Lecture Series Explores “Marijuana: Is it Medicine Yet?”

The 2018 Medical Center Lecture Series continues Tuesday, March 13, with “Marijuana: Is it Medicine Yet?” presented by Donald L. Abrams, M.D., chief of the Hematology-Oncology Division at San Francisco General Hospital.

Dr. Abrams, pictured at right, has long been interested in clinical trials of complementary and alternative medicine interventions for HIV/AIDS and cancer, including evaluations of medicinal marijuana. His most recent trial, funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, investigated the possible pharmacokinetic interaction between vaporized cannabis and opioid analgesics in patients with chronic pain.

His current trial, funded by the National Institutes of Health, investigates vaporized cannabis in patients with Sickle Cell disease.

Many people living with cancer are seeking integrative interventions to complement their conventional cancer treatments of chemotherapy and radiation. Dr. Abrams and Dr. Andrew Weil co-authored Integrative Oncology, which explains various types of cancers, dietary impact, lifestyle and alternative therapies.

The National Cancer Institute defines Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) as “any medical and health care systems, practices or products that are not thought of as standard medical care.” CAM takes into consideration the following standards:

  • Standard treatments are based on scientific evidence from research studies.
  • Complementary medicine refers to treatments that are used with standard medical treatments, like using acupuncture, to help with side effects of cancer treatment.
  • Alternative medicine refers to treatments that are used instead of standard medical treatments.
  • Integrative medicine is a total approach to care that combines standard medical treatment with the CAM practices that have been shown to be safe and effective.

Please join us at 5 p.m. Tuesday, March 13, at the Cultural Center Theatre for this informative lecture and to meet Dr. Abrams at the post-lecture reception. To reserve your spot, call the Medical Center reservation line at 305-367-6777.

The final lecture in the 2018 season, “Red Wine, Dark Chocolate and the Real Secrets to Heart Health,” will take place April 10. For more information about this lecture, presented by Dr. Marc Gillinov, chair of the Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery at Cleveland Clinic, and to read about past lectures, click here.