The acceptance of cannabis as a viable medical ingredient has been a slow, uphill battle. The worldwide medical community has put forth relatively little in the way of major discoveries of cannabinoid interactions, with the exception of Dr. Raphael Mechoulam.

Mechoulam’s unique beginnings positioned him for a successful future as the unbiased “father/grandfather/godfather of marijuana” with his groundbreaking explorations of cannabinoids and their interactions with the human body.

Due to longstanding stigma against the ingestion of cannabinoids in the 20th century, the notion of marijuana as effective medicine was a hard pill to swallow for most.

In the special case of Dr. Mechoulam, the researcher viewed cannabis under the same lens as any other substance worthy of scientific study.

Since he did not approach his research with preconceived stigma, it allowed him to make major breakthroughs, providing us with information we now consider to be the basis for cannabinoids-as-medicine.

DR. MECHOULAM: A BRIEF HISTORY

Mechoulam was born in Sofia, Bulgaria on 05th November, 1930. Raised into an affluent Jewish family, the Mechoulam’s were eventually pushed out of their hometown due to rampant anti-semitism. In 1944, Mechoulam’s father survived his time in a nazi concentration camp, before the entire family relocated to Israel in 1949.

After switching his studies from chemical engineering to chemistry, Mechoulam’s foray into cannabis science was a natural extension of his innate curiosities and obsession with research.

I found the independence of research to be an addiction from which I do not want to be cured.

What Mechoulam eventually found is that cannabinoids bind to receptors in different areas of the brain and vital organs. This relationship triggers different reactions that can cause diverse effects ranging from anti-inflammatory benefits to paranoia.

Ultimately, Mechoulam realized that it’s not happenstance that humans use cannabinoids.

In 1992, he found that we as people naturally produce our own internal cannabinoids that maintain importance in regulating human mood, pain, memory and more. In his research, Mechoulam discovered the chemical anandamide. Anandamide is characterized as a fatty acid neurotransmitter and has been linked to helping suppress cancer cell proliferation, among other benefits.

Today, Dr. Mechoulam is actively pursuing new information on endogenous cannabinoids, as he believes them to be the so-called next step in cannabis research. Mechoulam understands that these cannabinoids display a lot of medical potential and have an important relationship in human biology.

Anecdotally, Mechoulam has linked cannabinoids to helping to suppress addiction and aiding with traumatic head injuries due to blood vessel activity.

Originally published: cannabis.info

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