Q: Why should I read all of this FAQ section carefully?
A: With most drug regimens your doctor is the expert and has quick access to the medical indications and contraindications as well as dosing and safety precautions for the particular medicine they are prescribing. This is usually not the case with High Dose Cannabinoid Therapy (HDCT) even if your recommending physician is a specialist in cancer and or cannabis medicine. Post doctoral education in the U.S.A. in particular is driven by big pharma and HDCT is not from that arena although it relies heavily on peer reviewed published medical research is as much as it can at this stage of the game. Most doctors do not even know what HDCT is and will not be able to help you manage the medication ramp-up and its side effects. HDCT is not for passive patients. This medicine is only for patients who take the time to fully inform themselves and their care team about HDCT BEFORE they begin. The body of published research on cannabinoids and cancer is broad and getting grander but it is unrealistic of you to expect your physician to read and research the hundreds of articles and studies published on cancer and cannabinoids.
Finally, not a single published study addresses HDCT and cancer. It is the entire body of work which shines the light in this direction. HDCT can only be appropriate for those patients for whom big pharma has no good option or more commonly, no good option left. Sadly, that is the case for a lot of late stage cancer patients and often for earlier stage patients with cancers for which there are simply no other tried and true good options.
Be aggressive in your research and learning. Do not skim this page of Frequently Asked Questions. This is likely your life you are playing with, get it together and get reading. Be sure to read all of the article, “The Limits of High Dose Cannabinoid Therapy” contained elsewhere in this site.
Q: How is HDCT Ramp-Up different from HDCT Maintenance? Do I need both?
A: Yes. Patients cannot use HDCT Maintenance without first using HDCT Ramp-Up for 14 days. HDCT Maintenance dose cannot be tolerated without first deliberately and systematically causing your body to adjust to the extremely high levels of THC contained in the regimen. A very special 14 day graduated dose of THC with 100mg CBD daily is delivered by HDCT Ramp-Up to prevent overuse sickness from the extremely high doses of THC in HDCT Maintenance.
Q: How long will it take to adjust to the THC so that I’m not so “high”?
A: Most patients reach a steady state of THC in their body around day 27 including the 14 ramp-up days. At this point most people do not feel high anymore. In fact some complain that they cannot feel high. This is approximately 5 half lives for the drug in the regimen that causes the “high” feeling. It is the increasing amount of THC in the body and the daily or momentary spike in blood levels of THC which causes patients to feel high not the absolute value of THC in the body which causes this feeling. For this same reason, a blood tests which shows impairment for drivers is unable to be developed.
Q: Why is there so much THC and CBD in HDCT Maintenance?
A: Both CBD and THC, the two main medicines in HDCT Maintenance, have been shown to have antineoplastic (anti-cancer) activity in many studies against many different types of cancer cell lines in the lab. In almost every single published study the response rate (% of killed cancer cells) is dose dependent and positively correlated with higher dosing. In plain English, more cannabinoids cause more cancer cell death in the lab experiments published.
Q: Can I take just the CBD and not the THC in HDCT?
A: Yes, but its not usually the most promising course. A few cancers respond just to CBD alone and not THC and vice versa. In published studies where particular cancer cell lines have been tested for response in the lab, most if not all of these studies suggest that both THC and CBD have different kill mechanisms for the cancer cell lines tested. Multi-prong approaches to killing these cells is similar to an attack from multiple fronts. If you provide Evexia Science with your pathology, we may be able to make a suggestion based on the science available but it’s still just a best guess based on what we know at this time. We believe this is your best course but patients are free to make their own decisions. It is important to note that not all types of cancer cell lines have been tested and just because these medicines kill cancer cells in some lab and animal studies, they may not work at all in humans. We don’t know enough yet to make those types of claims.
Q: Can I stop at anytime or do I have to gradually reduce my dosing down?
A: Both THC and CBD are self tailing drugs. You can stop them at anytime and your bodies own elimination cycles will safely tail out the drugs. There is no need to get fancy about it although stopping before two months of full dose treatment is not recommended. These drugs are not magic and they need time to work just like other antineoplastic (anti-cancer) agents.
Q: Will I gain weight from these drugs?
A: Most cancer patients, especially higher stage patients have trouble keeping weight on. THC is known to increase appetite and may help patients keep valuable weight on. During the ramp up phase and while the body adjusts to a steady state some patients may need to be encouraged to eat. During ramp up patients may be uninterested in preparing food and can be forgetful about hot burners etc. A caregiver should prepare food with enough nutrients and calories for the patient during this time.
Q: Will HDCT work for me?
A: We don’t really know yet. Here is what we do know. Various studies with many different cancer cell lines have been done around the world showing that the chemicals in HDCT can and do kill certain cancer cells in the lab and in animals. The mechanisms of kill vary and are usually positively dose dependent. That simply means that more of these chemicals are more toxic to the cancer cell lines than less of these chemicals whenever they do kill a particular cancer cell line. We do not know enough yet to make claims about any particular cancer in humans.
Q: Will I be able to do all of my normal activities while ramping up and reaching a steady state of THC and CBD in my system?
A: You should not drive or operate machinery while on HDCT especially in the first month of use. Even after that we think you should not drive. You will feel more tired than normal and will spend a lot of time resting and sleeping. Give you body that chance to adjust. Most people cannot work during the first month of beginning HDCT and should not plan on doing so.
Q: Can I take less than the recommended amount of THC in HDCT:
A: Yes, but in nearly every study of cancer cell lines impacted by THC and CBD the response rate is dose dependent. This suggests that higher doses may be significantly more effective than lower doses. The time to reach steady state for higher vs. lower doses is about the same, so it is suggested that patients stick to the suggested dosing in the regimen.
Q: What happens if I lower the dose of THC as I try to reach the steady state of THC.
A: This can increase the time it takes to reach a steady state of THC in the system especially if the change occurs later in the process.
Q: Can I stop the THC for now and start again later.
A: Yes, but you greatly increase the likelihood of overuse sickness. You will likely need to start a completely new ramp up period to avoid overuse sickness if skipping more than a couple of consecutive doses. This also reduces the pressure you are placing on the cancerous cells and may give them time to recover. This is not what you want.
Q: Can I just smoke marijuana instead?
A: The dosing in HDCT is impossible to achieve from inhaled sources of THC and CBD. The goal of HDCT is not palliative care but is rather to create a cytotoxic state in the body which kills the cancerous cells while leaving healthy cells healthy. This cannot be achieved through smoking.
Q: Will my insurance company cover HDCT?
A: No, HDCT is not approved for treatment or prevention of any disease by the FDA. Insurance companies in the U.S.A. use this standard to save claims expenses regardless of how much science and research has been done around the world. This is true even if you have no other options for treatment available.
Q: I’m taking high doeses of anti-oxidants like vitamin C. Can I do this while taking HDCT?
A: You can but it’s not advisable. CBD has been shown in the lab to induce cell death through the creation of reactive oxygen species in some types of cancer cells. This is also the secondary way in which radiation therapy works. These reactive (corrosive) molecules are also known as free-radicals and their production may be limited by high doses of anti-oxidants like vitamin C. This has not been studied in great detail but this is one dual prong approach that may be counter productive. Our thinking is that if Vitamin C actually killed cancerous cells no one would actually have it. Also if you look at the continuing cancer research around the world, we find no one pursing anti-oxidant regimens whereas dozens of studies have and are looking at the promise of cannabinoids.
Q: How is HDCT different from making and using my own Rick Simpson’s Oil?
A: HDCT contains very high measured doses of both CBD and THC (100mg/day CBD and 400mg/day THC) in a consistent formulation in easy to take tablets. CBD in particular is a very rare cannabinoid produced in only very small amounts by almost all cannabis strains. Most strains produce none and often what are called “High CBD Strains” are still pathetically low in CBD. In peer reviewed published research CBD has a very different kill mechanism from THC. Unless you have access to the very specific strains of ready marijuana which produce virtually only CBD you will not have this quantity of CBD in a backyard chemistry experiment.
HDCT Ramp-Up is also a very carefully dosed ascending regimen of THC that minimizes the very real risk of overuse sickness. HDCT Ramp-Up ALSO INCLUDES FROM DAY ONE the EXTREMELY high dose of CBD that is contained in maintenance HDCT. It is there not just for its apparent antineoplastic (anti-cancer) properties. The CBD in HDCT Ramp-Up also minimizes the “high” from ramping up to maintenance dose. Even with this you will be way “higher” feeling than you ever wanted to be in the best case scenario offered by HDCT. The risk of severe over use sickness common with backyard RSO is virtually eliminated by HDCT Ramp-Up when used as directed. You will be really euphorically high but not sick. HDCT ramp-up comes in a 14 day punch pack with 4 times/day dosing to keep you on track by gradually pushing your body consistently toward the high dose you want to be able to achieve and tolerate.
Q: Is HDCT legal?
A: No. HDCT contains all the cannabinoids which are still considered to be schedule 1 drugs by the FDA. This makes them federally illegal at this time. California patients with a valid doctor’s recommendation may possess HDCT under state law only but this does not make if federally legal even for them. The US attorney generals office has generally decided to not prosecute patients who are in compliance with their own state’s medical marijuana laws. We know of no HDCT patients who have had a legal issue federally.
Q: Can I use alcohol while on HDCT?
A: Do not try it at all during the first 45 days and then we recommend using no more than an ounce of alcohol in any day with HDCT. No alcohol is best. Alcohol is about the only drug that does not mix well with HDCT. The mix can make you quite sick. If you are an alcoholic and cannot control your drinking do not start or take HDCT. This is not a good drug regimen for you. If you ignore this and do get sudden overuse sickness you won’t actually die from the THC or CBD but you will want to for about 8 horrible hours of the sickest agony of your lifetime. Stay away from alcohol when ramping-up and when on HDCT Maintenance. HDCT makes you more susceptible to alcohol poisoning which can be fatal. The safest thing is to not even try mixing the two. Far too little is known and what we do know is not positive. just stay away.
Q: My employer does not allow cannabis use. Can I take HDCT and not be punished by my employer?
A: No. Most state laws including California offer no protections for employees in this situation. Contact your state congressman and complain. In most situations this is ridiculous policy and we need a change to the law.
Q: My mother is on her death bed and the doctors tell me there is nothing left to do. She has only a few days. Should we begin HDCT Ramp-Up?
A: No, no, no. HDCT is not Harry Potter’s magic wand. Like any medicine it needs time to work if it is going to work at all. She has missed the window of opportunity. We are very sorry.
Q: We got something from somebody somewhere in a bottle, a vial, a syringe, a brownie, or a horse terd that somebody somewhere claims has something to do with cannabis, THC, or CBD.. We have no idea what is in it or how potent it is. Should we try it anyway? Will it work the same as HDCT?
A: Really, we get this question almost daily. No! We have seen all sorts of concoctions dispensed even by well meaning medical dispensaries and advocates. Some even have fancy lab results attached to them. This does not mean they contain the combination of medicine you need in the dosing needed to have any chance of having antineoplastic (anti-cancer) effects. Many will make you high and that is it. CBD in particular in the doses similar to HDCT are very rare. If the purveyor cannot cite the peer reviewed published medical science that even suggests the reasons why one might try using it for your very specific cancer pathology, then run. This is your life. Talk to the experts.