HEALED: How I Cured My Cancer with Cannabis

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The potheads did it with a rice cooker

From Compassion Chronicles
By Charmie Gholson

Mike McShane has endured five bouts of Squamous cell carcinoma cancer. He’s spent a million dollars and has been treated with radiation therapy, chemotherapy and surgery by this team of doctors at the Detroit Medical Center. Today, he believes the invasive treatments were unnecessary. He says he’s cured his latest bout with the disease using a highly concentrated form of marijuana oil called Simpson Oil.

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Pot and the “Big C”

From Metro Times Detroit
Cannabis and cancer?
That concept is becoming more and more common these days, and it’s not because smoking the plant causes cancer as some people erroneously claim.

In fact, the clinical evidence that we do have suggests that cannabis could be very helpful in fighting many forms of cancer. In the Petri dish, and in rats and mice, researchers have found that THC and CBD, two active compounds (cannabinoids) in the plant, cause cancer cells to die while leaving healthy cells alone. This is in contrast to conventional chemotherapy wherein all the cells, cancerous and healthy, are killed; hopefully, the cancer dies before you do.

“The scientific studies are consistent in showing that there are constituents in cannabis that have anti-cancer activities,” says NORML deputy director Paul Armentano, who has given court testimony, written and lectured on medical marijuana. “We see that cannabinoids can act as selective anticancer agents in that they target malignant cancer cells and they cause these cells to turn on themselves and trigger cell suicide. They do not trigger suicide in healthy cells.”

Armentano does not claim that cannabis cures cancer. His comments are as cautious as scientists who see potential that cannabis might be used successfully in combination with currently conventional therapies to treat cancer. All of them conclude that more research needs to be done.

A group of researchers at the University of Wisconsin concurred with that after reviewing literature on medical uses for marijuana. Their findings were published in 2007 under the title “Cannabinoids for Cancer Treatment: Progress and Promise” in the journal Cancer Research. They concluded: Continue reading

Rick Simpson Interview: Cannabis oil as a cure for cancer

While we’re on the subject, the news came out today that a link has been found between young men, cannabis use and testicular cancer.

Some insight into how the framing of this (very small, government-funded and quite unscientific study) is being twisted and used as propaganda very close to election time, when 3 states are to vote on legalization – the mainstream media articles leave out some important points:

“The findings are biologically plausible but there is no proven mechanism to link marijuana to testicular cancer”

“While a 2X increase in testicular cancer risk appears moderately strong, in absolute terms, the increase is small (0.012%).”

Here is a review of the study sans propaganda:
Marijuana may increase marijuana cancer risk study

More on cancer cure:

See also Marijuana cures cancer – government has known since 1974

Medical Marijuana: A Note of Caution

Dr. Lester Grinspoon is associate professor emeritus of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and the author of Marihuana Reconsidered and Marijuana: The Forbidden Medicine.

This op-ed is a response to an article that appeared in the January 2010 issue of HIGH TIMES, “Rick Simpson’s Hemp-Oil Medicine,” written by Steve Hager, HIGH TIMES creative director. (Source)

By Lester Grinspoon, M.D.

Like everyone else who has been working over decades to ensure that marijuana, with all that it has to offer, is allowed to take its proper place in our lives, I have been heartened by the rapidly growing pace at which it is gaining understanding as a safe and versatile medicine. In addition to the relief it offers to so many patients with a large array of symptoms and syndromes (almost invariably at less cost, both in toxicity and money, than the conventional drugs it replaces), it is providing those patients, their caregivers, and the people who are close to them an opportunity to see for themselves how useful and unthreatening its use is. It has been a long and difficult sell, but I think it is now generally believed (except by the United States government) that herbal marijuana as a medicine is here to stay.

The evidence which underpins this status as a medicine is, unlike that of almost all other modern medicines, anecdotal. Ever since the mid-1960s, new medicines have been officially approved through large, carefully controlled double-blind studies, the same path that marijuana might have followed had it not been placed in Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, which has made it impossible to do the kind of studies demanded for approval by the Food and Drug Administration. Anecdotal evidence commands much less attention than it once did, yet it is the source of much of our knowledge of synthetic medicines as well as plant derivatives. Controlled experiments were not needed to recognize the therapeutic potential of chloral hydrate, barbiturates, aspirin, curare, insulin or penicillin. And there are many more recent examples of the value of anecdotal evidence. It was in this way that the use of propranolol for angina and hypertension, of diazepam for status epilepticus (a state of continuous seizure activity), and of imipramine for childhood enuresis (bed-wetting) was discovered, although these drugs were originally approved by regulators for other purposes.

Today, advice on the use of marijuana to treat a particular sign or symptom, whether provided or not by a physician, is based almost entirely on anecdotal evidence. For example, let’s consider the case of a patient who has an established diagnosis of Crohn’s disease but gets little or no relief from conventional medicines (or even occasional surgery) and suffers from severe cramps, diarrhea and loss of weight. His cannabis-savvy physician – one who is aware of compelling anecdotal literature suggesting that it is quite useful in this syndrome – would not hesitate to recommend to this patient that he try using marijuana. He might say, “Look, I can’t be certain that this will help you, but there is now considerable experience that marijuana has been very useful in treating the symptoms of this disorder, and if you use it properly, it will not hurt you one bit; so I would suggest you give it a try, and if it works, great – and if it does not, it will not have harmed you.”

If this advice is followed and it works for this patient, he will report back that, indeed, his use of the drug has eliminated the symptoms and he is now regaining his weight; or that it doesn’t work for him but he is no better or worse off than he was before he had a trial of marijuana. Particularly in states which have accommodated the use of marijuana as a medicine, this kind of exchange is not uncommon. Because the use of cannabis as a medicine is so benign, relative to most of the conventional medicines it competes with, knowledgeable physicians are less hesitant to recommend a trial.

One of the problems of accepting a medicine – particularly one whose toxicity profile is lower than most over-the-counter medicines – on the basis of anecdotal evidence alone is that it runs the risk of being oversold. For example, it is presently being recommended for many types of pain, some of which are not responsive to its analgesic properties. Nonetheless, in this instance, a failed trial of marijuana is not a serious problem; and at the very least, both patient and physician learn that the least toxic analgesic available doesn’t work for this patient with this type of pain. Unfortunately, this kind of trial is not always benign.

In the January 2010 issue of HIGH TIMES, Steve Hager published an article, “Rick Simpson’s Hemp-Oil Medicine,” in which he extols the cancer-curing virtues of a concentrated form of marijuana which a Canadian man developed as “hemp oil.” Unfortunately, the anecdotal evidence on which the cancer-curing capacity is based is unconvincing; and because it is unconvincing, it raises a serious moral issue.

Simpson, who does not have a medical or scientific education (he dropped out of school in ninth grade), apparently does not require that a candidate for his treatment have an established diagnosis of a specific type of cancer, usually achieved through biopsy, gross and histopathological examinations, radiologic and clinical laboratory evidence. He apparently accepts the word of his “patients.” Furthermore, after he has given the course of “hemp oil,” there is apparently no clinical or laboratory follow-up; he apparently accepts the “patient’s” belief that he has been cured. According to Hager, he claims a cure rate of 70 percent. But 70 percent of what? Do all the people he “treats” with hemp-oil medicine have medically established, well-documented cancer, or is he treating the symptoms or a constellation of symptoms that he or the patient have concluded signify the existence of cancer? And what is the nature and duration of the follow-up which would allow him to conclude that he has cured 70 percent? Furthermore, does this population of “patients with cancer” include those who have already had therapeutic regimes (such as surgery, radiation or chemotherapy) which are known to be successful in curing some cancers or holding at bay, sometimes for long periods of time, many others?

There are patients who have a medically sound diagnosis of pre-symptomatic cancer (such as early prostate cancer) but who, for one reason or another, eschew allopathic treatment and desperately seek out other approaches. Such patients are all too eager to believe that a new treatment, such as hemp-oil medicine, has cured their cancer. Unfortunately, this cancer, which was asymptomatic at the time of its discovery, will eventually become symptomatic, and at that time the possibility of a cure is significantly diminished, if not inconceivable.

This lesson was brought home to me when I was asked by the American Cancer Society, during a period early in my medical career when I was doing cancer research, to participate in an investigation of a man in Texas who claimed that a particular herb that his grandfather discovered would cure cancer. I was able to locate two women who had well-documented diagnoses of early (asymptomatic) cervical cancer who had decided not to have surgery but instead went to Texas and took the “medicine.” When I first met them some months after each had taken the “cure,” they were certain that they were now cancer-free. With much effort, I was able to persuade them to have our surgical unit perform new biopsies, both of which revealed advancement in the pathological process over their initial biopsies. Both were then persuaded to have the surgery they had previously feared, and there is no doubt that this resulted in saving their lives.

There is little doubt that cannabis now may play some non-curative roles in the treatment of this disease (or diseases) because it is often useful to cancer patients who suffer from nausea, anorexia, depression, anxiety, pain and insomnia. However, while there is growing evidence from animal studies that it may shrink tumor cells and cause other promising salutary effects in some cancers, there is no present evidence that it cures any of the many different types of cancer. I think the day will come when it or some cannabinoid derivatives will be demonstrated to have cancer-curative powers, but in the meantime, we must be very cautious about what we promise these patients.

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