Israeli scientists have cultivated a Marijuana plant that doesn't get people high when they smoke it. No, it is not some form of inhumane torture, it's an effort to deliver the medicinal soothing effects of marijuana to patients struggling with various diseases, while not exposing them to the disorienting high often associated with smoking the substance.
While some may believe the high was the therapeutic effect many patients were after, Tzahi Klein, the man in charge of development at the firm who created it, claims that cannabidiol (CBD), a component of marijuana, helps treat diabetics, and also those diagnosed with various psychological disorders.
Tzahi Klein, head of development at Tikkun Olam comments on the new strain of marijuana:
"It has the same scent, shape and taste as the original plant -- it's all the same -- but the numbing sensation that users are accustomed to has disappeared,"
According to Maariv Daily, a publication from Israel, the plant is also incapable of producing the hunger sensation which typically accompanies the high. This means cancer patients who suffer from loss of appetite due to chemotherapy treatments won't find the plant to be of any therapeutic value.
Regardless, Israel has strict laws on marijuana use and outlaw it for anything but the most essential medical purposes. To date, it has only been approved in about 6,000 cases.
Similar studies took place last year, where scientists were able to harness the anesthetic effects of marijuana without subjecting the patients to the psychotropic sensations typically caused by smoking the substance. The idea was to create a line of therapeutic remedies that would produce virtually zero side effects.
The new strain of marijuana was thought to be an excellent treatment for those suffering from the withdrawal effects that accompany alcoholism and for those who find themselves sensitive to taking aspirin or ibuprofen.
There are a lot of scientists who believe in the utility of marijuana in the medical world. The challenge has always been getting legislators to ease the laws to allow for it to be taken advantage of in clinical settings. Perhaps removing the disorienting effects responsible for the current stigma surrounding the plant could be a key step toward gaining wider therapeutic and government acceptance.
(Lead image courtesy of staplenews.com)