Global: Professor Raphael Mechoulam - Discovery of THC and Beyond
By Michael Bachara, Hemp News Staff
Raphael Mechoulam is an Israeli professor for Medicinal Chemistry and Natural Products at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel. While working on research at the Weizmann Institute of Science, Michoulam succeeded in the isolation, structure elucidation and total synthesis of delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol, the main active principle of cannabis. He and his research group have also succeeded in the total synthesis of the major plant cannabinoids delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol, cannabidiol, cannabigerol and multiple others. Another research project initiated by him led to the isolation of the first described endocannabinoid anandamide which was isolated and characterized by two of his postdoctoral researchers, Lumír Hanuš and William Devane.
Over the past few years, Professor Mechoulam, has become a great inspiration to activists, doctors, scientists and citizens worldwide for his dedication and continual striving to find cures to devastating human ailments, such as PTSD and chronic pain.
Professor Mechoulam has been awarded several prizes from the Heinrich Wieland Prize to the Ulf von Euler Lecture in Physiology. In 1999, the International Cannabinoid Research Society established the "Raphael Mechoulam Annual Award in Cannabinoid Research".
This April, Mechoulam will be speaking at the Sixth National Clinical Conference on Cannabis Therapeutics in Rhode Island. This conference will be a great chance for the cannabis community to gain insight into Mechoulam's cannabis studies and findings.
* Friday, April 16, 2010
8:30 - Raphael Mechoulam, PhD – Cannabis:Opening New Vistas in Both Therapy and Chemical Biology
* Saturday, April 17, 2010
8:20 Raphael Mechoulam, PhD – Head Trauma, Osteoporosis and Alzheimer’s Disease – An Unexpected Trio
This writer would like to focus on a fascinating tidbit that readers may not be aware of regarding the cannabis plant. In 2003, The United States government, as represented by the Department of Health and Human Services, was awarded a patent (U.S. Patent 6630507) on cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants.
Question: Why would the U.S. Government patent cannabinoids if they do not openly acknowledge that cannabis has medicinal value?
Answer: They do believe cannabis has value and even have researchers are studying it!
Below is the official information on the US patent. On Oct. 7, 2003, U.S. Patent 6630507 protecting cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants was issued to the department. The patent is not set to expire until 2021. The progress that could be made in medicine in the next eleven years is mind boggling.
Please contact the White House at (202)456-1111 and ask them to let scientists in the United States study cannabinoids without fear of prosecution. There is simply no time to waste on perpetuating the "Reefer Madness" rhetoric.
Mechoulam has published more than 300 scientific papers on the topic of his extensive cannabis research. Here is a brief bibliography of some of his recent papers:
R. Mechoulam, D.G. Deutsch. Toward an anandamide transporter. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA, 102, 17541-17542, 2005 .
E. Fride, R. Suris, J. Weidenfeld R. Mechoulam. Differential response to acute and repeated stress in cannabinoid CB1 receptor knockout newborn and adult mice. Behavioural Pharmacol. 16, 431-440 (2005).
A. Makriyannis, R. Mechoulam, D. Piomelli. Therapeutic opportunities through modulation of the endocannabinoid system. Neuropharmacology, 48, 1068-1071 (2005).
A. Moussaieff, E. Lev, Z. Amar, E. Fride, D. Steinberg, R. Gallily, R. Mechoulam. The Jerusalem balsam: from the Franciscan Monastery in the Old City of Jerusalem to Martindale 33. Ethnopharmacology, 101, 16-26 (2005).
R.G. Pertwee, A .Thomas, L.A. Stevenson, Y. Maor, R. Mechoulam. Evidence that (-)-7-hydroxy-4’-dimethylheptyl-cannabidiol activates a non-CB1, non-CB2 , non-TRPV1 target in the mouse vas deferens. Neuropharmacology, 48, 1139-1146 (2005).
L. Hanuš, S. Tchilibon, D.E. Ponde, A. Breuer, E. Fride, R. Mechoulam. Enantiomeric cannabidiol derivatives: Synthesis and binding to cannabinoids receptors. Org. Biomol. Chem. 3, 1116-1123 (2005).
Y Avraham, A .Ben Menachem, A. Okun, O. Zlotarav, N. Abel, R. Mechoulam, E.M. Berry. Effect of the endocannabinoid noladin ether on body weight, food consumption, locomotor activity and cognitive index in mice. Brain Research Bull. 65, 117-123 (2005).
D. Panikashvili, R. Mechoulam, S. M. Beni, A. Alexandrovitch and E. Shohami. CB1 cannabinoid receptors are involved in neuroprotection via NF-kB inhibition. J. Cerebral Blood Flow Metabolism 25, 477-484 (2005).
R. Mechoulam, P.F. Sumariwalla, M. Feldmann and R. Gallily. Cannabinoids in models of chronic inflammatory conditions. Phytochemistry Reviews 4, 11-18 (2005).
I. Lastres-Becker, F.Molina-Holgado, J.A. Ramos, R.Mechoulam, J. Fernandez-Ruiz, Cannabinoids provide neuroprotection against 6-hydroxydopamine toxicity in vivo and in vitro: relevance to Parkinson’s disease. Neurobiol. Dis. 19, 96-107 (2005).
M. Maccarrone, E. Fride, T. Bisogno, M. Bari, M.G. Cascio, N. Batista, A. Finazzi Agro, R. Suris, R. Mechoulam, V. Di Marzo. Up-regulation of the endocannabinoid system in the uterus of leptin knockout (ob/ob) mice and implications for fertility. Mol Human Reproduction 11, 21-28, 2005.
E. Fride, C. Feigin, D.E. Ponde, A. Breuer, L. Hanuš, N. Arshavsky, , R. Mechoulam. (+)-Canabidiol analogues which bind to the cannabinoids receptors but exert peripheral activity only. Eur. J. Pharmacol. 506, 179-188 (2004)
P.F. Sumariwalla, M. Feldmann, R. Gallily and R. Mechoulam. Reply to Letter to the Editor by Burstein and Zurier. Arthritis and Rheumatism, 50, 4079-4080 (2004).
S. Golech, R.M. McCarron, Y. Chen, J. Bembry, F. Lenz, R. Mechoulam, E.Shohami and M. Spatz. Human brain endothelium: co-expression and function of vanilloid and endocannabinoid receptors. Molecular Brain Research 132, 87-92 (2004).
R. Mechoulam and L. Hanuš. The cannabinoid system: from the point of view of the chemist. In Marijuana and Madness, Editors D. Castle and R. Murray, Cambridge University Press, 2004, pp 1-18.
Sources: Raphael Mechoulam
Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Academic Staff - Prof. Raphael Mechoulam
Rhode Island: Accredited Medical Cannabis Therapeutics Conference - April 2010
Feds: There’s no medical marijuana except our medical marijuana
Photo Source: http://matters.ecnp.nl/number11/interview2.shtml