Dr Mechoulam: There is, for example, a translation of an Arab story of the 15th century, and it says that one of the Arab leaders had epilepsy. A physician came over and gave him cannabis and it cured him, but he had to take it for his entire life.
so the field kind of told us:
“Try it on epilepsy.”
We first tried it in animals and it worked, so at this point we decided to go into humans.
Trial took place in Sao Paolo.
They had about ten people that had epilepsy that could not be affected by the known drugs. We started giving them high doses of cannabidiol, 200 mg per day.
Zach: And you were producing the cannabidiol from hashish?
Dr Mechoulam: For almost 40 years we didn’t produce it, we isolated it,
we separated it from hashish. Hashish contains about four percent, five percent cannabidiol, so it is really quite difficult to isolate to obtain large amounts, but we did that.
We were happy to note that indeed, they had no seizures while they were taking cannabidiol and it was published and nothing happened afterwards.
So far, 34 years later, this is the only publication of cannabidiol
in humans against epilepsy.
Avidekel is a new strain of a plant that is already permitted for medical use so there is nothing stopping patients who are already being treated with marijuana from trying Avidekel. About 10 patients began using it in the past six months, Klein said.
Despite Avidekel’s highless benefit, Klein does not see regular marijuana disappearing any time soon. THC has its own unique effects that alleviate illness symptoms.
“Don’t worry, I think that cannabis with THC will still be (around),” he said.
Tikun Olam’s head of development Zack Klein told Reuters: “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.”
A research team at the Hebrew University has been studying the effects of the CBD-enhanced cannabis on mice and plans to start clinical trials later this year. Despite this, Avidekel is already approved for medical use, so patients with marijuana licenses can already try it.
Recreational smokers may not see the point, but according to its developers, high-less pot gives people suffering from chronic pain and disease a way to get the all the medical benefits of weed while keeping their senses.