Israel has long served as an international cannabis research hub. In fact, Israel is home to the most famed cannabis researcher of all time, Prof. Raphael Mechoulam of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Prof. Mechoulam, who is dubbed the ‘Godfather of Cannabis Research,’ is credited with being the first scientist to describe the chemical structure of cannabidiol (CBD), and also for being the first to isolate tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
During an era when most countries seemingly did everything that they could to hinder cannabis research, Israel embraced it. As a result, the country has an enormous head start on most, if not all, other countries when it comes to cannabis research.
As further proof that Israel is on the cutting edge of cannabis science, it is being reported that researchers in Israel have boosted the potency of cannabis cells twelve fold by creating them in a bioreactor. Per Times of Israel:
An Israeli company has cloned hemp cells and used a bioreactor to grow them into a substance with all the active compounds of cannabis — and 12 times the potency.
BioHarvest Sciences says the breakthrough could make the medical benefits of cannabis available in cheaper, cleaner and greener form. It has started applying for the necessary licenses to manufacture and sell its product for medical use in Israel and the United States.
How long it will take for the products to actually make it to patients is anyone’s guess at this point. For that matter, I suppose it’s still possible that the process could get derailed in some way, as all things international cannabis are typically more complex than they need to be.
It’s unclear if the end product has been tested on humans yet and determined to be safe for patient consumption. Sufficiently arriving at that determination alone could take some time and involve a process that is riddled with hurdles.
Still, it’s a possibly huge scientific breakthrough. The cannabis cells produced in the bioreactors reportedly only take three weeks to create from start to finish. That is a significantly shorter window of time compared to traditional cultivation methods (up to six months in some cases).