Cannabis Oil Pills Helped Child Go Into Cancer Remission, Mom Says – ABC News – Cheryl Shuman

Cannabis Oil Pills Helped Child Go Into Cancer Remission, Mom Says

PHOTO: Mykayla Comstock, 7, takes a gram of cannabis oil each day as part of her leukemia treatment.
Mykayla Comstock, 7, takes a gram of cannabis oil each day as part of her leukemia treatment. (Courtesy of Erin Purchase)
Nov. 27, 2012

When 7-year-old Mykayla Comstock was diagnosed with leukemia in July, it was less than three days before her mother filed Oregon medical marijuana paperwork so the child could take lime-flavored capsules filled with cannabis oil.

The decision to give Mykayla the capsules came naturally to Erin Purchase, MyKayla’s mother, who believes marijuana has healing power, but doctors aren’t so sure it’s a good idea.

“The first doctor was not for it at all,” Purchase told “She was rude and she told us it was inappropriate. “Basically she blew up at us and told us to transfer to another facility.”

They found a new doctor, who knows that Mykayla takes about a gram of cannabis oil a day — half in the morning and half at night — but he doesn’t talk about it with them.

“This is our daughter,” Purchase, 25, said. “If they don’t agree with our personal choices, we’d rather they not say anything at all.”

It’s legal for a minor to enroll in the Oregon medical marijuana program as long as the child’s parent or legal guardian consents and takes responsibility as a caregiver.

And Mykayla is not alone.

There are currently four other patients enrolled in the Oregon medical marijuana program between the ages of 4 and 9, six between the ages of 10 and 14, and 41 between the ages of 15 and 17, according to the Oregon Public Health Division. Severe pain, nausea, muscle spasms and seizures are among the top conditions cited for medical marijuana use.

Medical Marijuana for Kids Watch Video
Medical Marijuana for Kids Watch Video

Mykayla first started to feel sick in May, when she developed a rash, cough and night sweats. By mid-July, doctors found a mass in her chest and diagnosed her with T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia a few days later. The family relocated from Pendleton, Ore. to Portland to be near Randall Children’s Hospital for treatment, which included chemotherapy.

At first, Mykayla wasn’t responding well to her treatment, and doctors said she might need a bone marrow transplant. Then she started taking the cannabis oil pills. her mother said. By early August, Mykayla was in remission and the transplant was no longer necessary.

“I don’t think it’s just a coincidence,” Purchase said. “I credit it with helping — at least helping — her ridding the cancer from her body.”

Before Mykayla was diagnosed, Purchase had read about another young boy with cancer who received cannabis oil for nearly two years because his parents believed it kept him alive so much that they defied doctors’ orders and broke Montana law to give it to him. She said she knew it was what she would do for her children if they ever got sick.

Cash “Cashy” Hyde died Nov. 14 at four years old, but his parents say he was never in any pain because of the oil.

Read more about Cash and his parents.

Purchase said she, too, uses medical marijuana. She said it has helped with her kidney and liver disease since 2010, adding, “I feel that it saved my life”

However, Dr. Donna Seger, the executive director of the Tennessee Poison Center and a professor at Vanderbilt University, said cannabis has no effect on liver or kidney function, and it does not cure cancer.

“If it does anything, it decreases immunity,” she said. “It doesn’t fight cancer.”

Dr. Igor Grant, who directs the University of California Center for Medical Cannabis Research in San Diego, said he’s never studied marijuana’s effects on children and it’s not clear how the pills will affect Mykayla’s development if she takes the drugs daily for a period of months or years.

It’s always a tricky issue prescribing really a medication of any kind to developing organisms because they may be more sensitive to the effects, specifically if the prescription drug has an effect on the brain,” Grant said.

He said there have been basic laboratory studies that suggest pot slows cancer cells’ ability to change, but those studies are only theoretical. They include no clinical data and or animal data.

The American Academy of Pediatrics opposes treating children with medical marijuana.

“The issue is that marijuana isn’t a medicine,” Dr. Sharon Levy, of the AAP, told the Oregonian.

Seger said she has several concerns about a 7-year-old taking pills filled with cannabis oil because there is little research on its long-term effects on children. Cannabis could have potentially negative effects on cognitive development in children since it affects cognitive ability in adults.

But Purchase said she wasn’t afraid to give her daughter the pills last summer. She was a little nervous about determining the right dose. She and her fiancé, Brandon Krenzler, who helped raise Mykayla since she was 3 years old, started MyKayla with .07-gram doses.

Medical Marijuana for Kids Watch Video
Medical Marijuana for Kids Watch Video

“It took a while to get her adjusted to it,” Purchase said. “She acted more funny when she first started taking it and after a while gained tolerance. Now, when she takes it, you can’t even tell. She’s very normal.”

Purchase said she knew she’d done the right thing the day Mykayla missed a dose of her cannabis oil pills and her 17-month old sister walked into a room holding string cheese. The smell made Mykayla so sick that she threw up on the spot.

“She actually asked for her dose,” Purchase said, adding that she’s less perky without it. “She doesn’t use pain pills or nausea pills. She has not even lost a single pound since her diagnosis.”

Dr. Michel Dubois, who works in NYU Langone’s Pain Management Center, said using cannabis is still controversial because of its side effects and addictive qualities.

“This is a new ethical problem because you’ve got a medication, which is known to have psychoactive affects, approved by the parents and given to a child,” he said, adding that the child doesn’t have much choice in the matter. (Psychoactive drugs disrupt communication in the brain and alter normal awareness, behavior and mood, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.)

Dubois said it would be better to give a child other drugs for nausea because the cannabis oil likely contains at least 50 or 60 different chemicals with unknown long-term health effects. If Mykayla’s life expectancy is limited, her risk of toxicity will also be limited. However, if she is expected to make a full recovery, Dubois said there is a worry that the cannabis will add health problems later on.

He said the cannabis shouldn’t be used for more than a month or two.

Although Mykayla’s doctors told Purchase she was in remission on Aug. 6 when her blood cell counts returned to normal, Mykayla will undergo two and a half or three more years of chemotherapy so that she can one day be officially cured, Purchase said. That could mean years of more medical marijuana.

About Cheryl Shuman

Tom Cruise, Steven Tyler, Julia Roberts, Madonna, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mike Myers, Elijah Wood, Lindsay Lohan, Fergie, and Michael Jackson are just a few of the names you'll find scrolling through the client files during the 25 year career of Cheryl Shuman. Known as the "Martha Stewart of Marijuana," Cheryl Shuman announces the formation of Green Asset International Inc.. Shuman brings decades of experience working with media, celebrities, marketing and health care in Beverly Hills. Shuman found her passion in the cannabis movement since 1996 working as an activist and legal cannabis patient. Since using cannabis therapy, she has survived cancer and injuries from two car crashes. Shuman was the founder of Beverly Hills NORML, founding charter member of the NORML Women's Alliance and served on the steering committee for Public Relations and Marketing on an International platform. Cheryl Shuman is a founding member of the NCIA, National Cannabis Industry Association. Cheryl Shuman transformed her non-profit career into a thriving profitable media enterprise. Cheryl was the Executive Director of Celebrity, Media and Public Relations for the KUSH Brand which includes KUSH Magazine, KUSH Conventions and Cheryl Shuman has been interviewed for television programs, newspapers and magazines, including but not limited to: ABC News, CNN, Fox News, NBC News, Access Hollywood, Entertainment Tonight, Today Show NBC, HBO Entertainment News and more. Her private medical cannabis collective, "The Beverly Hills Cannabis Club" is unlisted and membership is by referral only. Through her personal relationships and connections within Hollywood, Cheryl Shuman has been named as one of the most influential women in the cannabis reform movement by international media. Her position within the cannabis industry creates the first and only company of its kind and at the forefront of entertainment marketing, celebrity endorsements, product placement integration, sponsorships, production and technology. Cheryl Shuman serves as media spokesperson for the hot new vaporizer CANNACig Rapid Fire Marketing (pink sheets: RFMK) and conducts their marketing, public relations, product placement, and consulting services. Cheryl Shuman, Inc. is a business development company and acquisition vehicle. Shuman made news with an historic funding facility dedicated to the cannabis industry with plans to go public by 2014. Cheryl Shuman currently has a hot new reality TV series in development and is represented by the prestigous William Morris Endeavor Agency in Beverly Hills, California. President & C.E.O. Spokesperson for CANNACig by RFMK Beverly Hills Cannabis Club Join Free Using "Cheryl Shuman" as your invitation code on: Social Network Links: LinkedIN: Facebook: Twitter: YouTube: Vimeo:
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6 Responses to Cannabis Oil Pills Helped Child Go Into Cancer Remission, Mom Says – ABC News – Cheryl Shuman

  1. Susan Bryant says:

    Obviously most of the Dr.s quoted in this article are still of the reefer madness mentality.
    The One at the Tennessee center for disease control doesnt know what she is talking about, but she isnt afraid to keep talking. Please give us some recent reliable facts, cant someone go talk to Dr. Melamede or Dr. Janet Sweeney.. There are so many studies, why do run of the mill dr.’s refuse to continue their educations and actually learn something about cannabis. I get tired of hearing the same ole cliches…
    Its not that hard for the public to know that cannabis, cbd and thc kill cancer cells. It should be a no brainer to Dr.s who are supposed to keep up with research and studies. Please get up to speed, your not the authority when your still just talkin crap..
    Cheryl Shuman knows more than the Dr.s quoted in this article. Keep up the good work Cheryl.

  2. Susan Bryant says:

    Dr. Levy and Dr. Seger should be ashamed of their statements. They dont seem too afraid of the long term effects of chemo/poison on the child. Let someone poison their child, they’ll change their tune. Such indifference and narrow mindedness, I bet they cant even bring themselves to look at the studies.. They just make their statements blindly. History will remember these women, as dinosaurs that couldnt evolve and stood in the way of progress.

  3. Pingback: Times Are Changing: Topical Cannabis Helps Seven Year-Old Fight the Effects of Leukemia | The Bold New Post

  4. Don says:

    So very SAD! It`s all about MONEY, Pharmaceutical Companies give Doctors and Clinics millions of dollars worth of FREE Experimental and Promotional Drugs per-MONTH! Just sit in you Doctors waiting room for just 1 Hour and you will see at least 1 Representative either come in or leave, Last time I had MY Daughter at the Dr`s office I personally counted 4 and I was only in the waiting room for less than 30 Min, They make Billions more keeping people sick than they would EVER make finding a CURE, Why do you think the Dr blew up? Because if it were to get back to the Pharmaceutical companies that the Dr approved or allowed the Cannabis, they would lose all their perks and FREE stuff, They IGNORE medical research in favor of MONEY!
    Long term effects are Insignificant if you are DEAD! Cancer patients are looked at as CASH COWS and Now that Cannabis compounds have actually been found to have an effect on Cancer cells, Their “Money Tree” Forest could be CUT DOWN – THAT SCARES THE HELL OUT OF THEM!
    Dr`s must have Jag`s, BMW`s or Bentley s , God forbid they should have to buy a GM or Ford or they should have to settle for a 3 bed house instead of a Mansion.

  5. Pingback: Medical Pot For Kids « Family Survival Protocol

  6. Pingback: 2012-05-29 1144 making oil for ma legal or not! « Breezy Kiefair

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