Marijuana without the High?

For many the point of smoking marijuana is to get high, but Israeli researchers have bred a cannabis plant that looks, smells and tastes like ordinary marijuana, minus one important ingredient. The new plants lack THC, the active ingredient responsible for pot’s high.

This may not be cause for rejoicing among recreational marijuana users, but the discovery has others cheering. These retooled pot plants could be used to fight everything from schizophrenia to Alzheimer’s, as this low-THC weed is abundant in cannabidiol (CBD), the second most common active compound in cannabis.

Creator Tzahi Klein of the Israeli company Tikkun Olam told the Israeli paper Maariv that the marijuana, “has the same scent, shape and taste as the original plant — it’s all the same — but the numbing sensation that users are accustomed to has disappeared.”

Time recently reported that a preliminary trial of CBD for the treatment of people with schizophrenia found that it was as effective as a standard antipsychotic drug. Better yet, it has none of the movement disorders, mood issues or weight gain usually linked to that class of meds. CBD also seems to protect brain cells from damage which could make it helpful in treating Huntington’s disease and to reduce seizures. The compound also reduces anxiety in subjects, making it a candidate for possible use as an anti-anxiety medication without the risks associated with current anti-anxiety drugs like Xanax.

This seems to bode well for the new substance, but the fact that it can’t be patented (and therefore can’t make big money for drug companies) could hurt the development and wide adoption of the product. And further study is needed. Still, it is an important step forward and has the potential to affect the lives of many in the near future.

If you or someone you love needs help with marijuana or prescription drug abuse, call The Oaks at La Paloma at the toll-free number on our homepage. Someone is there to take your call 24 hours a day and answer any questions you have about treatment, financing or insurance.


Articles posted here are primarily educational and may not directly reflect the offerings at The Oaks. For more specific information on programs at The Oaks, contact us today.