Studying, not inhaling

Despite his vast experience in cannabis research, Prof. Raphael Mechoulam admits to trying marijuana only once, more than 40 years ago. "My partner in THC research, Yehiel Gaoni from the Technion, and I had isolated the THC compounds and wanted to know its effects. We knew it worked in monkeys but we wanted to try it in people." Mechoulam adds that he wasn't breaking a law at the time because there was nothing illegal about THC then. "You cannot have a law against something that does not exist. THC did not exist at that time, so there was no law against it." Mechoulam and Gaoni recruited a group of 10 people including their spouses. "Five of us ate a cake my wife baked with 10 mg. of cannabis in it, which was a little bit too high, and then we had five people who had a cake without the drug. Then the next week we switched," he explains. "And yes, we found that marijuana does exactly what one expected it would do."