As cannabis advances towards a more prominent position in Oregon life, CBD – a hemp/cannabis-derived compound – has received ringing endorsements from patients with serious illnesses, including cancer.
We talked to three of them.
Carma Cole was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia in 2014. “I noticed a lump in my upper stomach,” she recalls, “and felt weak”. The lump grew, and eventually she went to the hospital.
For the first year she used western chemotherapy medications, and found the side effects of the powerful drugs ravaged her body. She began adding organic CBD oil manufactured by her partner, Jeff Goins and learned she could continue chemo with CBD’s support.
Cole and Goins worked to find the proper dosage. She used the smallest dose of CBD at first, “really only the size of a pinhead, once or twice a day” and worked up to the size of a grain of rice.
Two years of this medicine has caused “a complete hematological response,” Cole says. “You can’t even see cancer in my blood any more.”
How does she know it’s not solely the western medication that made the difference to her health?
“I went out of state and took no oil with me, since doing that is illegal,” she remembers. “Within 3 days I was in the ER because my blood levels crashed and I was in major pain. My blood levels dropped dangerously low.”
Cole returned to Oregon “and within a week, back on the CBD oil, I was back to where I had been.”
Goins now grows CBD product and makes oil for six patients, all over the age of 40. “Mostly I deal with cancer patients,” he says. His mission is to support his established cancer patients from the base of a healing retreat set up by him and Cole on property towards Dallas.
One terminal patient, an 84-year old man battling cancer for three years, hadn’t left the house and months. “He started taking the oil and it completely changed his quality of life.” Goins says. “He could go out and live much better his last three months.”
Of the CBD treatment he gave Cole, Goins says, simply, “It saved her life. Keeping people sick is profitable for doctors, hospitals and pharmaceutical companies. There is no profit in wellness.”
In 2008, colon cancer metastasized to Pam Shon’s liver. She had part of her colon removed and, 8 weeks later, part of her liver removed. Her recovery was supported by conventional chemotherapy, but, after thinking herself cancer free for five years – Shon was told in 2016 that tumor tracer levels had risen dangerously, that she had spots on her lungs and cysts on her kidneys. Her doctor started talking about her taking chemo again.
“And I started crying,” she recalls, “because I will never do chemo again. It does horrible things to my body.”
Shon got in touch with Rick McDonough, who manufactures organic CBD products for Salem’s Gaia Bounty, because she heard his products were reliable and he was motivated by concern for patients.
From his organic farm, McDonough makes 6 forms of medicine for 2 – 3 dozen patients who donate only what they can. “These are mainly used for chronic conditions,” McDonough says. He creates CBD and Rick Simpson Oil (RSO) a similar distilled cannabis product used by cancer, AIDS, arthritis, and other patients.
“I often treat patients with hormonal cancers,” McDonough says. Shon began McDonough’s RSO in January 2017. She says, “I feel like a new person. And when I got a CAT SCAN last time, the doctor said, ‘it’s gone!’ He said, ‘there’s absolutely nothing on your scan; nothing on your kidneys or lungs. Whatever you’re doing, keep it up.’”
Shon didn’t tell her doctor she’d been using RSO. “The clinic I go to doesn’t support RSO,” she says. “They support chemotherapy because they get paid for it. It’s an industry.”
Her numbers continue to go down. “I’ll probably stay on this for the rest of my life,” she says.
“CBD has benefited me in almost too many ways to talk about,” says Salem’s Collene Mahan. With arthritis over her entire body, nodes in her lungs, multiple surgeries on her knees, shoulders repaired and a fused spine, Mahon was in “a huge amount of pain.”
“Before CBD, I was taking four Ibuprophen twice a day and it was starting to destroy my kidneys,” Mahon recalls. “My doctor told me I had to stop. He said the only thing he could prescribe was narcotics like Oxycodone and OxyContin and I knew those would be too damaging to my body.”
After taking CBD edibles she finds at Nature’s Quest Dispensary in Salem, Mahon says, “the only side effect I have is no more pain. Fifteen years ago I thought people who used things like CBD were nuts. I thought people who used these products were just trying to get high.”
“I was illiterate. I didn’t know what I was talking about.”
On April 20, Loren Kruesi, owner of Nature’s Quest opened a new dispensary, CBD Express, to help CBD patients. One of his patient, Jose Torres, uses CBD to help his Type 1 diabetes. Torres has lowered his blood sugar since supplementing his insulin with CBD. “I’ve noticed my numbers are lower when I supplement,” he reports.
Three days after Torres’ mother, Polly, was diagnosed with lung cancer, they visited CBD Express. “I’ve read the studies,” Polly says. “I believe this will help.”