Activism Blog Canada Medical

Medicine Woman: The Many Ways Gayle Quin Fights Cancer With Cannabis

Ted Smith

For over 5 years, since having her right breast and part of her armpit removed full of cancer, Gayle Quin continues to survive in large part due to the healing properties of cannabis.  Though she has been using cannabis to deal with various medical issues since the age of 13, there is no doubt she would have never seen her 59th birthday without it.  Her journey inspires others with hope, and by explaining all of the various ways she uses this incredible plant, Gayle has always wanted to see others benefit from her extensive experience and knowledge of plants.

Of course she has smoked hash and pot since she was a teenager, and we have enjoyed sharing joints since we met.  However, there have been many times during these past five years when smoking cannabis was not an option, especially after her major operations, and she often prefers to vaporize either herb or shatter by herself rather than risk coughing.  It has been very, very rare for her to feel any sort of high in the last 5 years, at least off of cannabis, as often the pain has been too great.

When Gayle had the operation June 24, 2011, she drank a bottle of cannabis infused oil the night before.  She refused to take any pain medication when she woke up because her breast had been hurting so much before the surgery that the pain did not seem as bad and she was very afraid of prescription drugs having had too many bad experiences with side effects.  Since she refused to take more than a single dose of an anti-inflammatory, they sent her home the day after without giving us much information or resources at all.

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5 kinds of cannabis oils in caps

During that time Gayle was taking a number of natural medicines, many recommended by a naturopath she was seeing, and consuming several hash caps a day.  The hash caps sold by the Victoria Cannabis Buyers Club are simply made by taking a ¼ lb of decarboxylated hash and dissolving it into a liter of hemp oil before putting it into veggie capsules.  This method avoids the use of solvents and helps capture the essential oils or terpenes that have great medical value though little is known about them.  

At first after the surgery we could not apply cannabis massage oils on the open wound that spread from her armpit to the middle of her chest but would apply it oil close to the incision.  When it healed over we were able to apply even more oils to her skin, helping it heal back so nice that within months the skin had almost grown back together to well you cannot see a stitch.  The surgeon was even able to cut around the tattoo of hummingbirds on her chest and everyone hoped the cancer was gone.

In Dec 2013 she had a small lump of cancer removed from her right armpit and we learned the cancer was spreading into her bones throughout her body.  Western medicine had absolutely no options for her to fight the cancer and she was basically told to go home and enjoy her life with me as much as possible before she came to a terrible end.  Her energy levels dramatically decreased and she started to fall apart.

The worse she got the more types of pills of natural medicines she would try.  Along with many hash caps, she would take dozens of pills a day, often making herself sick with the amount of different concentrated medicines in her tummy.  She bought several devices, including a mat full of crystals that uses far-infrared light to heat it up, a far-infrared sauna and a magnetic energy pulsator machine called a Sota, but nothing seemed to be working and her pain kept getting worse.

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Cannapatch and magnetic energy device

On Nov 1, 2014, two of her vertebrate collapsed when she was walking to the bathroom.  It seemed like her end was near as her bones were obviously falling apart and she did not seem to be able to tolerate prescription drugs.  After three days of not eating, we switched her from morphine to didualid and she started puking blood almost immediately.  We then tried giving her fentanyl, which she seemed to tolerate much better.  Between her back, neck, shoulder and other sore areas, it seemed like she was going to die very soon and there was nothing we could do but try to keep her as comfortable as possible.

Our good friend Sita von Windheim came over from Vancouver and brought some cannabis suppositories for Gayle.  While we knew cannabis could be put into suppositories, we had not been able to make any before this happened.  The cannabis suppositories saved her life.

After 4 days of no food and one terrible day puking blood, Gayle started eating soon after using a couple of cannabis suppositories.  She could only get one grape down her throat every 15 minutes at the beginning, but it also meant she could get a few capsules of hash caps down too.  Within a few days she was able to eat more food but did not bother taking any other medicines than cannabis as it was clear she was dying despite taking all sorts of other products.

She was sent home less than 2 weeks later, with everyone glad she did not die in the hospital.  The nurses that visited would not leave more diapers than she needed for a few days as they expected her to pass away within days or weeks.  The doctor that came to visit only spoke about how Gayle was dealing with her impending death and barely even discussed what we were doing to keep her alive.

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Ted’s table of medicines he makes for gayle

Of course the entire time I was applying as much massage oil as possible, usually the kind the Victoria Cannabis Buyers Club makes with comfrey.  At some point she started adding budder, that our very generous friend Budderking donated to her, to the massage oil to make it stronger.  At least once a day since her back has broken I have washed her and covered her body with cannabis oils, as well as constantly applying it through the day on the trouble areas.

When she was in the hospital some friends started putting honey oil in veggie capsules for her to eat.  Since she is so chemically sensitive she was not interested in eating anything made with a solvent before her back broke but when death seemed close at hand the potential negatives were insignificant compared to the real benefits she would get from eating concentrated cannabis extracts.  Since she was only able to get a small number of pills a day it made sense to make them as potent as possible.

Soon after she got home I asked her what else I could do to help and she mentioned the Sota machine.  Usually I give too much credit to cannabis and not enough to this magnetic energy device.  It was not long after using this machine on her most painful bones that she began to improve, getting out of bed into wheelchair less than 2 months after her back collapsed.

For the first half of 2015 her recovery was nothing short of remarkable.  Gradually she was able to get in the car to go to the dentist or beach, and one afternoon we went to the hospital to thank the nurses for taking such good care of her.  We got some cushion for the wheelbarrow so I could take her around the yard and even to a coffeeshop downtown Cobble Hill so we could get a hot chocolate to take to the park for a couple of joints.

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Gayle’s Birthday Cake

Then in August 2015 her back broke in a third vertebrate, putting her back in bed.  Then her right leg started slowly breaking, putting her in great pain.  It was unbearable to watch.  In Oct we took her to the hospital where they performed emergency surgery and put a metal rod down her femur bone to keep it straight.

During this time I took full control of making all of the cannabis capsules Gayle was eating, plus making a special massage oil using cannoil, budder, mixtures of St John’s Wort, comfrey, arnica and a homemade poppy oil and olive oil infused with hemp leaves.  While she was eating CBD oil from the VCBC and honey oil from Sita on a regular basis, most of the other caps she was taking were made from various oils donated by friends trying to help, aside from the hash caps I was making.    

When she was recovering from her back breaking the first time she insisted on doing as much as possible to make her medicines but she had no choice but to let me take over when she became stuck in bed again.  Now I prepare veggie caps made with honey oil, CDB, hemp hash, mixed hash and a resin that is left behind when you cook leaf in water down to a tar, plus any other donations that she gets.  At night she uses a single suppository and when she is having more pain she also takes a small homemade opium suppository.  

As well as using copious amounts of massage oil, which has helped keep her from getting any bed sores despite not getting out of it for over 10 months, Gayle has also been using cannabis patches to help with the pain.  These Cannapatches have been made by the VCBC soon after Gayle started working with us, as she easily convinced us we were throwing away good medicine when we discarded the leaf soaked in olive oil and butter that we were using to make our food and skin products.  It has been remarkable how much these poultices have helped her on days has been in a lot of pain.

With over five years of fighting cancer and three surgeries under her belt, Gayle Quin has constantly proven that cannabis and love can keep people alive when nothing else can.  Having dedicated her life to helping others with plant medicines, her experiences fighting cancer is giving others hope and changing attitudes in many local health care providers.  While no one could possibly predict how long she can continue to fight, there is no doubt she will continue to inspire others with her story for generations to come.


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