Picture: Ian Hargreaves (271019-5)
Suzie Holmes, a grandmother from Leigh Park had a devastating diagnosis in June this year, which revealed that she was suffering from a rare form of breast cancer. After the diagnosis, Suzie underwent chemotherapy and a mastectomy. However, the horrid news of having cancer and undergoing such severe treatments took a toll on her.
Suzie decided to take cannabis oil to help recover from her cancer. The 57-year-old said it was a petrifying experience to discover that she was suffering from cancer. She further added that her operation and chemotherapy was conducted at the Queen Alexandra Hospital, but it was killing her from the inside.
Suzie said that she is quite small physically and when the doctors told her that she needed to undergo another chemotherapy session, she thought her body would not be able to handle it. That’s when she thought of exploring beyond the medical treatment that she was taking. Suzie had been reading about the benefits of cannabidiol and how its touted for treating cancer.
While medical cannabis is available on the NHS, it is quite difficult to get a prescription for it. According to the NHS, they will give medical cannabis to only children and adults with severe, rare forms of epilepsy with nausea or vomiting caused by chemotherapy.
Medical cannabis has been widely popular as an effective treatment for aiding in mental health disorders such as stress, anxiety, depression, insomnia, epilepsy, Tourettes and even Alzheimer’s. Cannabinoid oil or CBD is derived from the hemp plant, a cannabis genus plant.
CBD is known to have anti-inflammatory and non-psychoactive properties. It has ample of medical benefits such as treating inflammation, swelling, redness, acute pain, aches, injuries, and even life-threatening ailments such as Cancer.
However, getting access to medical cannabis is no cakewalk. The FDA and other agencies are quite particular and stringent about the eligibility of patients who can use medical cannabis.
Suzie has decided to use a cannabis oil product made by Rick Simpson, a Canadian based company. The RSO is known to have high levels of tetrahydro cannabinol (THC), the psychoactive component of marijuana which is responsible for causing the high in users when they smoke pot or weed. But other cannabidiols available in the stores in the United Kingdom contain high levels of CBD, which is a significantly healthy chemical as compared to THC.
Suzie said that she has been testing the RSO for two weeks now and already feels better. She further claimed that the oil makes her feel like herself instead of the feeling of sick, like with chemotherapy which made her lose her hair and feel dull.
Suzie is a former dementia carer and says her parents and three children are supporting her in this tedious cancer journey. Suzie added that they can see the difference in her after she started taking the Rick Simpson oil. She wishes to see her grandchildren grow up and for that, she needs to be healthy.
Suzie needs to take about 60ml of the RSO within a period of 90 days. Now since the RSO oil costs £40 per ml, the total cost of her treatment comes to £2,400. Out of the total amount, Suzie is crowdfunding raise £1,000 for her treatment.
She wants people to be more aware of the benefits of CBD and how it required more research and attention. She added that the United Kingdom seems to be a bit tardy for the concept of medical cannabis as chemotherapy and medicines make huge amounts of money. And also, the government might not want people getting high for free, causing a dip in the medical and pharmaceutical industry.
She hopes that doctors become brave enough to recommend medical cannabis after recognizing the plethora of medical benefits it offers. Also, medical trials should take place to evaluate how medical cannabis oil could be beneficial for people.
While the United Kingdom has opened up a bit about cannabinoids, the stigma surrounding marijuana and its derivates still persist. People have associated cannabis with the high that marijuana gives and considered taking it a taboo, a wrongdoing that typically defines drug addicts. However, it’s time that this perception changed and people became more accepting of CBD, given the promising health benefits it offers now.
Nonetheless, CBD still has numerous untapped information that is yet to be explored.