CannaKids Connects Sick Children and Their Parents With Cannabis

12650788_850460308410814_5643819745730657684_nWhen Tracy Ryan’s daughter Sophie was just 8 months old, doctors found a tumor in the newborn’s brain.

Doctors told Ryan that the slow-growing optic pathway glioma tumor near her daughter’s left eye would never go away. And if the tumor continued to grow, Sophie could lose vision in that eye.

Faced with the prospect of their daughter’s blindness, Ryan joined an increasing number of parents who are turning to cannabis to treat their children for illnesses ranging from cancer to epilepsy.

After nearly two years of chemotherapy combined with highly concentrated cannabis oil, made mostly of non-psychoactive, can’t-get-you-high cannabidiol (CBD) with traces of psychoactive tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — Sophie’s tumor has shrunk.

“Historically with chemotherapy, you would have six months of shrinkage and then the glioma never shrinks again,” Ryan says. “Sophie’s now had 22 of 23 months where we’ve seen shrinkage. Every time [with chemo combined with cannabis oil], we kill the glioma over and over and over again. Normally, these patients have these masses their entire lives.”

Sophie’s neurologist couldn’t explain her recovery, Ryan says, but the doctor suggested that they should keep dosing with cannabis oil. Ryan first bought cannabis oil for her daughter from a Northern California maker, then switched to a product made by chemist Dr. Jeffrey Raber at his Pasadena lab, before it was recently raided by the police. In response to the challenge of finding this particular oil for Sophie, Ryan took matters into her own hands. In March 2015, she founded the parent-friendly cannabis collective CannaKids, which produces a similar oil with the help of a Northern California manufacturer. They call it Honey Gold.

“She’s the healthiest kid I know,” Ryan says, “I think it’s directly related to using Honey Gold.”