Can Cannabis Cure Cancer?
Cannabis is still a Schedule I drug, according to the federal government. Because of this classification it is deemed as having no accepted medical use, but one tenacious mother has made it her mission to prove otherwise in hopes that others—like her very own daughter—can benefit from the medicinal properties of cannabis.
Tracy Ryan is the CEO of CannaKids, a company she started after seeing success with cannabinoid therapy in her daughter, Sophie, who was diagnosed with a rare brain tumor at just eight and a half months old. Tracy is also the founder of Saving Sophie, which focuses on cancer, epilepsy and autism education, and also raises funds for patients in need. When we spoke with Tracy in March there were many developments in the works, but much of it she couldn’t yet share publicly. We caught up with her this month to get the latest details on potential cannabis-based scientific research.
“One of the most exciting things that we have announced recently is our partnership with Cure Pharmaceuticals,” Tracy enthusiastically shared, explaining that “they are a publicly traded delivery technology company.” Cure Pharmaceuticals is an industry leader in disruptive drug delivery technology for the pharmaceutical, biotech, veterinarian, nutraceutical and medical food markets. “I have been talking with Cure for quite some time now about cannabis,” Tracy continued. “They themselves have family members that have had incredible reductions in issues, ailments and diseases going away. They have even had friends whose dogs had cancer, and their dog became cancer-free using cannabis oil alone. They already were looking at this research and getting very excited about it.”
Cure Pharmaceuticals already has 30,000 square feet of FDA- and DEA-licensed space for specialized, legal research. It’s here where their thin-strip technology was created, a water-soluble film for oral administration reminiscent of Listerine Strips. The strip is placed in between your cheek and gum, a much less intrusive form of administering medicine, especially for small children who are already dealing with a serious illness. This tech was originally created to help dying children in third world countries with no access clean drinking water.
When speaking about the partnership, Tracy’s excitement was palpable. “[Cure Pharmaceuticals] really are good pharma,” she explained, before cheerfully announcing another major development: “Cure has now made me an advisory board member! I absolutely adore the people over at Cure. They are wonderful human beings and I really just want to do great in the world. The alignment for CannaKids and Cure was naturally there from the very beginning.”
And she is not alone in these sentiments. Rob Davidson, CEO of Cure, stated that “Tracy has vast, first-hand knowledge on the medicinal powers of cannabis in treating her own daughter’s disease, and has worked on a global scale helping families who seek education and treatment options, guiding many patients to a better quality of life.”
During Tracy’s search for a cure for her daughter’s brain tumor, she also built a relationship with professor Dedi Meiri at the Technion Institute of Technology in Israel, where groundbreaking research for cancer, autism and epilepsy is conducted. Technion was there to help Tracy when she needed them most, and now they’ll be working together to help others—along with the help of Cure Pharmaceuticals.
Cure Pharmaceuticals Funding Next Four Years of Research…
Cure Pharmaceuticals will be funding their next four years of research. “We are working with [Cure] to plan human trials and partner with the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology,” Tracy noted. “Bringing these three groups together was the most incredible experience of my life. Here you have this great pharmaceutical company who has never failed an FDA inspection, has incredible well-meaning teams and incredible delivery mechanisms, and then you have the Technion Institute in Israel doing groundbreaking research. Bringing them together with CannaKids has honestly been a dream come true.”
Previous human trial research reveals that a certain cannabis strain can kill one specific cancer by 100 percent. When used for another type of cancer, however, the strain may kill only 10 or 15 percent of the disease, suggesting that treatment may be strain-specific. “It’s all about getting the research so that we understand why that is,” Tracy explained, “and what profiles need to be used in combination with these cancer cell lives to create the most damage to the cancer.” After completing trials all the way through animal testing, a human pilot study was started for a specific type of pediatric cancer (Tracy was unable to disclose which type of cancer, however). Researchers sequenced the cancer samples of seven children, then ran the cannabinoid profile over those samples. Five of the seven patients had astonishingly positive results. Once the sequencing is done, the patients will receive cannabis treatment in Israel, where this action federally legal and supported by the Ministry of Health. Once the results are in, the plan is to move on to full blown double blind human trials backed by scientific research.
There is so much anecdotal research out there, and this study will be a tremendous jump forward for the scientific and medical communities. People all over the world will see the potential of treating cancer with cannabis, becoming a global movement that will only continue to grow. “We are already planning human trials with not only a major hospital in the United States, we are also in talks with five different countries,” Tracy revealed. “We have budgeting happening with Ireland right now to look at phase one and two trials with them. I am in communication with this wonderful group out of Jamaica that is treating patients effectively with cannabinoids, looking to do phase one all the way through phase three trials, and taking pharmaceuticals to market there. We have also had communications with Uruguay, and I’ve also got two trials in Canada that we are potentially participating in.”
“Groundbreaking scientists want to align themselves with us and support building these different dosing protocols,” Tracy affirmed. The hopes are that, in four to six months, the first dosing protocols will be planned. But as with many things, these trials will require funding. Tracy and Saving Sophie, therefore, are raising money not only through their investors but through an event called Rally For Kids With Cancer. “We set ourselves a goal of raising a million dollars, and all of the money that comes from the net profits will go to SavingSophie.org, which is our federally legal 501(c)(3). Those funds will be used to fund our also federally legal pediatric human trials. We’re looking at making a big splash for the cannabis industry, bringing together some of the hottest celebrities in the world to really use their voices and hearts and social following to change the conversation—not only around cannabis, but around cannabis research for kids.”
Kids like Tracy’s daughter, Sophie, whose cannabis regimen and chemo has led to her most promising scan in four years. Her doctor, oncology team and mother are beyond thrilled, and little Sophie has finally started school. We can’t wait to see what this research will reveal, and hope that one day our healing plant can help eliminate cancer, once and for all.