Medical Marijuana The Science of Medical Cannabis—A Conversation with Donald Abrams, M.D.


Donald Abrams, M.D. is chief of Hematology and Oncology at San Francisco General Hospital and the co-author—with Andrew Weil—of Integrative Oncology (Oxford University Press). Abrams has extensive experience working with cancer and HIV/AIDS patients and is a pioneer in the field of medical cannabis research.

The U.S. government classifies cannabis—along with heroin and LSD—as a Schedule I drug, the most tightly restricted category of drugs in the United States. According to the federal government, Schedule I drugs are unsafe and have "no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States."

However, as medical cannabis proponents have pointed out since the Controlled Substances Act was passed by Congress in 1970, cannabis has been used medicinally for thousands of years, and there has never been a reported case of a marijuana overdose. Moreover, in recent years clinical researchers around the world have demonstrated the medicinal value of cannabis.'s Paul Feine sat down with Dr. Abrams to learn more about the science of medical cannabis.

Approximately 10 minutes. Produced by Paul Feine and Alex Manning.

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  1. The U.S. government classifies cannabis?along with heroin and LSD?as a Schedule I drug, the most tightly restricted category of drugs in the United States. According to the federal government, Schedule I drugs are unsafe and have “no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.”

    Interesting that heroin is a Schedule I, considering that it was synthesized from morphine and used as a more powerful opiate. It has a clear medical use and was used medically.

    1. Hell, same with psychedelics, which are almost all schedule 1. There’s a lot of potential surrounding the therapeutic use of hallucinogens (LSD, mushrooms, Ecstasy, etc) and generally they are incredibly safe.

      Yet psychedelics — of which cannabis is a mild example — are probably the class of drugs most despised by the drug warriors. Compared to an open mind, an overdosing or addicted body doesn’t even rate on their panic scale.

  2. That’s better man!

    1. Dave’s not here man!

    2. Hey Fifi! Parlez vous a humma humma!

  3. Medical Marijuana is a facade for legalizing the drug. It aggravates or causes significant mental health problems in a large number of “consumers” and downplays the potentially serious consequences of daily regular use. I’m all for legalizing and controlling it, but the medicalization process is harming people and their perception of the drug as “harmless” is just as harmful.

    1. Bullshit. “Medicalization” may not be the optimal rationale for legalization, but there’s simply no evidence that there are “serious consequences” of smoking pot, even daily, when compared to other common medications. And then there’s the simple fact that it alleviates suffering. Rejecting this highly unique combination of safety and efficacy out of hand is ridiculous.

      I’ll be the first to say that medical marijuana is being used as a avenue for legalization, but only because the politics of legalization have been massively distorted. That says nothing about the legitimacy of medical applications for cannabis, which are indeed profound and extensive.

    2. Please enlighten us as to the “serious consequences of daily regular use”.

      1. What? Didn’t you guys know?

        Mr. Epador is not concern trolling. Marijuana makes negros rape white women and is responsible for that devil music. And it’s harmful. Read the statistics on how many people have died from overdoses. It’s over 9000, that’s for sure.

        1. Also it makes your eggs fry like brains in a pan. Leave my eggs alone maryjuana!

        2. My God.. It’s 9/11 times a million..

    3. “Smoking marijuana is bad. It is harmful. That is because if you legalize it more people will smoke it. For example: kittens.”

  4. thank you,it’s so good

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