History is made by people, or rather History always begins with one person.
In the world of cannabis science, Raphael Mechoulam did as much as Churchill did for his land, England.
Back in the 1960s of the 20th century, he pioneered cannabis research with the discovery of THC and CBD. The research and discoveries of this scientist are used by all the scientists of the world who are now continuing the work of Dr. Rafael Meshulam.
Mechoulam was born in Sofia, Bulgaria in 1930, to a Sephardic Jewish family. His father was a physician and head of a local hospital, while his mother “who had studied in Berlin, enjoyed the life of a well-to-do Jewish family”. He attended an “American grade school” until his parents were forced to leave their hometown because of anti-semitic laws and his father was subsequently sent to a concentration camp, which he survived. After the communist takeover of hitherto pro-German Bulgaria in 1944 he studied chemical engineering, which he “disliked.” In 1949 his family immigrated to Israel where he later studied chemistry.
In 1964, together with Yechiel Gaoni, he isolated the main psychoactive component of cannabis – tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – and published its chemical formula. The discovery had a certain scientific resonance, but it did not have any practical application, as the substance was considered “of no medical value” and refused to be patented. In the late 1970s, pharmacologists in the United States, using Meshulam’s developments, created the drug “marinol” used as an antiemetic in cancer chemotherapy and an appetite stimulant in AIDS.
Two years later, Meshulam and his assistant, William Anthony Devane, identified one such substance, arachidonic acid ethanolamide, and named it “anandamide. Subsequently, this term became the name for a whole group of endogenous cannabinoids, the study of which enabled significant progress in the study of the medical properties of cannabis and the creation of cannabinoid-like substances that do not have psychedelic properties. In particular, the cannabinoid HV-211, synthesized under Meshulam’s direction, has glutaminoblocker properties characteristic of cannabis preparations, but has no psychotropic effect.
In 1999, Rafael Meshoulam was elected president of the International Cannabinoid Research Society.
He has been awarded state prizes and awards more than 20 times, most recently in 2020 Harvey Prize of the Technion.
On March 9, 2023, the founding father of the KBD passed away at the age of 92. I want to express my condolences to his family and friends.
The cause of the great scientist will not be forgotten, and that is the most important!
History should be made by science, intelligence and useful discoveries for all human, not by war and terror.