When Israeli chemist and professor Dr. Raphael Mechoulam revealed his earth-shattering research about the structure of THC and CBD in the early 1960’s, the reaction was not what he had hoped. The world was not ready to accept the idea that cannabis could be used for medicinal purposes, as many still saw it as a useless recreational “drug”. However, as medicinal cannabis becomes more accepted and new research is conducted, the initial findings of Mechoulam and his team seem even more important to the cannabis industry.
Dr. Mechoulam’s research created the building blocks for what we now know about the structure of the compounds found in cannabis. Though his initial findings were highly important, Dr. Mechoulam has continued his cannabis research and made new discoveries that help to create a better understanding of the benefits of the cannabis plant.
Meet Dr. Raphael Mechoulam
Israeli scientist Dr. Raphael Mechoulam has been researching cannabis and the many compounds that are found within it since the 1960’s. His research has covered everything from the molecular structure of THC and CBD to using CBD to treat a number of conditions. The most important of his work was his research into the use of CBD to treat seizures and epilepsy.
Though some initially criticized his claims, Dr. Mechoulam’s research has been backed by a number of publicly released studies. There is even an FDA-approved CBD based epilepsy drug available for purchase in the United States. While there were early doubters, it is clear that Dr. Mechoulam’s past work stands the test of time.
Stabilization of Cannabis Acids
Though his early work laid the groundwork for the cannabis industry we know today, Dr. Mechoulam has continued his research. He and a group of researchers recently revealed at a medical cannabis conference in Pasadena, California that they have created a way of stabilizing acids found within the living cannabis plant that can be used in medicine. There are acids in the plant that are different from and potentially more potent than easily extracted compounds CBD and THC, but CBD and THC can also be stabilized as acids in more potent forms (THCA and CBDA).
Dr. Mechoulam and his team said the acids are now available to be licensed to drug companies. According to NBC news, the team believes that the acids will be best used for treating inflammatory conditions such as psoriasis, arthritis, and inflammatory bowel disease.
The synthesis and stabilization of acids from the cannabis plant has the potential to be a massive shift in the medical cannabis market. Dr. Mechoulam and his team are at the forefront of this potential improvement in the way medical cannabis is used as a treatment. Whether the cannabis acid market will explode like other sectors of the cannabis industry remains to be seen, but it is exciting to know that specialists like Dr. Mechoulam continue to work to help better the lives of others.
Lane is based in Southern California and is a content curator for Medical Marijuana 411. He focuses his research into finding informative stories that can help medical marijuana patients better understand their diverse medicine.