Episode 89 – Professor Cannabis
Close to 60 years ago, in the early 1960s, Marijuana AKA Cannabis wasn’t exactly the friendly substance it is today. In pretty much every developed country, recreational use of the drug was totally illegal and medical research was limited.
So as a junior faculty member of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, Dr. Raphael Mechoulam had to jump through a few loops to get his hands on a sample for his research. Luckily for Dr. Mechoulam, the director of the Weizmann institute had an old army buddy in an opportune place – the head of the investigative branch of the national police. Dr. Mechoula, reach out to him and was provided with 5 kilos of seized Lebanese Hasish.
This sample allowed Dr. Mechoulam and his research partners to discover cannabidiol in 1963 and THC the following year. In 2001 Prof. Mechoulam was awarded the Israel Prize, the country’s most prestigious award for scientific achievement and today he continues his research at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
We are super thrilled to be talking to Prof. Mechoulam today about cannabis, his life and his research.