How Cannabis Has Helped our Co-Founder on her Cancer Journey
I'm pretty certain you have heard of cannabis oil being used to treat cancer at some point by now, but perhaps like myself, you may have felt resistance or mixed feelings about it all. I shied away from the idea for the first few years into my diagnosis but soooooo many people mentioned it to me, that I couldn't ignore it any longer. If all of these people are recommending it to me, it's at least worth some investigating! So I went on this quest to find out the facts behind cannabis oil as a treatment for cancer, and omg has it been a journey! It literally took over a year for me to figure it all out, and I'm still no expert by any means. But I know enough...enough to share, with the hope that if you have been just as curious as I was, I can at the very least provide some clarity and answer some basic questions by sharing my own personal acquired knowledge and experience.
In writing this I feared negative feedback but I would be doing a disservice by not being totally forthcoming and sharing what I believe has played a part in turning my circumstances around. There will be naysayers and judgment, but when you have stage 4 cancer and have stared death in the face, believe me when I say that there is NOTHING that you won't try...especially when others have shared their testament about how a certain integrative therapy has helped them recover. So judge not please.
So what's the deal with all of these claims that cannabis can help fight cancer?
"The recent legalization of medical marijuana in two dozen states has raised many questions among those with cancer." Could cannabis oil help ease cancer-related pain or nausea? Could it help patients gain weight or get a good night’s sleep? Research also suggests that cannabis oil may actually shrink tumors. Is this true?
There's no shortage of information on the internet covering this topic. In fact, I felt that there was too much information and it totally overwhelmed me. But what kept me locked in, was the fact that I kept reading from very reputable sources that cannabis oil could kill cancer cells. For instance, according to the the PDQ (Physicians' Data Query) at the National Cancer Institute,cannabis may lessen the progression of cancer cells while alleviating pain, lowering inflammation and decreasing anxiety. According to The American Cancer Society, "More recently, scientists reported that THC and other cannabinoids such as CBD slow growth and/or cause death in certain types of cancer cells growing in laboratory dishes. Some animal studies also suggest certain cannabinoids may slow growth and reduce spread of some forms of cancer." So there are two, in my opinion, very valid sources indicating that cannabis does indeed have cancer-fighting properties.
In addition, there are countless online testimonials of people attributing their accelerated healing to the use of cannabis oil. The promising info coming from very reputable sources coupled with all of the testimonials I read really intrigued me. I decided that I would keep this integrative therapy in my back pocket in case there was a time when sh*t hit the fan...and it did, during the holidays of 2015.
When the cancer metastasized to both of my lungs, I turned to cannabis oil in a desperate state.
Both of my lungs were totally collapsed and every breath I took was a struggle. I was literally gasping for air and couldn't even walk from my room to the bathroom without being totally winded. I felt like an elephant was standing on my chest and every time I took a breath I could feel and hear the fluid gurgle. It was the most erie and frightening feeling. I had to go to the hospital twice a week to get pounds of fluid tapped from my lungs so I could have a little relief until they would fill up again. The procedure was so painful and they would fill back up again so quickly. It got so bad that I was told that I might have to get a catheter surgically inserted so that I could drain the fluid from home, so I didn't have to suffer so much in between visits.
My oncologist started me on a newly FDA approved drug (Ibrance) which has worked wonders since, but at the same time, I was finally ready to try the cannabis oil that I had been reading and hearing about for so long. What did I possibly have to lose? A friend of mine makes the oil strictly for the purpose of helping people with cancer and other health issues. She made me a batch of oil and I started taking a small dose every night before I went to bed. Another amazing friend of mine did some research and found an actual MD that once worked at my hospital and has since left his conventional practice to open his own integrative practice in Santa Monica, where he strictly treats and prescribes cannabis oil to his patients. Even though he was so close in proximity to where I lived, I was in such bad shape that I had my first appointment/consultation with him on Skype. We went over my circumstances and he told me that he sees the quickest resolution in lung cancers. He prescribed a vape pen with cannabis oil and told me to puff the pen every hour on the hour and that I should see results pretty quickly. I have to be honest and admit that I was pretty skeptical. But I committed to taking the oil that my friend made for me every night and to using the pen every hour. I was desperate to get well.
Within a few weeks the fluid in my lungs started to dissipate
I'll forever remember the date, it was January 21, 2016 and I was scheduled for a routine lung tap in the afternoon. During this appointment we were going to talk about getting the catheter put in. I woke on this morning and thanked God for keeping me through the night (I do this first thing when I open my eyes every morning) and when I got out of bed, I could feel my chest lighter than normal and I could breathe a little deeper. On the way to the hospital I told my mom, "I'm not going to have to get a lung tap today let alone a catheter."
I asked the radiologist to do an ultrasound on my lungs prior to them sticking that giant needle though my back because I felt my lungs clearer. So he did and the results indicated that there was a definite decrease in fluid. He agreed to let me leave that day sans tap or catheter and told me to return in the next couple of days when my breathing became labored. That afternoon was the last time I ever stepped foot again into that radiology department. Each day I started to feel better and better. Within a couple of weeks I could breathe almost normally and my PET scan results indicated my lungs were no longer collapsed. Fast forward to now, my most recent scan has shown that my lungs are totally resolved! I strongly believe that the combination of my new drug Ibrance, Chinese herbs (a later post to come) and the cannabis oil played a vital role in saving my life. My lungs cleared far quicker than any doctor (outside of my cannabis doctor) anticipated. When I told "Dr. Cannabis" how quickly my lungs got better, he wasn't the least bit surprised, rather he had a look on his face like isn't that what I said would happen? And my incredible friend who makes the oil assured me all along that I would be better quickly, she was right.
What cannabinoids and ratio helped me combat cancer? Here is what has worked for me:
"Cannabinoids are the chemical compounds secreted by cannabis flowers that provide relief to an array of symptoms including pain, nausea and inflammation." The two most common strains of cannabinoids are THC and CBD, although there are at least 85 types, many of which have documented medical value. For the use in cancer treatment you will typically use either THC, CBD or both. THC is the strain that most people smoke or consume to get high whereas CBD has no psychoactive effect. However both strains are noted to have cancer fighting properties. Some people say THC is better for cancer, others argue that CBD is. Some argue that different ratios are better for different types of cancers. I'm not even going to pretend like I know the answer, this is the area where I am not of a whole lot of value. All I can tell you is what I used and what has worked for me. Keep in mind there are so many different things that you will read and hear as is the case with any cancer therapy, conventional or non conventional. What worked for me may not be what's best for you, so be sure to consult with a professional.
I used a 1:1 ratio of THC and CBD, so equal parts of both. I used this ratio in both the oil I consumed orally and also for the vape pen I used. The CBD counteracted the psychoactive effects of the THC but I would still feel a little out of sorts. I tend to be more sensitive than the average person. I felt extremely really tired and sleep more than usual. I would have to say that was the most significant side effect that I could note. But when you sleep, your body repairs. And the longer you take the oil, your body will adapt, build a tolerance and you become more immune to the side effects. Again, depending upon the type of cancer you have, a different combo may work better so be certain to do some research on your own, consult with an expert and source oil that is made ethically, from a reliable source. This is very important. Not all oils are created equal. I continue to take the oil here and there for maintenance but always keep a supply on hand. I truly believe with all of me that the worst is behind me but it feels good knowing I have "weapons on the shelf" if you will.
If you're interested in learning more about Cannibis from an actual MD, here is the doctor that helped me, Dr Allan Frankel. He's located in Santa Monica but will also Skype with you if you: GreenBridge Medical
I really just scratched the surface with this post as there are so many more details and studies surrounding this topic. However too much info can be overwhelming and counter productive. I hope that the little content that I did share however has been somewhat helpful and inspiring. Thrive on!
Where can I read about your original cancer diagnosis. I too am a breast cancer survivor. I appreciate any response. Thank you Stay blessed..XO
Thanks for this! Diagnosed in 2011 with mbc..with liver Mets..last year bone mets and today added a lung met. This article has given me hope, tho I tend to generally be positive this read was much needed today!