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Raphael Mechoulam, “Father of Cannabis Research,” Dies at 92

The cannabis culture scene has been left saddened by the passing of Raphael Mechoulam, an industry great considered the “father of cannabis research.” Mechoulam, a Hebew University professor, passed away at 92. At a time of great loss, it is important to remember a cannabis research giant and pay global respect to him. 

Academic Highlights Which Contributed To Profound Research

Mechoulam studied at the Weizmann Institute and received a Ph.D. in 1958. His thesis involved the chemistry of steroids. His deep passion and scientific interest in the pharmacology of cannabinoids and chemistry took his qualifications to Rockefeller Institute. It was here that he performed his postdoctoral studies.

Mechoulam then became one of the scientific staff of the Weizmann Institute, who hyperfocused on the main active principles of cannabis. In particular, he focused on the isolation, structure elucidation, and synthesis within these active principles. Within his many research groups, Mechoulam fully synthesized the major plant cannabinoids. These included cannabidiol, cannabigerol, and tetrahydrocannabinol, cannabidiol.

raphael mechoulam

Career Highlights To Be Respected, And Remembered

Looking back at this remarkable professor, it is clear that much of all we know about cannabis, from human to scientific knowledge, was brought forward and gathered by Mechoulam himself. In a release, Hebrew University President Asher Cohen claimed that he opened the door for ground-breaking research and started international scientific collaboration.

While this professor led a remarkable life and did so much for the cannabis industry, a few 

notable career highlights are mentioned herein. 

With a team of researchers, professor Mechoulam performed cannabinoid experiments in Israel in the 1960s. This was the first time the world ever witnessed the isolation of delta-9 THC. To those who are unaware, delta-9 THC is cannabis’ psychoactive component. 

Later in his professional career, Mechoulam successfully designed and synthesized several novel cannabinoids that could become therapeutic pharmaceutical drugs.

Besides being nominated for more than 25 academic awards, Mechoulam still found time, thanks to his innate passion for cannabis research, to become the founding member of the International Association for Cannabinoid Medicines. He also founded the International Cannabinoid Research Society.

In his later career, he was rightfully elected as a prominent member of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities.

Things We Can Learn From The Father Of Cannabis Research

In an industry as old as time but seemingly so new and yet to be fully discovered, we, like medical cannabis pioneer Mechoulam, need to be fueled by curiosity. We need to ask questions and immerse ourselves in cannabis research. We need to find out all there is to know about this plant. Through this research, the cannabis industry can truly thrive and progress. 

As Per Mechoulam’s Words, Let’s Forge Ahead

Although Mechoulam has sadly passed, one of his famous quotes shall motivate the industry to forge ahead. 

“I have spent most of my life decoding the mysteries to be found within this incredible plant. The collective work on the plant has currently led to identifying a major physiological system, the endocannabinoid system, which appears to be involved in numerous human illnesses. I would like to see my colleagues forge ahead with their investigations, advancing even further the acceptance and integration of cannabinoids, in particular cannabidiol, its derivatives and the specific CB2 agonists, in traditional medicine. “ 

It is hoped that his colleagues and the industry will do just that. Forge forward. 


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