Though the use of medical marijuana is becoming more widely accepted, the plant still carries quite a bit of stigma. Perhaps that’s why an Israeli company has taken it upon themselves to develop a species of the cannabis that doesn’t get you high. Good news, I guess?
The AFP says that news of the plant was first reported by the Hebrew-language newspaper Maariv Daily. The report says that the plant looks the same, smells the same, and tastes the same, but won’t get you high.
The work was done by the company Tikkun Olam with Tzahi Klein leading the effort. Klein and his team were apparently able to neutralize the effects of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, which is primarily responsible for the getting you high part of marijuana. Instead, the plants have increased levels of cannabidiol, which has been shown to have several valuable properties. In addition to being a sedative, cannabidiol has also been shown to work as an antipsychotic, an inhibitor of cancer growth, among others.
Klein is quoted by the AFP as saying that people who have been given the new plants for medical purposes were surprised at the lack of enjoyable side effects. From the AFP:
“Many of our patients who tried the new plant come back to us and say: ‘You tricked me,'” because they assumed they had been given a placebo, he said.
Despite having a variant of the plant that seems to promote all the medically valuable aspects of cannabis without the fun stuff, the new species is unlikely to change the plant’s legal status. For instance, cannabidiol is considered a Schedule 1 controlled substance in the United States. However, it might be a preferable option for some doctors and medical companies looking to supply medical marijuana.
If this catches on, all those medical marijuana dispensaries are probably going to get a lot more boring.
(AFP via PhysOrg)