Food for thought – Cannabis chemistry a credit to Israeli innovation


Cartoon by Ryan Fletcher

Often I talk in awe of the significant scientific achievements of Israel and Jews in general. Jews make up approximately 22% of all Nobel Prize laureates worldwide (41% economics, 28% medicine, 26% physics and 19% chemistry). Israel is widely considered a leading contributor in hi-tech innovation, and for this reason one should have great respect for the homeland of the Jewish people.

For me the discoveries of one great Israeli mind holds great personal importance. Renowned organic chemist and Professor of Medicinal Chemistry Raphael Mechoulam, is credited with the scientific accomplishment of totally synthesising delta 9 – tetrahydrocannabinol (more commonly known as THC) as well as other cannabinoids like cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabigerol (CBG).

Professor Raphael Mechoulam is also credited with discovering endocannabinoids, which is a chemical substance in the body belonging to a group resembling organic chemicals found in cannabis.

Since my diagnosis of Epilepsy at age 11, and over a decade now of being put on several anti-convulsant medications, I have been unable to comprehensively gain seizure control.

Professor Raphael Mechoulam’s synthesis of the anticonvulsant non-psychotropic cannabinoid Cannabidiol (CBD), which accounts for 40% of the plant’s extract, holds great entrepreneurial potential for a range of medical and health treatments. You could say Professor Raphael Mechoulam is a personal hero of mine.

Food for thought.