The First THC Cake Experiment 


Rachael Mechoulam, an Israeli chemist and considered to be the ‘father of cannabis medicine’, may have been the first to conduct a social experiment with THC laced cake. In this experiment half of the participants ate a regular piece of cake; the other half ate a piece of cake that had been laced with 10mg of pure THC.

Here is what happened in Dr Mechoulam’s own words: 

“We had a few of our friends take 10mg of pure THC on a piece of cake my wife prepared and five took only the cake without the THC and we compared the effects. None of us had ever used cannabis before. As a matter of fact, very few people had used cannabis at that time in Israel. All those that took the THC were affected, but surprisingly they were affected differently. 

Some said: “Well, we just feel kind of strange, in a different world, we want to sit back and enjoy. 

Another one said nothing happens but he didn’t stop talking all the time, a third one said: “well nothing happened,” but every 15-20 seconds he’ll burst out laughing. 

These effects are well-known today. People are differently affected. 

In one case, however, one of the participants got into an anxiety state. She felt, I believe, that her psychological guards, if you wish, are breaking down, and all of a sudden she was open to everybody, so she really got into an anxiety state. 

In some cases, we definitely see anxiety attacks. Most do not. Most just … a few kind of … a little bit disoriented, maybe a little bit sedated, maybe a little bit open to discussion and socially open to whatever is being discussed.”

This experiment concluded that all the participants who ate the THC laced cake experienced an alteration to their social behaviour. What the researcher wasn’t expecting was the different ways the participants were affected. 

Most participants became laid back and relaxed. One became very chatty, another experienced uncontrollable laughter, but one had a very different experience which included an episode of uncomfortable anxiety. 

This early cannabis experiment helps us to understand that cannabis is a very individualized medicine! How one person feels after taking a certain strain may be completely different than another person’s experience. 

When working with THC the mantra ‘Start low. Go slow.’ is a vitally important rule to follow, especially with first time users. An uncomfortable first experience with THC may just turn a person away from the very medicine that would help them. 

The Scientist’ a documentary that explores Dr Raphael Mechoulam’s career studying cannabis medicine is available at