Famous Israeli chemist, Raphael Mechoulam spent decades researching the mysteries of marijuana in a lab, but his fascination with one of the world’s most popular drugs never led to personal experimentation. In a recent interview with Culture Magazine, he said:
“I have never used it. First of all, I am still interested, but as I did research and we had official supply of cannabis, obviously if we had used it for non-scientific reasons, if people had come to know about it that would have stopped our work. Basically, neither I nor my students were interested.”
His research into the pharmacology of cannabinoids (cannabis) began in the early 1960s with a batch of hashish that police passed to him out of an evidence locker. Over the next few years, his group would become the first to isolate and synthesize cannabidiol, or CBD, now revered for its potential medical applications, as well as tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the psychoactive compound in marijuana that makes users feel high.
Mechoulam’s work also opened the door for more recent developments in the field of marijuana medicine.
Studies have shown that cannabinoids have promise in the treatment of ailments including cancer, epilepsy, chronic pain, anxiety and even some psychotic symptoms.