The cannabis scientist who’s paving the way for Israel’s weed research revolution

Noga Tarnopolsky

flickr / Bob Doran
JERUSALEM — An award-winning professor of medicinal chemistry and natural products at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Raphael Mechoulam is a trim gentleman who wears tweed jackets and silk scarves.
He is no slacker. At 82, he still works full-time.
Despite Mechoulam’s respectability, his greatest fame stems from two scientific breakthroughs that may earn him a warm welcome among denizens of /r/trees.
In 1964, he was the first person to synthesize THC, tetrahydrocannabinol, the principal active ingredient in weed. That leap is what has enabled the scientific study of cannabis.
Before him it was all myths and smoke.
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