We Spoke to Cancer Research UK About Internet Cannabis Oil Scammers

Now that more and more people believe that cannabis oil can alleviate the symptoms of cancer, the UK demand for it has increased. Therefore, like any illegal, and therefore highly expensive, black market product it has become a lucrative business with the capacity to accumulate heaps of tax-free cash in the blink of an eye. For that reason it’s unsurprising that undesirable characters have inevitably moved into the trade.

Late last year, the charity Cancer Research UK “became aware that scammers are tricking cancer patients and their families into handing over money for ‘cannabis oil’, yet receiving nothing in return”. They promptly placed a message on their website warning that the fraudsters were operating using the e-mail address ‘ukcancerresearchcentre@gmail.com’ and claiming to be based at ‘407 St John Street’.

“This is a scam, and has nothing to do with Cancer Research UK or our employees,” they said. “If you believe you have been a victim of this fraud, please contact the police.”

Medicalmarijuana.eu spoke to Dr Emma Smith, the Science Information Manager at Cancer Research UK.

“While medical marijuana has been legalised in several US states, it’s illegal in the UK,” she told us yesterday. “And we still don’t know if it’s any better than other approved medicines at controlling pain or side effects caused by cancer treatment, or whether it can slow down cancer’s growth.”

But she was keen to stress that they are investigating these possibilities. “Cancer Research UK are funding the only clinical trials in the UK to find out if chemicals found in marijuana are of benefit to people with cancer,” Emma explained, but added that “the results of the trials are still a way off.”
Oil Scammers Image 1

Working on the assumption that there must be at least a remote chance that cannabis oil could help to reduce the symptoms of cancer, should people buy it on the black market? That’s not recommended according to Emma: “Outside of these clinical trials we urge patients not to buy so-called therapies from the internet,” she firmly asserted. “They are unregulated and may be unsafe or interfere with conventional cancer treatments.”

One name that I noticed appears again and again in relation to the cannabis plant “curing” cancer is Rick Simpson. He claims on his Facebook page that he “rediscovered a proper way of using oils produced from cannabis indica (dominant) strains for the treatment of thousands of health conditions including cancer.” He’s the author of an instructional book on the topic titled ‘Phoenix Tears – The Rick Simpson Story’ and has been wildly been accused of being a fraudster and a scammer.

“Whenever I asked Rick Simpson to write about his work, or engaged other journalists and writers to write about Rick Simpson, and finally when I tried to do it myself, Simpson never co-operated,” highly revered Canadian activist Marc ‘Prince of Pot’ Emery wrote in Cannabis Culture magazine. “I could never get actual names and phone numbers of patients who were allegedly ‘cured’,” he said. “I could never interview any patients. I could never get the formula used, or the strain, or anything specific whatsoever. That is why no journalist has been able to write about Simpson, he is unverifiable, in his claims, his patients, his documentation, everything, really.”

So I reached out to Rick’s team who were very accommodating and we agreed that I could do a 20-minute interview with him the following day. However, the next day it was cancelled due to a sudden insistence that Rick would be sent the article prior to publication and have the final say over the content.

Rick Simpson

If you do go down the route of obtaining or learning how to make oil from an underground or internet source I suppose looking at who they are, and ultimately what their motives are for the supplying of the product or information, could prove very beneficial. If those motives are purely profit-driven I would run away faster than Usain Bolt being chased by a segway.

Making your own oil with plants you grew yourself, or getting someone you trust to grow it for you, would be a more sensible idea than buying it online – unless you’re using Tor Browser to access reputable, peer rated outlets on the deep web. But even then, getting the correct cannabinoid ratio for your personal needs could prove difficult.

You can read more about the research that Cancer Research UK is involved in by clicking here.

You can follow medicalmarijuana.eu on Facebook or Twitter.

Simon Doherty
Simon Doherty has written extensively about youth culture for a number of publications including NORML UK, VICE, and Mixmag.



  1. What CRUK neglect to mention is that they are a big reason why desperate cancer patients are left with no choice but to go into the black market to acquire cannabis medicine. They have outright refused to provide any assistance to terminal cancer patients looking to use this medicine (and many have virtually begged them to either provide oil, test oil acquired independently, or at least monitor patients using the oil to provide proper case study style information). They have lied about the subject outright (including claiming that “cannabis cannot cure cancer” which is at best an unproven claim, and insisting that Sativex is different from street cannabis and only contains CBD and THC, when it is in fact a full plant extract). Many cancer patients have asked them to assist them with doses, administration, testing oils they acquire and all of these requests have been refused, often outright ignored.
    They also ignored countless pleas to trial, study or test cannabis oil’s efficacy both as a palliative and as a treatment and while they like to boast how they are funding the only trial related to cannabis the fact remains that they are only funding patented cannabis drugs, with an obvious allegiance to pharmaceutical companies over patient welfare.
    What choice do cancer patients have, especially terminal patients who have been given no hope through conventional treatments, than to brave the black market (which is sadly full of scammers and criminals) when an organisation like CRUK provide ZERO assistance to such people.
    The case against CRUK on this subject, including the instances of outright false claims made by them, is detailed in an article I wrote on this very subject.
    I’d urge you to check it out and see the other side of the story

  2. TomTom says:

    That’s a great article – thank you for sharing. Please contact us if you might be interested in writing for us.

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