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The Scientist (2015)
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The Scientist (2015)

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Fifty-two years ago Professor Raphael Mechoulam was on a bus carrying 5 kilos of hashish in his bag to his laboratory at the Weitzmann institute in Rehovot. That bus ride turned out to be a historic one, as Mechoulam used that hashish to discover the psychoactive component in marijuana, THC. Twenty years after that groundbreaking finding, Mechoulam ascertained that THC and many of the other components in the plant interact with the largest receptor system in the human body, the endocannabinoid system. And shortly after that, he learned that the human brain produces its very own marijuana – a chemical that they named anandamide after the Sanskrit word ananda, “bliss.” Though still unknown to most researchers, medical professionals and laymen because of the worldwide prohibition of the marijuana, the importance of this endocannabinoid system can’t be overstated. this system is thought to be involved in every disease state and it is one reason that cannabis treats so many varied illnesses. Mechoulam has been doggedly investigating this compound longer and more intensively than any other scientist. To date he has unearthed cannabis’s helpful role in treating illnesses as well as its impact on other functions that govern human health, such as the rapidity with which an infant bonds with his mother. He is universally acknowledged as the “father of cannabinoid medicine.” Yet despite these accolades Mechoulam’s name isn’t known outside of a small group of researchers.

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