First alcohol-free beer and now “highless” marijuana. Israeli researchers have developed a medicinal marijuana that can ease the symptoms of some ailments without producing the euphoric high of pot. For many this may seem like tasteless cake or non-alochoiic vodka, but the discovery could lead to some interesting legal and political issues.
The culprit (or appeal) in marijuana is Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Researchers believe that the benefits widely reported from medicial marijuana comes from Cannabidiol, or CBD, a substance that gives anti-inflammatory benefits.
Israeli grower, Tikun Olam, has developed Avidekel, containing 15.8 per cent CBD and less than 1 percent traces of THC. Viola! Your Grateful Dead concert now sounds like a chamber music shows at the community center.
Of course, this assumes that patients are also not benefitting from the euphoric impact of the marijuana in easing pain. Like most Americans, I support the use of medical marijuana and I have no problem with patients receiving a high from the drug when struggling with things like terminal cancer. My mother-in-law died of breast cancer and my wife tells me that marijuana was the only thing that gave her any relief from the pain — a common report from patients.
This could present an interesting problem if the marijuana is still smoked but without the high. Police would have a difficult time distinguishing the products if smoked — assuming non-high marijuana is declared legal. The basis for banning non-high marijuana would be dubious at best. However, if smoked, the government could require some additives to distinguish the smell.
Of course this becomes moot if the growing movement for decriminalization continues. If that is the case, you can have your THC and CBD too.