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'Highless' marijuana developed by Israeli firm

Researchers say medical marijuana minus the THC can ease ailments without getting patients high.

Highless marijuana 2012 07-03Enlarge
Researchers in Israel claim they have developed a "highless" marijuana. (Uriel Sinai/AFP/Getty Images)

Researchers in Israel claim to have developed marijuana that can ease the symptoms of ailments like cancer without getting patients high.

Avidekel contains only traces of THC, the psychoactive compound in marijuana that gives users a "high" feeling, Reuters reported.

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It contains 15.8 percent of Cannabidiol, or CBD, another compound found in cannabis that is known for its anti-inflammatory benefits. It can bind to the brain's receptors, therefore working without getting users stoned, according to Reuters.

"Sometimes the high is not always what they need. Sometimes it is an unwanted side effect. For some of the people it's not even pleasant," Zack Klein, head of development at Tikun Olam, the company that developed the plant, told Reuters.

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Work on the cannabis strain began in 2009.

Marijuana is an illegal drug in Israel, although medicinal use was first permitted in 1993, according to the health ministry.

Tikun Olam has begun to commercialize Avidekel on a small scale in Israel , where about 9,000 people are licensed to obtain medical marijuana, according to an article in Delta World.

Ruth Gallily, a professor at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem who works for the company, told Reuters the strain has no side effects and can be used to treat diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, colitis, liver inflammation, heart disease and diabetes.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/health/120703/highless-marijuana-developed-israeli-firm