How this tiny Middle Eastern nation came to lead the world in medical marijuana research

Few people outside of the legal cannabis industry would associate Israel with marijuana. But the tiny nation, slightly larger in square miles than New Jersey, is a surprising world leader when it comes to pioneering medical cannabis research and development.

In the 1960s Israeli scientist Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, using confiscated Lebanese hashish he obtained from the police, was one of the first researchers to identify cannabidiol (CBD), one of the plant’s key compounds. And soon after he determined the structure of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the chemical compound that gives cannabis its intoxicating high.

Using his research as a springboard, Mechoulam convinced the country’s Ministry of Health to establish a medical cannabis program. In 1992, the ministry approved medical marijuana and eventually established a formal medical marijuana program that is currently being used by around 25,000 Israeli patients.

“Working in

... read more at: