WATCH: Pot Can Be Patented, Says Israel's Godfather of Weed Research

No reason to believe drug companies aren't investing in marijuana research due to plant's 'unpatentability,' Prof. Raphael Mechoulam of the Hebrew University tells NBC.

Haaretz
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A child wearing a marijuana leaf hat poses during a rally in support of cultivation of cannabis for medicinal purposes in Santiago, Chile, March 18, 2015
A child wearing a marijuana leaf hat poses during a rally in support of cultivation of cannabis for medicinal purposes in Santiago, Chile, March 18, 2015Credit: Reuters
Haaretz

If even a small portion of what researchers say about the effectiveness of cannabis and its active ingredients is correct, it could in the future play a central role in the treatment of a wide range of afflictions. And there is no reason to think drug companies aren't investing in marijuana research due to an issue of 'unpatentability,' Prof. Raphael Mechoulam of the Hebrew University tells NBC.

Mechoulam’s studies have laid the foundations for the entire field of cannabis, and won him the Israel Prize in Chemistry in 2000. In 1963, when he was only 33, Mechoulam isolated CBD, the ingredient responsible for the most important of cannabis’ medical properties. A year later, Mechoulam was the first to discover THC, the psychoactive component of cannabis, which is responsible for its consciousness-altering effects on users around the world.

Thirty years later, Mechoulam again played a critical role, this time in the discovery of endocannabinoids.

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