The man responsible for putting CBD on the map has passed away

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Raphael Mechoulam, a long-time cannabis researcher, died at 92 years old in Israel

Raphael Mechoulam, Israeli organic chemist, professor of Medicinal Chemistry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and recognized as the “father” of Cannabis research, passed away on Thursday, March 9, at the age of 92. This is undoubtedly news that mourns a large part of the cannabis community.

Mechoulam’s discoveries laid the foundation for marijuana chemistry research and were key to driving future discoveries, such as the elucidation of the body’s own cannabinoid receptors in the 1980s and 1990s. The news came through several people close to him. “It is a very sad day for me, for the scientific community, and for the cannabis community,” said David Meiri, associate professor at the Technion, the Israel Institute of Technology.

Mechoulam has long been considered the “father of THC” and a pioneer in marijuana research for discovering and isolating the famous substance in 1963. In the following years, Dr. Mechoulam and his team of researchers continued to successfully work on the structure of CBD.

In the 1980s, Dr. Mechoulam claimed that if cannabis were legalized, it could replace up to 20% of pharmaceuticals, something that has become evident in recent years. He continued to study minor cannabinoids over the following decades.

Dr. Mechoulam’s life was immortalized in the documentary The Scientist. Among many of the achievements of the father of cannabis is the discovery of anandamide, an endocannabinoid named after the Sanskrit (classical Indian language) word meaning “supreme joy.” Dr. Mechoulam’s latest discovery was EPM301, or cannabidiolic acid methyl ester, also known as CBDa.

Dr. Mechoulam’s achievements earned him various awards and accolades. Until his last days, he was chairman of the Hebrew University’s Multidisciplinary Cannabinoid Research Center, the largest marijuana research center in Israel. It is also one of the few centers in the world conducting groundbreaking research on cannabinoids, endocannabinoids, and medical cannabis.