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Researchers develop marijuana without the high

Researchers from Israel say they have developed marijuana that can be used to ease the symptoms of some ailments without getting patients high. (David Buimovitch, AFP)
They grow in a secret location in north Israel. A tall fence, security cameras and an armed guard protect them from criminals.

Israeli researchers may have found a way to keep healthy people from abusing medical marijuana: take away the high.
The “highless” marijuana still eases the symptoms of the medical marijuana patients, but it contains less than 1 percent of THC, the chemical that causes pot’s signature euphoric high.
Instead, this new cannabis strain, called Avidekel, is beefed up with 15.8% cannabidiol, or CBD, which has anti-inflammatory benefits but doesn’t bind to the brain’s receptors the way THC does.
But hold on: How would law enforcement authorities tell the one from the other?
Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University Law School, discussed on his blog the legal hiccups this highless drug could cause.
An Avidekel marijuana bud is displayed at the Tikun Olam company center in Tel Aviv on June 17. Photo by REUTERS/Nir Elias
"Police would have a difficult time distinguishing the products if smoked — assuming non-high marijuana is declared legal. The basis for banning non-high marijuana would be dubious at best. However, if smoked, the government could require some additives to distinguish the smell."
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