cancer marijuana

Cancer Treatments: Now With Marijuana

Marijuana is an old remedy.

Modern cancer patients aren’t the only people to understand the healing power of marijuana. Marijuana is the name given to the cannabis plant during 20th century prohibition. Cannabis grows wild in warm and tropical climates throughout the world and has been cultivated commercially for eons. Prohibition has given cannabis many other aliases as people developed code. Names like pot, grass, cannabis, weed, hemp, hash, hydro, ganja, and dozens of others all describe the same plant.
Records show marijuana has been used in herbal remedies dating back to the Chin Dynasty in China. Ancient doctors could see the effects of using cannabis as well as today and prescribed it for many maladies. The herb was so powerful that even the Romans put it in their medical texts.
Scientists have identified many biologically active components in marijuana that are the main reason it is so useful medically. These compounds are called cannabinoids. The two most studied of the hundred or so cannabinoids are delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and cannabidiol (CBD). Other cannabinoids are being studied but haven’t had the same amount of press or research put into them.

Is marijuana a legal treatment?

cancer treatmentAt this time, the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) lists marijuana and cannabinoids as Schedule I controlled substances that cannot legally be prescribed, possessed, or sold under federal law. Whole or crude marijuana (including marijuana oil or hemp oil) are also not approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for medical use whatsoever.
State laws have a little bit more play in them and diverge from the federal stance to different degrees. The use of marijuana to treat some medical conditions is legal in many states even though it remains federally banned. Each state has individual rules about how they deal with marijuana so it is important to research the specific rules for your state.
Dronabinol (pharmaceutical THC) and some synthetic cannabinoid drugs like Marinol are approved by the FDA. Marinol is used to relieve nausea and vomiting for chemotherapy patients in addition to being prescribed to AIDS patients for appetite stimulation.

Marijuana is more than THC.

Different compounds found in marijuana have affect the human body in different ways. For example, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) causes the mental high and can also relieve pain and nausea. At the same time it can reduce inflammation and act as an antioxidant. Cannabidiol (CBD) can help treat seizures, can reduce anxiety and paranoia, and can counteract the “high” caused by THC according to the American Cancer Society.
Different cultivars (strains or types) of marijuana can have varying amounts of the different cannabinoids. The specific ratio of cannabinoids produced by a plant is known as it’s strain profile and can be used to better judge what effects to expect from a specific strain.
The effects of marijuana also change depending on how it enters the body:

  • When inactivated or raw cannabis is eaten, the THC is absorbed poorly by the body. Once absorbed, it’s processed by the liver into a second psychoactive compound. The second substance acts on the brain to change mood and/or consciousness differently than THC.
  • When marijuana is smoked or vaporized, THC enters the bloodstream quickly, bypassing the liver at first. It is transported to the brain before the liver can convert a large amount of it into the second chemical. Because there is so much less of the second chemical, the high is stronger but fades quicker.

What can marijuana treat?

A number of studies using small groups of marijuana users found that cannabis can be helpful for treating nausea and vomiting from cancer chemotherapy. A few studies have found that smoked or vaped cannabis can be helpful in the treatment of neuropathic pain as well.
Smoked marijuana has also helped improve food intake in certain HIV patients during some studies. Clinical trials have also been shown marijuana extract users tended to need less pain medication than others. The pain relieving effects seem to be even better in the non-psychoactive cannabinoid CBD than with THC.

How does marijuana affect cancer?

According to the American Cancer Society, “…THC and other cannabinoids such as CBD slow growth and/or cause death in certain types of cancer cells growing in lab dishes. Some animal studies also suggest certain cannabinoids may slow growth and reduce spread of some forms of cancer.” While there have been some early clinical trials of cannabinoids in treating cancer, future studies are inevitable.
Most studies show cannabinoids can be safe in treating cancer. They do not however seem to help control or cure the disease. Relying on marijuana alone as treatment while avoiding or delaying conventional medical care for any issue (including cancer) may have serious health consequences.

What are the possible harms of marijuana?

While many insist marijuana can pose no harm to users, it is not true. The most common effect of marijuana is a feeling of euphoria. Yet the complex chemistry of the brain and cannabinoids indicates that there is a lot going on under the hood. Cannabis can lower the user’s control over movement, cause disorientation, and sometimes cause unpleasant thoughts or feelings of anxiety and paranoia. While the majority of users do not experience these negative effects, they are more common in new users who don’t understand their dosing requirements.
Smoked marijuana delivers THC and other cannabinoids to the body along with harmful substances. Tar is one of the substances found in both tobacco and cannabis smoke. Heavy users (more than one gram a day) of smoked cannabis also commonly report chronic bronchitis.

Make sure to do research.

Because marijuana plants come in different strains with different levels of active compounds, it can make each experience different. Even with good data from a state certified lab, the effects of a specific strain on a specific user can be very hard to predict. It can take time and experimentation to find the best treatment plan or strain for a specific issue.
Even though cannabis is not chemically addictive (like caffeine or an opioid) people can still become psychologically dependant. Users will not receive the life threatening withdraws like they do from cocaine but they may still feel the conditioned desire to use.  Treatments and attitudes toward addiction vary widely across countries and the globe. If you struggle with addiction or are interested in treating any malady, it is best to seek a spectrum of qualified professional help before committing to any treatment plan. Make sure to get more than your own opinion before you make potentially life altering decisions. Thanks for reading.

Wake and Bake Waffle Cakes

Recipe: Wake and Bake Waffle Cakes

Wake and bake with these waffle cakes! This batter recipe can be used for pancakes, too! With a little more sugar and some cinnamon and nutmeg, these would also work fantastically as donuts. If you have a fancy donut pan, or even just a mini-muffin tin, go ahead and try it!

Recipe makes roughly six 4″ x 4 1/2″ waffles. I do not have a round waffle maker! So bake according to manufacturer’s instructions, if you have one. Two waffles per person ought to give a sweet buzz.


1 3/4 cup millet flour (or GF flour blend)
1/2 cup rolled oats
2 or 3 tbs ground flax seed
1/8 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tbs of sugar (if you want them sweeter)

1 cup almond or soy milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
3 tbs maple syrup
1/3 cup melted cannabutter
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

optional: cinnamon, nutmeg, bananas, blueberries, walnuts, peanut butter

waffle iron
frying pan (for pancakes)
non-stick cooking spray
two bowls


1. Measure out the almond milk, then add the tsp of ACV. Let it sit and curdle for a few minutes–this creates “butter”milk! Which makes the waffles nice and fluffy.

2. In one of the mixing bowls, combine all dry ingredients. When I first tried these waffles, I didn’t use any extra/added sugar (though technically, I guess maple syrup counts as sugar). For breakfast, I go with hearty, but not heavy! Whatever floats your boat, though. Try coconut sugar, or brown sugar for a richer flavor.

3. To the dry mixture, add all of the wet ingredients. Whisk together until thoroughly combined. Now’s the time to throw in any other spices, nuts, or fruit. If you decide to turn the batter into pancakes, then I highly recommend tossing in some fresh or frozen blueberries, chopped bananas, or mini chocolate chips. Set that bowl aside to let the flaxseed thicken up the batter.

4. Preheat your waffle iron according to the machine’s instructions (I’m guessing most come with a dial for time/crispiness, and a red and green light to indicate completion. Try setting it to a 3 or 4, for golden brown waffles), and coat both sides with non-stick cooking spray. Or, before it’s hot, grease the waffle iron with a paper towel dabbed in melted canna butter.

5. When it’s ready, start spooning batter onto the iron. I used about 1/2 of a cup of batter per waffle, but go by your own device and measure. Basically, the batter should fill the entire waffle indent without spilling over,  and you should be able to close the iron with little overflow. While your first batch cooks, do some clean up, or prep toppings by chopping nuts or fruit.

6. Let waffles bake to the desired level of doneness. I like them golden and crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside, but I always struggle to keep them that way while the second batch bakes.  Preheat your oven to 200F and lay the first batch of waffles in a single layer on a baking sheet. Slide that sucker into the oven to fix any issues of lukewarm waffles (just don’t forget they’re in there!), then get started on the second batch. Keep going until all batter is used.

7. Serve waffles warm and immediately, with fruit, maple syrup, whipped cream, and loads and loads of vegan butter. When they’re hot, I suggest melting even more canna butter on top, just to be sure you’re getting the most out of this wake-and-bake breakfast.


Perform steps 1-3. For pancakes, grease a griddle or frying pan and keep on medium-high heat. Non-stick pans and spatulas will work best for this. Spoon a reasonable amount of batter per pancake onto the griddle, then flip when edges pull towards the middle and the batter on top bubbles evenly. I am terrible at making uniform pancakes, so forget being fancy. Make whatever you’re happy with!

For donuts, grease a donut pan or mini-muffin pan (or a regular muffin pan, whatever you want, man), fill each indent about half-way, then slide in an oven set to 350F. Bake until donuts or muffins rise and turn golden brown. Top with canna butter, vegan cream cheese, cinnamon & sugar, or sprinkles.

image credit: eatyourcannabis

raw pie

Recipe: Raw Pie for the 4th of July

A bright and mouthwateringly delicious raw pie for the 4th of July! No oven or baking required. Dairy and soy-free, but this is not a recipe for those allergic to nuts!

One 2-inch slice will be enough to feel something fun, and ideally the tart will serve at least 8 people. As with any recipe, read the whole thing first. Then, perform the steps in the order they appear.


4-6 large dates
1 1/2/ cups shredded coconut
a handful of almonds
1 cup walnuts
1/4 cup flaxseeds
1/2 cup pecans
(if you have a nut allergy, sub the nuts for 2 cups of oats and another 1/4 cup of flaxseeds)
lemon zest
1 tbs vanilla
2 pinches of salt
3 tbs of canna butter

Fruit Layer
1 cup + 1 1/2 cups blueberries
1 cup + 1 1/2 cups raspberries
1/4 cup chia seeds
maple syrup
lemon juice

‘Cream’ Layer
2 tbs cannabutter
2 cups coconut flakes
vanilla extract
maple syrup


1. Pit and soak dates in hot water for 20 mins. Then, pulse all together till a somewhat crumbly, sticky ball forms, that holds when pressed together.

2. Grease a pie or tart pan (I used a cheesecake pan) with canna butter, then press crust into desired shape. Set in freezer to firm for fifteen minutes or longer.

Fruit Layer
1. While crust is firming, mash 1 cup blueberries and 1 cup raspberries together with some lemon juice. Feel free to use other berries; strawberries, blackberries, or even go the extra mile and pit some cherries to throw in. Just use whatever’s red and blue!

2. Add the chia seeds, some maple syrup, and stir together. When left in the fridge, the chia seeds will soften and form a consistency similar to jelly or jam. Add more maple syrup or lemon juice to taste, then leave the mix undisturbed in the fridge for at least ten minutes.

Cream Layer
1. Blend all ingredients at high speed with a hand mixer or in a food processor until a paste forms. Add in more canna butter (I suggest coconut oil-based) if mix remains crumbly.


1. Remove crust from freezer. Dump in the remaining 3 cups of berries, then drizzle over or pour in the cream layer. You will need to work quickly if you want an even layer, as the cream will solidify due to the coldness of the crust. Save a small amount to drizzle over the fruit, if you wish.

2. Take the fruit ‘jelly’ you made out of the fridge, then spread it over the tart with a silicone or rubber spatula. Make sure the filling covers the loose fruit and reaches the line of crust; you want everything to surely hold together, as this won’t be baked (but it’ll get you baked).

3. Add the rest of the cream, if you kept it. Garnish with lemon zest or a sprinkling of coconut sugar.

4. Stick the whole thing back into the fridge until solid and ready to serve.


You can top this tart with more berries, a dollop of coconut cream (just open a can of full-fat coconut milk and use a scoop of the separated cream), or your favorite ice cream. this dessert happens to pair fantastically with sherbet, or try a crack at the recipe for Avocado Lime ice cream and really knock your own socks off!

hot chocolate marijuana

Creamy Dreamy Hot Chocolate

Drink this rich, creamy hot cocoa, and in no time you’ll feel as toasted as a roasted chestnut.

Main recipe serves 2 or 3 people, roughly 8oz each, but can easily be doubled or tripled for larger batches.


1 can of coconut milk
water or soy/plant milk
maple syrup
cacao or cocoa powder, as much as desired
2-3 tbs  coconut or date sugar, more to taste (raw sugars are best, but whatever is on hand is fine)
1/8 tsp of cinnamon
pinch of salt
3 tbs cannabutter

chipotle or cayenne pepper, marshmallows, coconut oil, whipped cream, coffee

whisk or spatula
double boiler


1. Shake up the can of coconut milk, and open with a can opener. Into the top portion of a double boiler, pour the coconut milk, a dash of soy milk, and the 3 tbs of canna butter. Turn the burner on slightly lower than medium and let the liquid heat.

2. As it heats, whisk in small amounts of cacao or cocoa powder. The difference between the two: cacao powder tends to be raw, made directly from crushed cacao beans, where as cocoa is usually processed with sugar or other additives. If you’re using cocoa powder, be careful you don’t end up with a drink that’s so sweet you feel sick– modify the added sugar as you wish. Cacao powder will be a richer and more pure chocolate flavor, but more bitter than cocoa. If using cacao powder, add small amounts of maple syrup to taste.

3. Throw in the cinnamon and salt, with a pinch of chipotle or cayenne pepper for a Mexican-inspired hot chocolate. Keep whisking the mixture, so that no clumps of powder form and the sugar dissolves. A helpful hint, dry ingredients are easier to dissolve in cold liquid than in hot. Try to have most of your dry ingredients incorporated before the milk is too hot, and it should never boil. If you can’t resist, or find you need to add more cacao/cocoa, make a little slurry to the side by stirring in 1 part cacao/cocoa to 2 parts water or soy milk, then add that to the heated mixture. Like with all cooking, I encourage you taste as you go! It doesn’t have to be a surprise at the end, of whether or not your dish came out well.

4. Stir frequently, allowing the canna butter to cook with the fat of the coconut milk. The oil does begin to cook the whole mixture, after a little while, so if you like a thick hot chocolate, leave it as is and take the mix off heat when you’re ready. If you want a drink less creamy, add small amounts of water or other milk until desired consistency is reached. Set aside to cool a little.

5. Pour carefully into mugs or ladle it out with a spoon, like it’s the olden days and you’re about to settle down in front of a fire during a raging snowstorm. If you’re not into that sort of imagery, just serve up your hot cocoa, top with marshmallows, whipped cream, or other delights, and enjoy.

While I know summer is fast approaching and not many people are into hot drinks, nothing hits the spot like a cup of hot cocoa. If you’d like a more refreshing treat, make the same brew as above (so that the THC molecules still bind to the fat properly), then let it cool completely and serve in a glass over ice cubes. Same principle as iced coffee, which I’m sure would also be a delicious substitute for cocoa, if you aren’t a fan of chocolate (but why wouldn’t you be).

hungry person

Why Does Weed Give You the Munchies?

One of marijuana’s most famous effects, apart from mild euphoria, is that inevitably it has you cleaning out your fridge and cupboards, or running to the nearest store for smacks. The tremendous surge in appetite that cannabis gives us, commonly known as “the munchies,” is actually one of it’s most important medicinal properties. For people on chemo, or struggling with eating disorders, it can literally be a life-saver.
But why is it that smoking weed makes you so hungry?
You probably know that the effects of marijuana are primarily caused by molecules called cannabinoids, especially tetrahydrocannabidol, or THC. These molecules interact with naturally occurring receptors in the brain called the endocannabinoid system, which helps regulate mood, memory, sensitivity to pain, and—you guessed it—appetite.
Smoking marijuana stimulates appetite in multiple ways. A study done last year at the University of Bordeaux found that THC affects the olfactory bulb of lab mice, making them more sensitive to odors.  it would seem that smoking pot makes us smell and taste food more intensely, which would naturally tend to make us eat more. But this doesn’t fully explain the intense, ravenous, and seemingly insatiable hunger cannabis can induce.
Back in 2005, a team from the London Medical School published a study showing that cannabinoids stimulate appetite by activating the hypothalamus, and interacting with a compound called ghrelin which acts as a regulator of appetite and metabolism. A study released earlier this year delves even deeper into the mystery…
An international team of scientists led by Tamas Horvath found that cannabis effectively “flips a switch” in the hypothalamus, specifically a cluster of neurons called the POMC. Normally, these POMC neurons are responsible for signaling when we are full, and shutting down the appetite. But when we are high that effect is reversed, and these neurons, when activated, actually stimulate hunger.
Hence the bottomless pit in your stomach that can’t be filled.
Even this is probably just a part of the picture. The chemical cocktail found in the cannabis plant is extremely complex, and the effects that it has on the human brain and body even more so. But one thing is certain: cannabis does stimulate the appetite, especially in those who haven’t built up a tolerance. In fact, it does it so well that no other medication can even compare, and even the radically anti-pot pharmaceutical industry had no choice but to embrace it. The synthetic THC known as Marinol is the go-to appetite booster for chemo patients and others who are wasting away due to loss of appetite.
But why should we pay Big Pharma to synthesize something that we could all grow in our own backyard?
Whether you are a medical patient who needs to restore your lost appetite, or a casual smoker who just wants to take dinner up another notch, cannabis will do the trick. So grab some snacks, light up, and enjoy.
photo from