A Coventry woman who claims she cured her terminal cancer with cannabis oil and won £84,000 in a competition she entered whilst ‘stoned’ has said she will do everything she can to legalise the drug that saved her life.
Doctors gave Joy Smith six weeks to live when she was diagnosed with cancer in her stomach and bowel, but almost two years later she is close to getting the all clear.
She claims that regular doses of THC cannabis oil, which is illegal in the UK, have destroyed her inoperable tumours leaving doctors stunned by her miraculous recovery.
“When you’re told you have six weeks to live you’ll try anything, trust me,” Joy, 52, said.
“I was a bit sceptical about the oil at first as I’d never taken drugs or anything like that – but I know I would not be here today without it. I want to tell everybody.
“Cannabis oil should be legalised for medical purposes – people are dying and the chemotherapy isn’t curing them.”
‘I didn’t know what it was’
Joy, from Cheylesmore, was diagnosed with terminal cancer in August 2016 and told by doctors that she would only have six weeks to live, unless she started chemotherapy to buy her more time.
She was having treatment every two weeks for three days, but had to have her line taken out after developing sepsis.
Joy was unaware that her friends had been researching an alternative cure until she was handed a tablet by one of them in hospital.
“She said ‘open your mouth’ – I didn’t want to take it at first, I didn’t know what it was,” Joy told the Telegraph.
“Afterwards I felt drunk, all the nurses were looking at me and I was trying to act normal. I couldn’t speak, my words just slurred out.”
Cannabis oil is made from the sticky resin produced by the cannabis plant which contains substances known as ‘cannabinoids’.
THC is the cannabinoid which causes users to feel ‘high’ and cannabis oils which contain it are currently illegal in the UK.
Thick black tar
After researching its medicinal use online, Joy’s friends managed to find somebody who could to produce it for her and convinced her to try it.
Joy began reading up on the drug herself and found out about a woman in America who had cured her cancer by growing her cannabis and producing her own oil.
She even tried speaking to her consultant at the hospital in a bid to find out if her new treatment could be her lifeline.
“I was looking for reassurance,” Joy said. “I wanted to know if anyone had ever been cured by it.”
Joy may have been uncertain at first, but she quickly became convinced it was helping her to heal.
“I was taking it on and off. But when I’d been having it three to five times a week, the scans were getting better and then when I stopped taking it the scans showed no change.”
Joy describes the medicine as a “thick black tar” mixed with olive oil, which tasted so awful she had to take it in small capsules.
“At first I was only taking a tiny drop the size of about half a grain of rice.
“Sometimes it takes hours to kick in and sometimes it’s straight away. You do get stoned and you get very tired. It made me want to sleep so I tend to just stay in bed when I’ve taken it.”
It was while she was bed-bound feeling the effects of the drug that she entered a competition resulting in a life-changing win just days after finding out her cancer was almost gone for good.
“I would have been stoned in bed and I entered an ITV competition, it must have been a text to win one,” she said.
“I went to Spain for a scan to see if they could pick up where the cancer had started because the doctors here couldn’t tell me.
“When they saw my scan they told me the cancer had disappeared I’d saved myself by using cannabis oil.
“I’d just got back from the trip when Loose Women phoned me to tell me I’d won £84,000 – I thought they were winding me up!”
But having ticked off everything on her bucket list after her devastating first diagnosis, Joy has been left without much of a plan for her winnings.
“I did everything I wanted to do,” Joy said. “The money doesn’t even feel real at the moment, it’s just so surreal. It’s been a whirlwind.”
Cannabis oil – what is it?
Some forms of cannabis oil are now available to buy in shops in the UK.
The cannabinoid CBD is not considered a controlled substance, and is therefore 100% legal. This is what cannabis oils sold in the UK are made from.
THC is the intoxicating and psychoactive substance that is responsible for causing the marijuana high. It is considered a controlled substance, and is therefore illegal.
Cannabis oil can be beneficial for people who suffer from stress, anxiety, depression or lack of sleep. It has also been suggested that it can be used to help alleviate the pain of cancer patients.
However, cancer charitysaid: “There are side effects of using cannabis oil. Cannabinoids can increase your heart rate, cause dizziness, hallucinations, paranoia and make you feel ‘stoned’. They may also interact with other drugs.”
It has also been claimed cannabis oil can treat symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease and MS.