Medical marijuana has been legal in Israel since 1993, but the recreational use of cannabis is, obviously, illegal.
The research firm responsible for the latest discovery, Tikun Olam, operates a plantation in northern Israel, in the Galilee. The organization claims the new marijuana does not contain THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, the substance responsible for the “high” that typically accompanies the consumption of cannabis. According to JTA, the newly developed plant still possesses cannabidiol (CBD), and remains effective in terms of treating a wide range of illnesses.
Put scientifically, “Avidekel” is a cannabis strain rich in CBD, with few traces (less than one percent) of THC, according to Reuters.
For those wondering why anyone would like the “high” removed, those familiar with the usage of marijuana in a medicinal context report that patients treated with the plant often prefer a ‘high-less’ alternative.
“Sometimes the high is not always what they need,” Zack Klein, head of development at Tikun Olam, told the Jerusalem Post, according to JTA. “Sometimes it is an unwanted side effect. For some of the people it’s not even pleasant.”
Cannabis is reportedly used to treat approximately 9,000 people in Israel, JTA cited the Post as having been told by the Israeli Health Ministry. Cancer, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease and post traumatic stress disorder are among the illnesses wherein medical marijuana may be introduced as a treatment.
Pot smokers have been less than exuberant regarding the news.
A tech website Gizmodo said the Israeli researchers were “killjoy scientists” who had “bred the fun out of medical marijuana,” Haaretz reported.