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Natural Awakenings Rhode Island

Cannabis as Medicine

by Lori Engustian and Janet Kupris

Summit Medical Compassion Center, in Warwick, encourages all patients to empower themselves and take time to research and get educated about cannabis as medicine.

According to the National Institute of Health, cannabis has been shown to kill cancer cells in mice. Additionally, evidence has shown apoptosis (cell death) in cancer cells after cannabis administration while leaving healthy cells alone. Unfortunately, cannabis is currently assigned to the Food and Drug Administration’s Schedule I category (no known medical benefits and high potential for abuse), which means testing and research that can be done in human clinical trials is very limited.

Treatments for cancer offered today, such as chemotherapy, not only kill off deadly cancer cells, but also ultimately do more harm than good to our healthy cells. These harsh treatments impact our immune system, which is working constantly to keep us well. When it comes to any disease, including cancer, be sure to research all options, regardless of the propaganda and stigma surrounding cannabis.  Not only does cannabis help with nausea, vomiting and appetite, it goes far beyond that.

An excellent documentary, called The Sacred Plant, is available on You Tube and consists of seven information-packed episodes. Other informative resources are available at This website is full with videos, documentaries and other research articles on several conditions and diseases. It also touches on the endocannabinoid system, a key physiological system involved in establishing and maintaining human health. Its goal is homeostasis, the maintenance of a stable internal environment despite fluctuations in the external environment. It is believed that disease states arise from an imbalance in this system.

In order to obtain a medical marijuana card in the state of Rhode Island, an individual must have one of the following qualifying conditions:

  • Cancer or the treatment of this condition
  • Glaucoma or the treatment of this condition
  • Positive status for Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) or the treatment of this condition
  • Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) or the treatment of this condition
  • Hepatitis C or the treatment of this condition
  • A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or its treatment that produces one or more of the following: Cachexia or wasting syndrome; severe, debilitating, chronic pain; severe nausea; seizures, including but not limited to those characteristic of epilepsy; severe and persistent muscle spasms, including but not limited to those characteristic of multiple sclerosis or Crohn's disease; or agitation related to Alzheimer's disease.

Being your own advocate is important when it comes to your health; it is the worth the time to do some homework on the benefits of cannabis.

Summit Medical Compassion Center is located at 380 Jefferson Blvd. E2, Warwick. For more information, call 401 889 3990 or visit