Scientists are heading to Israel in droves to study the medical benefits of marijuana and cannabidiol (CBD), but not because of better equipment or superior pay. Instead, they find they can experiment in Israel more freely, and without government interference. In fact, Israelâ€™s favorable research policies on medical marijuana and CBD are arguably the most progressive in the Middle East, if not the world, and itâ€™s creating a vast scientific migration as a result.
The concept of medical marijuana is nothing new to Israel, whose medical marijuana approval rating reached nearly 75% in 2013. The country legalized its medicinal use in 1992, a full four years before places like California, and as an entire nation at that. Israeli researchers were also the first to isolate and identify tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and CBD, two well-known cannabinoids with differing beneficial medical effects that continue to be studied by Israeli scientists today.
One such scientist is Dr. Sue Sisley, who moved to Israel from Arizona after she became frustrated when local state lawmakers hampered her research. Sisley has also grown weary of federal laws in the United States, which only allowed for one supplier of marijuana from a government agency that only offered inadequate marijuana strains that were not conducive to her research. Sisley needed marijuana that was high in CBD, which has been shown to help inflammation, arthritis nausea, diabetes, and Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but she could not obtain any due to restrictive anti-marijuana government legislation.
Israel, on the other hand, had marijuana that was high in CBD, and no conflicting laws that prevented her from performing her medical studies. In addition, Israel has a large military population with a high rate of PTSD, the syndrome which she wanted to focus on the most to help soldiers at home. Sisley estimates that American soldiers commit suicide directly because of their PTSD at a rate of twenty-two per day.
In Israel, she hopes to corroborate her findings that CBD eases PTSD symptoms such as anxiety and panic with the medical community at large. According to her, CBD â€œappears to have a calming effect on those certain structures of the brain that deal with fear activation, memory, anxietyâ€. If CBD can reduce the neurotransmitter activity in those areas of the brain, the PTSD symptoms may be lessened.
For the full story on Israelâ€™s CBD research, click here.
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