Treatment News


WEDNESDAY, June 11th at noon on "The Source" — Texas’  Compassionate Use Program (CUP) was first established in 2015. Its  initial iteration was one of the country’s most restrictive. 

House Bill 3703 from  the 2019 state legislative session expanded the list of qualifying  conditions that physicians can use to prescribe medical cannabis. 

Individuals suffering from intractable epilepsy were initially the only patients allowed to be enrolled in CUP. With  passage of HB 3703, patients suffering from seizure disorders, multiple  sclerosis, terminal cancer and several more qualify for medical cannabis  treatment.

The bill expands the medicinal use of cannabis products like CBD oil that are low in THC, the psychoactive element in marijuana. CBD oil, derived from hemp, is non-intoxicating.

Currently,  Texas allows the production and sale of CBD products with low levels of  THC. Medicinal CBD products contain 0.5 percent THC while  over-the-counter CBD products are capped at 0.3 percent.

What  does science say about the effects of cannabis for medical use? What  other conditions could be treated with these substances? How are they  administered?

How can patients get more information about the state's Compassionate Use Program? How will these policy changes expand healthcare options for Texans?



Marijuana use among seniors in the U.S. rose  tenfold over a decade as more baby boomers use it to treat a range of  ailments, including pain, anxiety and depression, according to a University of Colorado study.

Some  3.7% of U.S. adults age 65 or older used cannabis in the past year, a  more than tenfold increase from 0.3% in 2007, data from the National  Survey of Drug Use and Health showed. In 2017, 9.4% of adults ages 60 to  64 reported using marijuana in the past year, up from 1.9% 10 years  earlier.

As  more states legalize medical and recreational cannabis, the number of  older Americans using the drug is expected to rise, said Dr. Hillary  Lum, assistant professor at the University of Colorado School of  Medicine and co-author of a study published last month in the journal  Drugs and Aging that examined pot use among Americans over age 60.

Recreational  marijuana use is legal in Colorado and 10 other states and the District  of Columbia, while medical marijuana is legal in 33 states. Even so,  many older Americans are having trouble finding medical marijuana, Lum  said.

Lum’s research team surveyed 136 people over age 60 at  Colorado senior centers, health clinics and cannabis dispensaries in  2017. Many study participants said they had problems accessing medical  cannabis, adding that there was a lack of education among physicians  when it comes to treating ailments with marijuana. Some of the study’s  participants didn’t ask their doctors about it because of the stigma.

The  participants said doctors should work to learn more about medical  marijuana, including dosage, method of usage and potential benefits or  risks older adults face when using the drug. Some told the researchers  their primary care doctors were either unable or unwilling to approve a  medical marijuana card, which would allow them to purchase the drug at a  medical dispensary.

“I think they should be a lot more open to  learning about it and discussing it with their patients,” one study  participant said. “Because at this point I have told my primary care I  was using [marijuana] on my shoulder. And that was the end of the  conversation. He didn’t want to know why, he didn’t want to know about  effects, didn’t want to know about side effects, didn’t want to know  anything.”

Many  study participants said they chose to instead purchase their marijuana  from recreational dispensaries, which often cost more, because of a  reluctance to ask their doctors for a medical marijuana card or because  they would have to leave their health insurance network to find another  provider that would give them a card.

Meet the multimillionaire who’s been called the ‘Steve Jobs of cannabis’

The  University of Colorado study comes as a number of researchers look into  the impact marijuana may have on certain health issues, including obsessive compulsive disorder, cancer and ADHD. However, Lum said there’s still research that needs to be done on cannabis as a medical treatment.

More  than 100 study participants mentioned the access process and barriers  to getting a medical marijuana card. Lum said to increase physician  awareness about medical cannabis, there needs to be more research done  on the risks, benefits and challenges of marijuana use in older adults,   “especially those who may be on other medications that could have  interactions or other health conditions that could have interactions  with their marijuana use.”

Once that research has been completed,  Lum said, the evidence can be brought to practice, and health care  providers will be more comfortable having discussions about medical  cannabis.

“I feel doctors may not want to worsen stigma, but  instead want to have really trust-based decisions and discussions, and  that takes time and training,” Lum said.



Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law legislation legalizing hemp  production and hemp-derived CBD products. But it could be awhile before  there are fields of hemp across the Texas landscape.

       Listen  Listening...     0:43   As heard on Texas Public Radio   

That’s  mainly because federal regulators, the United States Department of  Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration have not yet issued  their own guidelines for states wanting to grow hemp.

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller said he's waiting for them.

“And once those guidelines come out, they’ll come out about July or August, I can begin my process of writing the rules,  and I tell you right now how I’m going to write them, they’re going to  have the bare minimum of the federal guidelines,” Miller said.

Miller's office has not yet issued a single permit, and he worried that the Texas market is already saturated.

“I  encourage each farmer who grows this plant to make absolutely sure he  has a contract buyer before he puts a single seed in the ground,” Miller  said.

Congress legalized hemp and hemp-derived CBD in 2018 and defined hemp as having a 0.3% psychoactive THC concentration or lower.

Miller said if a field tests above that amount, state officials will be forced to burn the entire crop.



Say the word “cancer” and most people  feel one thing: fear. That’s because, now more than ever, cancer seems  to strike across such a broad range of categories — young, old, thin,  overweight, athletic, stationary and everything in between. With  cancer’s prevalence, so too are its “cures,” many of which are  wishy-washy in the name of science. But there’s one all-natural remedy  for cancer that’s surprising scientists and patients alike: cannabis. 


How cannabis oil kills cancer cells

It’s  well known that cannabis can help to alleviate pain and nausea  associated with chemotherapy, but can cannabis oil actually kill cancer  cells? A number of studies point in that direction, and the anecdotal  evidence is stacking up as well. 

Here’s how it works: There are at  least 60 known cannabinoids in marijuana, which activate the cannabinoid  receptors that naturally exist in the body. One of the most well-known  compounds, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), produces the “high” that is  associated with cannabis inhalation or consumption. But there are other  compounds too, and they produce beneficial effects to the central  nervous system and immune system, according to

To date, several studies on humans  and animals have solidified the link between cannabis compounds and  cancer cell death. Essentially, when cannabinoids enter the body, they  target cancer cells and force them to “commit suicide” — all while  having no negative effect on healthy cells, according to molecular  biologist Dr. Christina Sanchez from the University of Madrid.


Scientific findings on cannabis and cancer cells

Research has found the link between cannabis oil and cancer cell death.

Does that sound a little too good to  be true? Perhaps you need to see the hard data. If that’s the case, here  are some notable scientific findings about cannabis and cancer cells:

  • A 2015 in-vitro study in Oncology Reports found that stimulation of the cannabinoid receptors led to programmed cell death (apoptosis) in prostate cancer cells.
  • A 2013 study published in Plus One showed that cannabidiol (non-psychoactive CBD) may induce cancer cell death and decrease the expression of proteins involved in the spread of brain cancer cells.
  • A 2007 Harvard study published in the American Association of Cancer Research found that THC cuts tumor growth in half and reduces the spread of lung cancer. 
  • A 2007 study published in Molecular Cancer Therapeutics found that cannabidiol (CBD) inhibited the growth of breast cancer cells in mice.
  • A 2003 study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation found that activation of the cannabinoid receptors slowed skin tumor growth.

Rick Simpson Oil Protocol

Back in 2003, Rick Simpson was  diagnosed with skin cancer. When surgery proved to be unsuccessful, he  decided to try something a little different. He extracted oil from  cannabis and applied it directly to his skin, which cured the cancer in a  matter of days. Since then, he’s been a medical marijuana activist and  helped more than 5,000 patients cure their own ailments — for free.

When cancer patients use cannabis oil to inhibit the growth of cancer cells, they often use the Rick Simpson Oil (RSO) Protocol.  The method involves consuming 60 grams of cannabis oil over the course  of 90 days. Find out more about this method and how to extract your own  oil here.

Cancer survivors speak out

The research is sound by itself, but the anecdotal evidence is  remarkable as well. A quick Youtube search for “cancer survivors and  cannabis” yields dozens upon dozens of amazing stories. Here are some of  the cancer survivors who have come forward about their controversial  and lifesaving cannabis treatment.

Stephanie Larue

After being diagnosed with stage-4 breast cancer at age 30, Larue left her high-stress work environment, changed her diet, used supplements, tried acupuncture and worked on personal fitness, along with six rounds of chemotherapy.  When the cancer came back, Larue declined further chemo. Instead, she  followed the Rick Simpson Oil (RSO) Protocol using cannabis oil until she was cancer-free.

Brave Mykayla

When young Mykayla was diagnosed with childhood leukemia, her parents were determined to  create a balance between conventional and natural medicine to give her  the best chance. They fed her a vegetarian diet, free from processed  foods and refined sugar. They also gave her supplements including vitamin C, green tea extract, milk thistle, coconut oil, vitamin D and more. In addition, they gave her cannabis juice, edibles and cannabis oil. She’s now in remission.

Andy Ashcraft

At age 64, Ashcraft was diagnosed with stage-4 mesothelioma from working with products  containing asbestos. Thinking he only had one year to live, he took part  in a clinical trial of monoclonal  antibody amatuximab (MORAb 009). After three years of treatment, his  health took a turn for the worse. That’s when he added cannabis oil to  his regimen and eventually stopped chemotherapy. Now cancer-free,  Ashcraft continues to use cannabis oil for health.

Sharon Kelly

At age 54, Kelly was given nine months to live due to stage-4 lung cancer. After months  of chemotherapy and the chemo tablet Tarceva, doctors told her that the  cancer might slow down temporarily, but it would likely return — and  more severely the next time. Without help or hope from the medical  community, Kelly turned to cannabis oil and cannabis suppositories. After just seven months of treatment, she was declared cancer-free.

Some experts caution against false hope

While cannabis may kill cancer in some patients, it doesn't work for all.

There’s no doubt that the research  and stories are compelling. And should you add cannabis or cannabis oil  to your treatment plan? Probably. But rely on it completely to cure  cancer? Experts say this isn’t a good idea — yet. 

Dr. Lester Grinspoon,  Associate Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School  and author of several groundbreaking books on marijuana research, told Huffington Post,  “I think the day will come when it or some cannabinoid derivatives will  be demonstrated to have cancer curative powers. But in the meantime, we  must be very cautious about what we promise these patients.”

If you can’t get cannabis, there are other natural options

Apart from cannabis, raw juicing is one treatment many cancer patients use.

Perhaps it’s time to finally put the war on weed behind us. The mounting scientific evidence of marijuana’s benefits is  indisputable for a range of conditions, from kicking opioid addiction to  managing epilepsy.  But if you live in a state where weed isn’t legal yet, you need to know  about your other options. Along with cannabis oil, there are a handful  of cancer treatments that have risen to prominence in recent years. 


If you’ve been diagnosed with cancer,  it’s imperative that you work with your primary care physician to  determine the best course of action for you. Make sure to ask your  doctor about these all-natural treatments that have garnered public  support: 

  • Gerson Therapy: This includes a plant-based diet, raw juicing, natural supplements and coffee enemas to help the body detox.
  • Budwig Diet:  Invented by Dr. Johanna Budwig in the early 1900s, this diet includes  organic flaxseed oil and cottage cheese to starve cancer cells.
  • Raw juicing: Part of the Cellect-Budwig  Protocol and Gerson Therapy, this method floods healthy cells with the  nutrients they need to overpower cancer cells.
  • Essential oil therapy: Thyme, rosemary, oregano, chamomile and frankincense have been proven to calm the body, soothe the mind and kill cancer cells.
  • Angiogenesis foods: This diet focuses on foods that promote the formation of new blood vessels. These include fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, spices, herbs, seeds and mushrooms. See a complete list here.

As is so often the case, perhaps the  cure lies in nature. A growing community of scientists around the world  certainly seem to think so. For the future of humanity’s sake, let’s  hope that turns out to be the case.