Lebanon, A Major Producer Of Illegal Weed, Will Now Study MMJ
The Lebanese American University (LAU) just announced that they will be studying the effects of medical cannabis.
This marks a milestone for the country, hinting that they could be turning a new leaf in terms of cannabis policy for Lebanon. In fact, they’re known for (illegally) producing some of the world’s finest hash, although Lebanese scientists barely have any understanding of the cannabis and how their unique climate impacts the quality of the cannabis products they make.
Last May 30, LAU conducted an event introducing its efforts to establish the Medicinal Cannabis Research Center whose objective is to research the medicinal value of cannabis grown in Lebanon. Even though they’re lagging behind in terms of progressive attitudes and research on cannabis compared to the rest of the world, it’s a big step in the right direction. LAU acknowledges how scientists and researchers already have generated solid evidence on the effects of the plant as well as its primary cannabinoids THC and CBD in treating a wide range of ailments.
Joseph G. Jabbra, LAU’s president, broached the topic of the controversies surrounding illegal cannabis in Lebanon during his speech on May 30. Even though cannabis is still illegal, the government can issue permits to legally study it. He also disclosed that he’s more than interested in studying it; he wants to pave the way for potentially developing pharmaceutical products derived from cannabis. But in order for this to happen, the country would need to change the legal status of cannabis. “We are awaiting the creation of a legal framework within which we can proceed, with the full support of the Ministry of Public Health,” he said.
Baby steps first. The center will initially focus on studying the chemical composition of local cannabis and research possible medical applications specifically for the treatment of cancer, memory loss, and inflammation.
The Medicinal Cannabis Research Center will be the very research center in Lebanon and in the middle east to study cannabis, following the footsteps of other research facilities already established in the US, Canada, UK, and Australia.
What Makes Lebanon’s Cannabis Special
Lebanon is gifted with a unique climate and growing conditions, which contributes to the special qualities of its herb. Local weed is known for strong resistance to high temperatures and drought, and its exposure to distinct environmental conditions alters the chemical content and thus medicinal benefits of Lebanese weed. That’s all we can say so far, since there haven’t been any studies looking at exactly how Lebanese weed differs in terms of its therapeutic benefits or even the high that it gives.
Most of the cannabis in Lebanon can be found in the Bekaa Valley, a prime piece of fertile land in the east. It is the heart of Lebanese agriculture, and growing cannabis has long been the cash cow for rural farmers despite its illegal status.
Lebanon is primarily known for producing special hash, which is available in red and yellow varieties. They are both made from cannabis that has been harvested at different stages in their growth cycle.
Finding some authentic Lebanese hash is considered a treasure.
What Would Happen If Lebanon Legalized Cannabis?
For one, legalizing cannabis could substantially improve the economy, with the potential of pumping an additional $ 4 billion if the laws change. Lebanon is already the world’s 5th largest producer of cannabis, and for sure it’s going to translate to big business. They’ve already learned how to make the best hash down to a tee, thanks to their specialized harvesting and refining processes combined with a suitable climate.
But the benefits of legalizing cannabis don’t stop at its economic impact. Prohibition simply isn’t working in Lebanon. Cartels are thriving and the farmers keep planting. Besides, the Lebanese people support decriminalization.
Most importantly, Lebanon could even compete with Israel in developing cannabis-based medications. We all know that Israel is a world leader in medical cannabis research thanks to a progressive attitude toward the plant. Given the superior qualities of Lebanese hash, who knows what they could even develop in the future? Lebanon’s product has the potential to save lives, considering that their cannabis is top-notch due to high THC levels which is incredibly useful for tons of medicinal applications.
Let’s hope that the Lebanese government will soon see the light too.