Shalom Life | April 19, 2015

A Look at Israel's 'Designer' Strains of Medical Marijuana

Israeli researchers are working on medicinal marijuana strains that will cater to various patients

By: Andrey Kastelmacher, NoCamels

Published: January 22nd, 2015 in Health » Israel

Purple Kush and Lemon Haze may be items on a menu of an Amsterdam coffee shop that offers different kinds of ‘high,’ but different types of medical cannabis can now be used to treat diverse conditions. Thanks to Israeli researchers, who are working on a ‘menu’ of medical marijuana strains that will cater to various patients, this potent weed is now used to soothe anything from depression to epilepsy.

Nowadays, progressive legislation and new research allow modern science to delve into the various medical uses of cannabis, as well as to create new “designer” strains of marijuana. Israeli scientists, who have been at the forefront of marijuana’s genetic engineering for years, are now modifying marijuana to treat a range of diseases.

Health News - Research: Tiny Quantities Of Marijuana Protect Against Brain Damage

Nearly 5,000 years of medicinal history

Marijuana is gradually becoming a genetically modified organism (GMO), produced in greenhouse-laboratories to treat very specific conditions. By using genetic markers to control molecule counts, scientists modify the plant so it can better treat certain symptoms, thus helping millions of patients worldwide.

Medical marijuana was said to be used in China as early as 2,900 BC and was described as a medicinal power-flower throughout history. Israel pioneered marijuana research in 1964 when Dr. Raphael Mechoulam discovered “D9-tetrahydrocannabinol”, also known as THC, one of 70 cannabinoids (the active molecules in cannabis). Today, Israeli researchers lead the scientific world in cannabinoid research, inventing new methods of mapping the cannabis genome, while discovering new medical uses for the plant. In the last six years, with the help of the Israeli Health Ministry, the number of patients treated with cannabis grew from 100 to tens of thousands.


“A healthy kid, not a ‘high’ kid”

Agrobreeding, a computer-controlled breeding method that genetically modifies plants, creates a closely monitored, controlled environment in which scientists grow and farm marijuana strains. This selective breeding method uses big-data computers and analysis techniques that provide growers and researchers with insightful plant information, including the amounts of active THC and CBD in marijuana.

This article was first published on NoCamels - Israeli Innovation News and was re-posted with permission. To continue reading this article on the site, click here.

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