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by S. Toner, November 30, 2010

Did you know that the scientist who first discovered THC, the main active substance in cannabis, is a Hebrew University professor?

In 1964,  Prof. Raphael Mechoulam and colleagues identified and later synthesized the primary psychoactive compound in marijuana: delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. ( Sounds like a pretty fun job-how come I don't recall doing those kind of scientist experiments in "high"-school at  Joseph Wolinsky Collegiate. Then again, if I did recall them I wouldn't write about them).  

Prof. Mechoulam, who works at the Institute of Drug Research at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem's Faculty of Medicine, has continued to study the mechanisms of THC and related cannabinoids. Prof. Mechoulam is interested in the potential use of medical marijuana to relieve the symptoms of chronic pain, cancer, brain trauma, arthritis, and other diseases.

Meet Prof. Rafael Mechoulam in this short video clip . ( Editor's note: And when you watch the video, don't inhale ! )

The Canadian Army Health Services Center used Dr. Mechoulam's discovery of THC to develop synthetic cannabinoid to treat the nightmares of soldiers with PTSD. Fully 72 % were able to sleep for the first time in years. Click here to read the recent Jerusalem Post article on this study.
The first Monday of every month, Hebrew University will upload a different short clip showcasing faculty and student experts to the video section on its Facebook page. HU student Yonit further explains how the series works.
Updates and reminders are available on HU's Facebook wall. Please check the wall periodically for the next opportunity to "meet" Hebrew University experts.


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