Nine Hundred

Let me introduce myself, my name is Tom Downes and I am an advisor to the BUCK Cancer Foundation. Witnessing cancer take four of my loved ones has changed the course of my life. It has driven me to be involved with this Foundation. According to the CDC website “Each year globally, about 14 million people learn that they have cancer, and another 8 million die from the disease.” That is more than 900 people dying every hour, Nine Hundred! Cancer seems to kill indiscriminately.

Eight years ago, my Mother began to lose her appetite while fighting cancer. She was told that she could no longer receive cancer treatments if she stopped eating. I had heard that patients have benefited from the use of cannabis in combating their nausea and loss of appetite. Knowing that marijuana gives you the “munchies”, I thought that this could help her regain her appetite and consequently remain on her chemotherapy. She was against the idea so it ended there. Unfortunately it was not long afterwards that she lost her battle with cancer just two years after my father lost his battle with Mesothelioma.

Some years later, I watched a few documentaries on CNN that were about the cancer fighting effects of a natural compound called Cannabidiol (CBD). CBD is found in the cannabis sativa (or marijuana) plant. These documentaries inspired me to delve deeper into the topic of CBD on the Internet. It is overwhelming how much information exists about the medicinal uses of cannabis. Now, I am not a doctor but I have read numerous international medical reports that indicated that the cannabinoids in cannabis (including CBD) induce apoptosis (programmed cell death), halt angiogenesis (formation of new blood vessels) and inhibit cell growth in cancer cells while not adversely affecting normal healthy cells. The effectiveness of cannabinoids as a treatment for a multitude ailments is astonishing.  I don’t know about you but this really caught my attention.

After reading hundreds of personal accounts and watching countless hours of documentaries, I began to think that there might be some legitimacy to these reports. There has never appeared to be a reported death from an overdose of cannabis. Also there doesn’t appear to be any reported drug interactions with cannabinoids, which would make it an ideal complimentary treatment for cancer.

Last year I found an article in the San Francisco Times about cancer patients being treated by cannabis oil that had remarkable results. I presented that article to our brother Buck and his oncologist in March of 2014. With his oncologist’s knowledge, Buck started taking CBD. Even though it was too late for Buck, my passion for how Cannabinoids can be used in the fight against cancer continues. In January 2015, my brother Billy was hospitalized due to a brain tumor...and so I began to google CBD and brain tumors and found that the FDA had recently approved CBD as an orphan drug to treat Glioblastomas (an aggressive type of brain cancer that has no cure). There was no indication that Billy was sick before he went to the Emergency room. He died two weeks later in the hospital from a Glioblastoma.

My passion for helping others by spreading awareness about CBD is slowly becoming a reality with the creation of the BUCK Cancer Foundation. I believe we are in the midst of a modern day medical renaissance in cancer treatment. I have read many success stories of patients who claim to have beaten cancer with the aid of cannabis oil.  My hope is that with the appropriate clinical trials that we will eventually change the way we treat cancer in America.

I understand the topic of researching the medicinal uses of cannabis (and CBD) is complicated, but the public (and especially cancer patients) deserves to know about the incredibly diverse medical benefits of CBD and other cannabinoids. It is my desire to create a documentary with the assistance of the BUCK Cancer Foundation on the CBD research that is currently taking place in some of the medical marijuana states.  Stay tuned to for (hopefully) more to come on that!!