A professor at the University of Glasgow called Anthony Chalmers has a cancer practice which focuses on people with suffering from brain tumors. He also runs the Translational Radiation Biology laboratory in the Institute for Cancer Sciences. He has suggested that the trending “miracle drug” known as Sativex, which is a cannabis-based drug, which can treat conditions like multiple sclerosis (MS) needs further research because it would appear to have potential in treating cancer to a certain degree as well.
Professor Chalmers made his comment based on the fact that many people suffering from tumors of any kind were turning to illegal measures to get their much needed cannabis-based medications. Most cases of when this happens are due to patients or family members considering cannabis-based medications such as Sativex as a viable alternative to a treatment or a last-ditch attempt at helping themselves or loved ones. You could theorize that the professor wants merely the drug researched in more detail so more people can get access to it legally.
Currently, in the United Kingdom, cannabis and medical cannabis is illegal in its different forms however the government is reviewing these cannabis-based medical treatments. The review has come after the world press brought us the story of Billy Caldwell who is severely epileptic. Billy’s story came up due to his mother being detained at Heathrow airport and her medical cannabis oil (a years supply) confiscated.
The reason it made the headlines was due to Billy’s mother’s pleas that if he didn’t have this medication he would die in a matter of months and that medical cannabis oil needed to be legalized because it provided her son with a better way of life. Luckily for Billy and his mother, the home office allowed temporary approval for his medicine until they come up with a long-term solution. In regards to this oil being used on the tumors of cancer patients, professor Chalmers is mainly focused on tumors that are highly aggressive and glioblastomas which can be fatal within many months.
A shocking comparison into a study the professor’s patients took part in showed 83% of his patients were still alive compared to the 53% of those who were not on medical cannabis. When commenting on the study the professor said,
The study was small and only looked at 21 patients. It was a small number, but encouraging enough for bigger researches and studies to be carried out. We would hope to take part in future trials with Sativex.
Although these findings provide a lot of hope for those in similar circumstances, it must be pointed out that the study was only small and large conclusions could not be made i.e. cannabis oil can cure cancer. That is not what we or the study are saying. Further research and clinical trials will be needed before anything like this can be claimed.
While the story of Billy Caldwell is not directly linked to professor Chalmers, the story of Caroline Burns is. Caroline had cancer and traditional treatments were not working for her. This was a severe time for Caroline as she had been given months to live and her family feared arrest and financial hardship when trying to get the CBD oil imported into the UK from Canada.
After using cannabis oil for her treatment Caroline has lived on past the months she had been given to live and her tumor had even shrunk by over 20%. It should be noted once again in this case cannabis oil didn’t cure cancer, it only helped to “hold it back”. Caroline’s father who regularly picked up her “cannabis oil post” was anxious about one day being arrested as he went to pick it up.
Instead of it coming to my home, I got a note telling me to collect it from the post office. I wondered if I would be arrested when I turned up. But instead, I was asked to pay £15 ($20) VAT on the package. It was covered in Customs stickers. The delivery arrives described as a different product and not cannabis. We are law-abiding people who are not comfortable importing cannabis. But I don’t know a parent who wouldn’t go to drastic measures to save their child….we want it to be quick and efficient because desperately ill people need that.
A bittersweet point within this story is that since breaking, cannabidiol (CBD) has been made legal within the UK but not Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). CBD is said to be useful for a wide variety of ailments but in this case, Sativex is a drug which uses both CBD & THC. The reason for this is due to THC’s ability to be psychoactive which can get you high and also have adverse long-term effects on your brain depending on how it is taken.