According to the National Cancer Institute, cannabis is known to relieve cancer-related pain, nausea, vomiting and anxiety. Additionally, there is a growing body of evidence to support the use of cannabis for shrinking and even preventing tumors.
It is clear that further research is necessary, however the government prohibition of the substance effectively upholds the prevailing taboo that cannabis is a drug and not medicine. Thankfully, some states, such as Oregon, are pioneering legalisation. So people can use cannabis as medicine
In states which have legalised medical cannabis, it has become commonly prescribed in the fight against cancer. However, one remaining taboo is the use of cannabis oil to fight cancer in children, but more and more parents are looking to the substance as a way to fight their children’s cancer.
When 7-year-old Mykayla Comstock was diagnosed with leukemia in the summer of 2012, her mother, Erin Purchase, wasted no time. She had her daughter’s Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP) paperwork filled out within three days, despite protests from the child’s doctor.
“The first doctor was not for it at all,” Erin told ABCNews.com. “She was rude and she told us it was inappropriate. “Basically she blew up at us and told us to transfer to another facility.”
They were forced to find another doctor, who took a more “see no evil” approach to the therapy. Writing in the website Brave Mykayla, Erin states a fact that may resonate with some:
“…I feel that conventional medicine has a very important place in this world… I feel that there is a balance between conventional medicine and natural medicine. Speaking in terms of the average American family… this balance has been lost!”
The family opted for a chemotherapy protocol for patients with low-risk leukemia. Mykayla’s had been diagnosed with T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a very rare and aggressive form of childhood leukemia, so this decision was controversial. They also opted to decline preventative radiation therapy for the girl. Doctors began administering chemotherapy, and using cannabis as medicine, cannabis oil treatment began 8 days later.
Doctors were initially concerned that a bone marrow transplant would need to be completed if the lighter dose of chemotherapy did not produce results.
Much to everyone’s surprise, just one week after beginning the cannabis oil therapy, scans of Mykayla’s bone marrow and blood showed no signs of leukemia. She was in remission! She underwent maintenance chemotherapy at that point, and now she has been cancer-free for over three years.
Pediatric cannabis therapy may be able to save children with grave illness. According to ABC, at the time of the writing in 2012, there were over 50 minors enrolled in the OMMP.
At the very least, the medicine can lessen the impact of pain and related symptoms of diseases such as cancer.
Hopefully, the taboo can be lifted nationwide, and stories such as Brave Mykayla’s can serve to inspire supporters and opponents of legalisation alike.