Meet the Man Who Discovered Weed’s Secret Ingredient

Professor Raphael Mechoulam originally asked the National Institute of Health in the US for a grant to study cannabis he was turned down.

“They told me, ‘Come back to us when you choose another subject—marijuana is not an American problem,’” the 84-year-old Israeli professor recalls.

More than half a century later—after becoming the first scientist to isolate THC, having a long, successful career dedicated to discovering cannabis and its effects on the body, and now being referred to in Israel as the “Grandfather of Marijuana”—professor Mechoulam still sounds a little proud when he mentions how fast the NIH changed its mind.

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