Talk: ‘Preparing for the use of medical marijuana in South Africa’

Oct 03, 2017 No Comments by

A talk by Dr Vash Mungal-Singh of Lancet Laboratories will be presented at the *S A Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) Auditorium, Observatory, Cape Town on 18th October at 5pm. 

Abstract: Cannabis, or marijuana, has been legitimately used for medicinal purposes far longer than it has been illegal. It is thought to have originated in the Himalayas or mountains of Kazakhstan and spread along the silk route. The first recorded history of medical cannabis dates back to 2737 B.C, and cannabis tinctures have been freely available until the early 1930’s. Through the decades, this plant has taken a fascinating journey from a legal and frequently prescribed status to illegal, driven by political and social factors rather than by science, particularly in the US and South Africa. Despite this, there is growing evidence of its medicinal benefits and many countries have legalised medical cannabis for a multitude of conditions including chronic pain, spasticity, epilepsy, as an anti-emetic, for appetite stimulation and weight gain. The potential for use as an anti-tumour agent is also being studied, although this remains in its infancy being mainly studied in animal models.

In March 2017 South Africa decriminalised the possession, cultivation and use of cannabis at home, for private use only. In November 2016 the South African government announced its intention to legalise medical cannabis and processes are being put in place to allow for legal growers of cannabis for medicinal purposes. The medical fraternity must now ready itself by gaining the necessary knowledge to prescribe medical cannabis. This includes understanding its mechanisms of action, indications for clinical use, side effects, contra-indications and dealing with public misconceptions of which there are many.

About the speaker: Dr Vash Mungal-Singh is MbChB of the University of KwaZulu-Natal, FFPath of the Medical College of S.A. and MBA of the University of Cape Town. She is currently on the Board of the South African Heart Association and previously held the positions of MBA Director at UCT, CEO of the Heart and Stroke Foundation South Africa, Vice-President of the World Heart Federation and the African Heart Network.  She is currently a volunteer director on the Board of the Homestead, an NGO that works with street children in Cape Town.  Her interests extend from fishing through to haematology and primary prevention of disease. She is passionate about continuous learning, hence her foray into a topic such as Medicinal Marijuana. In her spare time she practices as a Haematologist at Lancet Laboratories. 

*Directions to SAAO Auditorium : From the N2, turn off to the M57 – Liesbeek Parkway; turning in the direction of Cape Town and continue until the traffic lights with Hartleyvale (hockey and football) on your left. Turn right at traffic lights into Observatory Road, pass the River Club; the S A Astronomical Observatory is next on the left. Once through the security gates bear left following the SALT signs to the auditorium i.e. last building on the left (white with stoep & ramp).               PLEASE DO NOT PARK IN FRONT OF DRIVEWAYS

Notice Board, RSSAf Talks

About the author

The author didnt add any Information to his profile yet
Comments are closed.