The straight dope about marijuana for cancer treatment
April 10th, 2016 by Holly Cornish
by Andrew Scholberg
(The first of two articles about the 2016 Annie Appleseed
cancer conference in West Palm Beach, Florida)
Two of the most interesting speakers at the 2016 Annie Appleseed cancer conference spoke on the use of medical marijuana to treat cancer. Cancer Defeated will be publishing its own take on this subject soon, but meanwhile, we learned some fascinating stuff…
World’s deadliest cancer…destroyed
Lung Cancer. It’s the #1 cancer killer worldwide… with a survival rate of just 2% in late stages. So when Tim Ashcroft was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer in 2012, he thought his days were numbered.
But then he tried something a little strange… Something your doctor might not even recommend.
And that’s when his golf-ball-sized lung tumor shrunk to nothing in just months!
And reports are now pouring in that the same controversial decision that worked for Tim is now working on liver, breast, kidney and pancreatic cancers (just to name a few).
To find out the unlikely step that Tim and thousands of others are now taking to defeat their cancer, watch this short but amazing video now!
Monique Pichette, a registered nurse, gave a talk on “My Personal Journey with Medical Marijuana.” After three divorces, she suffered from severe insecurities and eating disorders. She said, “I’d made a world of mistakes. I’d hurt people, and people have hurt me.” She had so much anxiety and depression that she tried to take her own life.
With such a world of woe, it’s not surprising that Ms. Pichette came down with breast cancer. Following treatment that seemed to be successful, the cancer came back, and she had a total mastectomy of her left breast.
During her 16 weeks of chemo, Ms. Pichette found out she was allergic to the anti-nausea medicine. She applied for a government card authorizing her to use medical marijuana, but she worried that it might endanger her nursing license. After legally obtaining medical marijuana, she started taking a marijuana brownie before bed, which helped her regain both appetite and weight. The brownies also helped her tolerate the radiation treatments.
Ms. Pichette said that the THC compound found in the marijuana plant decreases the size of tumors. One way to avoid the marijuana “high” is to inject THC oil (1 ml) into the rectum, bypassing the liver.
“There are many different strains and usages and dosing in marijuana,” she said. “It has to be individualized.” She doesn’t recommend smoking it. “Vaporizing it is the best way,” she said.
Ms. Pichette is now a certified cannabis nurse.
Can cannabis cure cancer?
“Cannabis Extracts for the Treatment of Cancer” was the title of the talk by Justin Kander, who declared that concentrated cannabis extract therapy (full-strength oil) is sending cancers into remission. He presented several case histories:
- Stan Rutner had lung cancer with metastasis to the brain in 2011. He was given two weeks to live and moved into hospice care. He began taking cannabis-infused coconut oil capsules in November of 2011 and added high-THC oil after six months. In January of 2013, scans showed he was cancer free.
- Dennis Hill was diagnosed with metastatic prostate cancer in February of 2010. He used cannabis extracts instead of chemo and experienced good results. When the cancer recurred in early 2012 he went back on the cannabis extract therapy, saw his health return to normal, and now takes a maintenance dose. Mr. Kander said, “Today he’s going strong.”
- Corrie Yelland suffered from anal cancer in 2011. Even though surgery removed some of the cancer, she was given two to six months to live. She ingested cannabis oil and also used the oil as a suppository. Mr. Kander said the treatment was successful.
- Randall Robertson was diagnosed with bile duct cancer with metastasis to the liver and lungs and was given a two percent chance of survival. He ingested THC-rich oil, which cleared up his lungs and resolved his liver tumor. He’s convinced that he owes his recovery not only to the chemo he received but to the THC.
According to Mr. Kander, “Cannabis is effective against virtually all major cancers. THC is the chief cannabinol that kills cancer.” But he cautioned that cancer patients should start with a low dose (5 mg) and increase the dose by only 5 mg per day in the process of building up to high levels. “Otherwise,” he said, “you could have a bad experience. Taking too much can cause vomiting and create anxiety and paranoia.”
He said, “If a little marijuana produces euphoria, don’t assume that a lot will intensify the euphoria.” The result could be a bummer, also known as a bad trip.
Most patients experience some level of euphoria, but that’s a good thing, Mr. Kander believes. He admitted there’s a danger of psychological addiction but denied that physical addiction ever happens as it does with drugs like nicotine, cocaine, and heroin. He told the Annie Appleseed group, “Addiction isn’t a big concern, especially when you’re fighting cancer.”
He also said it takes one-and-a-half to two hours for a marijuana brownie to take effect. For those who want to avoid or reduce the drug’s mind-altering effects, he recommended an over-the-counter product called Citicoline, a form of the B vitamin choline. He also mentioned a drink called Rescue that can moderate the high.
Mr. Kander cautioned against THC oil made with butane. He said, “You want oil made with organic ethanol.”
The legal situation regarding marijuana is complex. Four states have legalized it without restriction. Another 20 states have legalized it for medical purposes. The conflict between state laws and federal law remains unresolved.
Homeopathy as a cure for cancer
Lisa Madeline Battaglia spoke on the benefits of homeopathy for cancer patients and others. She admitted that it’s hard to believe that homeopathic remedies, which are diluted almost down to nothing, are effective in treating disease.
But homeopathy has even been found to lessen the side effects of chemo and address hunger. That being the case, homeopathic remedies could be used instead of marijuana. In cases where cancer has progressed too far to be reversed, homeopathic remedies can also be used for palliative care.
Homeopathic medicines are diluted with water to an extent that’s mind-boggling. Indeed, they’re nothing but water, in some cases. But there seems to be an essence in the medication, a vital force, that’s preserved, despite the ratio of dilution that’s greater than 100 to 1.
Skeptics may claim there’s nothing in homeopathic remedies (which is close to the truth because of the amount of dilution), but this fact gives homeopathic patients a reply to critics: “If there’s nothing in it, then it can’t hurt me.”
The foundational principle of medicine is “First do no harm.” No one has been harmed by homeopathic medicine, and a vast number of patients testify that homeopathic medications have helped them.
Usually when patients seek alternatives in cancer treatment, they’re looking for an herb or some other nutritional formulation with an anti-cancer effect. This is the same error that conventional cancer doctors make: looking only to treat the patient’s body while ignoring the mental and spiritual aspects of the patient. That makes the next Annie Appleseed speaker especially important…
Can the mind heal the body? Yes!
Avinoam Lerner, the author of The New Cancer Paradigm: Mobilizing the Mind to Heal the Body, is also a certified hypnotist. He addressed the often overlooked topic of mind-body medicine in his talk about “Hypnosis for Cancer Recovery.”
Lerner described a case study that demonstrates how an emotionally traumatic event caused a woman named Michelle to develop Stage Three breast cancer. When Michelle was 17, she became pregnant out of wedlock but looked forward to having her baby. She was forced to have an abortion, however, which caused a deep emotional wound leading to a state of distress.
The negative emotion from this event was like a cyst inside her, festering and causing ripples throughout her whole being, like the ripples in a pond after a stone is thrown into it. She felt a sense of worthlessness, self-hate, anger, and resentment, which eventually erupted in a health breakdown – and a cancer diagnosis.
There were also other negative events in her life that wounded her psyche:
- When she was 11 her mother, upon seeing a bad report card, chewed her out for wasting her education. Her mother laid a heavy guilt trip on her for showing no appreciation for the sacrifices she was making to send Michelle to a fine private school.
- At age three, when her parents divorced, her dad left. The divorce caused her to feel pain and confusion, leading her to conclude she was no longer loved.
- At age six, on her first day of school, her mother left unannounced, and she felt abandoned and unloved.
Lerner said, “Forgiveness and healing aren’t so simple but are necessary. Your state of mind is your greatest ally. Your illness is a call to take action.”
There’s a mysterious but definite link between the mind, the nervous system, and the immune system. Lerner said it’s necessary to resolve negativity from the past: guilt, shame, and other bad experiences: “The immune system can be revived and cancer prevented or healed if the harmful states of mind can be resolved.” In addition to hypnosis and counseling, he said that pounding a pillow can help release negative emotions.
When Paul fired his doctor, he got better!
“Creating an Anti-Cancer Lifestyle” was the title of the talk by Paul Nison. By the age of 20, he was suffering from severe inflammatory bowel disease, also known as Crohn’s disease. He had always listened to his doctor, who told him “there’s no known cure.”
When Paul’s doctor told him he was at such high risk for developing colon cancer that he had to have his colon cut out as soon as possible, he decided to stop listening to the doctor and look for an alternative.
He found answers to his health crisis at the legendary Hippocrates Health Institute in West Palm Beach. At Hippocrates he learned about a new eating plan that completely healed his “incurable” Crohn’s disease.
He also learned that you have to work hard to get yourself into a diseased state: eating the wrong things over and over for years can eventually cause a health breakdown.
Paul told the audience that it’s not necessarily what you eat that leads to health but what you eliminate from your eating plan. He eliminated the things he found out were bad for his health, including processed, microwaved food.
“The worst thing you can put in your body is a microwaved TV dinner,” Paul warned. “Get rid of your microwave and replace it with a juicer. Make sure 75 percent of your plate is something that’s raw and fresh. Eat the raw and fresh stuff first. Eat something green every day — not green M&Ms but leafy greens.”
He added, “Not all doctors are bad, but when I eliminated my doctor, I got better.”
The diagnostic tool that he highly recommends is Dr. Emil Schandl’s Longevity Test, which includes a Cancer Profile Test. Paul Nison’s website is healthwatchman.com
The brain may be the “conductor”
of the health “orchestra”
“Preventing Cancer at a Molecular Level” was the title of the talk by Dr. Charles Bens, Ph.D., who said he mostly speaks to people who are delusional about their health.
When he speaks, he asks his audience, “How many of you have a good diet?” Ninety-five percent of people raise their hands. After his talk, he again asks how many, and zero hands go up. Dr. Bens said, “Just about everyone is deficient in vegetables. Fries and ketchup don’t count as vegetables.”
Dr. Bens acknowledged the power of mind-body medicine. When people feel good, the opiate receptors in the brain and elsewhere are filled with endorphins. Endorphins can be produced by such things as music, yoga, meditation, prayer, positive thinking, a warm bath, and deep breathing.
“Viruses can’t get into a body where opiate receptors are filled with good things,” Dr. Bens told the conference attendees. “The brain may be the conductor of the whole orchestra.”
As powerful as the brain is, however, it’s necessary to avoid doing things that produce an excessive number of free radicals in the body. Dr. Bens said that athletes must be careful because over-exercise can increase by five to 10 times the number of free radicals released in the mitochondria. Exercise must be done right to avoid this kind of damage.
Almost anything that stresses cells in your body can cause cancer, including things like excess alcohol, excess sun exposure, tobacco, and inhalation of asbestos. Cellular stress is the first stage of just about every disease, and if the cells stay stressed too long they get weakened and dysfunctional. The five stages of cellular degeneration are stressed, weakened, dysfunctional, mutated, diseased.
Dr. Bens mentioned several things that can cause cellular stress:
- Night shift work
- Air Fresheners
- Negative Attitude
- Overcooking meat
- Overcooking starches
Dr. Bens also cautions against using a microwave oven because it changes the molecular structure of the food. He said, “Milk that was microwaved for feeding to a baby showed a negative effect in the baby’s blood.”
Speaking of food, our last issue published evidence that organic food is richer in nutrients than conventional food (besides being free of the poisons used in conventional farming). If you missed the news, it’s republished just below this.
Here’s New Evidence that
Organic Food is Better for You
If you’re looking to boost your health by eating more helpings of fresh fruits and vegetables, research shows that not all of these foods are created equal. Organic produce is better.
Studies now indicate that organically grown foods are richer than conventional, non-organic items in some of the most important nutrients your body needs.
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In some cases, organic food is twice as high in certain nutrients.
There’s more to it than vitamins and minerals
The anti-cancer compounds that scientists are examining in organic and non-organic crops go beyond merely looking at their vitamin and mineral content – although those, too, are important for keeping your health on a steady track.
Much of the research has looked at nutrients like flavonoids – phytonutrients in plants which have been shown to keep cancer from growing and spreading.
According to researchers, the versatility of flavonoids for preventing and combating cancer includes:
- Stimulating cells to produce protective enzymes that decrease cancer risk.
- Keeping cancer cells from invading organs.
- Increasing cancer cells’ rate of apoptosis (self-destruction).
- Restricting the formation of new blood vessels that can feed developing tumors.
- Preventing the harmful oxidation and mutation of DNA.
- Generally limiting oxidative (free radical) stress.1
Two of the most important flavonoids discovered in food are quercetin and kaempferol, substances contained in a wide range of produce including tomatoes.
When researchers at the University of California Davis compared the levels of quercetin and kaempferol in conventionally grown and organic tomatoes, they discovered that the organic variety possessed, on average, levels that were about 80 to 100 percent higher.2
According to researcher Stephen Kaffka, the increase in these flavonoids in organic tomatoes could be linked to how the plants were fertilized. The fertilizer applied to non-organic tomatoes supplied nitrogen to the plants in a form they could rapidly absorb.
In contrast, the organic tomatoes derived their nitrogen from compost and manure, materials that have to undergo decomposition by soil microbes before the nitrogen assumes a form that the plants can take in. Because of the necessity of decomposition, the organic tomatoes could only take in nitrogen very slowly.
That process slowed the growth of organic tomatoes, and, the theory goes, that more gradual growth encouraged the plants to make more flavonoids as the tomatoes developed.
What protects the carrot can protect you, too
Now, chances are good you’ve heard about the beta-carotene in carrots (the very word carotene was originally derived from the word carrot), but you may not have read much about another important chemical carrots contain: polyacetylene.
Of course, beta carotene and the other carotenoids (which are pigments that give food their color) found in carrots are important for health. They act as antioxidants and are important for protecting the eyes from the harmful effects of ultraviolet radiation.3
But the polyacetylenes are a class of natural chemicals that are drawing attention for their powerful anti-cancer potential.
When researchers at Sheffield Hallam University in England analyzed the usefulness of various carrot compounds in lab tests to see which might be effective against leukemia, they found that the polyacetylenes offered the best defense. They were toxic to leukemia cells, induced the cells to self-destruct (apoptosis) and limited their growth into tumors.4
As you might suspect, carrots don’t make polyacetylenes to help humans lower their risk of cancer. They produce these substances to discourage insects from devouring their tissues as well as act against bacteria and viruses. (These natural chemicals are also found in ginseng, celery and parsnips.)
However, when carrots and other food crops are raised by conventional farmers, they are doused with pesticides to chase the bugs away. The insecticides relieve the plants of having to fend off insects by themselves, and the conventional carrots then have no stimulus to create their own bug-fighting natural chemicals.
Organically raised plants, in contrast, have to be more self-reliant and may therefore produce a greater amount of polyacetylenes and other protective substances.
Whatever the reason, a study at the Swedish University of Agricultural Science shows that carrots fertilized with fresh compost produce the most polyacetylenes.5
To get the most polyacetylenes from your carrots, don’t peel them – some of the compounds are located primarily in the outer part of the carrot, as you might expect, if their function is to ward off insects.
And research on the phytonutrients in carrots shows that the purple variety has the “highest polyacetylene content and other important antioxidant phytochemicals.” 6
Organic meat is more nutritious, too
When you venture into the meat and dairy section of the supermarket, you are likewise better off going with the organic items. A review study performed by an international group of researchers led by scientists at the University of Newcastle in England found a wide range of nutritional advantages in organic milk and meat.7/8
In this research:
- Organic meat and milk had 50% higher levels of omega-3 fats than did non-organic items. Omega-3 fats can boost immunity and help the body resist cancer.
- Organic milk had 40% extra conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) a nutrient that, in lab tests, has been shown to limit the growth of skin, colon and breast cancer.
- Organic meat contained less myristic and palmitic acid, substances that are linked to heart disease.
- Organic milk contained more carotenoids and vitamin E.
“Omega-3s are linked to reductions in cardiovascular disease, improved neurological development and function, and better immune function,” notes researcher Chris Seal, who teaches food and nutrition science at Newcastle. “Western European (and American) diets are recognized as being too low in these fatty acids… But getting enough in our diet is difficult. Our study suggests that switching to organic would go some way towards improving intakes of these important nutrients.”
Researchers believe that organic meat and dairy are higher in omega-3 fats and CLA because the animals are grass-fed. Conventionally grown animals are often fed corn and other grains.
According to researcher Carlo Leifert, who is also with Newcastle, “Several of these (nutritional) differences stem from organic livestock production and are brought about by differences in production intensity, with outdoor-reared, grass-fed animals producing milk and meat that is consistently higher in desirable fatty acids such as the omega-3s, and lower in fatty acids that can promote heart disease and other chronic diseases.”
For a few dollars more
Of course, anyone who’s done any supermarket shopping has experienced sticker shock at the prices of organic foods. If at all possible, I would recommend eating organic food anyway, even if it means cutting some luxuries elsewhere.
We spend a tiny percentage of our income on food compared to people a hundred years ago or even fifty years ago. At one time, the typical family spent half its income on food.
Thirty years ago, the average household spent about 17% of its budget on food. Today the figure is only 11%. We’re not going broke because we spend too much on food.
I was indifferent to organic food 15 years ago. Then I began to gradually make a transition – I was a big cereal eater in those days, and I began to eat only organic brands, with organic milk. From that small first step, my diet now is perhaps 90% organic, or more.
As noted above, organic food contains more nutrients. Quite often it tastes better. But above all: IT DOESN’T CONTAIN PESTICIDES AND HERBICIDES.
I’ve stopped eating poison. I recommend you do the same. If you think those poisons are safe for humans – that some government agency has checked everything out – you’re dreaming. It’s not so.
If you’re living on a very limited budget and feel you can’t afford to buy organic, then eating conventionally grown fruits and vegetables is better than eating no fruits and vegetables at all. But even on a limited budget, I suspect most people have a lot of room to reallocate resources from things we don’t really need to good healthy food.
Just think of it as an investment against spending more of your future dollars at the doctor’s office. Or better yet, ask yourself this: How much is an extra year of life worth to you? I’m at the age (64) where that question crosses my mind. If I’m lucky, I have 20 years left. If I’m VERY lucky, 25.
An extra year – a good, healthy year where I’m able to get around and enjoy life – is worth a lot. It’s certainly worth the price difference between conventional carrots and organic carrots.