Callie Blackwell's teenage son, Deryn, was suffering from a rare and aggressive form of leukemia. His pain and anxiety were reaching an all-time high when he was in hospice care.
His mother requested a cannabis-based painkiller from the doctors but they refused. Blackwell and her husband decided that the benefits from cannabis would be worth a little risk so they obtains some on their own and prepared it in a pressure cooker.
"I thought: 'what have I got to lose? He's dying anyway,'" Blackwell said when asked about the decision to give her son the drug, "The effects of it blew my mind. It wasn't what I expected."
Her son was first diagnosed when he was 10 and went through many rounds of chemotherapy and radiation. He was 14 when she took matters into her own hand and tried to make her son more comfortable.
Deryn is now 17 and is in recovery. He is studying catering and works as a vegan chef.
Studies have been looking into the effects of cannabis, but there are a lot of variables to consider. Senior cancer researcher Wai Liu says that "I try to separate the science from clinical studies from anecdotal evidence, but there are certain compounds in cannabis, namely CBD and THC, which in a laboratory are anti-cancer in effect."
Scientists hope to continue researching ways that it could help conditions like cancer as well as chronic pain and other inflammatory diseases.
Do you think doctors should use cannabis painkillers and medical marijuana more?