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.
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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.
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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?