Thinking of starting cannabis oil after a cancer diagnosis?
On July 2, 2014 I was awakened by a really bad headache, right behind my right eye. I went to the Emergency; blood pressure was 240 over 190. They let me go home, didn’t really do anything except advise me to go to my doctor. Good thing they didn’t do more. If they had, I might not have even had the choice to start cannabis oil after my chemo diagnosis.
The next week, the same thing happens. They told me then my PSA for prostate was high and to go have it checked. Went to the Dr. had a biopsy on it. Out of 12 samples, 6 were cancerous. I was told not to worry and was sent for an X-ray. Well, they found a tumor at the top of my adrenal gland.
Now, I’m freaking out.
I go for a pre-op scan to assess how bad it is. Go to get the results and they say, “Sorry, it appears to have also spread to your lungs.”
Basically, I’m thinking that my life is over.
I have the kidney taken out in September then start chemo pills: four per day. Damn, didn’t take long to find myself on the way down. Basically, I lost 50 pounds in 6 weeks, couldn’t hold anything down. I couldn’t stay awake for more than 2 hours per day.
Basically, my wife decided I couldn’t keep going like this. And my grand boys say, “Pops, you got to try the marijuana. It helps everything.” My wife gets on the internet and researches and finds out about this Rick Simpson Oil. That’s what I chose to use, and it was then that I decided to start cannabis oil.
Early 2015, I am only taking one chemo pill plus the oil. Then we decide to stop taking the chemo pill because I’m feeling better. In January 2016, I have the scan done and the cancer had stopped. I told my oncologist that I wasn’t taking chemo anymore. He was adamant that the cannabis wasn’t doing anything and then walked out on me (I don’t see him anymore).
I have been taking black RSO every night ever since. On this past December 15th (2017) I went for a full body scan and I AM CANCER FREE!!
I believe if I didn’t start cannabis oil, I would be dead today.
The internet is bursting with stories like this, in which an exasperated cancer victim decides to fight back against a pharmaceutical regime and ends up beating the odds. While we can’t support all of this patient’s actions (RxLeaf does not advise quitting chemotherapy without informing your doctor, or quitting chemotherapy), we certainly commend him for his bravery in fighting back against the odds. Especially in taking cannabis after a chemo diagnosis.
Cannabis After A Chemo Diagnosis
The state of medical research is only starting to accept the realities many patients are experiencing by taking cannabis after chemo.
As an example, a recent literature review published in the journal Therapeutic Advances in Medical Oncology (2019) mulled over the proof this way: “There is a reasonable amount of evidence to consider cannabis for nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite, and pain as a supplement to first-line treatments” and “there is promising evidence to treat chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy, gastrointestinal distress, and sleep disorders, but the literature is thus far too limited to recommend cannabis for these symptoms.”1)Kleckner, Amber S. et al. (2019). Opportunities for cannabis in supportive care in cancer. Therapeutic Advances in Medical Oncology. Published online Aug. 2, 2019. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6676264/.
How’s that for contradictory? There’s evidence that consuming cannabis after chemo helps manage symptoms of the anti-cancer therapy, but it still can’t be recommended. How does that make sense?
The Evidence in Favor of Cannabis After Chemo
Journals always claim there is “not enough evidence” to recommend cannabis. But there’s no set amount of literature that can sway the opinion of medical boards. A profession that prides itself on evidence-based solutions based on hard data stubbornly refuses to view the preponderance of pro-cannabis evidence as anything but “inconclusive.”
It’s clear according to published research that patients take cannabis after chemo to manage their anxiety, cognitive impairment, fatigue, insomnia, nausea, pain and more. But every time medical researchers produce another study proving the benefits of cannabis, the medical establishment moves the goalposts and demands further corroboration.
The 2019 literature cites reams of evidence, but urges caution. Consuming cannabis after chemo, it warns, might lead to allergic reactions, addiction, side effects, and interference with other medications. These seem like sensible precautions, but they are easily overcome.2)Kleckner, Amber S. et al. (2019). Opportunities for cannabis in supportive care in cancer. Therapeutic Advances in Medical Oncology. Published online Aug. 2, 2019. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6676264/. Here’s how:
Dealing with Potential Problems
First, a cannabis allergy is rare and easily treated. As an article in Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (2016) points out, the lack of new cannabis allergy cases occurring in Colorado after legalization suggests that cannabis allergy is mild and rare.3)Silvers, William S. (2016). A Colorado allergists’s experience with marijuana legalization. Anals of Allergy, Ashtma, and Immunology. 116(2) 175-177. https://www.annallergy.org/article/S1081-1206(15)00801-7/fulltext.
Of course, people can be allergic to cannabis just like any other plant. Most reactions feel like hay fever, but can include rashes as well. People with cannabis allergy can treat them with medications the same way that people who are allergic to ragweed do.
What About Cannabis Addiction?
Cannabis addiction is most common — and problematic — in adolescents. The majority of cannabis consumers never experience anything close to what can be termed ‘cannabis addiction.’ It’s confined to long-term, very heavy users. The chance of a person becoming addicted for consuming cannabis after chemo is small, and easily managed.
And, as for cannabis interfering with other medications — it can. This is most common with psych meds, and on the same level as grapefruit. This is another fairly easily managed problem. Patients can change medicines easily if they know the well-documented risks. Just speak to your doctor.
In short, cannabis after chemo shows more promise than the medical community gives it credit for, but the tide is turning.
References [ + ]
|1, 2.||↑||Kleckner, Amber S. et al. (2019). Opportunities for cannabis in supportive care in cancer. Therapeutic Advances in Medical Oncology. Published online Aug. 2, 2019. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6676264/.|
|3.||↑||Silvers, William S. (2016). A Colorado allergists’s experience with marijuana legalization. Anals of Allergy, Ashtma, and Immunology. 116(2) 175-177. https://www.annallergy.org/article/S1081-1206(15)00801-7/fulltext.|