Israeli scientists take the high out of weed

A new breed of marijuana relieves symptoms of patients suffering from medical ailments, without the high; response to new breed has been mixed.

In a move unlikely to win Israel new friends abroad, Israeli scientists have figured out how to neutralize the chemical in marijuana that makes users high.

Marijuana Colombia 4.6.2012

A police officer holds a handful of seized marijuana during a presentation to journalists at a police station in Cali, Colombia - Photo by AP

A new type of marijuana developed in Israel contains no tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the active ingredient in the cannabis plant that causes mind-altering effects when the plant is smoked.

Instead, the new breed contains a higher level of cannabidiol (CBD), another component of the plant which is not high-inducing, but does offer beneficial effects for patients suffering from various symptoms.

Mother Earth gave us multiple species of marijuana, each with its own attributes and effects, but nothing quite like this has ever been invented, and the world media’s coverage of the Israeli innovation has been ambivalent, to say the least.

Technology website Gizmodo called the Israeli researchers “killjoy scientists” and accused them of having “bred the fun out of medical marijuana.”

Tzahi Klein, head of development at Tikkun Olam, the company that developed the new species, is proud of the development. In an interview last week with Israeli newspaper Yediot Aharonot, Klein said his weed had the same taste, smell and shape as regular marijuana – only without the high.

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By Lital Levin

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