The Israeli Cannabis News Report
Israel has been long dominating the cannabis industry in terms of breakthrough research and developing innovative medicinal products to treat the sick. They are light years ahead compared to other countries, and are home to numerous startups that are dedicated to cannabis innovation. Here are some of the latest cannabis news to come out of Israel:
Israeli Startup Pioneers Cannabis Research on Cancer
Cannabotech, an Israeli biotech firm, recently released the results of an investigation conducted by physicians at the Hadassah Medical Center that revealed the effectivity of CannaboBreast medications for breast cancer with the protocols involving treatment aimed at biological and hormonal processes combined with chemotherapy. They found a sixfold improvement in the reduction of cancer cells compared to existing treatment.
“This is a significant milestone in Cannabotech’s growth to becoming a leader in integrative medicine,” explained their CEO, Elchanan Shaked. “The integrative products developed by Cannabotech are intended for use in combination with chemotherapy treatment in several cancers and are expected to be launched in Israel and the US in the second half of 2022, while the company’s goal is to define a new standard for the medical cannabis industry.”
Cannabotech’s innovative products combine cannabis with fungal extracts, and their results showed that cannabinoids together with chemotherapy killed six times more cancer cells. In addition, they showed that it’s promising to look at more cancer cells being killed while also cutting down chemotherapy doses, which greatly reduces side effects for patients, thus improving healing rates.
“The company’s products have demonstrated impressive and very promising activity in laboratory-tested cell cultures,” explains Prof. Tami Peretz, a study author and senior oncologist. “Based on these experiments, there is room to start exploring the possibility of integrating the products in the treatment of breast cancer patients as well.”
Online Marketplace For Licensed MMJ Users in Israel Launched by Startup
Even if the use of medical cannabis has been legal in Israel for around 20 years, patients struggle to find the information they need, and on what products to buy. The lack of information has made seeking the medicine they need overwhelming and daunting at best.
Now, a startup called Cannbis, wants to change all that. Founder Elad Gazit together with Ben Dov is also a medical cannabis patient, and he told The Times of Israel that the Israeli cannabis industry’s data sector is still immature. Patients need to ask for advice using strains, consumption methods, and doses through Telegram and WhatsApp because the local pharmacists and doctors still aren’t equipped with the knowledge to help them. Medical patients, even those with licenses, simply don’t know how to navigate the information or where to find it.
Gazit explained that since the website was launched a year ago, there have been around 80,000 Israeli medical patients use the site to learn more about suppliers, products, reviews, and even make orders. “I came to this industry as a patient, and we built Cannbis from the bottom up,” he said. Cannbis earns through fees made from orders placed to pharmacies that go through the site. They work with around 50 pharmacies currently.
“We’re responsible for connecting between the commercial medical side of the industry and the users and bring everyone to the table,” said Ben Dov during an interview.
“In dispensaries in the US and Canada, you have real expertise, people who really know the information. Here, the pharmacists have maybe 6-8 hours of training. The doctors don’t do much beyond giving the license. Medical cannabis is not like an Acamol [a popular Israeli painkiller and fever reducer]. You need quite a bit of knowledge,” said Gazit. The website offers detailed data on cannabis including its THC levels, genetics, and the types of effects patients can expect to experience based on other user reviews such as sleepy, creative, focused, or calm.
Israeli Researchers Discover Benefits Of THC for Autism
Most studies focused on using cannabis for treating the symptoms of autism highlight the benefits of CBD.
However, researchers from Tel Aviv University have discovered that the psychoactive compound THC could actually be more useful. “Studies that are underway mostly don’t focus enough on the details of what it is in the cannabis that may be helping people,” said researcher Shani Poleg to the Times of Israel. “In our study, we looked at the details, and came up with surprising and interesting findings.”
“THC was more effective. The main difference was that THC treatment also improved social behavior, not only repetitive compulsive behavior,” she says. But since THC makes you high, Poleg added that their research recommends just a small amount and this can already make a difference. “Our study shows that when treating autism with medical cannabis oil there is no need for high contents of either CBD or THC.”
“We observed significant improvement in behavioral tests following treatments with cannabis oil containing small amounts of THC and observed no long-term effects in cognitive or emotional tests conducted a month and a half after the treatment began.” She also explains, “According to the prevailing theory, autism involves over-arousal of the brain, which causes compulsive behavior. In the lab, in addition to the behavioral results, we saw a significant decrease in the concentration of the arousing neurotransmitter glutamate in the spinal fluid, which can explain the reduction in behavioral symptoms.”
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