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CiiTECH: Breaking new ground in cannabis research



CiiTECH is leading the way in cannabis research

A joint venture between cannabis research company CiiTECH and top scientists in Israel is leading the way in diabetes and weight-loss studies. Cannabis Health speaks to CEO and founder Clifton Flack to find out more.

In May 2020 CiiTECH labs announced that it had developed a patent-pending breakthrough technology. Developed together with leading metabolic researcher Dr Yossi Tam and the Hebrew University in Israel, the groundbreaking cannabis formula has the potential to treat non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), obesity and a number of other metabolic disorders.

Having co-founded iCAN Israel-Cannabis and together with his team brought the world CannaTech, we spoke to Clifton Flack about his latest venture.

CH: Tell us about your partnership with Dr Tam and the Hebrew University?

Clifton: Working with Dr Tam and ‘Yissum’ the tech transfer arm of the Hebrew University, CiiTECH Labs is leveraging the full potential of Israel’s cutting-edge cannabis innovation. Dr Tam is head of the Obesity and Metabolism Laboratory and his current focus is on uncovering the involvement of the endocannabinoid system in the pathogenesis of obesity and its metabolic complications, with CBD as a prospect for the development of an effective maintenance therapy. Since its inception in 1964, Yissum has registered more than 10,000 patents covering 3,000 inventions and licensed over 950 technologies, with global business partners including companies such as Novartis, Merck, Intel and Google.

Why is the patent-pending technology significant?

Our patent-pending technology aims to explore the therapeutic potential of CBD in combination with additional cannabinoids in reversing the accumulation of fat thus providing the means for treating or preventing type 2 Diabetes and NAFLD.

What has your research found so far?

Through CiiTECH’s past and current clinical studies, researchers have identified the cell genes that influence the uptake of fat and secured a provisional patent for the technology of a unique cannabinoid formulation to potentially treat obesity, diabetes and their causes in NAFLD. Recent findings from CiiTECH Labs have revealed the significant role of the endocannabinoid (eCB) system in the development of NAFLD via the regulation of both CB1 and CB2 receptors.

Why is this research important now?

Obesity is reaching epic proportions in Western societies, with more than one-third of US adults now considered to be obese. It has been described as a catalyst for cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and NAFLD. According to the NHS, one in every three people in the UK has early stages of NAFLD. If left untreated, it can lead to liver damage, scarring, and cirrhosis and patients are at a much higher risk of developing more serious conditions including diabetes, high blood pressure and kidney disease.

Why did you choose Israel to carry out this pioneering work?

Israel has been at the forefront of cannabis research for over 50 years and this gold-label institution has the richest history of cannabis breakthroughs and cannabinoid therapy patents in the world. While the rest of the world was preoccupied with prohibition and propaganda, Professor Raphael Mechoulam and his team of scientists at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, were working to unlock secrets of the cannabis plant. Prof Mechoulam was the first person to study the endocannabinoid system and isolate the compounds THC and CBD.

After finding success as a global cannabis pioneer why did you turn your attention to the UK?

After a number of years building the global cannabis community, I saw a huge opportunity in my home country, the UK, where an unregulated CBD industry had begun to explode. With many brands making unsubstantiated claims and mislabeling their products, I recognised the need for consumers to be protected – and the key to this is research. CiiTECH developed a proprietary CBD brand PROVACAN, which has formed a number of joint ventures to bring the best of CBD and science to the UK. It continually works with leading formulators and innovators to bring to market the most efficient and cost-effective products and has seen the formation of CiiTECH’s other CBD brands IMPACT and HUGG.

How are you preparing for the UK’s Food Standards Authority’s (FSA) Novel Food regulations coming into force at the end of March next year?

The team has taken the necessary steps to ensure we are ready for the new regulations to take effect. We have been working closely with all industry stakeholders to ensure that all our brands adhere to the guidance set forth by the FSA and Novel foods. Our products comply 100 percent with the stringent EU and UK agricultural directives and we expect all our brands to be ready when the new regulations come into effect next year.

What impact do you think the introduction of the regulations will have on the industry?

The new regulations will clean up the market, getting rid of any products that do not comply with new regulations. This will make all CBD users more confident in what they are buying with more clarity and precise labelling.

What does the future hold for CiiTECH?

It is a very exciting time at CiiTECH as we continue to develop new patents, formulations and brands that meet the growing needs of niche markets around the world. Our global expansion tells us that we are doing something right and that our products are filling in a market that is lacking something that consumers need. Although the landscape will likely look very different this time next year, with the technology, research and expertise we have, CiiTECH is set to be at the forefront of this ever-changing industry


Cannabis Health is a journalist-led news site. Any views expressed by interviewees or commentators do not reflect our own. All content on this site is intended for educational purposes, please seek professional medical advice if you are concerned about any of the issues raised.

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