Ultimate Buzz Kill: Israelis Develop “Highless” Marijuana

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.

Source: ABCIsrael

34 thoughts on “Ultimate Buzz Kill: Israelis Develop “Highless” Marijuana

  1. I am envisioning a future world where it is completely legal for governments to exterminate all the “old” marijuana and repopulate the planet with this high-less garbage. Hell, with Republicans in charge they’ll just outsource the job to Monsanto. Sure, it isn’t that much different from right now where taking a puff of herb that makes you feel good for a few hours can land you in jail or worse, but it still isn’t a world I want to live in.

  2. Malisha,

    I have been having back problems for the past few years, and the doctors have been telling me the same thing, that they can’t explain my back pain. They keep giving me narcotics, because the back pain often keeps me up at night, but the drugs make me so nauseous. Ive though about marijuana as a substitute to help me sleep. Last week my orthopedic surgeon saw something in my xrays and suspected that it could be ankylosing spondylitis, so I’m currently awaiting the results of a blood test to find out if Im positive for HLA-b27. Im sorry to hear about your son, but it is good to hear that he has found something to keep the pain under control.

  3. pete,

    Some usually do MINE. Good point, must be the profit motive.

    Let me use you to say:


    It was the feds faced with thousands of acres they could not differentiate from real MJ hemp which made it untenable, for them only. The sourcing of seed was well controlled to prevent problems. But organized cheating was so easy too. Dilemma.
    With the Israeli alternative you still got the same problem. So Monsanto variant is necessary, ie a version which is RoundUp resistant, and that “natural” MJ is not. Voila.


  4. But industrial hemp does not need inputs at all in most places.

    It grows so close together and is so high that weeds cannot compete. It needs no fertilizer as it improves poor soils and had been used for centuries to do so.

    It needs no herbicides, pesticides and in most places, no irrigation.

    That is why it beats both trees and cotton, why farmers need this crop and why is is a crime for it to be illegal anywhere.

  5. Shano,

    Is it resistant to RoundUp or 2,4-D agent orange?

    Otherwise we could have secret bombings of MJ seeds all over the country. Passive resistence? Sabotage?

    In which countries is it grown as a commercial crop? India?.

  6. Canada, Australia and most of Europe, eastern Europe. They are building houses out of hemp crete in Austrailia, Ireland, etc.

    No, there has been no reason for Monsanto et al to genetically engineer this plant so it would be killed by Round up and 2,4-D. But there is no reason to do so because weeds are NOT a problem for this crop.

    It is the cheapest way to produce tons of fiber for industry. All sorts of industries could use this cheap source of fiber, very tough fiber, and it would bring down the costs of anything now made with petrol, like plastics.

    There is a seed bank in Russia that has the widest collection of hemp cultivars that could be lost before we can research their properties:

    The most important project of the International Hemp Association is a grant of humanitarian aid to the N. I. Vavilov Institute of Plant Industry (VIR) in St. Petersburg, Russia. The VIR was founded in 1924 by plant collector and geneticist N.I. Vavilov (Fig. 1), one of the first scientists to recognize the importance of plant genetic resources conservation. The institute is the longest existing seed bank in the world and houses a priceless collection of over 400,000 seed accessions.

    The Department of Industrial Crops of the VIR maintains the largest Cannabis germplasm collection in the world. Most of these accessions are either wild landraces or fiber hemp varieties, and many of them are found in no other gene banks. Under normal storage conditions, hemp seeds can be kept for about 5 years before losing viability. Maintaining a Cannabis collection therefore involves reproducing the accessions at least once every 5 years. Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the funding of the VIR has dramatically decreased, threatening the maintenance of its collections.

    If the Cannabis accessions of the VIR are not reproduced they will surely become extinct before their true value is ever realized and utilized.

  7. Be Fruitful and multiply

    Well, just to remind the Christians here, God’s command to man was to husband his gift. And God did not point out any of his creations as being evil or more worthy of keeping than another. Right?

    Why all this religious talk from me? Well, sometimes the message must be adapted to pass through the recipients filters to be absorbed. So this was one attempt at that.

    I think what Shano wrote above is a perfect example of where we are not doing our husbandry job. There can be thousands of organic compounds with potentially good effects to be found in this seed bank.

    And this is equally true of the jungles of the Amazon, or that of New Guinea. And we rape and pillage and grab our immediate spoils, and destroy God’s gift to us.

    Irrevocably destroyed.

    Odd, I think.

  8. There is currently no GMO cannabis. At least, I know of none. If ANYTHING is GMO cannabis it is perhaps drugs such as “Spice” and other synthetic cannabinoids made all over the world. Even there, it is not GMO; it is all the work of clever and industrious organic chemists building sub-molecular compounds that trigger CB1 receptors.

    GMO means genetically modified by a person/corporation/someone. If strains are found or bred in nature, it is just plant biology; nothing less and nothing more.

    Unless someone has some evidence anywhere for true genetic modification, we really must be careful about making this claim. It is not correct and it makes us look silly. There will soon be an announcement of a sub 1% THC strain with >12% CBD found amongst hundred of random seeds inside California. I don’t even know anyone who has the tools and skills to make genetic alterations to the plant.

    Why is any of this so surprising anyway? We are talking about a strain that is rich CBD hemp. It has always been out there, just harder and harder to find.

    IF this were the work of some crazy GMO lab, why not get rid of all the THC? Why leave in enough to probably still test positive in drug screens? I would think that any serious GMO effort would just knock out the dominant THC gene and left the recessive CBD gene alone? It was only a few years ago when we were unable to test for any CBD in any strain. Many medical and grow advocates have been looking for this “holy grail” and a few have found it. With more work and more people and more time, we will certainly find other great strains. How about a strain that contains rich THCV? That would be another miracle strain for seizure disorders and certain cardiac problems. Will that be GMO?? If there really are GMO voodoo folks out there, please create a strain with lots of THCV.

    Finally, why are people so down on the great plant we all love? Do you guys really think that this would not be found in nature? If so, why? In recent years many, many rich CBD plants have been found. We never had them before for us to study and now we have a bunch. More GMO???

    BTW, you for certain do not need to stick with strains with <1% THC to call them "Highless". Even with a 2:1 CBD:THC ratio there is virtually no high. If you go 10:1, you would expect even less psychoactivity. Now we are over 20:1. Awesome, but it is all from the existing gene pool.

    Allan I Frankel, MD

  9. I can’t wait to comeback and read the rest of the posts, but through a quick look I didn’t see anyone mention the US Patent held on Cannabinoids by way of the Health and Human Services Department of the Federal Government.

    First of all, the US government lists Cannabis as a schedule 1 drug saying, strictly, that the drug holds absolutely NO medicinal benefit while at the same time it holds a patent on Cannabinoids in Cannabis for their ability to not only treat a wide range of ailments but also to PREVENT a wide range of ailments…some of those ailments include dementia and alzheimers.

    So how can the US hold a PATENT saying that Marijuana has medicinal benefits, while at the same time making Marijuana illegal because ‘it has not medicinal benefits’

    Any of you legal folk have any sort of explanation for how they can do that?

    Secondly, If the US Government holds a Patent on Cannabis/Cannabinoids how does that affect this Israeli ‘kush’ and its marketability?

    All in all, I am of the opinion that cannabinoids play an important medicial role, but THC does as well. Let’s not forget, it was THC that was shown to shrink cancerous cells. At the same time, having used it to treat severe back pain, I know the ‘high’ is a part of its benefit. (I had a thrown out back and was able to stretch it back into correct form only with the pain relief from being ‘high’)

  10. I currently work at a Ca Dispensory, this is a place of healing. The product with out the physiological effects is a productive medication. I would rather the ones looking for the high just purchase and leave. I am aware of the amazing uses of the plant and how it must have some THC because of our body’s receptors. It is in the forefront of the medical breakthroughs and will be until either China or USA begin to find the true reasons and uses behind. This gifted plant. I do not medicate but my wife does. This is a plant that can save livesand the economy.

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