Mike, what kind of breast cancer (invasive ductal, I presume)? How many of her lymph nodes were positive? How big was the primary tumor? Reason I ask is that in women with Stage I or IIA tumors that are estrogen-and progesterone-receptor-positive and HER2-negative (ER+/PR+/HER2-) with three or fewer positive lymph nodes, there is a genomic assay test on a sample of the tumor, called OncotypeDX, that will tell doctors whether chemo is necessary or would even work at all. Medicare covers that test 100%.That type of breast cancer mentioned above, which I had as Stage IA, is treated in postmenopausal women with anti-estrogen drugs called aromatase inhibitors(aka AIs: anastrazole, letrozole, or exemestane)which have as a side effect joint pain. CBD oil is effective for this joint pain it is not, I repeat, NOT a substitute for chemo, radiation or these anti-estrogen drugs.So don’t assume your mom’s cancer will require chemo; but if it does, CBD helps with those side effects as well. If she lives in a state where medical marijuana is legal, there are doctors who sub-specialize in certifying applications for a medical marijuana card, and in the interim before the card is issued can advise as to the appropriate dose of CBD oil (legal and over-the-counter in all 50 states). Some (though not most) medical oncologists will certify their own patients’ medical marijuana card applications so she need not seek out another doctor; and will advise the appropriate dose for her symptoms. Once she gets her card, the “budtenders” in the licensed dispensaries can advise her as to the right CBD product (with or without THC), strength, and dosage. If she lives in a state where recreational weed is legal, the “budtenders” in the marijuana shops can steer her to the right strength of CBD oil and the right dosage.
But, uh, what is it that CBD is supposed to do? I visited a cannabis dispensary in Boulder to find out what the hype was all about. After passing an ID check, I was introduced to a “budtender” who pointed me to an impressive array of CBD products — tinctures, skin patches, drink powders, candies, salves, massage oil, lotions, “sexy time personal intimacy oil” and even vaginal suppositories to treat menstrual cramps.
“It’s such an interesting plant, such a valuable plant,” says Nolan Kane, who specializes in evolutionary biology. “It’s been around for millions of years, and it’s one of man’s oldest crops. And yet there are so many basic problems that need to be answered. Where did it come from? How and why did it evolve? Why does it make all these suites of compounds? We don’t even know how many species there are.”
Typically, pharmaceutical companies making cannabis-based medicines have sought to isolate individual compounds from the plant. But Mechoulam strongly suspects that in some cases those chemicals would work much better in concert with other compounds found in marijuana. He calls this the entourage effect, and it’s just one of the many cannabis mysteries that he says require further study.
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