A 52-year-old mother who took cannabis oil to battle her terminal cancer has been given the all-clear by doctors.
Joy Smith was told she would only have six weeks to live when she was diagnosed with incurable stomach and bowel cancer in August 2016.
In a desperate attempt to defy expectations, she began taking a cannabis oil that contained THC, which is illegal in the UK. She is believed to have bought it online.
And after a rollercoaster two years, she found out on Monday morning that she was cancer-free and would no longer have to have chemotherapy.
Ms Smith, from Coventry, said: ‘I am going to party for the rest of my life. I have got to be the only person in the world who 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.’
Ms Smith was told that she would have little longer than a month left to live unless she started chemotherapy to buy her more time.
She started having treatment every two weeks for three days but had to have the line that delivered her chemotherapy taken out after she developed sepsis.
Ms Smith was unaware her friends had been researching an alternative cancer cure online until she was handed a cannabis-based tablet out of the blue.
She admitted that she didn’t want to take it at first because she ‘didn’t know what it was’ – but did so anyway in the hope of a cure.
The effects of THC – the compound that causes the ‘high’ – left her feeling ‘drunk’, Ms Smith claimed as she struggled to speak and ‘words just slurred out’.
Ms Smith then started researching cannabis oil online and discovered it had worked for other sufferers – even though scientists are dubious.
After taking regular doses of cannabis oil containing THC, which is currently illegal in the UK, her inoperable tumours almost completely disappeared.
Ms Smith spoke about her battle against cancer with the oil in March when scans showed just a small amount of the disease left in her stomach.
She was hopeful then that cancer would completely disappear with continued cannabis oil use.
And Ms Smith said she hadn’t stopped smiling since her appointment with her consultant on Monday, and said the news has yet to sink in.
Ms Smith has received thousands of messages from fellow sufferers desperate to know more about her miracle cure, which has left doctors stunned.
She said: ‘I am just so happy. This is all down to the cannabis oil. I shouldn’t be here, but I am.
‘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.’
The legal status of cannabis oil in the UK has confused thousands after a landmark ruling that CBD, a compound in the drug, can be sold as a medicine with the correct licence. It is sold over-the-counter in Holland & Barrett. However, cannabis oil, which contains THC, is strictly illegal.
Cannabis oil and CBD oil is usually bottled with a dropper – but can also come in the form of chewing gum, soap or as a vape oil for e-cigarettes.
Both have been reported to help people with epilepsy, rheumatism, migraines, psoriasis, acne, multiple sclerosis and depression.
Cannabis oil is not available legally in the UK but can be sourced online. Ms Smith said the people contacting her are desperate to know how to get hold of it themselves.
Although she can’t supply the oil herself, she tries to help in other ways. Ms Smith is writing a book about her journey so far and is determined to get it legalised.
She said: ‘I have got to get it legalised. I am so happy, happier than I have ever been. I just keep sharing the petition and hope it will make a difference.
‘I believe my reason for being here is to help everyone else. Unless you have been faced with death you don’t know.’
Ms Smith is now looking forward to her life going back to normal. She said she will have her hair grow back after the long period of treatment.
She said: ‘I haven’t had chemo for eight weeks, and four weeks ago was my last cancer treatment.
‘I will have hair growing back, my nails will be strong. It just hasn’t sunk in yet.
‘I have to thank all the nurses and the doctors at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire, they’ve been amazing and especially, Dr Sohgi.
‘They have been the best for me, even though I have defied all their science.’
A few days after learning she had nearly beaten the disease in March, Ms Smith discovered she won a competition she entered while ‘high’.
After ticking everything off her bucket list after she received the terminal diagnosis, she was unsure how to spend her £84,000 prize money.
Ms Smith has started a petition to make cannabis oil legal in the UK for medical use, which has attracted more than 17,000 signatures.
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