A new research center specifically focused on investigating the therapeutic effects of cannabinoids opened at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem announced last week that it has opened a research center that will focus specifically on cannabinoids, endocannabinoids, and medical cannabis.
The Multidisciplinary Center on Cannabinoid Research, staffed by some of the world’s leading medical doctors and scientists, has already awarded funding to three research projects. One of the studies is examining the effects of cannabidiol (CBD) on traumatic brain injury (TBI). Another is investigating the anti-angiogenic and anti-cancer effects of compounds that stimulate the endocannabinoid system’s CB2 receptors. The third is looking at the pain management capabilities of a cannabis extract.
“The establishment in Israel of the Multidisciplinary Center on Cannabinoid Research is of great relevance at this time since both academic institutions and pharmaceutical companies worldwide are channeling enormous efforts to basic and clinical research in this field,” said Dr. Joseph (Yossi) Tam, research director at the center.
“We feel incredibly fortunate to team up with a vast number of scientists working together on this expanding field of medicine with the significant potential to discover new therapies based on cannabinoids,” he added.
According to Arutz Sheva, the research center will focus primarily on cannabinoids and their potential impacts on cancer, pain, inflammation and stress management, immunity, and metabolism. It will also investigate drug delivery and nanotechnology, pharmaceutical chemistry, neuroscience, and plant science and genetics.
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem is home to renowned cannabinoid researcher, Dr. Raphael Mechoulam. As a spearhead for the new scientific era of cannabis research, Mechoulam discovered the endocannabinoid system and is responsible for our modern understanding of how cannabinoids like CBD and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) elicit their effects. The “father of cannabinoid medicine” serves as the head of the research center’s Academic Committee.
“It has been shown that modulating endocannabinoid activity has therapeutic potential in a large number of human diseases, hence research on cannabinoids may lead to very significant advances, not only in basic science but also in therapeutics,” said Mechoulam. “Our Multidisciplinary Center addresses many aspects in this promising area, such as cancer, head injury, addiction, bone formation, obesity and others.”
The center will promote collaboration between its participating laboratories and other established research groups across the world. It will also facilitate the dissemination of information through informational resources and events.
Israel has long established itself as a global leader in medical cannabis research. Earlier this year, the Israeli government announced it would be funding over a dozen research projects examining cannabis medicine, biochemistry and cultivation.
Using cannabis for medical purposes has been legal in Israel since the 1990s. The government approved a plan last year that expands the nation’s medical cannabis laws by making products available at pharmacies and allowing it to be prescribed by more medical professionals.
In the U.S., medical marijuana has been legalized in 29 states. West Virginia became the latest state to allow patients to legally access and use marijuana after Gov. Jim Justice signed the Medical Cannabis Act into law last month.