Marijuana helps ease Olivia's cancer pain


Olivia Newton-John says she wants Australians to have easier access to medical marijuana as the Aussie star battles cancer for a second time, the Huffington Post has reported.

The Grease actress, who first fought breast cancer 25 years ago, has revealed to NewsCorp Australia that she uses cannabis as part of her current cancer battle, which began earlier this year.

Newton-John says she will champion the use of the controversial drug because of its positive effect in her own fight with breast cancer, which has now spread to her spine.

"I use medicinal cannabis, which is really important for pain and healing," she told NewsCorp.

"I will do what I can to encourage it. It's an important part of treatment, and it should be available."

Medical marijuana is legal in the star's adopted home of California, while in Australia the federal government has recently changed laws to allow its medicinal use.

However, obtaining permission to use the plant for medical purposes remains complicated, with advocates urging authorities to streamline the process.

Newtown-John said her back pain, caused by the cancer at the base of her spine, had completely disappeared after using marijuana.

The pain was so bad prior to using the substance that the 68-year-old said she was "limping and walking like a duck and a penguin for a while."

"I am getting my mobility back to normal all the time, but I have done tests of course to see that things are better, have had my blood work tested, and these things lead me to believe that I am on top of it," said Newton-John, who will visit Melbourne this week to fundraise for her wellness centre.

The British-born Australian star was initially diagnosed with breast cancer 25 years ago and has been active in raising awareness about the disease ever since.

Research into the benefits of cannabis on cancer and other diseases is not new. Israel has been at the forefront of global pioneer research into medical cannabis, with scientists at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa recently releasing the preliminary results of a cancer study that examined the effects of 50 varieties of cannabis with 200 different cancer cells, revealed.

The researchers noticed that cannabinoids have the ability to slow tumour growth and even selectively promote cancer cell death in a process known as “apoptosis.” These findings replicate those uncovered in a Spanish study from 2013, which specifically looked at THC as a potential anti-cancer agent. Now scientists in Israel wonder how different combinations of cannabis derivatives, and their dose and delivery method, affect different types of cancer cells.

Cancer patients have been prescribed and using medical marijuana for pain, nausea, and appetite loss associated with treatment, but the growing body of evidence science has to offer makes one wonder what else cannabis is capable of, reported.

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Image source: Getty

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