Raphael Mechoulam speaks publicly about recent discoveries at CannMed 2019


Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

From September 23-24, 2019, the annual CannMed event took place in Pasadena, California. The event was house inside the Pasadena Convention Center and it featured an appearance from headlining speaker, Raphael Mechoulam.

Around 50 different speakers and presenters made an appearance at CannMed 2019, but it’s safe to say that Dr. Mechoulam stole the show. He earned himself a nickname, “the Israeli Godfather of Cannabinoid Research,” following his discovery of the all-important endocannabinoid system (ECS) during the 1960s. 

Since this time, the 88-year-old has been busy exploring what the cannabis plant’s cannabinoids are capable of. During his speech at CannMed 2019, Dr. Mechoulam indulged the audience with information about the science and innovation that serves as the foundation for his most recent discovery.

What is the innovation, you ask? Dr. Mechoulam’s discussion centered around a new group of stable synthetic molecules comprised of cannabinoid acids. These molecules managed to successfully yield a higher potency than cannabinoids that exist in the market currently, suggesting that their therapeutic effects may also be greater.

Professor Mechoulam assumes the role of EPM Head of Research

Headquartered in the U.S., EPM is a pioneer in IP development and the production of stable cannabinoid acid molecules. The specific molecule discussed by Dr. Mechoulam at CannMed 2019 was cannabidiolic acid methyl ester (HU-580).

Depression was one of the medical conditions that Dr. Mechoulam’s most recent discovery may play a role in treating. He claims that HU-580 could be more effective than the CBD treatments that are currently infiltrating the market.

The derivative of CBD occurs naturally in the cannabis plant. However, it is significantly more powerful than CBD and produces no unwanted side-effects. Test results indicated its potential at easing nausea and stress‐induced anxiety, too.

Professor Mechoulam says that the field of cannabis remains largely undiscovered

Professor Mechoulam’s discovery came about after he and the EPM team took a leap to chemically stabilize cannabinoid acids a few years back. Dr. Mechoulam and EPM scientists hope to provide the growing medical cannabis industry with pure compounds for treatment purposes.

There are many things that are still not known in the field of cannabis. The plant produces a group of compounds called cannabinoid acids. The acids were not investigated until recently, not very thoroughly at least, because they are not stable; they break down,” said Professor Mechoulam.

During his appearance at CannMed 2019, Dr. Mechoulam said that collaboration is absolutely imperative for the project that lies ahead. The Professor, who received the Evolution of Cannabis 2020 award in New York at the beginning of October, describes the cannabis industry as an open field for new drugs and preparations. 

“Chances are that we have something of considerable medical importance, and I am sure that there will be ways to introduce these compounds as medical agents,” he told the CannMed 2019 audience.

Despite the fact that he anticipates a heavy workload on his part team’s part – perhaps as long as two decades – he emphasized the importance of introducing new drugs in a broad scope of fields. Based on his team’s findings, cannabis could be the plant to make this happen.