Marijuana and Magic Mushrooms Helped This Woman Battle Stage 4 Breast Cancer
A case study of a middle-aged woman named Nicole DiMonda went viral this week after she was diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer back in 2018, when she was 49 years old.
After her diagnosis, the cancer had spread to her lymph nodes, bones, and liver. DiMonda’s doctors only gave her a short amount of time left, after which they put her on chemotherapy treatments. However, she started self-medicating with marijuana and psilocybin, the psychedelic compound found in certain species of magic mushrooms.
By January 2019, DiMonda underwent more tests and her doctors were shocked to find that all the tumors had disappeared. At this point, they halted the chemotherapy treatments while DiMonda continued consuming psilocybin and marijuana oil. By September 2019, she did more tests and they still didn’t find any traces of the cancer. She then decided to half the amount of cannabis oil she was normally taking, and stopped taking psilocybin completely.
However, in June 2020, the cancer returned. She then started taking chemotherapy, cannabis oil, and psilocybin once again. In October 2021, it was reported that the tumors stabilized. After this, reporters are unsure of the details, whether the tumor continued to grow or they eventually disappeared.
DiMonda’s Doctors Weigh In
This is the first time that it has been reported a breast cancer patient found relief from using both cannabis and psilocybin for treating the condition. According to Jamie Brambila, an Endocannabinologist, Chief Science Officer and Co-Founder of Grace Health + Wellness, who administered the remedies for her: “We are thrilled by Nicole’s results from both her conventional and experimental treatments. We hope that future breast cancer patients will complement their pharmaceuticals with cannabis medicine and any encouraging preclinical signals may pave the way for wider use.”
“Nicole has had such a fantastic response. Whilst we cannot draw any conclusions regarding the efficacy of cannabis-based medicinal products for the treatment of breast cancer based on this report, it is promising,” said Dr. Mikael Sodergran, a Consultant Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Surgeon with the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and a Senior Clinical Lecturer at the Imperial College London. “We at the Imperial College Medical Cannabis Research Group are studying how individual cannabinoids may have had anti-neoplastic effects,” he said.
“Based on my clinical experience, all patients with cancer can significantly benefit in some way from the appropriate use of cannabis and psilocybin. In the future, including these will be the standard of care; they both have safety profiles,” adds Dr. Dustin Sulak, who works among the team of DiMonda’s physicians. “While the research community is focused on the therapeutic effects in treating psychiatric conditions, Nicole’s case shows they impact physical conditions like cancer,” he added.
In March 2022, an Israeli biotech company named Cannabotech said that pairing cannabis with magic mushrooms may help chemotherapy patients reduce the chemotherapy treatments they are taking. “We know that patients need a minimum amount of chemo, but a lot of people can’t survive this because of side effects, so they stop the treatment,” said Cannabotech CEO, Elchanan Shaked.
Cannabotech developed a supplement called CannaboBreast combining these compounds, which was studied in cell models. Their findings revealed that it was effective in reducing chemotherapy treatments but more importantly, it was 6 times more powerful in killing cancer cells when used together with chemotherapy, no matter what the dosage, explained Shaked.
In addition, laboratory testing revealed that their supplement improved the mortality of cancer cells from 10 to as much as 60%.
CannaboBreast has already been tested on different breast cancer subtypes, where the company adapted treatments for each of the subtypes.
It’s also well-known that cannabinoids can help patients in many ways when it comes to cancer. But what about psilocybin, whose mental health benefits are renowned? Can it help with physical ailments such as cancer?
For now, we don’t know much just yet about the physical benefits of psilocybin with cancer. What’s currently well documented is the ability of psilocybin to aid in the emotional health of cancer patients, especially those who are near the end of life. Cancer patients are more prone to anxiety and depression because of their diagnosis, but it seems that psilocybin can help there.
For example, in a 2021 open-label study analyzing the impact of psilocybin among cancer patients was conducted by researchers at the Maryland Oncology Hematology department at the Aquilino Cancer Center. The researchers found that 50% of the subjects reported remission when it came to symptoms of depression within just a week of taking the COMP360 psilocybin medication.
The remission of symptoms was observed after just taking one dose of it, and it was sustained for up to 8 weeks during the follow-up. “For complete cancer care, we need to focus on whole-person healing and include the mental wellbeing of our patients. This is not widely addressed today, but it’s time to do something about it. These study results have shown that psilocybin therapy may be helpful with MDD in cancer, and we look forward to doing further analysis and following up with additional studies,” said the study’s lead investigator, Manish Agrawal, MD.
We hope for more clinical trials highlighting the benefits of psilocybin on treating cancer and reducing its reoccurrence. This may just be the cure we have been waiting for, but until then, it’s best to listen to what the doctors may have to say.