Raphael Mechoulam is not a breeder or a seedbank owner, Mechoulam is not either a grower, a businessman or Cannabis advocate, as a matter of fact, the professor does not even use the Cannabis plant himself.
Raphael Mechoulam is the scientist who discovered THC, the CBD molecule and the very existence of the Endocannabinoid system. Mechoulam has been studying Hashish and Cannabis flowers in an Israeli lab with a team of scientists over the last 54 years.
Based on a true feeling: 90% of the Cannabis aficionados ignore until the very existence of Raphael Mechoulam and the 10% left are doctors or journalists. The Internet is full of literature and movies about the Mechoulam's findings and historical discoveries.
Take for example that staggering documentary on Youtube "the Scientist'.
Mechoulam's immense knowledge about Cannabis only equals the kindness that he always welcomes you with: available, positive, obliging and talented. Everyone who ever met him remembers Raphael as an extraordinary person.
Since more or less everything has already been said, written and filmed about Mechoulam's work, interviewing was a challenge. This is why we have taken a different approach and decided to make it fast and pleasant.
What's your personal message, to leave behind for the younger generations to come?
"The development of medicinal Cannabis treatments should be based on clinical trials which haven't been done properly so far, excepted for a few diseases only. So my first advice would be: move forward with clinical trials.The cannabis medicine should become standardized; my next advice would be: Try to make Cannabis medicine standardized everywhere in the world.
Eventually: try to push as much as possible with the cannabinoid research. I mean in particular to encourage to study the effects of endogenous cannabinoids and endogenous-like compounds on human physiology."
" We need to move forward with the clinical trials "
Did you sometimes feel frustrated facing the screaming paradox of Cannabis medicine and Cannabis prohibition worldwide?
"We are way beyond the stage of frustration now. We should try to have clinical trials. It's the only way we will move forward. Without validated clinical trials, most clinicians will never prescribe Cannabinoid based treatments."
In Italy the medical Cannabis prescriptions will soon be refunded by the italian national social security system. Do you think it would become a good model for a modern country?
"I truly hope that the Italian practice will be followed everywhere"
Following the so-called ‘green rush’ in America, would you like to share any thoughts about the process of Cannabis legalization in the USA in general?
"The medical use of Cannabis is based on scientific knowledge. For me, the recreational use of Cannabis is a social issue and has nothing to do with the medical side. So if the population of a state decides to approve recreational use, so be it. But I believe that political decisions cannot be based on the medical properties of Cannabis."
" the recreational use of Cannabis is a social issue"
Why are the Israelis so afraid of THC, why are they afraid of Psycho activity?
(This is a question from our friend from PHD Robert Melamede retired Chairman of the Biology Department at University of Colorado, Cannabis based research on cannabinoids, cancer, and DNA repair)
"Israel is probably well ahead of most other countries in the medical use of Cannabis. In Israel we have led some of the most significant Cannabis based research over the years, including the identification of THC. So we have never been afraid of it.
At the moment I speak there could possibly be more than 20 scientific groups here in Israel working on the Cannabinoids. So no we are not afraid of the THC, or the CBD, or the Anandamide or even the 2-AG compounds dear Robert, we are not afraid at all. Of course, I can admit that socially, Israel is a conservative country. Hence the recreational Cannabis is not turning out to become a major topic for now."
" we are not afraid at all of THC "
Have you ever reached the point where science meets philosophy or even faith along the many years of research and studies with Cannabis? If you would have to bring with you one particular Cannabis strain on a desert Island, which one would it be?
"Science and Faith go along different pathways and have nothing in common. Cannabis research meets philosophy to the same extent that any other biochemical research does so. When it comes to using Cannabis myself, I'll prefer to bring with me many of the foods I enjoy eating every day :)"
<em>Interview made for Blinc by JPC - December 2017 - All rights reserved -</em>