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July 27, 2016 / 21 Tammuz, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘cannabis’

New Training Program Prepares Israeli Doctors to Prescribe Medical Cannabis

Thursday, October 22nd, 2015

It will probably be a long time before Israelis see medical cannabis on the shelves of their pharmacies — if ever — but many of their doctors are likely to be trained and certified in prescribing the drug as a new medication within the next several weeks.

Two main objectives set by Health Minister Yaacov Litzman towards the goal of making the product more available to Israeli patients were reached on Thursday.

The sale of medical cannabis to pharmacies is going to become easier, and certification and permits for doctors to prescribe the product for their patients will also be eased.

In fact, the accreditation of doctors for prescribing the plant as a treatment is only weeks away, according to a report posted Thursday by Galei Tzahal Army Radio.

The Israel Medical Association is providing a two-day training program in cooperation with the Health Ministry to prepare doctors across a range of specialties for accreditation in the use of the drug as a treatment.

“Physicians who want to learn how to treat with cannabis will learn when to prescribe it and when not to,” Dr. Leonid Eidelman told the radio station.

The training will be led by teams from the Israel Medical Association and the medical cannabis unit at the Ministry of Health, headed by Dr. Michael Dor.

Hana Levi Julian

Medical Marijuana to be Available at Pharmacies

Monday, July 27th, 2015

Israelis soon will be able to take a doctor’s prescription for marijuana to the local pharmacy, Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman said Monday.

He noted that pharmacies issue prescriptions for other drugs that are considered narcotics and that procedures are well-supervised. A case in point is Ritalin. A person wanting to fill a prescription for the drug, which when ground up and sniffed can be extremely dangerous, has to wait at the counter until the pharmacist opens the safe.

“I will fight an aggressive war not to allow this to get out of control,” said Litzman, who in effect is the Health Minster, a title he does not accept because the Hareidi Yehadut Torah (United Torah Judaism) party does not want to be part of a “Zionist” Cabinet.

He said that making marijuana available at pharmacies awaits court approval concerning tenders for growers of “grass.”

Litzman said that there procedures overseeing prescriptions for marijuana will be issued either through law or administrative orders.

Health Ministry Prof. Boaz Lev added that officials will make it possible for more doctors to be able to prescribe marijuana for medicinal use.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Israeli Scientists Testing Cannabis Treatment for Diabetes

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015

Israeli scientists at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have tracked down a specific chemical compound in the cannabis plant, a cannabinoid called “cannabidiol” that researchers say can be used to treat diabetes.

The best source for cannabidiol, or CBD as it is called, appears to be hemp – a plant with no potential for abuse and which has no psychoactive properties.

Dr. Raphael Mechoulam is the researcher known for discovering CBD as well as his collaboration with researcher Dr. Ruth Gallily, also from Hebrew University. It was Mechoulam who discovered receptors for cannabinoids not only in the brain, but elsewhere as well, in other body tissues. The discovery opened up an entirely new area of research into how coucannabinoids could be modified to fit different receptors, and thereby treat different illnesses.
Meanwhile, the discovery is already heading to market. An Israeli company called ISA Scientific has recently signed a worldwide collaboration and licensing deal with Yissum, the technology-transfer company of Hebrew University, as well as Hadasit, the technology-transfer company of Hadassah Medical Organization of Jerusalem, and KIR, the Kennedy Trust for Rheumatology Research in the UK.

The agreement backs the creation and development of specific therapies using cannabidiol (CBD) by the inter-disciplinary research team headed by Mechoulam. KIR director and immunologist Sir Marc Feldman is also involved in the effort, as are Hadassah researchers and physicians Chaim Lotan, Lolan Weiss and Ronen Durst.

Phase I clinical trials on dosing and safety are now underway in Israel, according to ISA Scientific CEO Mark J. Rosenfeld. “Arrangements for Phase 2 trials on treating diabetes and chronic pain are in process,” he said in a statement.

Rosenfeld added that the firm’s Israeli research and development team had been working on the issue of an oral delivery system. Very little CBD reaches the bloodstream when taken by mouth, according to an article posted to the Israel21c news website, necessitating a more efficient system. The problem was solved “with propietary nanotechnology” currently being integrated into the firm’s clinical trials.

According to Rosenfeld, CBD seems to have no major side effects, and apparently does not affect activities such as work, school, sports or driving. More to the point, the company says in a statement on its website that it is working towards creating a way to “control diabetes into the medical market place.

“CBD may even help prevent diabetes.”

Hana Levi Julian

Israeli Marijuana Companies Smoking Up Wall Street

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

The Israeli-based One World Cannabis (OWC) company is going to be traded over the counter on Wall Street after the Dynamic Applications merges with it, Globes business newspaper reported.

Other Israel companies on Wall Street and involved in the marijuana industry are Therapix, Cannabics Pharmaceuticals and Breed It.

Many Wall Street analysts predict that marijuana will become legal throughout the United States and will be a multi-billion dollar industry. Israel has approved allowing family doctors to prescribe medicinal marijuana.

One World Cannabis which deals in research and development of cannabis-based treatments for diseases, including treatments for diabetes, Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy.

There is no evidence to substantiate that smoking marijuana can cure Parkinson’s Disease, but studies show that cannabis can be useful in treating it.

One World Cannabis intends to generate clinical data for various medical conditions based on the development of specific cannabis strains, the combinations of the cannabinoids THC and CBD, and optimal dosages.

The company’s first clinical trials are to be for fibromyalgia, psoriasis/basal cell carcinoma, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and seizures. The company’s second set of clinical trials, which have not yet begun and are not yet funded, are anticipated to focus on the development of cannabis medicines for Crohn’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, Tourette’s Syndrome, migraines, chronic pain, Alzheimer’s Disease, pediatric epilepsy, prostate cancer and diabetes.

One World Cannabis recently raised $2 million and is discussing with several Israeli hospitals the possibility of carrying out clinical trials.

It also plans to set up a non-profit organization on behalf of the use of marijuana for the medical use.

Cannabics Pharmaceuticals is focused on developing and marketing drugs, therapies and food supplements based on the active ingredients found in unique strains of the cannabis plant.

Its main product is Cannabics SR, a sustained release medical cannabis capsule designed for cancer patients as a palliative care treatment.

Cannabics recently received from the Israeli Health Ministry permission to establish an advanced R&D laboratory for medical research in the field of cannabinoid science.

The company says its aim is to be one of the first and few companies in the world to commercialize indication specific and clinically tested cannabis-based medical products.

Dr. Zohar Koren, CEO, stated, “The exciting scientific field of cannabinoid research has been largely neglected throughout most of the 20th century due to a total ban on this field of research. Thus, the available scientific knowledge regarding active cannabinoids and their mechanisms of action in various disease pathways is dramatically lacking in comparison to other therapeutic fields. There is a huge space of uncharted territory to explore with regards to the potential therapeutic roles of this class of compounds for diverse indications.”

Therapix Biosciences Ltd is a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on synthetic cannabinoid-based therapies and has invested $1.5 million in medical cannabis company LaraPharm, which is developing a formulation of THC, the active ingredient in cannabis to work in an inhaler.

Therapix Bio (vegan trade Over the Counter in New York in October.

BreedIT Corp, through its Israeli subsidiary BreedIT Ltd,  develops sophisticated agro-breeding solutions for plant breeders and researchers.

Colorado-based Dr. Alan Shackelford, a practicing physician and expert in cannabinoid medicine, is a member of the company’s scientific advisory board. He was one of the two physicians who prescribed the marijuana strain which has become known as Charlotte’s Web to a six-year old girl, who suffered from 20 to 60 seizures per day from the incurable genetic disorder, Dravet Syndrome, with seizures being reduced to one or two per month.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Police Find 3.5 Tons of Marijuana North of Tel Aviv [video]

Sunday, September 21st, 2014

Police arrested three men from central Israel on Friday after confiscating 3.5 tons of marijuana in a raid on a farm that was hidden by walls.

Police said the farm was located in the Sharon region, which covers the area north of Tel Aviv and includes Netanyahu and neighboring communities, but the exact location was not disclosed.

Police seized 1,200 marijuana plants, worth millions of shekels.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Moshe Feiglin Loses His Cool Over Cannabis

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

Jewish Press Staff

Cannabis and Liberty

Thursday, October 24th, 2013

Everyone in Israel is talking about cannabis: who smoked and who did not, how many leftist MKs admit to smoking as opposed to how many rightist MKs. When I expressed my opinion on this issue over a year ago, I had no idea that I had climbed atop such a potent barrel of social dynamite.

Today, it is clear to me that the medical marijuana issue touches upon layers far deeper than the prohibition or permission to use this amazing plant. (Some identify cannabis as the Biblical k’nei bosem – perfume reed – that was used in the anointment oil [see Exodus 30:23] as well as in the incense in the Holy Temple.)

This Sunday, my legislative proposal on medical marijuana will be brought to a vote in the Ministerial Legislative Committee. The proposal says that when a doctor gives a patient a prescription for a certain dose of cannabis, the patient will immediately receive a license from the state to use the prescribed amount.

This seems like a pretty straightforward proposal. But the Health Ministry opposes it. “Cannabis is not a medicine,” the ministry explains. “First we must study all the medical research on the issue from the entire world, understand what exactly it helps and what it harms. To do otherwise would be irresponsible.”

That is the crime of the cannabis plant. It doesn’t come in a capsule with a metallic wrapping and a medical insert. Cannabis is not a drug; it is a simple plant. Sometimes it grows one way, sometimes another. We did not produce it and so we have no control over it. The patent belongs exclusively to the Creator of the World.

People of faith have no problem with this. They have a natural modesty, an understanding that not everything is in our hands and if we see that it helps and the patient wants it, and if the side effects are far fewer than with conventional drugs, then what is the problem?

But prevailing wisdom dictates otherwise. Until we do not understand it completely – and control it completely – we will not allow it. And if in the meantime there is a lot of pressure, and the ill are crying out and the headlines are uncomplimentary, we will create a bottomless bureaucratic procedure to stop those who need cannabis. The patient’s doctor will not decide, but rather a doctor who never saw and does not know the patient will make the decision. In other words, a clerk hiding somewhere in the long halls of bureaucracy.

I once went into an old synagogue, a remnant of the socialist Mapai Party days, to recite the afternoon prayers. On a dusty, wooden shelf I found an old, yellowing prayer book. I opened it. On the inside cover, the Jewish Agency stamp could be plainly seen: “The Department for the Provision of Religious Needs,” it said. “After all,” went the socialist reasoning, “Religion is the opiate of the masses. If there is no choice and the people demand it, we will provide it on our own conditions. The main thing is that we retain control. We will even supply something as unquantifiable as faith.”

Estimates put the number of marijuana users in Israel at somewhere between half a million to one million. It is no coincidence that more and more MKs now understand that an admission of cannabis smoking will help them politically. Clearly, a citizen who has to smoke his cannabis in hiding, living in fear of the knock at the door, can be easily controlled. If the government allows the ill to easily access cannabis, the next step will be legalization. Why would a government that strives for control go along with this new law?

We haven’t even yet mentioned the drug industry, the second largest in the world (after the arms industry). The drug industry’s basic interest is to eliminate the competing substance that cannot even be patented. This is in addition to the financial and systemic pressures applied by various organizations, some of them dubious, on the Health Ministry to nix cannabis.

Initially, Health Minister Yael German explained to me that her hands are tied and the law must be changed. Now, when my new law has gone through all the necessary stages and most of the ministers support it, the health minister is working hard to prevent them from passing it.

The flip side of the liberty coin is responsibility. The basic interest of any state and its apparatus is to control all the spheres of responsibility for our daily lives: the state owns the land, and the state is responsible for our children’s education, welfare, health, and the like. If we don’t use complicated policies to prevent the use of medical marijuana, the state reasons, we will lose control and the entire country will go to pot.

Some detractors also feared the light rail in Jerusalem. “How can we let a train drive down a busy pedestrian mall without having people getting killed all the time?” they asked. It turns out that when responsibility is restored to the citizen, he knows how to take care of himself just fine.

The debate is not about cannabis. Cannabis is just the tip of the iceberg. The debate is about liberty.

Moshe Feiglin

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/moshe-feiglin/cannabis-and-liberty/2013/10/24/

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