Israel’s leading cannabis brand Tikun Olam is licensed in the U.S. as, Tikun. The lifestyle brand features the famous Avidekel, along with five other proprietary strains, and they are all available throughout the state of Nevada. Nevada has been serving the medical marijuana community since 2015 and began serving the adult use market on July 1, 2017.
Extensive research from Israeli scientists, like the “godfather of cannabis” Raphael Mechoulam, helped Tikun Olam cultivate the world’s first high-CBD strain, Avidekel, back in 2011. Avidekel, like Charlotte’s Web or AC/DC here in the U.S., doesn’t produce a psychoactive effect like smoking a strain high in THC, making it great for people who hadn’t considered using cannabis before. It does, however, have many medical benefits, including easing pain and reducing seizures for both adults and children. Bernard Sucher, CEO at Tikun described how it helped “an older woman who was able to start cooking and holding her grandkids again after using Avidekel tincture [and] kids going down from hundreds of seizures weekly to none at all.”
The Tikun line ranges from “Alaska”, a daytime use, high-THC sativa known for its invigorating effects that may help with pain, depression, and gastrointestinal issues, to three high-THC indicas: “Eran Almog”, “Erez”, and “Or”. These night care strains can ease both physical and mental tension and are great for sleep, nausea, pain, and spasms.
Tikun’s most innovative strain, “Midnight”, is a sativa with equal parts THC and CBD, with about 12% of each. It is known to keep people functional and motivated, can be used in either the day or night and is great for different types of pain and anxiety.
Tikun is unique because all of their strains were developed according to patient feedback. They collect patient reactions from a first of its kind “cannabis clinic” affiliated with their dispensary in Tel Aviv. At the clinic, nurses assist medical marijuana patients to find the right treatment course as well as collect data.
“It helps us to understand which strains are working for which conditions. It helps us see the entire strain and the entire patient holistically,” Sucher explained. “Our strains were purpose-bred for specific concerns.” The interdisciplinary research approach is much easier to do in Israel; the small nation does not have the federal restrictions and multi-agency review that stalls research here in the U.S.
Most strains have a few options when it comes to forms of consumption including flower, vape cartridges, tincture, topical cream, and lozenges. Tikun’s extracts are made using only single strain CO2 oils with no additives or adulteration. This is to stay true to the “entourage effect” of their well-researched strains, ensuring extracts keep the same cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids as the original plant. Plus, not only are all strains “organic”, but all ingredients in their edibles, topicals, and tinctures are organic as well as nontoxic, catering to those looking for a natural alternative to healing and wellness.
“I think one of the differentiators of our strains is that unlike an OG-based strain from California, which was enhanced season-by-season by growers who were given anecdotal information… we actually noted down week by week, month by month the results from a real diverse group of patients, who were able to tell us precisely how they were helped by each strain… So that enabled us to develop really strong products based on a really wide test market with a formalized feedback mechanism,” Sucher said.
With their U.S. launch, Tikun is planning to start collecting patient feedback here too. After all, America has the largest and most profitable legal cannabis industry in the world. But, unlike in Israel, Tikun will not have the freedom to team up with local universities and hospitals because of federal restrictions regarding cannabis research.
Tikun is, however, collaborating with local American cultivators to understand the local terrain, climate, and state regulations. This partnership between experienced Israeli and local American growers has resulted in some of the highest quality and abundant yields in the industry.
“We see cannabis as a lifestyle enhancing alternative to many traditional pharmaceuticals and drugs which are used to combat an average headache, need to sleep, muscle pain or stress,” explained Sucher. “By using cannabis in an intentional way, using the tools and tricks we picked up helping sick patients, the elderly, and people who aren’t likely to consume cannabis for any other reason, we’re able to help people tailor a treatment plan that works in their daily lives… Our goal is for cannabis to be something you work with to enhance your life not to control [it].”
In Hebrew, Tikun Olam, the brand’s full name in Israel, means “healing the world,” and that’s exactly what they plan to do. Their goal is to bring a health and wellness revolution to the U.S.
“We are working with our local partners to bring the Tikun brand, our knowledge, scientific research and expertise to all the states in which medical cannabis is legally regulated. We will be looking to expand to numerous West Coast states throughout 2017.”