Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

How an Israeli university is researching the ways cannabis can treat obesity

UK-Israeli startup awards funding to Hebrew University for the scheme

    Cannabidiol could be used to treat obesity
    Cannabidiol could be used to treat obesity (Picture: Flash90)

    Cannabis could have a role in treating obesity-related fatty liver disease, according to a Hebrew University project that has been awarded funding by a UK-Israeli startup.

    The research focuses on cannabidiol, also known as CBD, a naturally occurring chemical found in marijuana plants.

    It accounts for about 40% of the extract of the cannabis plant and is classed as a medicine in the UK and Israel.

    “We know CBD is potentially able to elicit positive metabolic effects under fatty conditions such as an unbalanced diet,” said Dr Joseph Tam, from the university’s Obesity & Metabolism Laboratory unit.

    He stressed that the CBD extract does not have the psychoactive effects of the full cannabis plant.

    “What we’re exploring in this study is whether CBD and other non-psychoactive cannabis compounds can diminish, inhibit or reverse the growth of fatty liver cells and even prevent their development.

    “Our laboratory experiments are very promising.”

    Cannabis has two key ingredients — THC and CBD — and it is THC that can make people intoxicated, anxious and psychotic.

    But when isolated, CBD has the opposite effect and calms people down, leading some to use it in small doses as a medicine.

    It has also been shown to modulate fatty acid accumulation in the liver and inhibit weight gain in rats on high-fat diets.

    CBD could have a potentially huge market, with more than one in two adults in Western countries defined as overweight or obese and afflicted by nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.

    “With CBD already legal in the UK, it may not be very long before we can prove that the plant is an effective remedy,” Dr. Tam said. “At the Hebrew University, we have been researching the medicinal qualities of cannabis for 55 years.

    “It is a tragedy that a plant that is so rich in medicinal qualities was kept illegal in the west and has been tagged with the stigma of substance abuse for so long.”

    The funding is provided by Ciitech, a cannabis biotech firm that is based in the UK.

    “CBD possesses many health benefits and with this study, we believe cannabis could usher in a new era of natural weight loss therapy,” said Clifton Flack, one of the founders of the company.

    “There are too many people in the UK missing out because they think medical cannabis isn’t available for them.

    “Non-psychoactive cannabis supplements provide consumers with a real alternative option for health and wellbeing and demonstrate why countries such as the UK don’t necessarily need to legalise medical cannabis to reap the benefits.”

    Medical cannabis is becoming a major industry in Israel with dozens of companies involved in research, growing and marketing of cannabis for the treatment of a broad range of conditions.

    Israel’s Ministry of Agriculture believes Israel could be exporting $1 billion [£740 million] of medical cannabis annually within a decade.

Football

Blackman targets Israel role

Simon Griver

Friday, January 12, 2018

Blackman targets Israel role
SPORT

Israel is a slam-dunk for US players

Simon Griver

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Israel is a slam-dunk for US players
Football

Luzon departs mid-table Maccabi Haifa

Simon Griver

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Luzon departs mid-table Maccabi Haifa
Football

Grant takes charge of NorthEast United

Simon Griver

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Grant takes charge of NorthEast United
Sport news

McClaren leaves Maccabi Tel Aviv

Simon Griver

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

McClaren leaves Maccabi Tel Aviv
Israel

Israeli media boss steps aside over rape allegations

Simon Griver

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Israeli media boss steps aside over rape allegations
Sport news

Sylvan Adams - the man behind Israel's biggest sports spectacular

Simon Griver

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Sylvan Adams - the man behind Israel's biggest sports spectacular
Sport news

Israel's new ball game for the NFL

Simon Griver

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Israel's new ball game for the NFL
World

Palestinian FA takes West Bank claim to court

Simon Griver

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Palestinian FA takes West Bank claim to court