AUG 06, 2016 11:56 AM PDT

First Medical Marijuana Conference at Harvard Medical School


Harvard Medical School recently hosted the first annual cannabis conference, where they awarded Rafael Mechoulam a lifetime achievement award. Mechoulam is an Israeli chemist known as the father of medical marijuana research. He identified the structure of cannabidiol in 1963 and isolated the active compound in marijuana, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), in 1964.

"I thought that as soon as we knew the chemistry, the pharmacology, and the toxicity - and if there are any positive effects - companies will go in and take compounds and go ahead with clinical trials, which is true for a huge huge number of drugs," Mechoulam said to PBS.

The drug was made illegal one year after the 1936 release of "Reefer Madness." In the United States, it remains a schedule one controlled substance, in the same category as heroin. This classification has led to tight restrictions for researchers who want to research the drug.

Parents of epileptic children have strongly championed marijuana research within the last couple years due to the significant improvement medical marijuana has had on alleviating their children's seizures. Researchers believe the pace of research will dramatically quicken when marijuana becomes legal.
About the Author
  • Julianne (@JuliChiaet) covers health and medicine for LabRoots. Her work has been published in The Daily Beast, Scientific American, and MailOnline. While primarily a science journalist, she has also covered culture and Japanese organized crime. She is the New York Board Representative for the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA). • To read more of her writing, or to send her a message, go to Jchiaet.com
You May Also Like
NOV 11, 2018
Health & Medicine
NOV 11, 2018
Stop Procrastinating, It's Not Good for You
Procrastination is common, but some people procrastinate much more than others. Those who do it persistently probably exhibit something known as chronic pr...
NOV 14, 2018
Videos
NOV 14, 2018
The Sunscreen Gene
Wouldn't it be convenient if we didn't have to worry about sunscreen because our bodies were able to just make it when we needed it?...
NOV 15, 2018
Cardiology
NOV 15, 2018
An Updated Look At Pacemakers
As pacemakers are now used for a wide range of heart conditions, most of us know someone who has this life-saving medical device. Hundreds of thousands of...
NOV 21, 2018
Videos
NOV 21, 2018
The CDC Issues a Serious Warning About All Romaine Lettuce
Don't eat any romaine lettuce, and throw away any you may have at home....
DEC 05, 2018
Cancer
DEC 05, 2018
Zika virus as a weapon against brain cancer
Glioblastoma is the most aggressive type of Brain Cancer with an average survival rate of less than two years with treatment. So what if there could be a cure for this type of cancer....
DEC 07, 2018
Videos
DEC 07, 2018
A Common Pathogen: Norovirus
You've probably heard of norovirus before; it's a highly contagious family of viruses that can sicken large groups of people....
Loading Comments...