When it comes to medical cannabis, Israel is among the leaders in both research and regulation. Last year, the Israeli government eased access to medical marijuana by expanding the list of qualifying conditions. In the near future, the Israeli officials also plan to start dispensing medical cannabis through pharmacies just like any other medication. There are also plans to increase the number of doctors allowed to prescribe medical weed. But most importantly, the government is going to fund over a dozen studies on medical cannabis. Does marijuana kill brain cells or can it help reduce the harmful influence of multiple sclerosis and other severe conditions? Can cannabis treat colon cancer? How can we improve the growth of medical cannabis plants? With the financial help from the government, Israeli scientists will soon find answers to all these questions.
Out of 30 cannabis research proposals that were submitted for funding consideration, the Israeli government chose 13 projects. These 13 studies will be carried out by local universities, research institutes, hospitals, and pharmaceutical companies. The researchers will focus on the most important problems in three areas: biochemistry, medicine, and agriculture.
Among these 13 projects, seven will study medicinal properties of cannabis. The most promising research projects will address topics like the marijuana effects on brain and the use of different strains for treating multiple sclerosis, colon cancer, and other conditions.
The other six studies will look for the new ways of improving the growth of medical marijuana crops and combating the diseases and pests that are the most harmful to the cannabis plants.
In total, the government plans to spend NIS 8 million (around $2.1 million) on medical cannabis research.
Israel is one of the countries that are not afraid to treat cannabis as a medicine and not as a dangerous and harmful drug. And even though the upcoming 13 studies will be the first ones to be funded by the Israeli government, local universities and pharmaceutical companies were conducting their studies on cannabis for years now.
And for those who want to learn more about the medicinal properties of this plant, the Ariel University offers a special course on medical marijuana. The course was recently approved by Israel's Council for Higher Education and is already gaining its popularity among medical students.