Can you be an expert on something that you’ve never experienced yourself? Philosopher and father of rationalism, Rene Descartes says that you can. As it turns out, Descartes is right. The world’s top cannabis expert stated in an interview that he’s never tried cannabis once in his life, not even a puff off of a joint.
Raphael Mechoulam, a professor at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, has been studying cannabis for half a century. This makes him the world’s foremost cannabis expert. He is best known for being the one to discover THC and CBD. He also was the one to discover the cannabinoid system in the human brain, which is why cannabis makes you high.
In an interview with Culture, he talked about the early days of his research, including receiving hash from the Israeli police, which was actually breaking the law. When asked if he ever partook, Mechoulam said, “I have never used it. As I did research and we had an official supply of cannabis, obviously if we had used it for non-scientific reasons if people had come to know about it that would have stopped our work. Basically, neither I nor my students were interested.”
Mechoulam certainly makes a good point. Getting high on the supply is probably going to impede your ability to conduct your research, not to mention your credibility. Save it for outside the lab!
Mechoulam also believes that the US is focusing too much on trying to make money off of cannabis, and should instead be focusing on all of the things that CBD can do. “There is a compound called CBD, which is just as important,” he said. “It does not cause the high but it has a lot of therapeutic effects, and it is of extreme importance, and people are trying now to have plants that don’t have THC but CBD and are using that for therapeutic effects.” To that I say, why not both?
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