A recent clinical trial conducted by Soroka University Medical Center and Israeli medical cannabis company Tikun Olam-Cannbit (TASE:TKUN) showed promising results, especially for treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), reported the Jerusalem Post.
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About the study
The study was funded by Tikun Olam-Cannbit and was conducted over several years. Researchers examined 8,500 adults, both male and female, averaging 54.6 years old, and medicated them with strains grown by the company. A large number of cannabis-medicated patients stopped or reduced their dosages of opioids by 52%, anti-psychotics by 36.9%, anti-epileptics by 35.7% and hypnotics and sedatives by 35.3%.
Overall, over two-thirds of patients reported “at least moderate improvement with no serious side effects, and about half claimed that their “quality of life had improved during the time of treatment”. In total, 90.8% of treated PTSD patients being classified as therapeutic successes after six months.” Other benefits ranged from a notable decrease in outbursts of rage, improved restlessness, and a lower rate of digestive and sleep-related issues.
“In the past, we already demonstrated that treatment with medical cannabis products relieves symptoms and improves quality of life for patients,” said Lihi Bar-Lev Schleider the company’s head of R&D. “This is the first time that in-depth, organized and systematic analysis of a large amount of data on a very large group of patients was performed, and in which, without bias, the effect of the treatment for various indications was examined.”
In December last year, an exclusive and mutual collaboration agreement was signed by Tikun Olam-Cannbit and Teva Pharmaceuticals, in which Tikun Olam’s medical cannabis products will be distributed by Teva Pharmacueticals throughout Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
“The medical cannabis arena is developing and being professionalized at a dizzying pace in Israel, and there is more openness to it in Israel and worldwide,” Teva Israel CEO Yossi Ofek said. “Today, it is clear to many in the pharmaceutical industry and in the medical community that the use of oils produced from specific cannabis strains may provide additional treatment options and respond to unmet medical needs of patients. I have no doubt that the medical cannabis oils Cannbit-Tikun Olam produces – according to Teva’s high quality and safety standards – will help us realize our goal of improving the lives of patients.”
Who is Tikun Olam-Cannbit?
Tikun Olam (adapted spelling from Tikkun Olam) gets its name from an important Jewish concept which refers to any activity that improves the world and brings it closer to a harmonious state. The phrase directly translates to “Repair the World”, and this is exactly what they have been doing with their world-class cannabis research. More than 20,000 patients currently use Tikun Olam’s products.
Tikun Olam has conducted research on a number of different conditions including cancer, autism, Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s, Tourette’s, fibromyalgia, and various motor disorders; just to name a few. Their chief scientist is Professor Zvi Bentwich – a leading HIV/AIDS researcher, board member of Physicians for Human Rights, and one of the first doctors in Israel (and possibly the world) to treat patients with medical cannabis.
Despite a short period of drama and uncertainty, Tikun Olam was purchased by Cannabit a couple of years ago. Cannbit signed a memorandum of principles to purchase Tikun Olam for a total of $42 million, with a caveat to pay an additional $18 million of Cannabit reaches a market cap of $1 billion within the next 5 years. This marked Israel’s largest medical cannabis merger in history.
Israel’s history with cannabis research
No country in the world is better known for cannabis research than Israel. Not only is this the nation where it all began, but they are still paving the path with their modern research efforts today. Back in the early 1960s, Israeli scientist and University Professor, Raphael Mechoulam, first identified and isolated tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) from the cannabis plant. His discovery jumpstarted the medical cannabis revolution and helped change how the entire world looked at this plant.
Today, Mechoulam is President of The Multidisciplinary Center for Cannabinoid Research at Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he is leading a team of researchers that continue to uncover the numerous medical benefits associated with the now hundreds of compounds that have been found in cannabis. He has received millions in grants to create cannabis-based treatments for aggressive forms of cancer, and he was recently awarded the Technion Harvey prize for his work in the field.
By 2017, many in the industry had nicknamed Israel “The Holy Land” for medical cannabis; still known as an international hub for some of the most advanced scientists and researchers in the industry and it’s one of the few countries in the world where doctors prescribe cannabis-based medications with some regularity.
A great number of our most important cannabis studies come from Israel, including many about the endocannabinoid system, cannabis and cancer, mental health, addiction, and the list goes on. Israel has seen so much success with cannabis research that more restricted countries (like the U.S.) rely on Israeli data for their own scientific and legal initiatives. Although Israel has been shipping out cannabis products for some time now, many believe the small country’s most valuable export is medical data.
Israel is no stranger to cannabis research, and this data is just the latest in what is sure to be many more studies regarding cannabis and addiction, PTSD, medicine reduction, and overall mental health and wellness. As of now, cannabis-based treatments have proven effective in all the aforementioned areas.
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Disclaimer: Hi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a doctor, lawyer, or businessperson. All information in my articles is sourced and referenced, and all opinions stated are mine. I am not giving anyone advice, and though I am more than happy to discuss topics, should someone have a further question or concern, they should seek guidance from a relevant professional.