Israeli Father Of Medical Marijuana A Bit Of A Buzzkill

This month’s National Geographic magazine features an interview with Raphael Mechoulam, the Israeli chemist known worldwide as the founder of medical marijuana research, as part of a cover story entitled “Weed: The New Science of Marijuana.”

Mechoulam’s early discoveries include tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient in cannabis plants, and cannabidiol (CBD), another key ingredient with potential medical benefits but none of the mind-altering effects. He conducted this groundbreaking research in the sixties with Lebanese hashish confiscated by the Israeli national police.

Because of his foundational contributions to cannabis science and medical marijuana research, pot enthusiasts regard him as a celebrity. But the dapper 84-year-old sabba (grandpa) of 7 cautions against marijuana’s recreational use and says that he’s never smoked it himself.

The wacky weed is “not an innocuous substance,” especially for young people, he told NatGeo. Studies show that prolonged use can alter the growth of a developing brain;...

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