In June 2002, tucked away in the depths of the University of Madrid’s biochemistry building an inconspicuous event took place that would shape the future of cancer treatment over the coming decades. It wasn’t planned; in fact it was down to the pure chance that 2 separate research teams, focusing their lives on separate challenges were joined by the curiosity of a young professor. He was Manuel Guzman, whose lab researching the medicinal values of cannabis was the taboo neighbour of the much larger cancer research department. As he explains looking back upon that day, what he did was down to nothing more than base curiosity. He took pure THC, one of the active principles within cannabis, and added it to a petri dish containing aggressive cancer cells simply because “I wanted to see what would happen”…
Ten years later, as countries across the world change their laws on cannabis the laws in the United Kingdom remain unchanged. However, in those 10 years Professor Manuel Guzman and his team’s ideas have evolved from his finding on that day and have proved that in animal models cannabis has potent anti cancer properties that result in the death of highly aggressive tumour cells of many cancers.
With cancer on the increase globally we have begun to form a queue where we are told by medical science to wait our turn, and at the end of the line 1 in 3 take the cancer ride. Many people accept this fate and console themselves to live out their days in peace with family; others fight to their last breath arming themselves with everything conventional medicine has to offer. However, some take things into their own hands and start searching for something more, something that can offer a shred of hope when facing such a certain end, something buried beneath nearly a century of mis-education and prohibition. This is the story of six of these people, and what they found.
While the team in Madrid passed the years in the labs an underground movement began to gather both pace and credibility. Films like ‘run from the cure‘ inspired hundreds and then thousands of people to do more than just nod curiously as paper after paper were released in scientific journals highlighting the anti-cancer action of cannabiniods. As The Internet enabled the sharing of knowledge, social media created hubs of information and shared stories, and cannabis breeders began to shift their efforts to develop new strains grounded in science. The organisation Bud Buddies, after 15 years of providing cannabis to sick people, switched their attention to cancer. Four years of underground research has passed, they have worked with countless people, endured several court cases, and numerous convictions for supplying cannabis to those who need it.