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Colorado Teen Sent Home to Die From Bone Cancer

Emily Robertson
Braden Stevenson

When Braden Stevenson was sent home to die from an aggressive form of bone cancer, his mother asked a Colorado cannabis company for help.

A boy in Colorado has proven once more that cannabis can do more for cancer sufferers than significantly reduce nausea after chemotherapy. Braden Stevenson was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a malignant bone cancer, in 2017. Just 16 years old, before his mom found Trill Alternatives, the prognosis wasn’t good.

Braden Stevenson close up

Image Credit: Matthew Jonas/Time Call

Grueling Conventional Cancer Treatments

Braden’s bone cancer was aggressive and required immediate treatment. His leg was amputated and doctors began chemotherapy immediately.

Six months later, in November 2017, Braden’s tests didn’t indicate any improvement. In fact, they showed the opposite. Braden’s cancer nodules had spread from his bones to his lungs. Furthermore, they increased to 40 in count, and grew to be as large as 8 mm in size. Unfortunately at this point, treatment options had run out. Doctors explained to Braden and his mother, Amy Oliver, that there was nothing else they could do for him and he should be put into hospice.

Trill Alternatives Offers Hope

If modern medicine couldn’t save Braden, his mom was going to do whatever else necessary to cure him.  If she was uncertain whether cannabis would treat Braden’s cancer, she could at least be certain it wouldn’t make his disease any worse.

The family went to Trill Alternatives in Boulder, Colorado as Trill offers cancer treatment with a ratio of THC/CBD and THCA.

David Threlfall founded Trill Alternatives after his mother died from lung cancer; opening the dispensary in 2010. In fact, Trill was one of the first dispensaries to open in Colorado right after cannabis became legal. Threlfall wanted to look at the possibility of offering cannabis as a  cancer treatment.

Bone Cancer Patient Starts Cannabis Treatment With Trill Alternatives

Trill Alternatives worked with Braden and Amy to find an adequate treatment for Braden’s cancer. He educated the mother and son on how cannabis and cannabinoids work on the body to eradicate cancer. He explained the process of apoptosis, which is cell death. Cancer cells ignore the apoptosis signaling that tells them to die, and cannabinoids force cancer cells to listen to that trigger and die. This can effectively prevent the spread of cancer.

Trill Alternatives develop custom plans for cancer patients that includes education. Patients start with a low dose of THC – the cannabinoid responsible for the psychoactive effects of cannabis. The goal is to find the patient’s tolerance to THC and move up from there. Trill slowly raises the dose of THC as tolerance levels rise, until patients reach therapeutic dose.

The treatment is always a combination of THC and CBD. CBD helps mitigate the psychoactive effects of THC and prevents metastasis.  Medical tests then tell them if the treatment is working.

Through experiences with other patients, Trill found that some companies weaken CBD products with additives and fillers. As a result, these products aren’t nearly as effective as pure CBD. So, Trill set about to create a solution, eventually coming up with  ‘Trill Pills’ a CBD product that uses lipid-based extraction to pull CBD out of cannabis and process it into pill form that comes in 10 mg, 25 mg, or 50 mg doses. It doesn’t have any additives or fillers.

Trill's THC pills spilling from a glass far

Image Credit: via

The Incredible Results of Braden’s Cannabis Treatment

On June 26, 2018, Braden’s next test results came in. What these showed was shocking!

After months of Trill treatments, Braden’s cancer had significantly shrunk. The cancer nodules found in his lungs went from 40 in number to just 3. Furthermore, those same nodules decreased in size by more than half, from 8 mm to 3 mm. Braden was now be able to go back to school.

What Does Science Say?

Studies have been showing that CBD, alongside chemotherapy, can effectively decrease the spread of cancer by encouraging apoptosis. While there’s not yet ‘scientific’ proof that cannabis, on its own, is enough to eradicate cancer, THC is known to kill cancer cells and leave healthy cells alone.

Braden’s story is adds to a growing volume of anecdotal evidence speaking to the efficacy of cannabis in fighting cancer. We still need more studies. Hopefully these will come with legalization (and the resulting greater access to cannabis medicine).

Emily Robertson

Emily Robertson has been writing freelance and contract work since 2011. She has written on a variety of topics, including travel writing of North America and the growing legalized cannabis industry across the globe. Robertson has a master’s degree in literature and gender studies, and brings this through in her writing by always trying to explore different perspectives. Born and raised in southwestern Ontario, Robertson moved to Glasgow, Scotland in 2016 to undergo her doctorate in Scottish Literature. She lives in the West End with her dog, Henley.

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