New Marijuana Strain Doesn’t Get You High
By Nic Halverson 08 July 2012
I have a hunch this next nugget I’m going to pack the pipe with is going to be a real drag for many card-carrying members (and friends) of the medical marijuana community.
Tikun Olam, a government-approved medical marijuana plantation in northern Israel, has developed a new strain of cannabis that contains very low traces of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive constituent in marijuana that makes users feel high.
This new strain, called Avidekel, still retains the medicinal benefits of marijuana, it just doesn’t make users feel stoned. That’s because it contains less than one percent THC, compared to the Tikun Olam’s most popular strand that contains 23 percent.
While THC may be the most popular of the 60-plus cannabinoids found in marijuana, one of the most important is cannabidiol (CBD), known for its anti-inflammatory benefits. Coupled with low doses of THC, Avidekel boasts a 16 percent concentration if CBD, thus offering to relieve pain without making users feel intoxicated.
No big deal, right? After all, most medical-marijuana patients partake solely for the medicinal benefits, right? Surely they don’t care about getting high?
(We’ll pause here as screams of panic ring out from from the fertile hills of Humboldt County, Calif. to the dispensaries of Boulder, Colo. and on over to the coffee shops of Amsterdam.)
“Sometimes the high is not always what they need. Sometimes it is an unwanted side effect. For some of the people it’s not even pleasant,” Zack Klein, head of development at Tikun Olam, told Reuters.
After researching CBD-enriched cannabis since 2009, Tikun Olam came up with Avidekel six months ago.
Raphael Mechoulam, a professor of medicinal chemistry at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, told Reuters he thought Avidekel is one of a kind.
“It is possible that” Avidekel’s “CBD to THC ratio is the highest among medical marijuana companies in the world, but the industry is not very organised, so one cannot keep exact track of what each company is doing,” he explained.
All you sparkers of the sweet cheeba, I know it sounds like Avidekel threatens to cash your favorite pastime. Though you may be less stoked to toke it, at least the folks at Tikun Olam have your best interest in mind: your health. After all, the real reason behind all those bong rips is because you are afflicted and in no way, shape or form enjoy getting stoned, right?
This story was provided by Discovery News.
Israeli medical marijuana plantation creates strain of cannabis with low traces of THC. Bummer or boon?
Invented: Marijuana that doesn’t get you high
Although it appears that the Obama administration is cracking down on medical marijuana, a number of the drug’s health benefits have become increasingly indisputable. One Israeli company hopes that it can create a middle ground: Tikun Olam has successfully created a strain of weed called Avidekel that provides many of the helpful medicinal effects of cannabis minus one notable differentiator — it doesn’t get you high. “Whyyyyyyyyy?” asks Victoria Kekiepmis at the Village Voice. Here, a brief guide to the weed world’s version of O’Douls:
Why invent such a thing?
Sometimes getting high is an “unwanted side effect,” says Zack Klein, head of development at Tikun Olam, the company that developed the plant. Marijuana contains a number of proven health benefits thanks to more than 60 kinds of cannabinoids, including cannabidiol (CBD), a substance that possesses anti-inflammatory properties. In Israel, where marijuana is illegal except for medicinal use, more than 9,000 people use the drug to treat illnesses like cancer, Parkinson’s, Crohn’s disease, PTSD, and more. But cannabis’ most infamous cannabinoid, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), also gets you stoned, which is less than desirable when you need to focus in any way.
How did they develop Avidekel?
Certain cannabis strains around the world have higher levels of CBD than THC. Beginning in 2009, Israeli researchers began breeding the plants to develop a product that did away with the THC. About six months ago, they debuted their first variety, Avidekel, which contains a potent 15.8 percent CBD, giving it strong anti-inflammatory properties.
What does it taste like?
Avidekel “looks the same, smells the same, and tastes the same,” says Max Eddy at Geekosystem, but it won’t get you high. “It’s a huge advantage,” says one 35-year-old patient who recently had a painful tumor removed from her spine. “I can smoke during the day, function with a lot less pain and still be focused, work, and drive. It’s a great gift.”
Does this mean normal marijuana is on its way out?
“Don’t worry,” says Klein. Clinical trials testing Avidekel’s efficacy aren’t even set to begin for a few more months. Not to mention that THC is known to help alleviate symptoms that this new high-free strain can’t. Cannabis as we know it isn’t going anywhere.
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