Oaksterdam University joins the cannabis community in mourning the passing of a pioneer.
Dr. Raphael Mechoulam. The Israeli scientist who is considered the father of cannabis research, died on March 9, 2023, at the age of 92. Mechoulam’s work has had a profound impact on our understanding of cannabis and its potential medicinal benefits. Oaksterdam was blessed to have Dr. Mechoulam become an honorary faculty member in 2017 when OU went to Isreal.
Dr. Mechhoulam was the first to isolate and identify the active ingredients in cannabis, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). He also discovered the endocannabinoid system, a network of receptors in the body that interact with cannabinoids.
Mechoulam’s research has led to the development of new medications for conditions such as epilepsy, chronic pain, and multiple sclerosis. He also helped to destigmatize cannabis use and has contributed to the legalization of medical marijuana in many countries around the world.
Mechoulam was a pioneer in the field of cannabis research, and his work has had a lasting impact on our understanding of this complex plant. He was a brilliant scientist and a passionate advocate for the medicinal benefits of cannabis. His legacy will continue to inspire scientists and patients for generations to come.
“It is hard to imagine the sheer bravery Dr. Mechoulam showed on a daily basis,” says Oaksterdam University Executive Chancellor Dale Sky Jones. “To continue his work in the face of extraordinary U.S. government opposition to any serious research of cannabis — for decades — until the world caught up to the reality of science over politics.”
Here are some of Mechoulam’s most notable achievements:
- In 1964, he isolated and identified THC, the main psychoactive compound in cannabis.
- In 1966, he isolated and identified CBD, a non-psychoactive compound with therapeutic potential.
- In 1971, he discovered the endocannabinoid system, a network of receptors in the body that interact with cannabinoids.
- In 1992, he isolated and identified anandamide, the body’s own cannabinoid neurotransmitter.
- In 1998, he postulated the “entourage effect,” the theory that the effects of cannabis are a result of a synergy of all the naturally-occurring plant compounds in cannabis (or other herbs).
- He has published over 500 scientific papers on cannabis and cannabinoids.
- He is a recipient of numerous awards, including the Israel Prize in Exact Sciences and the Harvey Prize in Chemistry.
A Profound Impact
Mechoulam believed that cannabis could be used to treat a wide range of conditions, including pain, inflammation, epilepsy, and cancer. He also believed that cannabis could be used to reduce the use of opioids and other addictive drugs.
Mechoulam’s work has had a profound impact on our understanding of cannabis and its potential medical benefits. He was a pioneer in the field of cannabis research, and his legacy will continue to inspire scientists and patients for generations to come.
In addition to his scientific achievements, Mechoulam was a kind and compassionate man who was dedicated to improving the lives of others. He was a true pioneer in the field of cannabis research, and his work has had a lasting affect on our understanding of this complex plant. He will be deeply missed by all who knew him.