“If there is one medicine you can recommend that will take care of pain, nausea, appetite, sleep, [and] anxiety instead of writing prescriptions for five different medicines that all might interact with each other or the chemotherapy, or whatever cancer treatment the patient is getting, I think it’s a useful drug.” -Dr. Donald Abrams, M.D.
Dr. Donald Abrams, M.D. is an integrative oncologist at the UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, Professor of Clinical Medicine at the University of California San Francisco, and was chief of the Hematology-Oncology Division at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital from 2003-2017. He became a fellow in Hematology-Oncology at the UCSF Cancer Research Institute in 1980 during the time the first cases of AIDS were being diagnosed. He was one of the original clinician/investigators to recognize many of the early AIDS-related conditions. He conducted numerous clinical trials investigating conventional as well as complementary therapies in patients with HIV including therapeutic touch, Traditional Chinese Medicine interventions, medicinal mushrooms, medical marijuana and distant healing. It was his work with these patients that brought Dr. Abrams into the world of using cannabis for medicinal purposes. Since completing a Fellowship in Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona, Dr. Abrams has been providing Integrative Medicine consultation to people living with and beyond cancer at the UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Medicine. He co-edited the textbook Integrative Oncology with Dr. Andrew Weil, M.D.
Our discussion includes:
- Does cannabis cure cancer?
- Cannabis (also known as Marijuana) key terms and historical context
- Pros and cons of cannabis for cancer patients and survivors
- Symptoms cannabis can be used for
- Optimal methods of consumption
- Is it bad for you or dangerous?
- Research and evidence