Is Marijuana Treatment Safer and More Effective Than Chemotherapy?

Sierra Riddle turned to medical marijuana after chemotherapy made her 3-year-old son Landon violently ill. Since starting the controversial treatment in January, she says his cancer has gone into remission.

A Colorado Springs mom is catching heat from social services for treating her son’s cancer with cannabis instead of chemotherapy.

The thing is, she says, it seems to be working.

Sierra Riddle learned a year ago that her son Landon, 3, had an aggressive form of leukemia. Doctors in their hometown of Salt Lake City began the standard treatment of radiation and chemotherapy, which took a heavy toll on his little body.

Landon became violently ill, vomiting multiple times a day, and suffered nerve damage in his legs, Riddle told CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta in July. At one point, the boy went 25 days without eating.

“Around the clock, he’s usually on liquid morphine, Ativan, Promethexane. And it just really didn’t seem to be helping,” Riddle said.

Though she didn’t know much about medical marijuana, Riddle decided to try it because “we didn’t have anything else to lose.” She and Landon moved to Colorado, where medical marijuana is legal, in order to obtain the drug.

 In January Landon began taking liquid forms of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol), two compounds found in cannabis. Miraculously, his cancer began to retreat.

“As soon as we started taking the oil, his platelets have been a regular healthy person’s level and they can’t understand why,” Riddle told CNN.

Landon went off chemotherapy in early July, and continues to take his four liquid capsules of the cannabis compounds per day. Last week, local news reports showed Landon as a happy, healthy-looking little boy, running and playing as any three-year-old would.

But doctors are concerned that stopping Landon’s chemo treatments may put his life in danger. After a Colorado doctor threatened to report Riddle for refusing chemotherapy for Landon, a human services agent showed up on her doorstep last week, CBS Local Denver reported.

Another sit-down with the doctor and child protective services was reportedly scheduled for Wednesday, October 2.

Riddle told CBS she has not missed any of Landon’s scheduled appointments, but refuses to put him back on chemo unless his situation turns dire again.

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Marijuana has been used for centuries for medicinal purposes with very little side effects or damages.  Yet this herb is being ostracized by politicians and doctors.  It makes you think about the clout and influence pharmaceutical companies wield over our medical care.  Sierra seems like a capable and loving mother and wants only the best for her child.  No mother should have to watch their children suffer from such horrendous illness and I commend her bravery for thinking outside the box to get her son better.  If a treatment works, it should not matter the source.  Not because his treatment doesn’t fit with conventional medicine makes it wrong.  The hard fact is little Landon is feeling better and that’s what matters and should matter.

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