Last weekend the Traditional Roots Conference was held at NCNM in Portland. And what a great weekend it was! Along with myself, teachers and speakers included Jim McDonald, Aviva Romm, Lydia Bartholow, Donnie Yance, Glen Nagel, Howie Brounstein, Tania Neubauer, and Jillian Stansbury. Orna Izakson is a stellar organizer and hosted a wonderful and engaging event (besides being an overall excellent person and good friend!).
Along with a clinical case panel on PCOS (with Elise Schroeder and Amanda Lattin), I taught a class on medical cannabis for herbalists on Friday. I was still recovering from the flu, so I’m grateful for the patience of all in attendance. Nevertheless, it was a true joy to teach on this important subject. We covered chemistry, pharmacology, clinical applications, routes of administration, safety/toxicology and QA issues.
It’s important for herbalists to be engaging in the emerging medical cannabis movement. As people who know plant medicine, we should be active in characterizing its therapeutics and have a voice in product development. Herbalists have largely shied away from the issue for many reasons. But, in our absence, a landscape of protocols and odd products have surfaced–many of which are indistinguishable from recreational products. Jonathan Treasure, my mentor and author of an upcoming book on cannabis and cancer, says herbalists need to “Occupy Cannabis”. Cannabis is a powerful herb, but ultimately it’s just one of many that we use. It shines in some capacities. In others, it’s not the best fit and there may be some safety concerns.
I’ve been assisting Jonathan Treasure in the drafting and development of The Intelligent Patient’s Guide to Cannabis in Cancer Treatment to be launched in summer 2015. If you’d like to be notified when it launches, please subscribe to this blog or contact me directly to be on this list.