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Cancer Issue September|October 2019

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Grass Roots America Magazine – November/December 2019

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Cooking Corner

Cannabis Snack Mix

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This snack mix is a staple at my house. It’s a great everyday snack, yet looks elegant served in a fancy dish. Store it in an airtight container, it should last two weeks –ALTHOUGH IT’S USUALLY EATEN THE FIRST DAY!

The beauty of this recipe is that it is a base recipe in that by changing ingredients and spices you can change it from a sweet to a savory treat.

This can be changed to incorporate the flavors you are craving — change the cinnamon to garlic powder and use corn syrup instead of maple syrup, and you have a sweet garlic chili nut mix.

THE COMBINATIONS ARE ENDLESS

Change pretzel sticks to cereal mix ( i.e. Chex Mix) and mixed raw nuts to raw peanuts, add in some melted peanut butter to the corn syrup to make a glaze: you have a peanut cereal mix.

Recipe:

Ingredients:

 3 cups mixed raw nuts 
2 tbsp butter
Cannabis tincture or distillate premeasured
 3 tbsp brown sugar (or coconut sugar or brown sugar substitute)
 ½ tsp cinnamon
 ¾ tsp mild chili powder
2 tbsp maple syrup (or sugar-free syrup)
 2 cups pretzel sticks
1 tsp flaky or coarse sea salt


Preheat the oven to 325ºF.
In a small saucepan, melt the butter on low, add the tincture or distillate, and mix well.
Add the brown sugar, cinnamon, chili powder & maple syrup, whisk together. 
In a large mixing bowl, toss the nuts & pretzel sticks together.
Pour the butter mixture onto the nut mix & toss until evenly coated. 
Sprinkle on the salt & toss well.
Roast for 20 minutes or until light golden brown
Allow to cool completely & break up the mixture. 
Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.


MEDICATING THE MIX

Do the math on how much cannabis to add to your recipe
Check your formula for determining the potency of your finished product.
Example: 12 servings x 5mg = 60 mg THC or CBD per recipe.
The recipe yield is 12 servings of approximately ½ cup each

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Cancer & Cannabis

Cancer Sucks, Cannabis Helps

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Cancer sucks. That is my professional medical assessment. Cannabis medicine can help.

I am a board-certified anesthesiologist but the majority of patients that I help guide are cancer patients. I have come to understand how cannabis medicine can help patients with cancer is mostly from trial–and the first patient was myself.  Yes, I was diagnosed and treated for breast cancer in 2005. Fortunately, it was discovered early. Unfortunately, the treatment left me with a neuropathic pain so severe that I was no longer able to practice as an anesthesiologist. The medications that my colleagues prescribed had side effects that I could not tolerate. I was left with using diet change, meditation, and a lot of willful determination to get through my day. That was until I discovered cannabis medicine, in my case, topical cannabis medicine. Applying a topical preparation of cannabis was life altering. I was able to spend my day doing things besides concentrating on pushing away the pain. I needed to share this revelation with patients. 

In my quest to help patients solve their painful symptoms after breast cancer treatment, I was introduced to patients with other cancer diagnoses and goals, beyond treating neuropathic pain. I expanded treatment protocols from just topical to a sublingual administration, in addition to a diet change. Since I am an anesthesiologist and not an oncologist, and patients and their physicians are requesting my input regarding cancer treatment options, I needed to set up every patient for the best success possible. This includes food. I mandate a whole food, all plant diet as there is clinical evidence showing that it really matters. Patients have different goals depending upon where they are in their diagnosis and treatment. Cannabis and diet change can contribute at any point. 

Remission: Of course, this is every patient’s goal. I always support patients whose goal is to live, no matter how severe their disease. I have seen patients in hospice extend their lives beyond expectation using diet change and cannabis. Was it directly related? No one can say definitively. There is evidence in animals that cannabis can help kill cancer cells, prevent metastasis, and diminish the blood vessels that fuel cancer cells. Patient data using cannabis for cancer treatment has not been substantiated in a traditional double-blind randomized trial methodology. However, I have what is called anecdotes, but I prefer to refer to is as patient clinical reports. I have helped to guide patients with prostate cancer, breast cancer, pancreatic cancer, colon cancer, lymphoma, lung cancer, and other cancers who have used cannabis and diet, in combination with traditional cancer therapy or as an alternative therapy, who are currently in remission. Some of these patients are in remission for years. Some lived longer than expected.

Reduction of symptoms: Cancer treatment is difficult. Some patients are unable to complete a cancer treatment protocol because of the side effects some of which include: severe nausea, vomiting, wasting, pain, depression, anxiety, and extreme fatigue. These symptoms negatively impact the patient’s quality of life while going through treatment, which can last for months to years. Cannabis use has aided in improving appetite, energy levels and mood. Patients report that they are able to better participate in their lives while continuing their cancer treatment. After all, being able to participate actively in life, and engaging in social activities while going through cancer treatment, rather than being sidelined by the treatment, is a tremendous therapeutic success in and of itself. 

Empowerment: The diagnosis of cancer is very destabilizing. Patients feel out of control, a passive recipient, and at the mercy of the medical professionals and the pharmaceutical industry. Implementing a regimen that includes options where patients are the decision makers helps to empower and to make them feel like an active participant in their care.

So where do you start if you are a patient or a concerned friend or family member? You need to find practitioners who can help guide you with the use of medical cannabis and diet. These may be separate practitioners. For medical cannabis guidance, the Society of Cannabis Clinicians (www.cannabisclinicians.org) has a list of treating cannabis practitioners that you can search by zip code. This website is a wealth of information and has a resource link that can be searched by condition. This includes articles and white papers that can help you understand a starting point for cannabis treatment. For a clinician who understands the impact of nutrition on gaining and maintaining good health the website www.plantbaseddoctors.org has a list of treating practitioners that can be searched by zip code. The websites www.PCRM.org  and www.nutritionfacts.org have a wealth of information regarding a whole food plant diet and its impact on health.  

Remember as with all treatment methods, including cannabis medicine, all patients respond differently. Goals and benchmarks need to be established to determine efficacy of the treatment and how to adjust the medication. This is no different from traditional therapeutic treatment. The recommendation for cannabis medicine is to start at a low dose and titrate slowly using the goals and benchmarks as your guide. 

Be well,

Debra Kimless, M.D.

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