Israeli company grows medical marijuana which doesn't get you high


July 6, 2012

The new cannabis strain offers the drug's medicinal benefits to patients who do not wish to feel intoxicated

The new cannabis strain offers the drug's medicinal benefits to patients who do not wish to feel intoxicated

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Situated in an undisclosed location near Tzfat, northern Israel, is a government-approved medical marijuana plantation which was founded in 2004 by a retired biology teacher. Named Tikun Olam, the plantation has created a new cannabis strain which contains very low traces of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main constituent in cannabis responsible for making people feel "stoned". By virtually eliminating THC in the new strain, Tikun Olam can now offer the drug's medicinal benefits to those patients who wish to keep a clear head.

Marijuana contains over 60 constituents named cannabinoids and though THC is the most famous due to its psychoactive effects, another important constituent is cannabidiol (CBD). CBD is believed by some researchers to offer anti-inflammatory benefits, thus offering the potential to relieve pain without making patients intoxicated, if the THC-to-CBD concentrations can be correctly balanced.

The new strain of marijuana created at Tikun Olam does just that. Dubbed Avidekel, it contains less than one percent THC, compared to the company's most popular strain Erez, which contains 23 percent THC. Avidekel couples this with an increased concentration of CBD, said to be almost 16 percent. How real-world use of Avidekel compares to existing medical marijuana products designed to limit intoxication, such as the under the tongue spray Sativex, is still unclear.

Although many patients feel the intoxicating effects of THC to be a beneficial element of medical marijuana use, others find it a hindrance to performing every day activities and so welcome the opportunity to take the marijuana while maintaining sobriety.

"It's a huge advantage," said one of the ten patients to make use of the Avidekel strain in the last six months, while speaking to Reuters, "I can smoke during the day, function with a lot less pain and still be focused, work and drive. It is a great gift."

Recreational use of cannabis is prohibited under Israeli law, however the drug is currently used medically to treat roughly 9,000 people suffering from illnesses such as cancer, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and Crohn’s disease.

The promotional video below sheds more light on the Tikun Olam plantation.

Source: Tikun-Olam, via: Reuters

About the Author
Adam Williams Adam scours the globe from his home in North Wales in order to bring the best of innovative architecture and sustainable design to the pages of Gizmag. Most of his spare time is spent dabbling in music, tinkering with old Macintosh computers and trying to keep his even older VW bus on the road. All articles by Adam Williams

Cannabidiol is also psychoactive. It reduces anxiety. And there are several other psychoactive substances in marijuana. The giggles it induces aren't from the THC. The THC is just the most mind-distorting of the alkaloids in marijuana - paranoia, memory disruption, time stretching out. A low THC version would make you clearer headed, it's true, but you will still giggle like an idiot.

Kim Holder

Funny, I already heard of someone breeding a 100% THC free version of cannabis. Did the feds burn it?


THC and CBD are closely related, in fact i think that prior to becoming CBD, all CBD is at first produced as THC by cannabis sticky buds. cannabidiol is supposedly an anti-inflammatory, sedetive and anti psychotic, makes couch lock so you can't get off your couch for hours cos you are too heavy and makes you sedated.

Antony Stewart

Cannibis for fibre production has done this long ago to satisfy the drug narks. It now appears as another version growing in uber-cool drug rooms.


This is wrong the israelis are turning the clock back, its taken like forever maan to grow blunt so potent that you turn to jelly now they will accidently leak this mutation out and it will interfere with good weed until it takes over and man will have to buy hard drugs then, which im sure they cant wait to sell us. I love weed cos its not a drug its a herb! And it like just grows man no chemicals no secret labs or bellies full of condoms filled with deadly powders. I use it to control my adhd, weed lowers my revs. But with all things too much of anything is bad for you.


This is completely inaccurate. THC is responsible for making you feel HIGH, CBD is responsible for making you feel STONED. A lot of people use the terms HIGH/STONED interchangeably, but they are in fact 2 different things. THC gives you a CLEAR Head HIGH. CBD gives you a MORE intoxicating effect sometimes called "couch lock"

There are 2 main sub-species of cannabis, Indicia (relatively higher in CBD) and Sativa (relatively higher in THC) and anyone who is experienced with both will confirm exactly what I'm saying.

Depending on what you are treating with medical MMJ, one or the other could be a better choice, but what this article is claiming is just flat out wrong.


It will never have any market value.


OmG! Someone invented Industrial Hemp!

Rob Robinson

This sounds just like the Marinol scam. Saying it worked but didn't get you high for $7/pill. If it's inflammation wouldn't an aspirin be better than the strain mentioned plus cheaper? I don't smoke Indicia as it just knocks me out. Where some/best strains of Sativa let me keep working and few side effects while cutting my back pain so I don't have to do Vicodin, etc I have to do when pot isn't available. What this is about is money, not anything else. Anyone 21 or older should be able to buy or grow their own. Think how much fighting, poisoning and life destruction if those drinking alcohol were to switch to pot? No one has every died from pot poisoning.


I suppose that if there is a reason for non-alcohol beer there will be a reason for non-THC weed.


It is already called "HEMP"

Diana Wulf
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