Exploring the Endocannabinoid System

Cannabinoids and Cancer

A talk by J. Marcu Ph.D., Senior Scientist for Americans for Safe Access, given at the Society of Cannabis Clincians Quarterly Meeting in December 2014.

Risks of Cannabis Smoking

A talk on Cannabis and its effects on the Pulmonary System by Dr. Donald P. Tashkin, M.D., Emeritus Professor of Medicine and Director of Pulmonary/Critical Care Medicine at the UCLA School of Medicine.

Research Pioneer: Ethan Russo MD

A board-certified neurologist and psychopharmacology researcher, Dr. Russo is former Chairman of the International Association for Cannabinoid Medicines.

The Scientist

Dr. Rafael Mechoulam and the Discovery of the Endocannabinoid System (ECS)

In 1964 Professor Raphael Mechoulam was on a public bus carrying 5 kilos of premium Lebanese hashish in a plastic bag to his laboratory at the Weitzmann Institute in Rehovot. That noticeably fragrant bus ride turned out to be a fateful one, as Mechoulam used his haul to discover the psychoactive component in Cannabis, Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). It was a discovery that had eluded scientists for decades.

Twenty years later, Mechoulam ascertained that THC interacts with the largest receptor system in the human body, the endocannabinoid system (ECS). He then found that the human brain produces its very own Cannabis – a chemical that they named anandamide after the Sanskrit word ananda, “bliss”.

Though still unknown to most researchers and medical professionals because of the worldwide prohibition of marijuana, the importance of the endocannabinoid system is growing daily. It has been called the “supercomputer that regulates homeostasis in the human body.” Because receptors are found throughout the brain and in every major organ, this system is thought to be involved in most disease states. This is one reason that Cannabis treats so many varied illnesses. Mechoulam has been investigating this compound longer and more thoughtfully than any other scientist. He has unearthed Cannabis’s role in treating seizure disorders, schizophrenia and PTSD, plus its impact on other functions that govern human health, such as the rapidity with which an infant bonds with his mother. He has been awarded numerous scientific prizes and is universally acknowledged as the “father of cannabinoid medicine”. Despite these accolades, Mechoulam’s name isn’t known outside of a small group of researchers.

The Scientist is a documentary that traces the story of Mechoulam from his early days as a child of the Holocaust in Bulgaria, through his immigration to Israel, and his career as the chief investigator into the chemistry and biology of the world’s most misunderstood plant.  Watch documentary here.

Conferences – Education – Publications

Continuing Education Courses

The Society of Cannabis Clinicians is pleased to be collaborating with The Medical Cannabis Institute to launch the first online Medical Cannabis Curriculum.

Cannabinoids and Epilepsy

Cannabinoids and EpilepsyA study recently published in Neurotherapeutics by researchers at the New York University School of Medicine reviews scientific evidence from pre-clinical and clinical trials of cannabinoids in epilepsy, which suggest that CBD avoids the psychoactive effects of the endocannabinoid system to provide a well-tolerated, promising therapeutic for the treatment of seizures. However, with many questions still remain regarding the mechanism, safety, and efficacy of cannabinoids in short- and long-term use, read more…

Marijuana Use in Epilepsy: The Myth and the Reality

Marijuana Use in Epilepsy: The Myth and the RealityResearchers at Yale University published this review in Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports in 2015 with the goal of addressing the most important questions a clinician may have regarding the use of marijuana in epilepsy. They review data for the anticonvulsant properties of the different cannabinoids, mainly tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) and explore the safety data from animal and human studies. read more…

THC Inhibits Replication of Herpesviruses in Vitro

THC Inhibits Replication Of Herpes Viruses In VitroResearchers at the University of South Florida published an article in BioMed Central in 2004 summarizing the antiviral effects of THC and comparing THC with well-characterized antiviral drugs. They compiled data from the literature as well as from their own experimental results. The authors’ observations suggest that THC either directly or indirectly targets a viral gene shared by the herpesviruses. read more…

Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome: An Under-Recognized Diagnosis

Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome: An Under-Recognized DiagnosisWith the growing spread of cannabis abuse, a novel clinical disorder has emerged, termed Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome (CHS). Researchers in Israel published a Case Communications report in the Israel Medical Association Journal in May 2015. The majority of patients with CHS are heavy users of cannabinoids, on a daily or almost daily basis for years. Symptoms are characterized by recurrent attacks of severe nausea and vomiting and accompanying abdominal pain. read more…

PTSD Patients Evaluated for New Mexico Medical Cannabis Program

PTSD Symptom Reports of Patients Evaluated for the New Mexico Medical Cannabis ProgramThis study reported and statistically analyzed psychometric data on PTSD symptoms collected during 80 psychiatric evaluations of patients applying to the New Mexico Medical Cannabis Program from 2009 to 2011. Greater than 75% reduction in CAPS symptom scores were reported when patients were using cannabis compared to when they were not. read more…

Ongoing Medical Cannabis Studies

Beyond-THC Strain Evaluation Survey

The Society of Cannabis Clinicians has developed a survey that asks about patients’ responses to CBD-rich cannabis. While laboratory-based research is uncovering fascinating information about CBD Learn more…

Crohn’s Disease & Ulcerative Colitis Study

If you are a patient with inflammatory bowel disease, IBD, using cannabis to mitigate the symptoms of Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, you are invited to participate in this study. Learn more…

Membership in the Society of Cannabis Clinicians

Physicians and Allied Professionals Employing Medical Cannabis in Patient Care

Physicians & Clinicians

Hold a valid, unrestricted license to practice medicine. Directly provide cannabis recommendations.

Research Associates

People with a professional degree in health care and a continuing interest in cannabinoid medicine.

Health Care Associates

Individuals active in the field of health care who wish to support SCC, including caregivers.


Enrolled in a graduate program related to cannabinoid medicine.