In "Weed The People" filmmakers Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein explore the use of Canabis medicine to help children with illnesses like cancer. An element of the marijuana plant called Cannabidiol, (CBD) has shown a unique ability to kill cancer cells in early laboratory tests. Although the early results have been positive, there's just one problem for parents who want to try this drug on their children. Cannabidiol (CBD) is not widely available and in some states it is illegal. The healing effect of CBD is not something taught in US medical schools. That means many doctors are not educated about the potential uses of Cannabidiol. Without education, CBD remains a medicine that is not generally recommended or readily prescribed. Marijuana is made up of two parts, THC, the part that makes you high and CBD. "CBD does not have the euphoric effect--it's not associated with stoners and potheads, "says Dr. Mark Ware, MD. Executive Director Canadian Consortium for the Investigation of Cannabinoids. So if CBD doesn't have the "stoner" effects that marijuana does, and it may help treat illnesses like cancer, epilepsy and autism, why is it not yet available to everyone who needs it? Research is really what seems to be needed to make more people and medical professionals aware of its benefits.
"How can a 6-year-old have an open-ended prescription for the poppy-derived, strong narcotic pain reliever, Oxycodone, but not have access to a gentler, non-addictive alternative like cannabis oil?, " asks filmmaker Ricki Lake
. It's a legitimate question when doctors like CNN's Sanjay Gupta
have come out in support of the healing benefits of Cannabidiol.
The unfinished movie "Weed the People
" takes an affectiving look at parents struggling to get help for their children so they can get well. The movie documents the stories of parents and children who don't care about the stigma of marijuana and desperately seek more humane therapies than chemo and toxic drugs. One case study in the movie is Facebook sensation "Baby Sophie." Over 22,000 Facebook Fans
now follow the courageous struggle of Baby Sophie to fight a rare form of brain cancer.
In July 2013 new parents Tracy and Josh Ryan received the devastating news that their 8-month-old baby Sophie had an inoperable brain tumor. The doctors prescribed chemotherapy as the only course of treatment, but could not guarantee it would work. Tracy felt intuitively that western medicine alone would not be enough to save her daughter. After intensive research, the Ryans began Sophie on a regimen of medicinal cannabis oils, hoping for a miracle. Sophie now takes a small amount of cannabis oil, equivalent to two grains of rice, in her baby food. Since she started taking the oil, the size of Baby Sophie's tumor has shrunk. Baby Sophie is one of the lucky children who is responding to the Cannabidiol oil treatment and whose parents are being proactive in looking for new ways to help their child. How does the oil work to kill cancer cells?
"While Chemotherapy kills both the healthy and unhealthy cells . The hope is that it kills enough unhealthy cellls before it kills the healthy cells, " says Amanda Reiman, PHD, California Manager for Drug Policy Alliance. "With Canabis, they're finding, that it's able to decipher between the healthy and unhealthy cells. So it's able to just go after the unhealthy cells while leaving the healthy cells intact." That's a powerful substance.
So why not give parents and children the option to try it? That's the question the film "Weed the People" asks.
Several children and their parents are highlighted in "Weed the People." None of the children are smoking pot to get high, yet in some states they would be considered felons. The children profiled in the film, like Baby Sophie, are taking small does of the Cannabidiol oil to beat the illnesses. It's hard not to shed a tear as you watch these children fight cancer. To learn more about the film, watch "Weed the People" movie trailer online.
As of today, Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein are seeking funding
to finish making their movie so they can release it. They are appealing to the general public via the Internet for funds to help. I'm posting this story here in an effort to make the BlogHer community aware of this movie and the children who have had a positive experience with Cannabidiol oil. If you've been curious about alternative remedies for cancer or other illnesses, please leave a comment here and let us know your thoughts. Social media can help us all raise our voices and ask for the information so that we can make informed decisions about our health and the health of our children.