Before I get into making any wild claims, I want to say that… I am not a scientist, I am not a doctor, I am not giving any medical advice here. I have not written any scientific papers on this topic and I have not conducted clinical trails to see how cannabis works. I am just sharing what I have learned over the last 8 months and what I am doing to heal my body. This is a personal blog, not a blueprint for anyone else’s healing journey. Onto the history bit…
People have used cannabis for centuries, for food, for medicine, for clothes, for recreation. Shen Nung, the Father of Chinese Medicine discovered its healing properties in 2700BC. It was referenced in the Book of Exodus (30:22-23) in a recipe for holy anointing oil that God passed down to Moses. Jesus used it to heal people and would drench chosen ones in the potent oil causing them to have visions. Sounds about right. People have used cannabis for all sorts of ailments down through the years, for pain, insomnia, loss of appetite, depression. It works, for all of those ailments, I can attest to that. It makes you really, really happy if you have just the right amount! In 1850, it was listed in Pharmacopeia, a publication in the US which was the official public standards setting authority of all prescription and over the counter medication. It was listed as a treatment for neuralgia, tetanus, typhus, cholera, rabies, dysentery, alcoholism, opiate addiction, leprosy, incontinence, gout, convulsive disorders, tonsillitis, insanity, the list goes on… It was hailed as a wonder drug back then. It remained in the Pharmacopeia and was available medicinally until 1942. What happened that turned the world against it and turned its users into criminals? Here is an interesting take on it if you want to know more. It’s a very complex, political story, and too detailed to get into here, and I might another time but I would say that it was a cruel injustice on the world to criminalise a plant with powerful healing properties and to lock people up for using it. It is insane. It’s still happening today. Back to the medicinal benefits for now.
There are over 20,000 scientific studies on Pubmed on the topic of cannabis and cancer cells. Too much to read in a lifetime, I’ve read a lot of them though. There’s lots of evidence there if you want to look but here is some of what I’ve learned. I have listed some of my sources on my resources page which you can see here
THC and CBD are two of the known cannabinoids of the cannabis plant. There are said to be over 400. THC was only identified in the 1960s making this a relatively new area of research. And it wasn’t until 1992 that it was discovered that we humans contain an endocannabinoid system in our bodies which has receptors for cannabinoids. And that we also produce cannabinoids, two that are known of, anandamide which is referred to as the ‘bliss molecule’ and 2-Ag. Our own bodies produce cannabinoid molecules similar to those found in cannabis plants. And our bodies have receptors, CB1 and CB2 in our endocannabinoid system which receive plant cannabinoids perfectly. It’s not just cannabis that contains cannabinoids, they’re common in lots of different plants including therabora cacao which produces chocolate, enough chocolate can give feelings similar to the bliss molecule, no? Is this all confusing? It’s pretty complex stuff and scientists have barely scratched the surface of seeing what cannabis can do medicinally due to its being outlawed for so long. So how does it help with cancer? Cancer cells have a much higher amount of cannabinoid receptors than regular cells, making them an easy target for cannabis oil. Similar to the glucose receptors, remember? More of it will get into the cells than into regular cells. And what does it do when it gets in there? It is said to be…
Anti-proliferative – prevents cancer cells from reproducing
Anti-metastatic – prevents cancer cells from spreading to other organs of the body
Anti-angiogenic – prevents formation of blood vessels needed for tumour growth
Apoptotic – causes cancer cell to induce its own death
It can kill cancer cells without harming regular cells. This is one of its greatest powers. It does all of these things along with being a pain killer, a sleeping tablet, a happy pill, it can be used as an anti-sickness drug along with chemo, it reduces inflammation, stimulates appetite… it really is the perfect drug for cancer treatment. The diagram below shows the amount of conditions it can be used for, and that is only the few studied cannabinoids out of a possible 400.
Now that you understand the science bit, and that you think it should be legal too (am I being too presumptive here!?), I can bring you back to my thought process of what I was going to do to heal my body. Back to a couple of weeks after diagnosis, to the beginning of September, 2016.
I met Davy and he told me all about the wonders of cannabis oil, about how CBD oil wasn’t enough, you needed to take THC with it too. He told me how several people he knew had used it to cure their cancers. He had used it himself and he was cancer free after a stage 4 diagnosis. He told me how much you need to take, how long to take it for, how to take it, what the high is like, what to do if you get too high. There was a lot to it. I could have talked to him all day but our meeting was too short. I’m sure he was delighted because I just wanted to know everything and I wanted to know it now! It’s a detailed process and you can’t learn it all in half an hour! 8 months later, I’m still learning. At least I had a starting point now and I could find out more.
I started talking to people about wanting to use cannabis oil. I was surprised at how many people were aware that it is being used as a treatment for cancer and how many people were actually using it. And not just for cancer but for other conditions too. It wasn’t very hard to come by and it’s getting more and more available. And it should. There is a network of people like me, who have ‘incurable cancer’ and other devastating illnesses who are forced to resort to illegal methods to get our hands on the very thing that can cure it, naturally, without harming the body. It is completely insane that this is the case. It’s even legal for medicinal purposes in America now for flip sake, the very place that outlawed it in the first place. Catch up Ireland! Having to get it illegally causes its own problems. Apart from the breaking the law bit and the possible repercussions, It doesn’t exactly come with a certificate to say what strength it is, what plant variety it is, the ratio of CBD:THC, the important stuff you need to know to target certain types of cancer. Triple negative breast cancer is said to require a high THC content oil but I can’t exactly choose that off a shelf, can I? People are being deprived of a lifesaving drug, it is a national outrage in my opinion. There have been lots of campaigns and marches lately to make cannabis legal for medical purposes. My fellow Roscommoner Luke Ming Flanagan has been there from the beginning, Gino Kenny and Vera Twomey are two of the main campaigners at the forefront of this movement who are creating awareness and going to extreme measures to be heard. Thank you Ming, Gino and Vera for standing for people like me.
Coming soon… What do you do when you’re stage 4? Just rely on cannabis oil? It sounded too risky, I had to try more. Researching cancer clinics, cancer protocols and other alternative treaments