So back in the 1960's, there was this guy in Israel, see? Raphael Mechoulam. He discovered the chemical THC was a component of cannabis. This was almost 60 years ago, you follow?
Then he discovered other cannabinoids, such as CB1, CB2, etc., that have different effects in the body. And he later discovered an entire endocannabinoid system in the human body, and showed how the human body is naturally hardwired to utilize cannabinoid molecules when present (via "receptors") and that the body produces its own cannabinoids... (all for which, in our humble opinion, Mechoulam (now 86) should be nominated for the Nobel Prize... but we digress...)
There's much that is known, and much that is not fully understood. But enough is known about the positive health potentialities of cannabis to warrant Eli Lilly to have developed a synthetic THC-like drug called Nabilone in the 1980s, and decades-long studies in the US. according to a very interesting Wired Magazine article.
One of the leading reserchers is Alexandros Makriyannis, director of Northeastern University's Center for Drug Discovery. Makriyanis' team and others have been working for decades to isolate cannabinoids and imitate them in synthetic form.
Now we are not scientists, nor are we being critical of decades of work at Northeastern and other university labs, or by pharmaceutical companies in trying to create molecules and drugs that help people.
But we will continue to question cannabis' placement on Schedule I of the DEA's Controlled Substances List, which effectively prohibits scientific study of cannabis in the US.
Because given the vast resources of both universities and corporations, would it not be simpler to analyze the actual plant to understand its capabilities and benefits, rather than designing it from the molecular level?
Because the designing has already been done by nature.
Image source: Sioux.com