Features Saturday, March 21, 2015 - 05:30
Siddhartha Mishra| The News Minute| November 22, 2014| In the last few days, a post on Facebook, by Viki Vaurora from Bengaluru had gained sufficient traction on social media due to the nature of his claim. He claimed to have cured cancer using cannabis.  Five days ago, the post was up and was followed up with congratulatory responses and support from friends and family.  It had him elaborating the process, via pictures, for making the oil he claims to have cured, “a cousin’s neighbor and friend”, Vaurora told The News Minute.  “She was in the fourth stage of pyloric cancer and surgery was required said the doctor, who refused to take responsibility for her after six months of chemotherapy had failed to help her”, he elaborated. “It was then that I suggested a solution to my cousin”, he says.  “The solution was oil extracted from the cannabis plant, 400-450 grams of it, into 15gms of the solution. “I’ve known the benefits of the plant, studied about it and experimented with it”, he says.  After administering the solution to the patient orally “every night at close to 9 as this was close to her bedtime”. He added, “We knew of the after-effects and that it could make a first time user a bit paranoid so we guided her through it”. “Within three days, she had started to take in crushed fruits and vegetables which wasn’t possible earlier due to the ill’s the body has to go through during chemotherapy”, Vaurora says.  It’s after another two weeks and the entire solution that Vaurora claims she was cured.  “After we were done with the first batch, I thought she should have a scan done, and the doctor asked me what I’d given her!” he says, noting the surprise of the doctor. His doctor’s surprise was understandable. The legality of the concerned substance suspended for a moment, it’s the nature of the claim in question here. Dr. Prashanth Acharya, who specializes in Ayurveda, says, “Cancer is a big topic, and I can’t comment on the situation as I’ve not looked at the patient’s reports”. “Personally I don’t think it’s possible, yet I have read reports of there being cases in the west”, he added.  Dr Varun Gupta, another expert in the field, while speaking to us first questioned the “legality” of the substance prescribed and added that “only an experienced oncologist can confirm whether the condition is cured or not, after looking at her reports post and pre-treatment”. While delving further into the scientific claims of the matter he said, “Tetrahydrocannabinol has been reported for anti-cancer effect. But still at least we don't have any published data about this claim. It’s for the same reason we don't have published data about its safety”. An oncologist from Bengaluru, Dr. Raghavendra however dismisses the claim saying that “it depends on a lot of questions, but there’s no chance with cannabis, especially at the fourth stage”, he added.  “There’s high possibility of the chemotherapy working, as it takes a month for it to be completely effective after”, said the oncologist. “I don’t have a report so I can’t comment on it”, he said. Dr Raghavendra adds that cannabis must have helped the patient to relax and improved appetite.  We tried to get scans or reports but Viki Vaurora couldn’t share them until the time this was published. The legality of the cannabis used is also an issue here, with a sentence of six months or a fine of Rs 10,000 as punishment by law. Vaurora remains defiant, though. “It’s just a plant and it’s been drummed up into being a taboo by society”, he says. “It suits the big Pharma companies and their monetary interests”, he adds while also revealing plans of making a documentary on the episode backed by “scientific evidence”.  Certain cannabinoid drugs have been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to relieve nausea and vomiting and increase appetite in people with cancer and AIDS.  The American Cancer Society says, “As of 2014, there are reports online suggesting that marijuana oil or “hemp” oil can cure cancer, as well as diabetes, ulcers, arthritis, migraines, insomnia, infections, and many other diseases. These claims are largely unsupportable. Relying on marijuana alone as treatment while avoiding or delaying conventional medical care for cancer may have serious health consequences.” Vaurora’s Facebook post- I got my hands on half a kilo of plant buds and extracted all its medicinal properties to its oil base, concentrated with THC and CBD compounds. 14 grams of extracted oil, ingested in small doses over a period of 2 months. Our patient is now cancer FREE.  And her doctors are curious to know HOW? just 2 or 3 days into the treatment, she stopped throwing up completely and was able to eat a little and also rest without any pains.  And in the course of next two months, she healed herself completely.

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