He shot to fame as one half of comedy stoner duo Cheech and Chong.
And now comedian Tommy Chong has revealed he is treating his early stage prostate cancer with hemp oil.
He revealed his condition during an interview on CNN in which he discussed the legalisation of marijuana.
The actor said: ‘I’ve got prostate cancer, and I’m treating it with hemp oil, with cannabis.
‘So it means a lot more to me than just being able to smoke a joint without being arrested.’
The 74-year-old described the cancer as ‘a slow stage one (that I’ve) had for a long time.’
He said that he was drug free for about three years, during which time he began having prostate-related problems.
Tommy added: ‘So I know it had nothing to do with cannabis. Cannabis is a cure.’
He also said he does not smoke marijuana, which he claims he quit about a year ago ‘for health reasons’ to treat his prostate cancer.
Instead he ingests the hemp oil at night, so I won’t be woozy all day. I’m taking it as a medicine.’
Tommy explained he first noticed symptoms almost eight years ago while serving a nine-month sentence at Taft Correctional Institution in California, for selling mail-order bongs.
Blaming the prison for the disease, he said: ‘The prison is built on toxic waste. I also got gout from the food there.’
Hemp oil first came to prominence as a cancer cure following claims made in 2006 by Canadian Rick Simpson that several people had seen the disease disappear after taking the substance.
However medical marijuana champion Dr Lester Grinspoon, who is Associate Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, has spoken out against the claims.
He said: ‘There is little doubt that cannabis now may play some non-curative roles in the treatment of this disease (or diseases) because it is often useful to cancer patients who suffer from nausea, anorexia depression, anxiety, pain, and insomnia.
‘However, while there is growing evidence from animal studies that it may shrink tumor cells and cause other promising salutary effects in some cancers, there is no present evidence that it cures any of the many different types of cancer.
‘I think the day will come when it or some cannabinoid derivatives will be demonstrated to have cancer curative powers, but in the meantime, we must be very cautious about what we promise these patients.’
The scientist, who was initially against the use of marijuana before his pioneering work on the subject changed his mind in the 1960s, also criticised the ‘evidence’ Simpson used to back up his claims.
Dr Grinspoon said: ‘Simpson, who does not have a medical or scientific education (he dropped out of school in ninth grade), apparently does not require that a candidate for his treatment have an established diagnosis of a specific type of cancer, usually achieved through biopsy, gross and histopathological examinations, radiologic and clinical laboratory evidence.
‘He apparently accepts the word of his “patients”. Furthermore, after he has given the course of “hemp-oil” there is apparently no clinical or laboratory follow-up.
‘He apparently accepts the “patient’s” belief that he has been cured.
‘According to Hager, he claims a cure rate of 70%. But 70% of what?
‘Do all the people he “treats” with hemp oil medicine have medically established, well-documented cancer or is he treating the symptoms or a constellation of symptoms that he or the patient have concluded signify the existence of cancer?
‘And what is the nature and duration of the follow-up which would allow him to conclude that he has cured 70%?
‘Furthermore, does this population of “patients with cancer” include those who have already had therapeutic regimes (such as surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy) which are known to be successful in curing some cancers or holding at bay, sometimes for long periods of time, many others?’
And the doctor, whose oldest son died of cancer when he was 11, also issued a warning to people considering using the treatment.
He said: ‘There are patients who have a medically sound diagnosis of pre-symptomatic cancer (such as early prostate cancer) but who, for one reason or another, eschew allopathic treatment and desperately seek out other approaches.
‘Such patients are all too eager to believe that a new treatment, such as hemp-oil medicine, has cured their cancer.
‘Unfortunately, this cancer which was asymptomatic at the time of its discovery, will eventually become symptomatic and at that time the possibility of a cure is significantly diminished, if not no longer a conceivable goal. ‘ By Mike Larkin. Source.