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Medical Marijuana Without the High?

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Medical marijuana is a hot button topic because many believe that those who use pot for medicinal purposes are really just trying to get high. However, an Israeli company may have the solution for everyone–including those who oppose medical marijuana and those who are really using it because of a serious medical problem.

The Israeli company, Tikun Olam, says that it can grow marijuana that offers the same medical benefits such as pain and nausea relief without getting users high. The plants contain a high level of Cannabidiol (CBD), which is an anti-inflammatory, but lack tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, which gives the high. However, experts in the U.S. aren't convinced by the new product, and some say that it is difficult to tell how effective a THC-free marijuana would be since CBD and THC interact in ways in the body that are not well understood.

Despite the scientific debate over the new product, it will likely also cause some legal problems, too. Currently, under federal law any marijuana plant, THC, and CBD are illegal. However, the drug marinol, which contains synthetic THC is legal. A plant that contains only CBD would pose an interesting challenge to these laws. Plus, medical marijuana supporters often argue that its the entire plant that works, not just parts of it. Overall, much research still needs to be conducted on the new Israeli "high-free" marijuana plant to gauge its effectiveness and its safety.