Israel is ambitious when it comes to developing the emerging medical marijuana market. Some analysts predict it will soon be worth 20 billion annually in the US alone.

The Guardian covered the exciting news of growth in research, investment and credibility in the Israeli medical marijuana market. More than 500 companies already applied with the government since February when the green light was given for the “green rush.” The government put legislation to grow, produce and export cannabis products in place. It was all systems go.

Triggering investment

This move has already triggered more than a $100 million in investments from the US and other countries. Shares in the up-and-coming medical marijuana startups in Israel are selling like hot-cakes. This led to more than 100 scientific studies as companies rush to prove the usefulness of the drug.

Transform the medical marijuana market

A small lab in Jerusalem is developing a prototype to “smoke” marijuana. The device extracts the active compounds in a powder form. Soon, the company hopes to use the extract for pain in young patients with cancer.

This lab shows a glimpse of the possibilities that Israeli researchers can explore. Israel aims to transform the medical marijuana industry. The country seeks to create a serious biopharmaceutical industry. This high-potential industry will develop new medicines to alleviate the symptoms of cancer, insomnia, Parkinson’s disease and other ailments.

Research gains momentum

The flare up in medical marijuana research in Israel was possible because the government is far more progressive in its attitude towards medical cannabis than that of the US.

Kaye says Israel is the leader in the development of cannabis-based products and research because it has the oldest medical marijuana program. Since 1996, Israeli patients with qualifying conditions have had legal access to cannabis.

There’s less of a stigma. People see cannabis as a medicine first, and there’s a much more positive image for the herb. Of course, none of this is surprising. After all, an Israeli scientist discovered cannabinoids and the endocannabinoid system.

A new scientific field

Cannabis Science is a relatively new field, and there are no global clinical standards yet. Israel plans to fill this gap by applying all its skills and expertise in technology, agriculture, cannabinoids and cannabis-based medicine. Yuval Landschaft of the ministry of health’s medical cannabis unit (IMCA) says that in the US, recreational cannabis is used for medicine. Landschaft doesn’t approve. As far as he’s concerned, that’s bad science.

William Levine of CannRx, a startup involved in research into medical cannabis, says cannabis is a dazzling botanical when it comes to pharmaceutical activity. He says his team has identified cannabinoid profiles with very specific uses to improve sleep, pain, appetite, and neurodegenerative conditions.

For five decades, Israel has led research into medical cannabis. The trend continues. The science gets stronger. The world watches.

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