An edible a day keeps the doctor away. And we have Dr. Mechoulam to thank for it. He’s considered the the “Father of Cannabis.” And rightly so. His work and dedication in the early 1960’s make him The Original Cannabis Researcher Dr. Raphael Mechoulam. His discoveries on the structure and isolation of CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) led to the later discovery of the human endocannabinoid system. Today we will look at his work, how it affected subsequent research and how it affects us today.
Getting to Know the Good Doctor
Our Good Doctor came from humble and very troubled beginnings. He was born in 1930 in the capital of Bulgaria of Jewish parents. Any astute history buff knows straight away that 1930’s Europe was rife with antisemitism. As a result, his family fled Bulgaria and took on a nomadic existence roaming the Balkan Villages in an attempt to escape Nazi persecution. His father spent time in a concentration camp, which he later escaped. Thereupon, the family set off to Israel where Doc was able to study in the safety of the newly formed Jewish State. He excelled in Chemical Engineering and would later focus his major in Chemistry.
His interest in the science of cannabis became his passion. Dr Mechoulam received his post-doctoral degree at Weizmann Institute. He studied how active components in opium and cocaine were isolated. His curiosity peaked why the same had not held true for cannabis over 100 years later. Fortune fell in his lap when the Israeli government seized a large hash stash. And so began his long and illustrious career in cannabis research.
The Original Cannabis Researcher Dr. Raphael Mechoulam
The Doc got off to a slow start. He was denied a grant from The National Institute of Health as no one cared about cannabis research. It was was deemed unworthy of research at the time. This did not deter Dr Mechoulam. He stayed the course and eventually isolated THC. This put him in the limelight. And the NIH made a grant available to him and his team. It wasn’t long after that he was able to also isolate CBD. This was huge.
CBD had medicinal prowess. Yet it yielded no negative or psychoactive affects. His extensive research would carry on for decades. The end result was the discovery of an actual relationship between cannabinoids and human psychology. He realized that we make our own cannabinoids. His discovery of anandamide changed everything. Anandamide is a fatty acid transmitter. This means that CBD and THC could interact with the body’s natural cannabinoid system with remarkable results. Pain, mood and memory could be altered. He also realized that cannabinoids suppress the growth of cancer cells. Thanks Doc!
Fight The Good Fight
Sadly, it would be another 20 years before his work would break into the medical realm. We have Pharmaceutical companies to thank for that. They are not interested in your health. And they certainly do not want to cure cancer. Cancer is a multi-billion dollar industry. However, pot culture caught up. Fortunately, the USA finally succumbed to the will of the people. They legalized medical marijuana throughout the entire country. Who do we have to thank for that? That’s right folks, The Original Cannabis Researcher Dr. Raphael Mechoulam. Were it not for his endless years of research we would not be close to where we are today. He finally has recognition for his monumental efforts and has won a plethora of awards for his work.
Today, at 86 years old, you will find Dr Mechoulam hard at work at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, which he still calls home. His research now focuses on human behavior and how natural compounds affect us. He also spends this time in search of a cure for cancer. He’s convinced that the cure lies in cannabinoids. Dr. Mechoulam is the Einstein of cannabis science. No one has made a bigger mark in this field. And so we thank The Original Cannabis Researcher Dr. Raphael Mechoulam for a lifetime of dedication and passion aimed our wellness. And so too the Good Doctor, who never himself ever smoked a joint, we tip our hats, Sir.