Dr. Donald Abrams

Is a cancer and integrative medicine specialist at the UCSF Osher center. He’s also the chief of Hemotology and Oncology at San Francisco General Hospital. I came across him while cruising around on the CATO Institute website. I listened to a 10 minute podcast from last year he was featured in. He’s into combining Western and Eastern medicine. The Eastern part includes the use of botanicals, of course. If you’d care to listen for yourself:

Abrams on CATO

I find it interesting that the doctor and I agree on a few items related to cannabis compound pharmacology. He also gave me a little something to think about on the subject.

In the interview he mentions a synthetic cannabinoid receptor antagonist that was studied in the hopes it would curb appetite. I’ll be darned if it didn’t do just that! Bummer about the side effects though; depression, suicidal thoughts…

This is where our thinking aligns. The plant has been used for thousands of years as a whole botanical. To attempt to yank out and synthesize a single compound for medicinal use is not going to work out as one might expect. The molecules within the plant work in harmony, in concert with one another. As yet we don’t really understand these relationships (though we know cannabidiol inhibits THC’s psychoactive effect) but the research time and again tends to prove this out.

He talks of how patients medicating with synthetic THC are far more “sedated and immobile” than the patients utilizing the whole plant. His 10 minute talk briefly touches on 1\2 a dozen (+\-) of my previous posts.

One thing he speaks to that I hadn’t really considered… well, it might have been niggling in the back of my mind, but he, sort of, clarified my vague thoughts.

Let’s say various compounds are extracted, combined, whatever, and licensed for prescriptive sales. This might sound like good news on the face of it. “Yay! See I told you cannabis had a medicinal use!” But then again; So the medicine would become a schedule II (some, schedule) drug to be prescribed by a doctor. That doesn’t do squat for the legality of the whole plant. The whole plant, that in some folks opinion is far more effective than anything (in that category) “manufactured” to date.

Hopefully he was a bit tongue in cheek when he was talking about some research he was doing with oyster mushrooms. The hope was they might lower cholesterol. Because he was studying it as a drug and capping it he had to submit an Inventive New Drug Application.  If the researched panned out and his capped shrooms became a prescribed treatment would oyster mushrooms become restricted?

Give the cat a listen when you’ve got a spare few minutes. If you look around the CATO site there’s some other good stuff there too.

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