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What are cannabinoids?
THC and CBD are compound cannabinoids derived from a plant called Cannabis. There are more than 100 of these chemicals in cannabis, each having a different effect on your body. The two most commonly talked about are THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol) though CBG is now also becoming more widely spoken about.
CBD and THC have the same chemical compound formula but the atoms are arranged differently which is why they have a different chemical effect on your body. THC can cause a high, and CBD can have a positive effect on your wellbeing.
As with all medicines THC and CBD can cause side effects and some say they can affect the way other medicines work so we researched before jumping in - its important to thoroughly research this as well as whether the particular cancer you're trying to treat is hormone driven. Whilst I wouldn't ever encourage anyone to break the law or stop modern medicine treatments, we couldn't really justify not trying a plant based medicine that thousands of others have had success with and where the benefits far outweigh the possible side effects.
When Stu was first diagnosed and people started to hear about it there were many recommendations for THC and CBD so we started digging. If you google does THC shrink brain tumours you are sure to find plenty of articles to read. So many.
There are facebook and telegram groups dedicated to the use of THC and CBD to shrink tumours, I cant list them here because I don't want anyone to get into trouble, nor do I want these groups shut down because without them people and patients wouldn't be able to access this kind of treatment. One day hopefully the benefits will outweigh the need for medicinal THC to be illegal in the UK which makes it very difficult (but not impossible) to access.
There are many documentaries on youtube and other platforms about the benefits of cannibinoids for cancer treatment. One that we watched a couple of times is Weed The People on Netflix, here is a link.
There are legal avenues to go down in many other countries but in the UK you need to find a doctor willing to prescribe - Project Twenty21 is a good place to start. We consulted with one of their doctors independently and were prescribed a cannabinoid spray however we chose to go down another route after more research. You can read more about their criteria here. You'll notice that brain tumour is not one of the main illnesses listed but cancer related symptoms are. ProjectTwenty21 also have some good resources to understand THC and CBD better.
Medical Cannabis - The Drug Science Perspective - Part 1 - History & Current Law
Medical Cannabis - The Drug Science Perspective - Part 2 - The Endocannabinoid System
We had a consultation with Clinic 158 (and Dickson Chemist) and were able to access Sativex and a couple of other off label medications. They were really easy to deal with, we filled out an online form including all the medication Stu was taking and provided you can give medical evidence of diagnosis it was a simple process. Examples of the evidence required: letter from your GP, confirmation of diagnosis, blood test results, scan results. The consultation fee was £40 per prescription item and the Sativex Spray 3 x 10ml Vials cost £422.00. They say they can't confirm how long this amount of Sativex will last or the volume required per month as this is dependent on the dose advised by the prescriber.
There is also the first national phase 2 Sativex trial for brain tumour patients which you can read more about in the articles about cannabinoid products below.
RSO OR EQUIVALENT
We were sent the Rick Simpson protocol to research which we did on social media and online. You can read more about it on this website WebMD and here: Can Rick Simpson Oil Treat Cancer?
The theory is 1 gram per day for 90 days and then if that is having an effect you can reduce down to a maintenance dose however with all medicine the dosage differs per person.
There are many many cowboys out there that won't be selling oil with a high percentage of THC or CBD and we got tricked a couple of times wasting time and money. We had our supply tested and it came back as low, below 30% THC. Thats simply not good enough and the people we bought from didn't care at all but shows that some people take advantage of desperate people. We did more research and found a better source with 80+% strength. The best THC we bought cost £50 per gram/1ml and CBD £12.50 per gram/1ml. The Facebook groups have advice on how to prepare it after you've bought it and for Stu the preparation was key - it was too sticky for him without mixing it with 50% olive oil and 10% sunflower lethicin to aid the absorption.
Articles about cannabinoid products to treat brain cancer:
Phase 2 trial of cannabis-based drug in glioblastomas to open in summer 2022
World-first trial tests cannabis-based drug on aggressive brain tumours
Cannabinoids in glioblastoma multiforme—hype or hope?
A phase 1b randomised, placebo-controlled trial of nabiximols cannabinoid oromucosal spray with temozolomide in patients with recurrent glioblastoma
World-first UK trial to assess whether cannabis-based drug could extend life for thousands with aggressive brain tumours
If we had to do this all over again I think we would start off sourcing Sativex right from the beginning and then added in the 90 day protocol. It took us time to get Stu's dosage up to 1ml/gram a day. If I were to have to find a source again, I would ask other patients and search on social media but be even more cautious than before and if possible, find a way to get it tested.