Since 2014, there has been much pressure from activists in Australia to legalize cannabis, at least for medicinal use. Fortunately, all their hard work is beginning to bear fruit, with New South Wales introducing a trial last year in order to treat drug-resistant epilepsy, relieve chronic pain, and treat some of the many chemo-induced side effects suffered by thousands of cancer patients.
More recently, the states of Victoria and Queensland have joined this trial, also with an emphasis on treating children with severe epilepsy. The principle driving force behind this has been a multitude of cases of children finally being able to lead more normal lives, with little to no seizures and an increasing level of functioning, once they began taking cannabis oil.
But are epilepsy and symptomatic relief for cancer patients the limit of cannabis oil’s capabilities? Hardly so.
In 2008, the documentary “Run From The Cure” was released online, documenting the story of Rick Simpson, a man who developed a specially prepared extract of cannabis buds and young leaves in order to treat his own skin cancer. After this was a success, he began to distribute the oil to various people with cancer in his community, with most patients becoming cancer-free despite an often “terminal” diagnosis.
Today, there are thousands of people around the world who have eliminated their own cancers of many different cell types and stages. Corrie Yelland, now assisting many other cancer patients in treating themselves with cannabis oil; David Hibbit, a man who has recently gained much media attention; and Dennis Hill, a biochemist who has written an explanation of how cannabis works to destroy tumors without negative side effects, are just three of these cases.
How Cannabis can Beat Cancer
Cannabinoids work to treat cancer by increasing the signalling molecule known as ceramide when they bind to endocannabinoid receptors on tumor cells. This does not occur in healthy cells. When ceramide levels rise to a certain point, the tumor cell literally kills itself in a process known as apoptosis.
One mechanism behind this is the increase in membrane permeability of the mitochondria, which are the energy-producing centers of a cell. Heightened permeability allows a protein called cytochrome-C to flood out of the mitochondria, and because this protein is necessary for the production of most cellular energy, the cell can no longer produce the energy it needs.
As the endocannabinoid system is shared by almost all classes of vertebrates, along with some invertebrates, cases of pets being treated of their cancers abound, sparing owners/”pet parents” from the pain of euthanizing their dogs or cats.
A Published Case Study
Usually, medical doctors are reluctant to publish case studies of patients who have treated their cancers with cannabis oil when conventional treatments had failed. However, an exception to this rule is the case of a 14 year old girl who was diagnosed with an aggressive form of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL). After 34 months of ultimately unsuccessful chemo, radiation, and bone marrow transplants, doctors condemned her to the fate of two months of further decline, culminating in a stroke.
Her family refused to give up, and discovered Rick Simpson and his “Phoenix Tears” cannabis oil. After producing oil from “Chronic Strain,” her blast cell counts peaked after 5 days and then began to rapidly drop. The second batch of oil, produced from an unknown strain, yielded less impressive results until the dose was increased, but on day 39 of cannabis oil treatments, she was almost in remission.
The fourth batch, however, was ineffective, but was soon replaced with a different batch which once again brought her leukaemia under control. Despite almost reaching remission, after 78 days of treatment, she sadly died of a bowel perforation caused by the previous chemo “treatments.”
The authors stated that her almost-cure could not have been due to spontaneous remission because of the dose response curve, and that there were clear factors that influenced efficacy of the cannabis oil. Lower potency of strains, lower dosage of oil, and dosing at intervals of over 8 hours negatively affected her blast cell count. Therefore, this case study may assist in the treatment of other patients suffering from cancer, particularly those with end-stage or aggressive cancers.
However, even though it was published in a peer-reviewed journal, the Australian government, among many others, has ignored this, only paying attention to the pleas of those using (usually inferior) cannabis medicines to manage the side effects of chemo.
Is the cause of this deliberate ignorance money, closed minds, or both of these?
Photograph: Martin Bernetti/AFP/Getty Images