In what may be the first event of its kind in Santa Barbara, the all-day May 11 Medical Marijuana Conference at the Veterans Memorial Hall drew a variety of experts extolling the therapeutic benefits of what still is illegal under U.S. law.
Event organizer Jacqueline Lopez said she plans to make it an annual conference and expo.
Since Californians voted to legalize recreational marijuana in 2016, more public discussion of cannabis and its benefits has occurred, especially on the South Coast.
At the May 11 event, which drew scores of attendees, experts such as Dr. Joe Golstrich who told the audience “raw cannabis” products can kill cancer cells. He said cannabis can be more effect in fighting cancer when used in conjunction with such substances as melatonin or vitamin C.
Another keynote speaker, Uwe Blesching, canabidiol, or CBD, is effective in bringing down the national number of deaths related to overdoses of opioids.
He said some 70,000 lives could be saved in one year with the alternative use of the cannabis product. Cannabis products are very effective in managing various types of pain, Blesching said.
However, he said, the use of cannabis-based products has been greatly hampered by the so-called “war on drugs” and propaganda in the 1937 U.S.-sponsored movie “Reefer Madness.”
During her workshop, Robbin Lynn echoed that sentiment as she discussed what consumers should know when buying cannabis products for their therapeutic benefits.
She cautioned consumers to read packaging labels carefully and look for a certificate of analysis. She advised against using cannabis products made in China.
Santa Barbara chef Matthew Vieth discussed how to cook tasty dishes with cannabis, noting that such food needs to be heated to 260 degrees to get the best health benefit.
Other speakers included Liz Rogan, a Santa Barbara expert on how cannabis works with the human body, and Seth Matrisciano, who talked about preparing personal medical cannabis.
The conference and expo also featured about a dozen vendors, including soon-to-open Coastal Dispensary, who discussed their products and services with passers-by.