Medical Marijuana: The Potential to Stabilize Brain Cancer


Krista Stryker. Photo by Paul Curatolo.

Krista Stryker’s life was transformed by medical marijuana. It may have in fact, saved her life. Late last year, she began to have severe migraine headaches. Her vision was blurry. She was constantly vomiting. There were times she could not get out of bed.

It was scary for her.

“I am a nurse. I could tell that the pressure on my brain was increasing,” said Stryker.

At 30 years old, Stryker and her newlywed husband were ready to start their lives together. As a nurse, she was doing work that she loved, and her husband was just accepted into medical school. In December of 2016, she was diagnosed with an aggressive, grade 3 brain cancer. Her prospects were grave. A number of emotions flooded over her, leaving her feeling defeated. She had brain surgery in January to remove the cancerous tumor. The surgery was followed up with six weeks of radiation and chemotherapy treatments.

Her brother told her about cannabidiol (CBD), one of the active cannabinoids in cannabis. With University studies in Madrid, Israel and the U.K., they have seen that the use of CBD has been able to suppress the growth of brain tumors.

Not wanting to miss an opportunity to suppress her cancer, she gave it a try. She had nothing to lose, and everything to gain and if it worked, it could help save her live. She used CBD in supplement to her radiation and chemo treatments.

It has been six months since her brain tumor resection, and her most recent MRI shows no reoccurrence of the brain tumor. Having been diagnosed with a high-grade glioma brain cancer, this is pretty amazing. She is alive and a living testament to the potential stabilizing effects of medicinal marijuana.

“I’m excited to get back to work and live a normal life with my husband,” Stryker said.

What advice does she have for others?

Her bout with cancer continues to transform her life. She has been through many stages: anger, denial, sadness and finally acceptance. The final stage has definitely been the most important. Once she was able to accept her diagnosis, she felt momentum swing to her side of the battle. She was fortunate that she had a great support system. Friends and family have been by her side every step of the way.

“There are risks. It is painful. You have to make adjustments in your personal routine,” she said. “But the CBD has helped me through a very difficult situation,” she said. “I am glad I gave it a try.”


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