He has dedicated his life to studying cannabis compounds, and his early work laid the foundation for the discovery of the endocannabinoid system (ECS). Mechoulam and his research group have also conducted many studies on Anandamide, the first known human endocannabinoid, referred to as the “bliss molecule” for its primary role in homeostasis and regulating numerous different physiological functions.

Currently, Professor Mechoulam is one of two winners of the esteemed Harvey Prize for his ground-breaking research in the world of medicinal cannabis, particularly in the area of cancer research. His studies in this field have given the entire world a new perspective on cannabis as a healing plant, rather than just a recreational drug.

Jack Herer

Jack Herer – aptly nicknamed ‘the Emperor of Hemp – grew up in upstate Buffalo, NY, but he was born in New York City in 1939. Herer served in the U.S. Army during the Korean war and after finishing his contract in 1967, he moved to Los Angeles and began working at a neon sign company. It was in California that Jack Herer tried marijuana for his first time at the ripe of 30 years old. After falling in love with the plant and its effects, he quit his job and opened a head shop in Venice Beach, a mecca for art and hippie culture at the time.

By the 1970s, Jack Herer became a powerful presence in the movement to legalize cannabis. Herer spent a lot of time at the Library of Congress, reviewing decades of government-backed research on marijuana benefits and hemp fiber uses. He used this information for his 1985 book, The Emperor Wears No Clothes, which marked a watershed in his career as a cannabis industry activist.

His book quickly became known as the “holy grail” or “bible” of cannabis knowledge. To this day it is still viewed as a classic and a must-read for anyone with any sort of involvement with cannabis. During a time when misinformation was rampant and anything the government said about weed was viewed with great cynicism, the majority of people who wanted real, accurate information about cannabis turned to Jack Herer’s book.

Wanda James

cannabis industry

Another true American hero, Wanda James is a military veteran, serving as former lieutenant in the United States Navy, and she also worked on the national Finance Committee during the Obama Administration. No stranger to challenges and breaking barriers, James is best known in the industry for opening the first black-owned cannabis dispensary in the United States, Simply Pure.

Along with her husband Scott Durrah, they became the first African Americans, legally licensed in America, to own not only a dispensary, but also a cultivation facility and an edible company. Despite having built a cannabis empire in her home town of Denver, Colorado, James has remained a powerful advocate for equity, empowering black-owned business owners (women especially) to follow suit.

“Never ever, ever, ever give up,” advises James. If you are truly an entrepreneur you never stop. Failure is not an option. Lessons may sometimes be costly, both financially and emotionally, but true entrepreneurs never say never. We say, ‘OK.  What did I learn and how did that make me smarter, stronger and more experienced and ready to do it again?”

Cassandra Farrington

Cassandra co-founded Marijuana Business Daily in 2011, as well as a large portfolio of resources for the B2B cannabis marketplace which includes MJBizCon, the world’s largest industry event. Under her leadership, both the company and the additional networking projects and conferences grew rapidly and MJBiz is one of the most globally recognized cannabis brands that currently exists.

A true entrepreneurial visionary, Farrington found quick success in the cannabis industry and has used that to facilitate countless networking and growth opportunities for industry stakeholders. Although she has a draw to helping push women forward, her events have been beneficial for everyone, and are always the most anticipated and fruitful ones of the year.

Some wise words of advice from Cassandra: “It is indeed possible to forge your own self-funded, and therefore self-controlled, path to success in the cannabis industry. Don’t assume that just because everyone else is raising money, that you need to do that too.  At the very least, don’t allow that be a default position without exploring all other avenues and possibilities. The flexibility of controlling your own destiny – and that of your business – is well worth the effort.”

Willie Nelson

willie nelson

The name Willie Nelson is basically synonymous with cannabis culture. He is just about as famous for his activism as he is for his music. Willie Nelson is a lifelong supporter of fair cannabis regulations and a prominent advocate of hemp farming and manufacture. “Hemp production in America was stifled for so long, but it could now make all the difference for small independent farmers,” Nelson stated. “Hemp isn’t just good for our farmers and our economy, it’s good for our soil, our environment—and our health.”

Nelson is a co-chair of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) and has been a part of the fight for cannabis legalization for decades. Nelson wrote an autobiography titled ‘Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I’m Gone.’ In it, he commended the legalization of recreational cannabis in certain states, saying that he was happy he “didn’t have to fly to Amsterdam anymore.”

In 2015, Nelson released his line of cannabis products under the brand name Willie’s Reserve, which he sells at dispensaries in numerous different legal states, as well a large variety of accessories. It’s no doubt that Nelson’s fame was incredibly beneficial in helping to highlight the fight for the legalization of marijuana, although, it could be argued that his die-hard efforts in the cannabis industry helped make him even more famous.

Snoop Dogg   

I don’t know about you, but when I think of Snoop Dogg, I immediately think of weed. California-born Snoop Dogg, known formally as Calvis Broadaus Jr., is a rapper, singer, songwriter, actor, producer, media personality, and businessman – and all of his aforementioned enterprises are heavily focused on cannabis.

When it comes to modern cannabis culture, it’s hard to think of anyone who has made a larger impact than Snoop Dogg. While many celebrity brands are centered largely on self-promotion and sales, the company that Snoop started back in 2015 actually helps other businesses get off the ground financially. Casa Verde Capital, Snoop Dogg’s venture capital firm, specializes in providing funding to startups, early-stage, and emerging cannabis companies that have high growth potential but don’t have the money to make a full launch.

Also, as of April 2021, Snoop Dogg is now officially in the fight to legalize marijuana at the federal level. According to POLITICO, Snoop dog is partnering with Weldon Angelos and Charles Kock (criminal justice reform specialist and billionaire cannabis activist, respectively) to form The Cannabis Freedom Alliance. The goal of this coalition is to bring awareness to lawmakers, mostly Republican, who remain on-the-fence or completely against cannabis legalization.

Keith Stroup

keith stroup

Keith Stroup is the founder of NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, a grassroots organization that has been dedicated to reforming national cannabis laws since 1970. With chapters in numerous different states and quite a few countries as well, it’s safe to say that NORML has had a significant impact in shaping the cannabis industry into what it currently is.

Keith Stroup was the groups executive director until 1979, at which point he took a break, became an attorney, and got heavy into lobbying for artists and family farmers. Stroup returned to NORML in 1994 and joined the board of directors. By 1995, Keith Stroup was back in position as NORML’s executive director. Although he eventually stepped down from that role too, he stays working with NORML and will continue to do so until fair marijuana laws are achieved for all.

One of Keith Stroup’s most famous quotes: “There is absolutely nothing wrong with the responsible use of marijuana by adults and it should be of no interest or concern to the government. They have no business knowing whether we smoke or why we smoke.” Oh how right he is.

Justin Hartfield          

If you live in a legal state, it’s highly probable that you have or are currently using Weedmaps to aid in your cannabis shopping. It’s a go-to app for me and most of the people I know. Although once upon a time, the entire concept was pretty basic – simply to help users find dispensaries in their area – but it has since blossomed into a complex network of everything-cannabis, where you can find dispensaries, products, doctors, search prices, look for specific brands, and even make purchases through the app.

We can all thank Justin Hartfield for this innovation. Hartfield is a Southern California-based entrepreneur and venture capitalist that co-founded Weedmaps in 2008, right at the beginning of the soon-to-be-legal modern cannabis industry. Initially, they had one office in Irvine, California. Now, this is where the company is headquartered but they have since expanded exponentially, with over 400 employees and offices in Denver, Tucson, New York, Barcelona and Toronto.

Although Hartfield stepped down as company CEO in 2016, Weedmaps continues to play a huge role in how people shop for cannabis in legal markets. It also set the stage for how numerous dispensaries now operate their own websites, although no one seems to do quite like Weedmaps still.

Nancy Do

nancy do

Falling in line with a common theme of the cannabis industry, Nancy Do fully embodies what it means to persevere. As a Vietnamese American whose family came to the US as refugees, Nancy knows all too well what it means to push for inclusion and representation, and this drive is what helped her build a name and solid reputation in the cannabis industry.

Nancy is the founder of 2 different companies – Endo Industries: a company focused on perfecting plant genetics and helping growers utilize the best cultivation techniques possible, and Wana Wellness, an herbal supplement company that leverages her knowledge in cannabinoid research and product development to make healthy supplements and edibles. In December 2019, MJBizDaily named Nancy Do the first-ever Industry Impact Award Winner and in May 2020, she was listed as one of the 35 Most Influential Women in Cannabis by Ganja Entrepreneur.

“I think women-led management and product development teams have an advantage in creating products that are authentic and resonate well with women,” Do stated. “So much of our industry is about building relationships and trust, and that process can be bolstered when women consumers see other women standing behind the products on the shelves. In addition to reaching female consumers effectively, I think women bring a collaborative and cooperative spirit to an industry that is too often driven by ego and competition.”

Lester Grinspoon

Lester Grinspoon is known for his compelling work in the field of mental health, holding the title Associate Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. He began researching cannabis in the 1960s, when it started gaining popularity in the United States, especially among youth. His initial goal was to prove how ‘dangerous’ cannabis is, claiming that he want to “prevent harm from coming to the foolish young people who would not listen to, or could not believe or understand the warnings about its dangers.”

However, it did not take him very long to realize that that he was on the wrong side of the fight and eventually, he publicly acknowledged that cannabis was not really as bad as he once believed. In 1971, he published ‘Marihuana Reconsidered’, a work that outlined the safety of profile of cannabis, as well as discussed some of the benefits of using it in combination with various forms of modern pharmaceutical medications.

After a complete 180 on his original views, by the 2000s Grinspoon was a devout cannabis advocate who has spoken at many NORML conferences and supported numerous pieces of legislation that helped push the industry forward. In 2010, he endorsed an initiative that decriminalized recreational cannabis use in the state of Washington, and he was even awarded by High Times magazine for his contributions to the industry in 2015.

Final Thoughts

If you have any stake in cannabis, it’s important to know that these are some of the people that helped bring the industry to the place it is now, and they will continue to have a huge impact on its future. Although cannabis is still federally prohibited, it’s closer to being legalized than ever before, and we can thank the individuals on this list for their unrelenting efforts in the areas of research and development, activism, advocacy, and networking. If it were not for them, who knows where we would be now?

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William O’Shaughnessy & The Start of Cannabis Medicine

The idea of medicinal marijuana has blossomed out in the last several years, opening up new markets, changing regulatory restrictions and legal mandates, and showing that popular opinion can easily change over time. How it started in the first place is not a story known to all. In fact, most people have no idea that it was an Irishman named William O’Shaughnessy who brought cannabis medicine to the Western world.

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Cannabis in history

Before getting into recent history, let’s go back to ancient times. The history of cannabis use as a medicine goes back thousands of years with tons of natural medicine traditions using the plant all over the world for different purposes. In Ayurveda it was used to increase appetite and digestion; to decrease diarrhea, as well as other gastrointestinal issues; as an anti-spasmodic and anti-convulsant; for nervous system issues; skin infections; as an aphrodisiac, or to calm sexual feelings (in later stages of the application); issues with genital and urinary tract function; respiratory issues; infectious diseases; and a host of other problems. If you look at what’s being covered here, it includes ailments of nearly every kind that were being treated by cannabis.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, cannabis seeds were used as laxatives – although they were simultaneously used to help stop diarrhea, to alleviate thirst, and relieve flux. If it seems weird that cannabis was employed for opposing issues (constipation and diarrhea), this could be explained by a normalization effect on a person’s liver. Repeated vomiting was also treated with cannabis seeds, and regular use of these seeds was said to “render the flesh firm, and prevent old age.”

The Chinese also supposedly used cannabis as an antidiabetic by boiling the seeds in water to make a paste. Cannabis was used for skin ailments, ulcers, wounds, hair loss, and diseases of the lymph nodes which included degenerative, incurable, and intractable illnesses. These are just some examples of how Traditional Chinese Medicine used cannabis. Though many texts have not been made available to the English-speaking world, it is known that cannabis was used in medical applications for at least 1,800 years, and possibly as long as 4,000 years.

cannabis ayurveda

Cannabis use was seen in Egyption times as well. Called shemshemet, it was used to treat insomnia, nausea, internal hemorrhoids (by way of suppositories), and even eye conditions like glaucoma because of its strong anti-inflammatory properties, which help bring down eye pressures. This anti-inflammatory effect made it good for all kinds of ailments that involve inflammation. Cannabis plant residue has been found on Egyptian artifacts dating back over 4,000 years, and medical marijuana is mentioned in several ancient Egyptian texts including:

  • The Ramesseum III Papyrus (1,700 BC)
  • Eber’s Papyrus (1,600 BC) (This is the oldest known complete text, and thought by many to be a reprint of a text from as long as 1,500 years before this one was made.)
  • The Berlin Papyrus (1,300 BC)
  • The Chester Beatty VI Papyrus (1,300 BC)

By 1,000 years ago, medicinal marijuana use was so widespread in Egypt, that texts found from that time actually encourage citizens to plant their own medicinal cannabis for their own personal use, or to use for trade.

Cannabis history & the Anglo-Saxons

I feel it would be remiss not to mention the history of cannabis in the location that William O’Shaughnessy specifically came from, since this sheds some light on the cannabis culture that existed in his part of the world. It is not one of the more popular or well known cannabis stories, but it is certainly relevant here.

It is thought by many that a nomadic Indo-European tribe – called the Scythians – brought the plant to Eastern Europe around 500 BC. From there it seems likely that Germanic tribes brought it over to Germany, and when the Anglo-Saxons invaded Britain during the 5th century, its thought that the plant at this time entered the British region. Cannabis has a mention in the ‘Anglo-Saxon Herbal’, also known as the ‘Old English Herbal’, which is an illustrated book of botanical medicine attributed to 4th century writers, and which has many similarities to Ayurveda.

This indicates that it was being used for medical treatments, however, what it really became known for in this region, was its fiber. Hemp fiber was used for all sorts of things, particularly by the military. Supplies like rope and sails were made from hemp, for which Russia had been the main supplier. In fact, much like the US grow laws that were enacted in colonial America, and which forced farm owners to grow cannabis for hemp, so too was the case in Britain when in 1533 King Henry VIII also forced landlords to use at least part of their land to grow hemp.

medicinal cannabis

This was made more intense by Elizabeth I who actually started leveraging fines on landlords who did not comply. One of the issues with growing hemp in that part of the world is that it’s not the best climate for it, and this eventually led to Britain importing most of its hemp from Canada and other British colonies. It seems that as time went on, the medical value of the plant was practically lost to its industrial uses. It wasn’t until the 1800’s that William O’Shaughnessy re-discovered cannabis medicine, and brought it into focus in Western medicine.

Who is William O’Shaughnessy?

Born in Limerick, Ireland in 1808, William Brooke O’Shaughnessy studied chemistry and forensic toxicology at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, graduating in 1829. At the age of 22, in 1931, while working with cholera patients, O’Shaughnessy helped create the basis for IV replacement therapy. This was done through analyzing the blood of cholera patients and finding a need for more oxygen, as well as finding that they had deficiencies in water, salt, and free alkali, which was improved through infusions of salt.

A couple years later, in 1933, O’Shaughnessy moved to Calcutta, India, as part of the British East India Company, after being rejected for Professor of Medical Jurisprudence at the University of London. And it was here that O’Shaughnessy began his inquest into medical cannabis.

O’Shaughnessy had not set out specifically on the course of cannabis medicine, and in fact, focused on several subjects like chemistry, galvanic electricity, underwater conduction, and botanical pharmacology – which spawned his work on medical marijuana. O’Shaughnessy published his first papers on the use of cannabis medicine and its applications while in Calcutta. In his research he examined folk uses of the plant to validate the information coming from natural medicine traditions, he also found new applications for the plant, and encouraged use of it by his readers for many different purposes including acute rheumatism, as a sleep aid, digestive problems, as a treatment for pain, and a host of other ailments.

Simply writing about these things isn’t what got him recognized, however. He gained popularity instead through real world applications. One of his first big breakthroughs publicly was in being able to quell the rheumatic pain and convulsions of an infant by using cannabis. At approximately 40 days old, the child was unable to eat and was wasting away, as no standard treatment was helping. The parents’ were so distressed that they agreed to the treatment, and cannabis tincture was placed on the baby’s tongue. It eased the convulsions, but greater doses had to be used consequent to tolerance. The infant, however, made a full recovery.

When he later returned to England, he found even greater public success when he was able to quiet the extreme muscle spasms caused by tetanus and rabies, which he did using a cannabis resin. In terms of tetanus, it didn’t rid the sufferer of the disease, but it did greatly reduce symptoms. About tetanus, O’Shaughnessy stated that it was: “next to hydrophobia (rabies), perhaps the most intractable and agonising of the whole catalogue of human maladies.” At that time, having tetanus meant violent convulsions and eventually death, making O’Shaughnessy’s cannabis treatment a godsend to sufferers.

In 1842 he published Bengal Dispensatory and Pharmacopoeia which dedicated 25 pages to the use of cannabis in medicine. This stands as one of the most comprehensive research outputs related to cannabis for that time period.

What about now?

William O'Shaughnessy cannabis medicine

I think it’s fair to say that O’Shaughnessy would have been double face-palming if he knew just how sideways all his findings went in the upcoming century. While O’Shaughnessy set off a flurry of new research into cannabis medicine and the advent of tons of medical products, all of this was suppressed and then forgotten in light of changing global cannabis laws.

It started with the US 1937 Marihuana Tax Act, and led to the Single Convention on Narcotic Substances treaty, and an essential global ban on both medical and recreational cannabis, as well as hemp production. Over time, the idea of cannabis medicine became non-existent. In fact, not only did it become non-existent in Western medicine and illegal in Eastern medicine, but it became disliked – even hated – with all that accumulated medical evidence being either completely forgotten, or no longer believed.

It took till the 1900’s and researchers like Raphael Mechoulam to re-discover cannabis medicine (which was still suppressed for many decades), and then the eventual easing of laws in different global locations as the expressed danger of cannabis was seen more and more to be unrealistic, while its useful properties were once again brought to light.

Right now in Ireland, O’Shaughnessy’s home country, cannabis is illegal to posses or use with no decriminalization or personal use laws present. Punishments include involuntary community service, fines, and jail time depending on the circumstances of the case. Selling and supply crimes are predictably illegal with prison sentences of up to 10 years for offenders. Cultivation is illegal as well.

Even when it comes to medical cannabis, Ireland only finally updated its laws in 2019, and only to permit a 5-year long research program that allows very limited access to medical cannabis, and only for a very small number of issues. William O’Shaughnessy established some of the very applications of cannabis medicine being researched now, and his own home country still does not pay attention.


It is now getting close to 200 years after William O’Shaughnessy published his Bengal Dispensatory and Pharmacopoeia, and around 4,000 years since the use of cannabis was determined in some locations. Yet now, in 2021, we’re still arguing the legalities and uses of it. Yes, William O’Shaughnessy might have been the father of modern cannabis medicine, but only now is the Western world really taking notice.

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Finally! CBD Is Not Dangerous Drug, Says Israel

More and more countries have been loosening their policies when it comes to the non-psychoactive component of cannabis – CBD (cannabidiol). With a new amendment waiting for final approval, Israel says CBD is not dangerous, and is expected next week to remove it from its Dangerous Drugs Ordinance.

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When it comes to cannabis, Israel is not the most lax country when it comes to regulation. However, this undermines the fact that Israel is about the most far ahead when it comes to medical research concerning cannabis. With the help of Raphael Mechoulam, whose work was roundly ignored for decades, and who in the more recent environment of cannabis acceptance has now been lauded for his work, Israel has been the world leader in cannabis research. This did not stop the drug from being completely illegal recreationally, with no personal use laws until only the last couple years. Now, in a move that shows its ready to play catch-up for real, Israel not only is discussing plans for a recreational legalization, but is set to remove CBD from its list of dangerous drugs, with the expectation that CBD products will soon be lining supermarket shelves.

Current Israeli cannabis laws

Israel only instituted a decriminalization policy for cannabis in 2019, which affords personal use rights for small amounts in the home. The term ‘small amounts’ was defined by the Anti-Drug Authority as 15 grams. Public use and possession still results in a fine of 1000 NIS, or $307 (by today’s conversion), though this is a vast improvement from what it was before, when offenders could be required to pay as much as 226,000 NIS, or $69,479 (by today’s conversion). The 1000 NIS is just for a first offense, and doubles with the second offence, and turns into a criminal act on the third. This comes with the loss of a drivers’ license and/or gun as well. Minors under the age of 18 who reject a treatment program when caught, can still be subjected to jail time.

cannabis legalizations

Like pretty much anywhere in the world, selling and supply crimes are illegal, and offenders can find themselves with 20-year prison sentences. This can be increased to 25 years in the case of extenuating circumstances, like selling to a minor. Cultivation is technically illegal, but also seems to fall into gray area. According to the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance, growing can carry up to 20 years. In 2017, the publication Cannabis made public that there had been an order issued which stated that growing small amounts for personal use would only be seen as a minor violation. This was meant to be a way to separate large-scale, and small-scale growers. However, this order was obviously never meant to be public, and when Cannabis put out the news, the response from law enforcement was that no change had legally been made.

When it comes to medical, Israel legalized medicinal use in 1999, this coming 3-4 decades after the initial release of groundbreaking studies into the medical attributes of cannabis. First it was limited to terminal patients with cancer or AIDS, until the law was updated in 2007 by the Israeli Ministry of Health, which broadened the scope of the program to allow more ailments to be treated with cannabis. In 2019, a bill was introduced to allow the exportation of medical cannabis internationally.

So, what’s the deal with CBD?

While it almost seemed like CBD was going to get an international pass when the UN recently voted on cannabis rescheduling measures, the result was only a removal of cannabis from schedule IV, with no further clarification on CBD. Even so, Israel is treating it as if that clarification was made, saying CBD is not dangerous, and does not need to be treated like it is.

In 2016 it was first brought up in Israel’s Knesset to remove CBD from Israel’s list of dangerous drugs, where it has been since 1973. Notice how this article is being written now and not in 2016, as it is only just now up for removal in 2020. While plenty of CBD products are sold in Israel, this removal would open up use even further. In August of this year, the Minister of Health approved the removal of CBD from the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance. Next week, the Knesset Health Committee is expected to give the final approval for this to go into effect. Assuming this happens, regulation of CBD will then fall under the Ministry of Health’s Medical Cannabis Unit. The Ministry of Health had been investigating the idea of removing CBD for years, with Deputy Health Minister Yoav Kish working to accelerate the pace to move things forward. Kish has been working on this for quite some time, along with bringing down the price of medical cannabis in Israel.

Once CBD is officially removed, it means the compound can be added to any number of regular products found on supermarket shelves including toothpaste, chocolate bars, beauty products, supplements, and almost anything else that the compound can be squeezed into. In fact, any cosmetic or food produce will be able to contain CBD, so long as the THC content is .3% or lower – which is more in-line with US standards than European standards, even though Europe is Israel’s biggest export market target. The EU, of course, is in its own quest to possibly raise the approved THC content allowable in products to .3% as well. The final wording of the amendment defines cannabis as the entire cannabis plant, including roots, but excluding oil extracted from seeds, or finished products with a THC content not exceeding .3%.

cannabis products

Another thing to understand about this amendment is that it’s not all about CBD. It includes every cannabinoid that’s not THC, so long as the product or preparation still adheres to the no more than .3% THC policy. This means that other psychoactive cannabinoids like CBN (cannabinol), will also be able to be freely used. THC would remain the only compound listed in the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance, meaning that according to Israel, CBD is not dangerous, and neither are other non-THC cannabinoids.

It should always be remembered when reading a story like this, that the final approval has not actually been made. Next week, when the Knesset Health Committee gets together, it will discuss the issue. If it agrees that CBD is not dangerous, then it can officially make the approval of the amendment. So, while it does seem like Israel is taking a straight shot to making this happen, it’s not a done deal, and technically, doesn’t have to be. Interested parties should keep a watch on the news (and this site) to find out the outcome next week.

What does this mean for Israel?

Obviously, it gives the ability for wider use of CBD, which many find to be useful for a variety of medical issues. But, like always, it goes well beyond helping citizens get more CBD in their lives.

According to consulting firm Deloitte Israel in a report from September 2019, the Israeli market for CBD, including cosmetics, dietary supplements, and food and beverages, stands to be worth $300-475 million within the next five years. The estimation is that Israel will be able to attain and hold about 1.5% of the total global CBD market share by 2025, which should be approximately $30 billion by that time. The industry is also expected to open up about 8,000 new jobs for Israelis.

By 2025 it’s expected that cannabis cosmetics will account for about 15% of all cosmetic sales globally. By 2026, its expected that nutritional supplements containing CBD will generate $345 billion in just the US, with Israel seeing approximately $120-150 million in revenue accordingly from that time period, in that field. In terms of foods and beverages containing CBD, its expected that in five years from the start of the policy, that the market will bring in $18-36 billion a year for Israel.

CBD is not dangerous drug

Right now, Europe is Israel’s biggest export country target, and by the end of this year, Europe is expected to have approximately €8.3 billion in revenue from CBD product sales. This is expected to increase to about €13.6 billion a year by 2025. The largest market within Europe for CBD sales is Germany, which is expected to bring in €1.8 billion in sales by the end of the year. The UK (though not a part of the EU anymore) is the second biggest market in the region, and is expected to bring in €1.7 billion in CBD product sales by the end of this year. While its totally possible for some of these numbers to be off (in fact, I guarantee you, they will be), they do show the basic parameters of what can be attained in these industries, what can be expected as far as growth, and the potential of a country like Israel to pull in a huge chunk of the action.

One last note on Israeli cannabis reform. The country may actually be starting to lay the foundations for recreational legalization, potentially within a year, with Canada as the basic model for regulating an adult-use market.


For a country with more cannabis research, knowledge, and expertise than any other place in the world, it’s about time for Israel to be a bit more forward thinking. Luckily, the last few years have shown that Israel can not only play catch-up in terms of regulation and legalization, but is still capable of essentially dominating the field.

It should also be noted, that the amendment that will remove CBD – and all other non-THC cannabinoids – from the list of dangerous drugs, will also lower the price of cannabis medicines by as much as 50%, and make it far easier for doctors to issue prescriptions to patients for cannabis medications.

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Prestigious Harvey Prize Goes to Raphael Mechoulam – The “Godfather” of Cannabis Research

One of the most prestigious scientific awards, Technion’s Harvey prize in Chemical Engineering and Medical Sciences, went to Professor Raphael Mechoulam – the “Godfather” of modern cannabis medicine.

Professor Raphael Mechoulam from the School of Pharmacology in the Faculty of Medicine at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, is one of two winners of the esteemed Harvey Prize for his ground-breaking research in the world of medicin­­al cannabis. His studies in this field have given the entire world a new perspective on cannabis as a healing plant, rather than just a recreational drug.

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About Raphael Mechoulam

Prof. Mechoulam was born in Bulgaria (1930), where he studied chemical engineering. After immigrating to Israel he received his M.Sc. in biochemistry from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and his Ph.D. at the Weizmann Institute and completed his postdoctoral studies at the Rockefeller Institute in New York. In 1960 he joined the junior staff of the Weizmann Institute, and in 1985 he became a professor at the Hebrew University.

It was his curiosity about cannabis as a healing plant that led him to a police station in 1963, where he obtained his first sample – 5 kilos of hashish – to use for research purposes. Mechoulam then developed a relationship with employees at the Israeli Ministry of Health, who gave him permits to continue getting cannabis products for his studies over the next few decades. As he casually summarized it, “I always went to the ministry of health, they gave me a letter to the police, went to the police and drank some coffee with them, took the hashish I needed and that was it.”

He is the first scientist to isolate plant cannabinoids, first THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) then CBD (cannabidiol), and he also is the first to discover the human endocannabinoid system, which is a complex cell-signalling system made up of receptors found throughout our entire bodies. These receptors react to plant cannabinoids to treat numerous conditions we suffer from. All living creatures except insects have an endocannabinoid system.

His research led to the development of many safe and natural treatment options for more disorders and diseases than we can count, but particularly epilepsy, mental health, MS, and pain management. Both of the leading cannabinoids – THC and CBD, are used today in brand name medicines – Marinol, a medication used to treat nausea which uses a synthetic THC compound; and Epidiolex, the first FDA-approved medication to use natural CBD as the main ingredient, for treating rare forms of epilepsy.

For his many achievements in the field of cannabis research, Prof. Mechoulam has been bestowed with much recognition and a myriad of prestigious honors, including the Israel Prize in Exact Sciences – Chemistry (2000) and the Kolthoff Prize in Chemistry from the Technion. He is a member of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities. In 2014, Prof. Mechoulam was named one of the “World’s 50 Most Influential Jews” by the Jerusalem Post.

Professor Joseph DeSimone

As previously mentioned, Mechoulam was only 1 out of 2 winners of Technion’s Harvey prize. The other winner was Professor Joe DeSimone, known in making significant contributions in materials science, chemistry, polymer science, nanomedicine and 3D printing.

DeSimone has also made important breakthroughs in the use of supercritical carbon dioxide to produce fluoropolymers, which has many medical applications. DeSimone has published more than 350 articles in scientific journals, and has over 200 patents to his name. Additionally, DeSimone is credited with creating important innovations in the field of precision medicine, such as the particle replication in non-wetting templates and in medical technology, including the continuous liquid interface production.

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