Woman claims cannabis oil 'cured' her terminal cancer, after being cleared by doctors
The debate over legalizing marijuana rages on in many different countries. Some critics have been guilty of overstating the health risks, and some advocates have been guilty of overstating the health benefits. More research is needed, but it's clear cannabis has some therapeutic effects. According to Medical News Today, marijuana has helped patients suffering from chronic pain, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, PTSD, depression and anxiety.
There's evidence cannabis has been effective at treating the side effects of chemotherapy, such as nausea and vomiting. However, Joy Smith, a 52-year-old mother from Coventry, England, has made even a bolder claim. In an appearance on ITV's Morning, Smith she said cannabis oil, which is illegal in the U.K., 'cured' her terminal cancer.
In July 2016, Smith was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. In August, she was told the cancer spread to her stomach and bowels. Doctors said she had only six weeks to live. In an attempt to buy more time, she started chemotherapy. But after receiving the treatment for three days every two weeks, she developed sespsis, a life-threatening infection that causes your immune system to attack your body. The line that delivered the chemotherapy had to be taken out.
As Smith faced her mortality, her friends researched alternative cures, and discovered cannabis oil. One day a friend surprised her with a cannabis-based tablet, and told her to try it. At first, Smith didn't want to take the pill, because she "didn't know what it was." But having run out of options, she decided it couldn't hurt. Smith says that the tablet made her feel "drunk," "giggly" and when she spoke, her words were "slurred." (The cannabis oil contained THC, which is the compound in marijuana that makes you high.)
Curious about the health benefits, Smith did some online research. Scientists are dubious of cannabis oil's curative effects, but some people insist it has healing potential. And now Smith is one of those people. After taking the oil regularly for two years, doctors have cleared her of cancer. The 52-year-old mother is cancer-free and will no longer need chemotherapy.
"I am going to party for the rest of my life," said Smith. "I have got to be the only person in the world to have survived this. I keep pinching myself to see if this is real. I am being monitored every three months, but other than that I have no more treatment planned. ... My daughter is in Australia at the minute and when I told her she thought I was lying. Everyone around me has been amazing, I have an army behind me and they're all so happy."
Smith said she plans to write a book about her experience and advocate for cannabis oil to be legal in the U.K. An online petition she created already has 17,000 signatures. But it is important to note, again, that more research on this subject is needed. One should not come away from this story thinking "cannabis cures cancer!" But Smith's case could be further testament to cannabis' therapeutic effects. I mean, if cigarettes are legal in the U.K., why not cannabis oil?
Congratulations to Smith on her remarkable recovery. Party on!