Edith Raffn, Hillerød, Denmark

There are many exciting people who have had an impact on patients’ quality of life in connection with cancer treatment, side effects and discomfort. For many patients, cannabis oil has been a remedy that has helped well. But it is often difficult and expensive to get cannabis prescribed by a doctor. One of the people who has been of great importance in helping many patients is Edith Raffn, who is now retired.

Edith graduated as a physician in 1975. Subsequently, Edith was part of the international research group that made way for the ban of asbestos when their work showed its carcinogenic effects. Edith has been a medical officer and in 1987, under the auspices of Edith, the Cancer Registry drew up a report stating that people who worked with asbestos had more than double the risk of developing lung cancer.

The Danish cancer association Tidslerne facilitates several courses for cancer patients. One is their 3-day self-help courses, where Edith Raffn has met many patients who, despite serious illness and treatment, have lived much longer and better than expected by using cannabis, which they either had to buy at Christiania in the city of Copenhagen in Denmark, or obtain in another way. Based on this experience, Edith run a clinic in Hillerød in 2017-19, where she prescribed cannabis to cancer patients 2 days a week.

As Edith puts it, Cannabis has had a sad fate.
It is a natural product, and thus cannot be patented. This means that the pharmaceutical companies have no interest in developing cannabis as a medicine, as everyone else can copy it the next day. As the cost of developing a drug can run up to a billion danish kroner (with animal experiments and clinical studies), no Pharma companies will embark on such a development, just to see competitors manufacture the same product, at no initial cost .

On the other hand, synthetic products can be patented, as e.g. has happened with “Marinol”. Also, another company has succeeded in patenting a method in which they basically use natural cannabis, which they mix according to a patented method. This product is “Sativex”.

Both products are a good examples of “approved” drugs, because the company has succeeded clinically in proving good and convincing effects in patients with moderate to severe spasticity due to multiple sclerosis (MS) and good effects on certain epilepsy diseases. In addition, the company recently completed trials with Sativex in a small clinical study that showed promising signs of increased survival for patients receiving Sativex. These observations needs to be confirmed in a larger clinical study. But there will hardly be more “clinically based evidence trials”, as no one will pay for something that they can not patent and profit from.
Even so, many large independendt studies have been made which shows good effects.
(at www.pubmed.gov there are well over 26,000 results for cannabis).

Edith has only prescribed cannabis to cancer patients after a physical consultation because that was the area she knew most about. As Edith puts it, there is evidence that cannabis works against the side effects of chemotherapy, such as nausea, vomiting, weight loss and loss of appetite.

Edith’s patients should always first fill in a form where the patient assessed their “general condition”. At all subsequent consultations, a new assessment was prepared based on the same questions. In this way, Edith could see how the effects of cannabis affected the patient’s “general condition”. This is not clinical scientific evidence, but a good clue as to whether the dose should be turned up or down, remain unchanged, or whether cannabis worked at all.

In the period 2017 to 2019, Edith has prescribed cannabis to more than 200 patients, most of whom were “Terminal patients”. Most patients have reported the effect from good to fantastic. Only quite a few have not benefited from the treatment. It is Edith’s observation that patients have experienced living longer and having a better quality of life.

The two most important components in cannabis oil are THC and CBD and are always separated from Glostrup pharmacy’s side (in Denmark), but can be combined with advantage for certain patients. They have very few side effects and in recent times no one has died from cannabis, which on the other hand often happens with alcohol and some pharmaceutical preparations.

CBD seems to support the heart by making it stronger so that it pumps better, but at the same time it lowers blood pressure. So, the few patients with very low blood pressure did not get CBD prescribed as a too low blood pressure can be uncomfortable and unhealthy for the patient.

Edith has learned that if patients get a lot of THC (the psychoactive component) through rectal insertion, the psychoactive effect is very small or completely reduced. If taken orally, people can be strongly influenced, even by smal doses. CBD has no psychoactive effect and can be taken orally on the mucous membranes instead.

Edith told a funny little story about THC ingested rectally and orally.
One patient had received his THC oil and even chosen to fill his gelatin capsules for rectal insertion. By the time she finished this, she had got THC oil on her finger. She had a wound on her lip and smeared the oil on the wound and the rest she licked off her finger. Shortly after, she was heavily influenced by the THC, and had to call her work to take the day off.

Edith has also experienced other interesting stories:

A patient came with breast cancer that had spread to the bones. She received no treatment other than cannabis oil, and each time she was scanned during cannabis treatment, the cancer had become less. The hospital thought it was a miracle. To the doctors, she made no secret of the fact that she was taking cannabis with large doses of CBD.

Another patient came to Edith with pancreatic cancer, which had a large spread. A condition in which the patient rarely lives quite long. The patient received traditional treatment with radiation and chemo. Her chemo doses were very large despite her small physical size. Even large adult men would not be able to handle half of her doses. But she took cannabis on the side, and had virtually no side effects and the cancer remained unchanged. After 2 years, she stopped using cannabis for some reason. She died approx. 1 month after she stopped.

A man with prostate cancer was also prescribed cannabis by Edith, and his PSA count was below 0.2 for the entire period. He also suffered from “driver blows” on the fingers. This meant that his fingers were crooked and he had impaired motor skills in the hand and fingers. Unfortunately, the cannabis oil itself did not work on this disorder, but instead he tried to lubricate himself with a CBD cream. His symptoms completely disappeared after he smeared hand and fingers with the cream. Now he can play table tennis again.

The last example was a woman with lung cancer spreading to the lymph nodes, having some pain. She did not receive any conventional treatment, only cannabis oil. Her condition is unchanged. She lives a fairly normal life, despite her serious condition.

Edith says that the majority of the cannabis oil that she has prescribed has been produced magisterially at Glostrup Apotek, Denmark. The oil comes as THC and CBD oil from Germany and must undergo many samples / tests before it can come in capsules or in bottles as finished oil. Due to the requirement for the many samples and tests, the price is very high, according to Glostrup Apotek. An amount of oil for just one month’s consumption can easily sum up to several thousand danish kroner.

There may not yet be enough scientific evidence for the effects of cannabis oil, but Edith has clearly seen that cannabis oil has a very beneficial effect on patients’ quality of life. It is important to have these eyewitness accounts collected so that politicians can see the value and importance of cannabis oil.

video: ”Cancer: En anden vej”
video: ”Forbud mod Asbest, januar 1987”