Raphael Mechoulam, an Israeli organic chemist and the “father of cannabis research”, received the ABC Norman R. Farnsworth Excellence in Botanical Research Award.
Mechoulam was the first researcher to isolate, determine the structure of, and synthesize delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive component of cannabis (Cannabis spp.).
“Professor Mechoulam is internationally recognized for his many compelling and pioneering discoveries regarding the chemistry and pharmacology of cannabis. These accomplishments created new research opportunities in the novel field of the human endocannabinoid system, one of the most important regulatory systems in human physiology,” said ABC’s Blumenthal.
Mechoulam has published more than 380 scientific journal articles to date, and he continues to investigate cannabinoids and serve as an advocate for the healing properties of cannabis. “I strongly believe that plant and endogenous cannabinoids or their derivatives will become major drugs,” he said.
ABC’s Stefan Gafner noted: “Professor Mechoulam is truly a giant among natural products scientists. He made some of the most impactful discoveries in the area of botanical research. With the elucidation of the structures of THC, CBD, and many of the minor cannabinoids, he laid the foundation for scientific research on cannabis. The discovery of endogenous ligands to the cannabinoid brain receptors provided an avenue for numerous researchers to investigate the physiological processes in which the endocannabinoid system is involved.”