A cannabis field is seen near a vineyard on the outskirts of Deir al-Ahmar in the Beakaa Valley, one of the poorest regions in Lebanon and notorious for its cannabis production, on October 3, 2017. AFP / JOSEPH EID
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According to Mroueh, who heads the first medicinal cannabis research center in the Arab world – one of only 10 globally – preliminary studies have found that Lebanese cannabis not only has medicinal properties, but that these properties are distinct from those of any other cannabis species.At LAU's Byblos Campus, Mroueh and other researchers found in preliminary tests on cancer cells that the effects of Lebanese cannabis are comparable to the results found in studies of international strains.Mroueh said the research center had received support from the Health and Interior Ministries in acquiring fresh samples of the plant from the Bekaa – where tens of square kilometers are planted with the sweet-smelling crop. He said only three basic studies had been done on Lebanese cannabis in the past, the last one in 1984 .
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