Life sciences play eSense Lab has received that all-important medical cannabis permit — but in Israel, not Australia.

The permit lets eSense (ASX:ESE) undertake research and development on cannabis strains available in Israel. The company is applying to extend the permit to imports as well.

In Australia, a licence is required to research medical cannabis and build a growing facility. But a permit is the ticket to actually being able to start growing cannabis.

eSense uses synthetic “terpenes” — a kind of organic, fragrant oil — to develop plant-based products with various applications such as medicines, ointments, food, drinks and cosmetics.

In particular eSense is working with terpenes from different plants that are developed to mimic the distinctive aroma of cannabis so they don’t contain THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the compound that gets you high.

Some research has indicated that in cannabis, terpenes are key to THC levels — as the terpene deteriorates so do the THC levels.

eSense shares jumped 6 per cent on the news to 7.2c.

“This permit, so sought-after, will allow the company to further perfect its terpene formulations, allowing us to supply a product that can mimic cannabinoids, without any of the psychoactive compounds,” said eSense chief executive Haim Cohen.

“This permit allows the company to promote further research into the medical and nutraceutical applications for cannabinoids, replacing them with our terpene formulations.”

eSense suggests some terpenes may have cancer-fighting properties.

eSense has struggled through a board room battle this year, as Israeli board members succeeded in pushing out their Australian counterparts.

The former accused the associates of their ex-corporate advisor of trying to take over the company by stealth, and the latter claimed the board was signing deals that wouldn’t go anywhere just to lock down their performance rights.