Israel Emerging as a Worldwide CBD Leader

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Israel’s CBD Industry

As awareness of the numerous (and harmless) benefits of using CBD oil as a healing potion for a variety of conditions has increased, use of the oil has been growing in popularity.

Legal access to CBD oil has only been in place since December 2018. It is used by over 64 million Americans and is legal in all states. 

CBD can now be bought at our local grocers and pharma stores. With an abundance of CBD Oil, patrons are enthusiastic to try it for themselves (if they haven’t already).

This phenomenon that only continues to burgeon, accompanied by ever more research proving the many health benefits of CBD oil.

Israel is one place that is strikingly prevalent in the cannabis industry. Known for their research and tests on marijuana, Israel is fast becoming a worldwide leader and educator in all things CBD.

A Brief History of Israel’s CBD Industry

Since the 1960s, Israel has been conducting research on CBD oil. Israel became a leader in cannabis research and development by making new discoveries about the alternative extract.

Raphael Mechoulam was the first to isolate CBD from THC. He is known as the “Godfather” of cannabis medicine.

“His discovery of the THC molecule in 1964—a year after he isolated the nonintoxicating compound cannabidiol, or CBD—launched a scientific revolution on the study of cannabinoids, the chemical compounds that occur naturally in the cannabis plant and endogenously throughout the human body,” says journalist Madison Margolin of TabletMag. 

When asked to describe why he chose to focus on medical marijuana, Mechoulam explained that for centuries, people have been using natural plant-based chemicals as a means of curing pain and illness. 

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Mechoulam wanted to uncover what else CBD was capable of doing for humans, so he dedicated the rest of his life to researching cannabis.

Now the 88-year-old scientist’s research is coveted as the most significant and novel cannabis research in the industry and continues to prove CBD’s wealth of benefits for all.  

The National Institute of Drug Abuse has helped fund scientists’ research for over 45 years! Since the United States still prohibits and limits the amount of research on marijuana, Mechoulam decided to take over the industry with his knowledge and expertise. 

What is CBD Oil?

Israel’s CBD Industry

CBD oil, also known as cannabidoil is one of many compounds extracted from the hemp plant. CBD falls under the cannabinoids category. 

CBD is typically taken from hemp plants because they provide a higher portion of oil than cannabis plants.

CBD does not contain THC, the compound that gives the “high” feeling. CBD is isolated from THC, usually using one of two processes.  CBD oil must contain less than 0.3% THC to be legal.

The FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) is still considerably worried about the use of CBD Oil and warns users of harmful effects, but that doesn’t seem to change purchasing habits.

The FDA feels that it is necessary to keep users safe and well educated on this alternative healing method. After they were informed that the THC levels were below the required threshold in each dose of CBD, they eventually approved it across the country. 

How is CBD Oil Used?

CBD oil has many benefits. Medical professionals often recommend patients take CBD oil as a safe and regulated alternative to stronger, chemically produced medications.

A study revealed that 62% of 2,409 people used CBD to treat specific medical conditions such as chronic pain, depression, or anxiety. CBD oil has been proven to satisfy the needs of many patients who use it to treat themselves. 

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CBD oil has been found to be helpful in treating epilepsy and seizures. Studies show that the side effects were mild and less harmful than those of any other medication.

A study that looked into uncovering how patients suffering from chronic pain would react when taking CBD oil reportedly found a high number of positive responses and results. Participants noted that it helped with arthritis pain and reduced anti-inflammatory biomarkers. 

CBD oil can also be used for treating Alzeihmers. Recent studies have found that CBD oil can help improve memory in the early stages of Alzeihmers. 

The study revealed that when taking CBD oil, patients were able to recognize the familiar faces of loved ones. The first clinical trial was held in the UK where they studied 60 patients between the ages of 55 and 90. 

The clinical trial showed that the use of CBD oil not only helped with facial recognition but also alleviated cognitive deficits and improved recall. 

CBD Oil industry in Israel

Israel’s CBD Industry

By the 1990s more in-depth research was being conducted on CBD oil and its psychological and physical effects.

In 2017, the School of Pharmacy at Hebrew University was at the forefront of the research on cannabinoid. This center focuses on how cannabis affects cancer, pain, immunity, neuroscience and more.

Now, Israel is declared the largest and most advanced country for cannabis research. Scientists there continue a mission to fully understand cannabis and how it can be developed for medical purposes. 

Streams of CBD Research in Israel

Tikun Olam is an Israeli company that studies cannabis and gives information and data to the U.S. market. 

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The company, whose name means “Repair the World” in Hebrew, was the very first cannabis provider in Israel. The company has prescribed its products to over 20,000 patients. They publish medical journals with a plethora of data and patient information gathered for research.

Since there is a lack of research in the cannabis industry from other countries, the Israeli market is heating up to provide as much knowledge, information, and education they can to other countries. 

The company’s main focus is to educate those who question cannabis and the different products derived from it. Since there are around 32 strains of cannabis and different quality levels, Israeli scientists want to educate the public as much as possible about what is best for them to use.

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The Future of CBD 

The future is looking bright and highly concentrated for the Israeli CBD market. Declared ‘The Holy Land of Medical Marijuana,’ the next big move is the legal production of medical marijuana.

The prediction for this market growth is expected to reach $17 billion a year, but that number could easily increase because there is a high market demand.

Israel is in a strong position to dominate the global cannabis industry for 3 reasons: 

  1. Perfect climate for agriculture and cultivation of the hemp plant. Israelis have dedicated acres upon acres of land strictly for growing the plants under controlled conditions. 
  2. Investors from around the globe have been eyeballing their market for years and want to be involved in its growth. 
  3. Since the allowance of cannabis to be used as a prescription in 1973, the approval for exportation has widely expanded their range, giving them the opportunity to reach a global market.
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The Israeli cannabis industry is suspected to be worth approximately $1 million dollars USD annually. The national government mainly funds the research and supports its decisions. 

Yuval Landschaft, a pharmacist and head of the Medical Cannabis Unit of the Israeli Health Ministry says that Israel will be “writing the Torah of Cannabis,” and that “this is really the future.”

It is a huge market sector and a secure industry for huge profits. The CBD industry is not slowing down at all.

Indeed, the likelihood is that CBD will become a staple in medicine and, someday, be used legally worldwide and made available to everyone.

Israel Research on CBD Oil and Animals

Israel’s CBD Industry

Not many know that CBD is not only beneficial for humans, but for animals as well. 

An Israeli researcher named Itay Ben-Mordechai, the head of innovation at Weedley, and his team from Tel-Aviv confirmed that in fact, animals can use CBD Oils.

Ben-Mordechai notes that, “We’ve seen how well animals respond to CBD oil drops and treats,” and “We saw how well a horse reacted to CBD oil drops.”

“The horse had been taking steroids for over two years to treat a nervous skin condition and after two weeks of using our product, not only did the skin condition improve, but the horse was taken off steroids.”

This research was a definite breakthrough. Knowing that CBD oil can treat animals too was far beyond our thinking.

The pet market is not entirely sold on the idea of using CBD on animals because there is not enough substantial research on the topic.

Ben-Mordechai says that he and his Weedley team will continue to complete research to bring a natural and healthier solution to healing animals so they can live a pain-free life.

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Horses aren’t the only animals being tested, dogs are also a main focus, especially dogs with osteoarthritis. This research, out of Cornell University, assessed these dogs and gave them 2 mg of CBD twice a day.

The results were positive and showed that the dosage led to a decrease in pain and increased the dogs’ activity. CBD infused dog biscuits will be up and coming for pet owners in the near future.

Another study from Colorafo University was carried out by Dr. Stephanie McGrath, a veterinary neurologist whose purpose was to uncover the effects of CBD oil on dogs suffering epileptic seizures.

The findings of this study accurately represented the initial predictions and did indeed help alleviate their suffering and lower pain levels. 

If it wasn’t for the research, tests, and trials being carried out in Israel, it may have taken longer for research to be done in North America regarding CBD oil and animals. 

It’s also important to note that although CBD oil may help these canines, veterinarians will not be prescribing the substance to them. 

Dr. Zeev Gans, former chairman at Israeli Companion Animal Veterinary Association (ICAVA) notes that there isn’t enough research to back the positive impacts of CBD but would recommend its use in certain circumstances. 

In summary, the CBD industry is highly regarded and will continue to grow. Other countries are beginning to see how it can truly revolutionize modern medicine and improve the lives of anyone who uses CBD products. 

Israel continues to be the cannabis industry champion; every other country is simply trying to catch up.

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Marina Turea

Marina has been calling Chicago home since 2007. She's a world traveler and an avid reader.

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