Today’s Medical Cannabis Track Keynote Speaker: Tracy Ryan

August 22, 2018

Tracy Ryan, CEO & Founder, CannaKids and Saving Sophie, will give a keynote talk today in Meeting Rooms B113–B116 starting at 9:50 a.m. The talk is titled “Medical Miracles or Simply Science-One Cancer Mom’s Road to a Cure.” Ryan recently spoke to us about her talk and plans to address the research challenges facing the cannabis industry.

Tracy Ryan, CEO & Founder, CannaKids and Saving Sophie, will give a keynote talk today, Wednesday, August 29, in Meeting Rooms B113–B116 starting at 9:50 a.m. The talk is titled “Medical Miracles or Simply Science-One Cancer Mom’s Road to a Cure.” Ryan recently spoke to us about her talk and plans to address the research challenges facing the cannabis industry.

What will your talk at the 2018 Cannabis Science Conference teach attendees?
This year I’ll be focusing on the research we’re doing, and some of the groundbreaking science that has evolved over the last year. With our new research collaboration we have underway with Dr. Anahid Jewett at the UCLA School of Dentistry and the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, we are looking at some of our CannaKids patients that have been medical miracles using cannabis oil for their pediatric cancer, including my own daughter Sophie.

After Sophie had brain surgery earlier this year, we couriered her cells immediately to Dr. Jewett where she began studying Sophie‘s tumor, and growing more of her cells for further research. She also studied Sophie‘s immune functions in her blood and what she found was amazing!

We have since enrolled several more of our patients into the program with a plan to scale it into a much larger study. We are currently raising funds through my nonprofit, www.savingsophie.org, to further this research more quickly. I’m excited to share more details on this, and where we see the future of research going!

From your perspective, what is the most challenging aspect in the cannabis industry? (Or what problem needs to be addressed?)
The problem for me as someone who’s doing research is the DEA, and the difficulty in which they’ve made it to become licensed to do federally legal clinical trials. Take what Dr. Jewett and I are doing for example. If we were able to get cannabis oil into animal models in her laboratory today, we could have answers in as short as three months that could help patients who are suffering today!

With all of the evidence that we have on how nontoxic and medically beneficial this plant is, it’s absolutely maddening that we are still in this position. I hope through some of the studies that we’ll publish to the medical journals, and through using my voice as an advocate, we can help drive the conversation even faster so cannabis is dropped down on the schedule and made easier to study.

What kind of work are you doing to solve that challenge?
Research, research, and more research! The more medical evidence that we have that is scientifically proven, the more our government is going to have to start paying attention. We’ve been very lucky in all of the publicity CannaKids has gotten, and we hope to get much more so we can continue to advance the conversation.