Israeli Firm Grows Highless Marijuana
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Israeli Firm Grows Highless Marijuana
Posted by CN Staff on July 03, 2012 at 05:02:55 PT
By Maayan Lubell, Reuters
Source: Reuters
Safed, Israel -- They grow in a secret location in northern Israel. A tall fence, security cameras and an armed guard protect them from criminals. A hint of their sweet-scented blossom carries in the air: rows and rows of cannabis plants, as far as the eye can see.It is here, at a medical marijuana plantation atop the hills of the Galilee, where researchers say they have developed marijuana that can be used to ease the symptoms of some ailments without getting patients high.
"Sometimes the high is not always what they need. Sometimes it is an unwanted side effect. For some of the people it's not even pleasant," said Zack Klein, head of development at Tikun Olam, the company that developed the plant.Cannabis has more than 60 constituents called cannabinoids. THC is perhaps the best known of those, less so for its medical benefits and more for its psychoactive properties that give people a "high" feeling.But cannabis also contains Cannabidiol, or CBD, a substance that some researchers say has anti-inflammatory benefits. Unlike THC, it hardly binds to the brain's receptors and can therefore work without getting patients stoned."CBD plants are available in different forms all over the world," said Klein, adding that the company's plant is free of THC and very high in CBD.Tikun Olam began its research on CBD enhanced cannabis in 2009 and about six months ago they came up with Avidekel, Klein said, a cannabis strain that contains 15.8 percent CBD and only traces of THC, less than one percent.Cannabis As MedicineMarijuana is an illegal drug in Israel. Medicinal use of it was first permitted in 1993, according to the health ministry.Today cannabis is used in Israel to treat 9,000 people suffering from illnesses such as cancer, Parkinson's, multiple sclerosis, Crohn's disease and post traumatic stress disorder, according to Israel's health ministry.Drug companies have also been interested in cannabis as a medicine. Britain's GW Pharmaceuticals, with Bayer and Almirall, sells an under-the-tongue spray called Sativex that is designed to minimize highs by manipulating ratios of active ingredients.Raphael Mechoulam, a professor of medicinal chemistry at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, said Avidekel is thought to be the first CBD-enriched cannabis plant with no THC to have been developed in Israel."It is possible that (Avidekel's) CBD to THC ratio is the highest among medical marijuana companies in the world, but the industry is not very organized, so one cannot keep exact track of what each company is doing," he explained.Although there have been no clinical trials in humans, Mechoulam, who is a leading researcher of cannabinoids, said that Avidekel showed promise as a potent anti-inflammatory.Ruth Gallily of the Hebrew University who works for the company and has been studying CBD for more than 12 years, said she has found that the substance has impressive anti-inflammatory qualities. She has been testing the effects of Tikun Olam's CBD-enhanced cannabis on mice and expects clinical trials to begin in a few months.Avidekel is a new strain of a plant that is already permitted for medical use so there is nothing stopping patients who are already being treated with marijuana from trying Avidekel. About 10 patients began using it in the past six months, Klein said."The cannabis plant, enriched with CBD, can be used for treating diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, colitis, liver inflammation, heart disease and diabetes," she said, adding there are no side effects."It's a huge advantage," said one 35-year-old patient who asked not to be identified, "I can smoke during the day, function with a lot less pain and still be focused, work and drive. It is a great gift."The woman began suffering chronic pains after a tumor was removed from her spine. She began treatment with regular THC-containing marijuana eight months ago. Two months ago she started smoking Avidekel."The difference is huge. Before, I would only smoke at the end of the day and stay in pain." Now, she said, with the highless marijuana "my life is so much better."Despite Avidekel's highless benefit, Klein does not see regular marijuana disappearing any time soon. THC has its own unique effects that alleviate illness symptoms."Don't worry, I think that cannabis with THC will still be (around)," he said.Editing by Jeffrey Heller and Paul CasciatoSource: Reuters (Wire)Author:  Maayan Lubell, ReutersPublished: July 3, 2012Copyright: 2012 Thomson ReutersCannabisNews Medical Marijuana Archives 
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Comment #15 posted by ekim on July 06, 2012 at 08:54:15 PT
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Comment #14 posted by ekim on July 05, 2012 at 11:07:41 PT
New Documentary Endgame
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Comment #13 posted by afterburner on July 05, 2012 at 09:48:23 PT
ekim #12
Now we know the answer to President Nixon's question below: "cannabis use is mentioned in the Torah so the religious establishment doesn't object."Nixon's question:Jews and marijuana: "I see another thing in the news summary this morning about it. That's a funny thing, every one of the bastards that are out for legalizing marijuana is Jewish. What the Christ is the matter with the Jews, Bob, what is the matter with them? I suppose it's because most of them are psychiatrists . . ." 
--Nixon, Marijuana, and the Shafer Commission.
Nixon Tapes Reveal Twisted Roots Of Marijuana Prohibition.
White House Conversations Reveal Prejudices, Culture War Behind Nixon's Drug War.
The Former Governor Delivered An Honest, Thorough Report. The President Wanted Something Different. Tapes, Nixon Rails About Jews and Blacks.
Oliver Atkins/National Archives.
President Richard M. Nixon at his desk in the Oval Office, where a secret taping system had been installed.
Published: December 10, 2010 light of the close cultural, military and economic ties between the U.S.A. and Israel, a large rethink of the Nixon-inspired 'War on Drugs' needs to be made by the U.S. federal government. Present U.S. policy is engraved in the 1970 Controlled Substances Act and the UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961 as amended by the 1972 Protocol. The inclusion of the herb medical cannabis, mentioned in the Torah, in the above law and treaty is an insult to Israel, one of the U.S.A.'s closest allies, on the grounds of Freedom of Religion, First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. UNODC Treaties  
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Comment #12 posted by ekim on July 05, 2012 at 07:16:02 PT
from NPR story. what does the Torah say about it
One of the reasons it has been so widely accepted in Israel, Or says, is that cannabis use is mentioned in the Torah so the religious establishment doesn't object. His support of medical marijuana is purely scientific, however.
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Comment #11 posted by Paint with light on July 04, 2012 at 22:11:15 PT
On Topic
PBS story about medical cannabis in Israel (with audio). like alcohol.
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Comment #10 posted by afterburner on July 04, 2012 at 12:48:41 PT
The “Empire Strikes Back” Against California’s GMO Initiative
July 3, 2012
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Comment #9 posted by afterburner on July 03, 2012 at 20:52:00 PT
Sam Adams #7 
If Monsanto has anything to do with it, cannabis will become GMO. Advisors to the FDA and USDA are (former) Monsanto employees. The GMO labelling initiative in California's 2012 election is our best defense for the successful right to grow our own medicine.Monsanto rated among worst corporate lobbyists.
Monday, February 28, 2011 by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer. 
Learn more: documents reveal US diplomats actually work for Monsanto.
Wednesday, January 11, 2012 by: Anthony Gucciardi.
Learn more:
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Comment #8 posted by museman on July 03, 2012 at 14:49:57 PT
Absolutely the only acceptable result
"If we don't secure the fundamental human right to grow (cannabis) plants, "legalization" will merely move us from one drug dealer to another, with slightly better product but the same exploitive price."I wholeheartedly concur.LEGALIZE FREEDOM
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Comment #7 posted by Sam Adams on July 03, 2012 at 13:36:40 PT
it's great to hear that a plant like this has been bred, however, no one but "Tikun Olam" will be allowed to grow it. Now you see the great importance of cannabis laws that allow the individual to grow plants. If we don't secure the fundamental human right to grow (cannabis) plants, "legalization" will merely move us from one drug dealer to another, with slightly better product but the same exploitive price.Fortunately there are already several CBD-rich strains available from seed banks for small amount of money. One wonders how long that situation will last before Monsanto-style regs will be foisted on them.
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on July 03, 2012 at 08:21:30 PT
That's what I thought too. What's the difference I wonder.
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Comment #5 posted by runruff on July 03, 2012 at 07:54:46 PT
I discovered a no-high pot.
It is called hemp.
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on July 03, 2012 at 07:06:52 PT
Another Comment
Last week my sister, who is a good deal older then I am and I am a senior citizen, had a knee replacement. She has had both hips and her other knee done over the last five years. She has a terrible reaction to any mind altering pain meds. This time she wasn't put under and they did a block on her leg and they used the drug Michael Jackson overdosed on for the major part of the surgery. She was awake and alert within no time and she had a much better hospital experience. Some people feel weird on drugs. This type of cannabis will help people like my sister.
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Comment #3 posted by sammyd on July 03, 2012 at 06:12:12 PT:
To each his own...
I agree with FoM that this is a good thing. I can understand people who want a medicine that actually works, but still want to be able to function with a clear head. Personally, however, to me it would seem like eating food without taste, just to become full. Like the title suggests, to each his (or her) own.
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on July 03, 2012 at 05:34:44 PT
Highless Cannabis
I believe this is a good thing. People who are older or who have serious chronic illness with pain often don't want anything to make them feel different they just want help with pain management and this will do well for them.
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Comment #1 posted by RevRayGreen on July 03, 2012 at 05:16:22 PT
Raphael Mechoulam
Raphael Mechoulam, a professor of medicinal chemistry at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, discovered THC in 1963.
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