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Medical Marijuana: A New Treatment for Mesothelioma?

Medical Marijuana: A New Treatment for Mesothelioma?

Earlier this month, Ohio legislators approved a bill that would allow patients with malignant mesothelioma to buy and use marijuana for medical purposes – legally. The bill will now move on to the governor, and if that is signed, Ohio will become the 25th state to legalize some form of medical marijuana. This news is especially exciting for those who are living with mesothelioma – an aggressive cancer caused by asbestos that is almost always fatal.

The bill, if passed, would focus on the use of cannabis oil as a therapeutic alternative to conventional cancer treatments. Patients could eventually purchase medical marijuana in oils, patches and tinctures, as long as they are directed to by their doctor. Growing and smoking marijuana would still be illegal under this new law.

Is the use of cannabis oil really effective?  California native Andy Ashcraft seems to think so.  Andy Ashcraft was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma in 2010 and was given only three months to a year to live. His initial treatments started off by taking Amatuximab, followed by chemotherapy. However, Ashcraft was taken off Amatuximab after his stomach began filling with fluid; the treatment was not having the desired effect. After some research into alternative treatments, Ashcraft and his wife came to find information about the effectiveness of cannabis oil on patients with cancer. In January 2013, three years after his initial diagnosis, Andy Ashcraft began to add tiny amounts of highly concentrated cannabis oil to his regimen.

Chemotherapy works by attacking and “poisoning” cancer cells; however, chemotherapy is also known to attack healthy cells as well, which is why cancer is so hard to fight. Cannabis oil also attacks the cancer cells, but kills them naturally, and doesn’t harm healthy cells. Back in California, Andy Ashcroft noticed that once he started using cannabis oil regularly, he was no longer in pain, and he didn’t even feel sick. While he is still a victim of mesothelioma, his cancer has not progressed and with each passing day he continues to outlive his diagnosis.

Medical marijuana has been a source of controversy for years in the United States, but as researchers and scientists study the plant and its compounds, the medicinal components to the plant have become increasingly apparent, which has led to 24 states so far to reconsider their laws on marijuana. Before Ohio, Pennsylvania was the latest state to legalize marijuana for medical use only in January 2016. In West Virginia, possession is still a misdemeanor and selling it is a felony. The first state to legalize medical marijuana was California 20 years earlier, in 1996.

Alex Strauss, “Six-Year Mesothelioma Survivor Credits Cannabis Oil and Healthy Lifestyle,” Surviving Mesothelioma (April 18, 2016). [Link]

Alex Strauss, “Cannabis for Mesothelioma May Soon be Legal in Ohio,” Surviving Mesothelioma (June 1, 2016). [Link]

PRWeb, “New Medical Marijuana Bill Could Benefit Mesothelioma Patients, According to Surviving Mesothelioma,” (June 3, 2016). [Link]