Elton Goo was surfing in Peru when the government closed its borders to fight COVID-19 in March 2020. As an avid surfer, being temporarily stranded in one of the best countries in the world to score some “epic surf” might not have been such a bad thing, but unfortunately, Elton, who was diagnosed in 2016 with terminal lung cancer at age 55, was running out of his medication. He had no way to attain more. He ended up taking the medication every other day, but it ran out. “My health was fading,” said Elton.

In lieu of his regular medication, Elton was able to attain some CBD, an oil derived from the cannabis plant, which he had been taking along with his prescribed cancer medication since 2016.

With the genetics of longevity on his side, along with a healthy and active lifestyle, Elton’s initial diagnosis came as a shock. But in November 2020, Elton found out that he was cancer-free — a miracle, he says. Elton credits his recovery to God and a medicinal marijuana product called “Rick Simpson Oil” (RSO), a concentrated cannabis oil with a very high THC content. It is a full-spectrum, whole-plant extract that retains all components of the cannabis plant, including cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids.

The results of RSO use are promising, according to a “Healthline” article, but “large human studies are needed before cannabis becomes a recommended cancer treatment… If you want to try using RSO for cancer, it’s best to keep up with any other treatments recommended by your doctor.”

Since his diagnosis in 2016, Elton had been on a mission to surf the world and live each day as if it were his last. At age 60 and cancer-free, his mission continues. An avid sports fan, he travels extensively, seeking new surf spots and attending sporting events of all kinds. “The last three times after returning from my travels, I received a notice from Hawai‘i Department of Health that I might have come in contact with a COVID-positive person,” says Elton, who is fully vaccinated. “But each time, my COVID test came back negative.”

“There were many times during my travels when I found myself coughing,” says Elton. “Each time, I would grab my syringe of RSO and go to bed. The following morning, I would always feel fine.” A syringe facilitates accurate  measurement for oral consumption of RSO, an easy-to-use concentrate.

In January, Oregon State University published research results showing that two cannabis compounds — cannabigerolic acid (CBGA) and cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) — have the ability to prevent the COVID-19 virus from entering human cells. The compounds bound to spike proteins on the virus and blocked a step the pathogen uses to infect people.

Elton has had many personal encounters with terminal patients who have recovered from cancer using RSO. “But don’t go rushing out to buy marijuana to smoke,” he says. Applying heat to the key compounds changes their makeup, and then they are not effective. Eating it metabolized the compounds, also making them ineffective. Both these methods of consumption produce a high, which Elton found to be unpleasant. “To work as a medicine, the dosage is strong. I was stoned out of my mind for months.” The medication he now uses as a preventative treatment comes in suppository form, with no psychotropic effects.

O‘ahu residents with medical marijuana cards can contact Jason Hanley, the owner of CARE Waialua, a patient-based cannabis farm on O‘ahu that gives those with a Hawaii 329 or cannabis cards a place to get medical marijuana. Call 808-224-0510 or visit www.instagram.com/care_waialua for additional information.

“God may have given us the tools to combat the two ‘Big Cs’— cancer and COVID,” says Elton. “We must proceed with an open mind and support further study of the therapeutic properties and potential of this unorthodox treatment.”