Most of What You Know About Pot Comes From This Man

Because of the federal prohibition on all forms of marijuana, research is severely lacking. But what little we know of cannabis’ effects and properties can largely be attributed to a single man who had the audacity to walk into a police station in the 1960s and ask for some weed.

“I went there, drank coffee with the policemen and got 5 kilos of cannabis, hashish,” recounts Raphael Mechoulam, the 87-year-old Israeli scientist now dubbed “the father of marijuana research.”

It was those 5 kilos that led him to discover marijuana’s psychoactive compound Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. He later isolated the non-psychoactive Cannabidiol (CBD), which is the part of cannabis that contains medical properties.

Mechoulam’s cannabis research continued throughout the decades, often funded by the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse. Much of what we know regarding marijuana’s impacts on the body and brain comes from him.

Newsweek recently sat down with Mechoulam to discuss his career, as well legalization efforts across the U.S.

Check out the full Q&A here