The story of Rick Simpson, between myth and reality

The story of Rick Simpson, between myth and reality

Rick Simpson, light and shadows of an out of the ordinary personality. His story starts in 2003, when he was diagnosed with skin cancer.

Simpson, after having read a study in the Journal National of the Cancer Institute demonstrating the regression of the tumour cells in mice using THC, decided to try, autonomously, a similar cure.

Using Cannabis flowers he made an oil he applied, day after day, with the help of bandages, on the spots which had appeared on his skin.

Simpson completely healed and from that moment he decided to disclose his story to the public,  claiming to have cured over a five thousand patients completely for free.   

Rick Simpson Oil – RSO becomes famous throughout the world, decarboxylated extracts produced from cannabis Indica strains with a high THC content.  

The story of Simpson was told in a documentary realised by Christian Laurette in 2008, entitled “Run From The Cure”, in which the testimonies of individuals who would have been cured by Rick’s oil were told.

However the same individuals had refused to witness in favour of Rick in 2007, when he was put on trial at the Supreme Court of Canada.

The controversial story of Rick Simpson

The story of Rick Simpson is controversial, in fact on the web, many individuals cast doubt on his product and his disease as well.

According to Skeptic Dictionary Simpson after having gone to his physician, would have auto-diagnosed the melanoma.

According to the web portal Cancer Research UK the preclinical study from which Simpson draw inspiration for his cannabis oil, cannot be a used as evidence with which to state that cannabis or single cannabinoids can be capable of curing cancer.

It could be misleading for patients and their families and create expectations which could prove false.

Cannabis and Cancer Pathologies

On the delicate topic of cannabis and cancer we interviewed Massimo Nabissi, researcher and  professor at the University of Camerino.

Together with his team he carried out important research studies on the effects of Cannabis on tumour cells of glioblastoma e myeloma.

“As a laboratory of preclinical research – Nabissi states – we carried out several studies related to the effects of THC and CBD on glioblastoma and multiple myeloma. The data we obtained were object of scientific publications and contributed to the start-up of the first clinical trial on patients affected by glioblastoma. Regarding multiple myeloma, the data we obtained generated interest and were taken into consideration for the start-up of clinical studies”.

Can we state that Cannabis could be capable of defeating cancer?

“I do not think it is possible to find one single treatment to defeat cancer, also because cancer pathologies are very different one from the other and each type of tumour would require an targeted therapy”.

“Cannabinoids demonstrated (in pre-clinical studies) to function in different tumour pathologies (lung, breast, glioblastoma, pancreas, prostate, multiple myeloma, melanoma), acting like anti-tumour agents and improving the biological response to chemotherapeutics, when these are utilised in combination with cannabinoids. Hence, when one talks about or publishes about “the molecule curing cancer”, whichever it may be, this would be a scientifically incorrect way of explaining a scientific result and creates the risk of deluding patients affected by tumours”.


“Regarding cannabinoids - Nabissi concludes our interview -  it is possible to talk about biological effectiveness (intended as anti-tumoral activity), in models of tumours which were examined, in other types of tumours there is no scientific data available yet".
 

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