Cannabis Trailblazers- Justin Marshall

In an ever aging society very few have not been touched in some way by a serious illness such as cancer, either directly or through someone they care about. As the dark mask of cannabis prohibition is slowly but surely being lifted off the beliefs of our population, cannabis is coming ever more into the forefront as a means to treat an ever increasing number of conditions.

The ability of the THC component of cannabis to kill cancer cells was shown in laboratory settings in the United States, in a study published in 1975 in the ‘Journal Of The National Cancer Institute‘. Yet much of the progress since with regard to what conditions cannabis can benefit has been done by activists and those willing to forgo their own freedom to provide sick people with a benign, beneficial plant.  Due to the dire cost of mainstream science and research, countless sick and dying patients have been told by doctors that they would not support  cannabis treatment because of a lack of scientific evidence to say that it actually works.

Not that there are no studies; there are, plenty. The majority of these studies are done overseas, but many of them are simply ignored or discarded by caregivers. In North America, the War on Drugs has aggressively prevented researchers from investigating the potential benefits of cannabis for an ailing population. With cannabis being a Schedule 1 drug in the United States, researchers there face an extremely difficult environment. The scenario leaves North American caregivers with a dearth of reliable information from which to evaluate their options.

First-hand accounts and patient testimonials are in abundance for good reason. A few minutes on your favorite search engine reveals thousands real accounts from real people who have used a form of cannabis to treat everything from acne to PTSD, cancer and much more. The patients who are getting the most attention are children who are combating horrific seizures with cannabis oil to reduce both the frequency and severity. In some cases, the seizures can be eliminated entirely.

Many parents who have treated their children in this way have had to do it illegally and live with the very real fear of imprisonment. Many have moved thousands of miles to a place where they can access this medicine so their child would not suffer. They are trailblazers who would say they are no more than loving, desperate parents.

Trailblazers come in all forms. Rick Simpson is a well known and persecuted example. His use of raw cannabis extract began as a curiosity after watching David Suzuki on The Nature Of Things-Reefer Madness 2, which aired on October 17th 1998. That program aired 20 years to the day before Canada would legalize recreational cannabis. Coincidence?

Rick Simpson took great inspiration from that episode and shortly afterward made his first batch of whole-plant cannabis extract, which he promptly put on a shelf and forgot about for about a year. When facing a recurring melanoma the next year he remembered the show and the oil he made. Simpson put some of the oil on the returning cancerous growth and it wasn’t long before everything changed for him. And for so many others since.

We as living, breathing, thinking beings are truly miracles of evolution. We are the wonders of our invention and creation. That said, we can be prone to sometimes missing the obvious, simple things that are right in front of us. That is a big part of this story.

Rick Simpson Oil, also known as simply RSO, while incredibly effective in restoring health under some conditions, has always had one effect that many did not want: it makes you high. Especially in the higher doses that are suggested and used for aggressive cancer, the psychoactive properties of THC may be considered unwanted or inappropriate by certain patients, especially children.

The high from RSO had always simply seemed a known but unavoidable side effect for which there was really nothing that could be done. This non-trivial side effect led many to not want to use RSO for treatment. Here is the funny thing, however: With all the effort to grow low-THC and high-CBD strains to circumvent the cannabis medicine ‘high’, the simplest answer was right in front of us all along.

Don’t cook it!

When you eat a raw cannabis bud — no matter how potent it is to smoke — you will not get high from it. The reason is there is no decarboxylation to convert the THC from its default non-psychoactive form to a psychoactive form. In the process of making RSO, low heat is used to aid and speed evaporation. This process effectively converts the THC to its psychoactive form.

When you do the same process, but do not use heat for evaporation, there is no decarboxylation taking place. As such, the THC doesn’t become psychoactive. The result is that the RSO has all the beneficial goodness of the whole-plant cannabis extract without the intoxicating effect. No high!

The reality of this came to me when I learned of a man named Justin Marshall on social media who was describing how he makes and uses an oil he calls JMO. When I learned why he calls it JMO and how it was very different than RSO, I became curious. The more I think about this simple change and resulting effect, I can’t help but think of those I have known who would have taken this treatment were it known to us. All the whole-plant compounds are in both JMO and RSO. RSO gets you high; JMO does not.

I asked Justin to tell his story and he agreed. Below is his article in his own words.

My name is Justin Marshall and I was diagnosed with late Stage IV metastatic colon cancer over 4 years ago . At that time, the doctor said there was nothing they could do for me and that I had approximately two months to live. I was very shook up, yet I knew there had to be something that could be done. So, I started researching and I learned about Rick Simpson’s oil. I found this encouraging because I have been a cannabis advocate all my life and was very familiar with the world of cannabis. I immediately learned how to make Rick Simpson’s oil and started taking a gram a day.

After 3 months of taking the oil daily, I flew to California to access a large amount of organic cannabis to continue making into oil. Once in California, I did another CT scan, which showed that the cancer was not growing or spreading but was dying. I realized this oil was working and keeping me alive. I did do a couple rounds of chemotherapy in conjunction with the oil and I feel that if it were not for the cannabis oil, I may not have survived the chemotherapy as it was very brutal.

About a year later, my dad was diagnosed with metastatic prostate cancer that spread to his brain. He wanted to try the cannabis oil, so I made him a batch of RSO. Unfortunately, he was not even able to take one tenth of a gram because it made him feel too high. I decided to make him a special batch of cannabis oil that was not activated. Basically, I extracted the cannabinoids using food-grade alcohol and then I evaporated the alcohol off at room temperature. I never heated the cannabinoids at any time during the extraction or evaporation process.

My dad was able to take a full gram of this JMO each day and it did not have the psychoactive effects. It did, however, have the cancer-fighting properties. Over the last 2 years, I have been taking JMO everyday and I am using myself as a clinical test patient to see how well this works. It is working well and keeping me in remission. I find this oil to be very beneficial for elderly patients and children who cannot handle the intense high.

When I am selecting strains for my JMO, I always pick strains that are high in THC and CBD and I only use organic cannabis. I feel that if pesticides were used on the Cannabis, it would be not good to use as medicine. I truly believe in the healing power of cannabis and I am living proof that this cannabis oil works miraculously well. It is very easy to make and I find that from one quarter pound of cannabis I can get 30 grams of oil. I found that taking 90 mg of oil in 90 days is enough to destroy cancer.

I have been taking very careful notes and, so far, I have found that the strain called Fire OG has worked best for fighting colon cancer, yet I am currently developing some new strains that hopefully will work even better. Justin Marshall Oil ( JMO ) is an amazing medicine that has been used for centuries by civilizations around the world, so I cannot take credit for it. I am simply just reintroducing it to the world as an effective way to fight cancer.

We want to give Justin a huge Thank You for sharing his story with us and for his work to spread the word on the benefits of JMO. JMO really does bring a whole new meaning to …

Health. Healing. Herb.

It is with great sadness that we at MellowMeds learned of Justin’s passing from cancer on February 19, 2019. His passing serves as a reminder that there is no single silver bullet with which we battle the Big C. Godspeed, Justin. You can visit his memorial page here:

PTSD and Cannabis, What do we know?

PTSD What comes to mind when seeing those letters? The quick answer when asked will invariably be the same, soldiers and 1st responders. Many might be very surprised just how prevalent PTSD is in our society.  Would you believe it affects up to 80% of the population, if not more? How you view that question will be filtered heavily by your interpretation of what PTSD is and any personal experience dealing with it, or lack of same.  But the reality is everyone has met or knows someone who has PTSD to some degree. That shy kid at school, the nice girl at the office who does not like to make eye contact, the guy who looks at the ground whenever passing by someone on the street, the unusual looking lady who looks almost terrified being on public transit, the healthcare worker in your social group who always drinks a bit more than the rest, the multitude who are introverted and must work from home,  anyone unwilling to talk about a troubled past. The main reason PTSD is so widely misunderstood, by the public and medical community, is it’s unique to the individual nature. No two sufferers are alike in symptoms, depth of trauma and cause. A soldier doing his duty will not be affected in the same manner as a paramedic, yet it can be equally debilitating, an endless list of comparisons could easily be formed here. Fortunately I am not that cruel. In reality PTSD has been around always, however recognized as merely expected traits as a result of certain experiences. Great war soldiers who came home and were unwilling to talk about the time spent overseas was common and almost an expected understanding that is just how it was, with no further thought into it. A mole to be left untreated. A mole that looks benign, yet turmoil, grief, rage, regret and so many other dark eddies than ever imagined churn beneath the surface. What is not yet widely known, or understood, is what exactly causes PTSD in an individual. Strong and horrible to imagine examples would be a dramatic 6 o’clock news way to try and make this next point, I’m going to try and find a way around that. What would you consider a bottom of the barrel traumatic experience? Would that same experience  be more traumatic to say perhaps a child? Or for someone who is experiencing it for the second or multiple times? The sum of the PTSD experience is the result of a combination of vast possibilities and  the trigger for one does not have to be significant to another. The sound of a very loud firecracker going off at an unexpected moment will for some be a quick adrenaline thrill, for others a strong scare that imprints that time, place, setting and all other factors to create a conditioned response to avoid those combination of factors. How many have even some mild form of PTSD just from watching the news? Yet for each brave patriot that had the good fortune to come home and try to live a peaceful long life, the effects were very different. For the medical community, researchers and caregivers this presents a unique problem. Great strides in medicine has brought us to the point where a great many conditions have a medical fix. Medicine is based around informed logic, just as an auto mechanic, thankfully with very different levels to the education standards. Diagnosing a patient is not vastly different than a technical troubleshooter finding and solving an issue with a vehicle. The main difference being the complexity of the machinery. As recognition and subsequent methods of treatment were being researched and developed, standard approach methods were being developed that were aimed at being beneficial to a profiled demographic who fit a particular diagnosis requirement. Well intentioned and based on prior, repeatable formulas that have proved so successful for a long time, how and why we get to where we are now is understandable. Finding help in standard medical avenues can be a very difficult path to navigate, for a number of reasons. While the medical community seeks to try and understand PTSD cause and effect, providing that information can be anything from horrendous to simply impossible. For the PTSD patient conveying to a caregiver the cause or nature of the trauma is like putting themselves back in the moments that caused the illness. Further exacerbating an already spiraling world of despair. The reality for many of those with PTSD is they find little relief in traditional medicine. That is slowly changing however as old once again becomes new and cannabis medicine is more and more becoming part of the treatment discussion. A discussion that is taking place more and more as word of mouth is a very different beast than it was even 25 years ago. Social media has brought about a means for those finding relief to share their struggles and those seeking relief to see what is working for others. More and more that discussion revolves around cannabis treatments. Many who found benefit years ago would not share for fear of persecution or worse, prosecution. But as we see the demise of ignorance and fear based legislation attitudes are shifting as well, people are less and less fearful to share how they found relief by breaking the law. Cannabis as medicine is only possible as a discussion because of one thing. Our endocannabinoid system. Spread throughout or bodies very much like our nervous system and crucial in regulating countless systems. Physical as well as psychological. Cannabinoids are neurotransmitters that function differently than others. “In general, cannabinoids function like a “dimmer switch” for presynaptic neurons, limiting the amount of neurotransmitter (e.g., dopamine) that gets released, which in turn affects how messages are sent, received, and processed by the cell.” ref*1( The ability of cannabis to create a strong mood is at the heart of why it is so effective in PTSD treatment, as long as it is the correct type. It is well known different cannabis strains have different affects, for PTSD relaxing non-anxiety strains of Indica will be most effective. The reason it is effective is due to the neurotransmitter abilities. The same processes that produce fear and anxiety responses are the same ones responsible for producing the emotions that makes us feel good. When consumed cannabinoids take over and chemically tell the brain we are feeling something different. Or prevent or reduce the strong adrenaline based fight or flight response affect when experiencing a triggering event. There is many end results for those medicating with cannabis, protection mechanisms being told to chill out may allow someone the ability to go out in public, despair being replaced with messages that you are going to be OK. The truth is cannabis medicine and recreational use allows millions to feel better, more content, more social, become less isolated and perhaps even at peace. With the world, with family or with the demons no one can see. For anyone reading this and wishes to know more, for their own use or as a caregiver or family members, there is links at the bottom of this article to any referenced material as well as PTSD in relation to cannabis information and help resources in the U.S. and Canada. Here in Canada is an interesting experiment crashing in glorious style, prohibition. Recent legalization is finding that Canadian cannabis users number well into the millions. While there are also several hundred thousand registered medical patients I do not believe that is a fair or true estimate of the actual medical numbers, as black market access and the ability to covertly grow has been a very easy road to walk as a consumer prior to legalization. So any real numbers are vague at best but it is safe to say an overwhelming number of Canadian like cannabis. In terms of PTSD self medication with cannabis is nothing new. Many have been perfectly willing to risk sometimes incredibly harsh costs to freedom, family and assets, in order to experience the relief they find only a form of cannabis medicine provides. How badly would you have to be suffering to do the same? To risk everything for some sense of sanity and peace. It is odd actually, but cannabis appears to benefit the vast majority of PTSD sufferers in a similar way. Odd in that PTSD is so vast in it’s root causes, yet one plant can provide the same relief. The last couple of decades have shown a boom in not only information sharing via social media but also a very speedy expansion of the types of cannabis products that are readily available. While it is the same plant, it’s genetic differences are well known even if not as well understood, and adding the combination of different strains and effect to the variety of end user products, well it becomes an extremely large variety pretty quickly. While precise science, and what busy little molecules and chemical interactions are up to during everything that’s going on is still not clear, the reported effects of cannabis medicine are. Individuals who have found cannabis effective report an overwhelming majority of common beneficial results. Restoration of healthy sleep patterns, including a drastic reduction of nightmares where applicable, clearly improved sense of well being, more relaxed, less on edge, comfortable, reduced anxiety. Often drastic reductions in anxiety. It would very much seem that, regardless of how an individuals PTSD was manifested, the desired goal in treatment is common in where to go, and cannabis is the most popular way to get there. ref*1 PTSD and Cannabis: If you are in need of more immediate care please contact. USA: Canada: