Cannabis and Cancer: The Science Behind the Hope

Cannabis and Cancer: The Science Behind the Hope


Greetings everybody. I am Ezra Parzybok, and I’m going to talk
about cannabis and cancer. I’m going to unravel the cannabis cancer conundrum. There’s a lot of questions about it, and a
lot of people are interested and hearing about how people use cannabis, medical marijuana,
for cancer. Treating cancer, treating the symptoms of
cancer. And so what’s it all about? We’re going to talk about it. So I’m Ezra Parzybok, I’m a cannabis consultant. You can find me at Ezrahelps.com, and follow
my Facebook group, Ezra Helps. And so I’m going to do three sections. I’m going to talk about what people are doing
to use cannabis, how they use it right now, and I’m going to talk about the real science. We’re going to talk about the scientific method
and how they determine these things, how we determine whether something is “cured” by
cannabis or helped by cannabis. And then I’ll talk about using CBD and THC
to help with cancer. So first, when I’m seeing a client, when somebody
comes to me, or a family member comes to me to ask about cancer and cannabis, I talk about
the two paths. And this is the curative path and the palliative
path. So the palliative path, of course, is just
helping with the symptoms of cancer. And this can be the cancer itself, so cancer
itself can cause pain, it can make people have poor sleep, cause anxiety and mood issues,
and also the cancer treatment. So when we receive cancer chemotherapies,
radiation, many of the drugs, even surgeries they’re using, can be very disruptive to the
body. So again, chemotherapy and surgery can cause
pain. We get appetite reduction, we can’t eat. That make some people die. They get cancer, it’s not the cancer that
kills them, it’s that they stop eating, and they get what’s called wasting away syndrome. And you can get nausea from chemotherapy,
and anxiety, and get insomnia too. So a lot of people are using cannabis just
casually, they’re smoking a joint before they go get chemotherapy. They’re taking an edible to deal with sleep
issues. They’re rubbing topical cannabis creams on
their body to deal with neuropathy, and the pain associated with cancer. But then there’s this whole core, this culture
of people who are looking into the science of cannabis and seeing that there are anti-tumor
effects. And so they’ve developed this method, Rick
Simpson is the most famous person who developed it, which is essentially taking really high
doses of cannabis through the resin. You take a huge amount of cannabis, you essentially
distill it down into its purest THC and CBD ingredients, and then you take hundreds and
hundreds of milligrams a day. Way, way more than your average user. And you’re sort of creating an equivalent
of chemotherapy. We know that some types of chemotherapy can
kill cells, can kill cancer cells, and help cancer. And THC and CBD has been shown to kill cancer
cells. So people say, “All right, let’s do it. I’m going to kill my cancer.” Now I want to go into the science of that,
because it’s important to remember that just because something has an effect on our body,
doesn’t mean it’s going to magically have that effect for everyone across the board. So if you have any questions as I go along,
remember you can feel free to ask them, and I’ll try to get to them. But let’s go into the science a little bit. First of all, the scientific method. So you can have a person who has cancer, who
smokes marijuana, or takes high doses of marijuana, and their cancer miraculously goes away, or
goes into remission, or it becomes “cured”. Now this is not science, this is essentially
showing that there are anecdotal stories for it. There is evidence that it can work for some
people. But it doesn’t mean that scientifically we’re
going to have that across the board again. The scientific method is saying, all right,
does cannabis cure cancer? What is the effect of cannabis on cancer? And then, how do we test that? How do we go through a trial? How do we get 1,000 people with that same
cancer, and we deliver it in the same way to all those people? And then, if we get good results from that,
if we get a 20% effectiveness, a 50% effectiveness, then we have some science to back up whether
cannabis actually “cures” cancer or helps cancer. So when people ask me, what do you think about
whether cannabis cures cancer? I always say, “Saying that cannabis cures
cancer is a lot like saying the police cure crime.” So we don’t think that police cure crime,
and they don’t cure crime. They can prevent crime, they can reduce crime,
and sometimes they can be criminals themselves, right? This is the organic nature of the justice
system, and it’s the organic nature of cancer in our bodies. It’s more complex than just some pill, or
some herb is going to cure your cancer. But if you really want to know the science,
I always lead people to the federal government’s data site, website for cancer. It’s Cancer.Gov/About-Cancer. If you just type into Google search Cancer.Gov
and cannabis at the same time, there’s a whole website devoted to all of the scientific studies. The in vivo studies, this means in live organisms,
usually animals. And the in vitro studies, these are the studies
that they can do in a Petri dish. You can put a cancer cell into a vitro, glass
dish, and then you can put THC on it, and see the THC killing the cells. Well that’s just happening with a cell, that
doesn’t mean it’s going to happen with a cancer in an organism. But that’s the first sort of level of testing,
when they’re trying to figure some of these things out. So the reason why there is science on it,
and a lot of people studying it and curious about it, is because of the endocannabinoid
system. And if you spend any time talking to me, or
looking at my blog posts reading, or seeing my live cast, you’ll know that the endocannabinoid
system is an internal feedback system, endogenous cannabinoids. These are the chemicals we produce naturally,
every single animal on the planet produces them naturally. Not the insect world. But it’s the largest feedback system in the
body, and it’s involved in regulating cell behavior. It’s also involved in the proliferation of
cells. So these are cells that may need to proliferate,
for example, in the uterus, in the fetus, the baby grows. And the endocannabinoid system is part of
that process. And then we also have cells at the end of
their life that need to turn off, that need to stop proliferating, and the endocannabinoid
system is part of that process. So that is often called apoptosis, programmed
cell death. Cannabinoids helping cells turn off. So yes, absolutely, it’s a very important
area of study, and study for how cells either proliferate, this is what cancer does, right? It’s the healthy cells in our body, normal
cells in our body, that get confused, get stuck in a mode of proliferating over and
over, and become tumors. Ok. So I just want to list briefly, the many studies. You can go to the Cancer.Gov website, talk
to your oncologist, talk to your doctor and tell them, that there are studies, in vivo
and in vitro, that have shown that cannabinoids can kill liver cells, they also reduce benign
tumors in the breast, uterus, some glands, the pancreas. So there is raw data on cannabinoids helping
to regulate the proliferation of cells. There is also evidence of cancer cells from
lung cancer being killed, or turned off, by THC, by cannabinoids. They also did a study where they took human
lung cancer cells and inserted them into mice, and then delivered THC to the mice, and had
a 60% reduction in those cancer cells. So these are controlled studies, these are
not just guesses. They’re not “n=1”, meaning just one study
and see what happens. These are trying to really come up with a
deeper foundational understanding of what’s happening. They can also compile population studies. So you can get health data on thousands of
people, and then you look at things. You look at, all right, do they have this
kind of cancer? Are they male and female? Where do they live? What do they take into their bodies? Do they use cannabis? And a really famous study, and one that’s
powerful in terms of the real scientific evidence for how cannabinoids might contribute to cancer
reduction, is that a study on men found that men that used cannabis regularly, are users
of cannabis, had a 45% reduction in bladder cancer. So this doesn’t mean that cannabis cures cancer,
it just means that it seems to confirm that our endogenous cannabinoids, as well as the
phytocannabinoids, from the plant, seem to fit into this regulating system in our cell
networks, and help with over proliferation or under proliferation. So there is raw data, but here’s the irony. There are no great human trials, they can’t
do it. In America, we have a federal schedule for
cannabis, which means that it’s a Schedule 1 drug, and a Schedule 1 drug is a drug that
has absolutely no medical benefits, and is highly addictive. So marijuana is still a Schedule 1 drug, and
therefore even though we can study things like meth in the body, we can do human trials
on that. We can do human trials on cocaine, we can
do human trials on all these opiates that are everywhere in our society, killing people
right and left, but because cannabis is Schedule 1, research human trials for using cannabis
for cancer, are very difficult to find. There’s not a lot of evidence there. So there are some trials in that they’re finding,
one that I wanted to mention, is CBD high doses seems to affect the receptors in the
bones that create and regulate the myeloma cancer cell line, and they’ve seen a reduction
in myeloma cancer cells, so I wanted to mention that one. But I really believe, and I do these live
casts because I’m just trying to get people to understand medical marijuana, but I really
believe that if every person in America told their oncologist, or if every oncologist in
America were to go to the Cancer.Gov/About-Cancer website and they were to see the amount of
evidence compiled, showing the positive aspects of potential cannabis use, and this is not
just. We’re not talking about curing cancer, we’re
talking about all of the palliative effects. So if you’re an oncologist, and you’re dealing
with cancer patients, you know you’re going to have nausea, you’re going to have pain
associated with that, anxiety, depression even, and insomnia issues. And cannabis has been proven. It has been proven in human trials, that it
does make people less anxious, done correctly. There are some people who do get anxious with
cannabis, but done correctly it can help cancer patients with anxiety, and it can help cancer
patients better than some available drugs for nausea. This is so important. So my professional opinion, as a cannabis
consultant, is that cannabis is the first line of defense for cancer. Absolutely you should do all the conventional
methods for fighting cancer, that’s really important. Absolutely you should get multiple opinions
from doctors. But I always say, if you have a cancer diagnosis,
and you’re wondering about using cannabis, that you should open the flood gates. You should allow yourself to use as much THC
and CBD as you possibly can. Now, there are some studies, I won’t leave
this out because I want to be objective as possible, but there are some studies that
show that cannabis can have pro-cancer effects. So because it helps in proliferation, maybe
it helps proliferate some cancers. But the studies are very mixed on this. We’ve spent decades trying to find all the
harms of cannabis, and causing cancer is just not one of the major things. There’s way more evidence for cannabinoids
having moderate tumor and cancer cell reduction, than there are negatives from it, in terms
of cancer. I will also say, take the chemotherapy drugs
that are available. Ask your oncologist, ask your doctor about
the drugs that are readily available and prescribed across the country, across the world, for
cannabis. And they are often drugs that are called neocarcinogenic,
which means they cause new cancers. So sometimes you have a cancer you’re trying
to get rid of, you may be able to kill it off with your chemotherapy, your drugs, or
your radiation. Radiation is perfect example. Radiation causes cancer. What do they use radiation for? To kill cancer cells. So if we’re talking about cannabis, “Oh, well
maybe it has pro-cancerous effects, maybe it has anti-cancerous effects,” well that’s
just like every other drug. And that means also that it’s not a miracle
drug. It’s just another option that people should
use. So that’s really important to remember. But when I’m talking about opening the flood
gates, it’s very difficult to take huge amounts of cannabis into the system. And so when you open the flood gates and take
in as much as you can, you can only take what you tolerate. So someone who’s going to go with the route
of, “I’m going to cure my cancer with huge doses of cannabis,” the protocol is like 1,000
milligrams of THC every day for 60 to 90 days. That’s almost impossible for most people. Yes, you can work up to it very slowly over
time, and take more and more THC in a dose, but I always say, we just don’t have the evidence
yet, that proves that high doses of cannabis cures cancer. So the key is to keep your comfort level regulated,
to keep your morale high. To make sure that the patient and all of their
treatment, is getting met. You know there is evidence that people who
use cannabis, it just helps them finish their chemotherapy. Because the anti-nausea effects of the cannabis
are so strong, that they can actually complete their chemotherapy treatment, which helps
reduce their cancer. So it’s important to know that cannabis is
an option, but you should never take other options off the table. So compassion is important, the comfort level
of the patient is important, and work up to it. You can try just a topical oil. Some people cannot tolerate more than 3, 5,
10 milligrams of THC at once. So going up to 1,000 milligrams of THC is
going to be very uncomfortable for many people. So I had a patient who couldn’t tolerate more
than 2 milligrams of THC, so we applied it topically. We would put it into oils, infuse it into
oils. Oils are very cleansing to the system, they
penetrate deeply, and we can deliver cannabinoids topically so that people can get some of these
effects in a lighter dose onto their body. So reduced anxiety by having a nice comforting
cannabis oil massage, or an indica, a sedative strain of cannabis that’s applied to the body
in order to sedate the body, so you don’t get the strong psychoactive effects. And a lot of people are getting diagnosis,
where they have stage four. It’s a terminal disease, so really it’s about
creating quality of life. And cannabis is a real huge part, and it has
been for centuries. And also, many oncologists, I don’t want to
disparage doctors, because many oncologists really are telling their clients, “Yup, go
get some cannabis, smoke some pot, you should be fine. You have stage four cancer, go for it.” But I’m saying, on a deeper level here, there
is some real science and real promise. And when the drug is rescheduled, when they
schedule, hopefully soon, cannabis to a Schedule 2 drug, then they can truly study these in
America in the best research facilities possible, and see how cannabinoids could possibly help
with cancers. But if you live in a state that has legal
cannabis and you have cancer, or you know someone who has cancer, I really encourage
you to speak to a health professional, speak to a cannabis consultant like myself, who
can guide you through how to properly use CBD or THC. I want to get to one of these questions real
quick here. We have. Oh, yes. It was a comment mentioning the Schedule 1. When we schedule cannabis as a Schedule 1
drug, we’re eliminating the possibility of so much research that could go into this plant. And most drugs are derived from plants and
their effects on humans. And so they need to study plants, they need
to take out the compounds that are in those plants and see what they do, so that’s really
important. And finally, I’ll just wrap up. I’m about five minutes over on my live cast
here, but the most conservative way to enter into using cannabis for cancer treatment is
CBD. So CBD is non-psycho active. CBD is not going to be this pronounced high,
it’s also legal in all 50 states. So if you live in Oklahoma, if you live in
Alabama, in Arkansas, and places where the cannabis laws are very strict, CBD is going
to be a first line of defense. You can buy it online. And it can help with anxiety reduction, it
can help with sleep, it can help with pain and nausea. It is the decaf version of cannabis, and such
an important first step to try. It’s just compassion, in my opinion. We have powerful drugs that are going to fight
the cancer, these powerful drugs can really hurt people, so let’s provide an option for
them that’s non-toxic to the body. You can take enormous doses of THC or CBD
into your body, and they are not neocarcinogenic, they are not going to cause neuropathy, they
are not going to shut down organs and kill people. And doctors should know about it, oncologists
should know about it, as a practical first line of defense for cancer. So I’m Ezra Parzybok, this is my live cast. You can find me on Ezrahelps.com, or join
my Ezra Helps Facebook group. And if you have any questions, feel free to
reach out to me. Thank you so much for joining, and I’ll talk
to you next week. Take care everybody.

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