All the benefits without the high
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All the benefits without the high

Israeli researchers weed out the THC from marijuana to create a pain-relieving plant devoid of unwanted side effects

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

A worker tends to cannabis plants at the Tikun Olam growing facility. (photo credit: Abir Sultan/Flash 90)
A worker tends to cannabis plants at the Tikun Olam growing facility. (photo credit: Abir Sultan/Flash 90)

A new strain of cannabis promises to provide users with a pot full of desired medical benefits while keeping their feet, and their minds, firmly on the ground.

Hebrew daily Yedioth Ahronoth reported on Wednesday that the medical cannabis growing center Tikun Olam has developed a special strain of the drug-loaded plant with reduced amounts of THC, the chemical that causes the much sought-after high of recreational cannabis users.

However, those who use marijuana as a painkiller see the accompanying high as an unwanted side effect that prevents them from functioning normally. Although providing relief from chronic discomfort, the accompanying dizziness, lack of focus, and spaciness can be debilitating.

“It has the same smell, the same look and taste as the original plant — it is all the same, but without the feeling of numbness that users are used to,” Tikun Olam researcher Tsachi Klein told Yedioth.

Researchers at the growing center, located in the northern Galilee region, reduced the amount of THC in the plant and increased the presence of CBD, another chemical that previous research has shown could be effective against diabetes and various psychological disorders, and possibly prevent the spread of cancer.

The new marijuana is being made available in a limited way to some users and initial responses have been positive. In addition to keeping users firmly on the ground, the new strain also doesn’t cause the “munchies,” the voracious appetite that regular pot induces in users.

Though the new plant does not have the same narcotic effects that earned marijuana its place as a top recreational drug, cannabis will remain on the list of illegal substances, at least for the foreseeable future.

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