Olivia-Newton John Weaned Herself Off Morphine By Using Cannabis

The 'Grease' actress opted for cannabis to help with her Stage 4 cancer treatment.
Olivia-Newton John Weaned Herself Off Morphine By Using Cannabis
Image credit: ROBYN BECK | Getty Images

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When it comes to the many celebrities who have endorsed the use of medical marijuana in the treatment of cancer, few are as powerful as the one from Olivia-Newton John. That’s because John is battling stage 4 cancer.

She’s been dealing with cancer since the early 1990s, when she first was diagnosed with breast cancer. It returned in 2013, but she beat it again. It then returned in 2017, when doctors told her it had metastasized and was in her bones. 

In short, John, who is now 70 years old, has been there. She’s still there. In a long interview with “60 Minutes Australia,” John talked about death, her battle with cancer and how marijuana helped her battle the disease.

It’s of interest in a country where opioid painkillers are legal but marijuana isn’t.

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John turned to cannabis as part of her drug regimen.

From the start, John took an approach that merged modern medicine with yoga, meditation and marijuana. She has said in numerous interviews that cannabis helped with her recovery. But in the “60 Minutes” interview, she revealed it helped her get off painkillers.

When her cancer returned in 2017, it came in the form of tumor that caused a sacral fracture that led to excruciating back pain. Originally, doctors gave her morphine for her pain. She didn’t want to use morphine because she knew how hard it is for many people to get off the painkillers once they start using them.

However, she eventually switched to marijuana and stopped using morphine. She primarily used cannabis oil. Her advocacy for cannabis in the treatment of pain is straightforward: 

“I really believe the cannabis has made a huge difference. If I don't take the drops, I can feel the pain, so I know it's working. I’m incredibly pro-cannabis”

Related: Gronk Gets Into The CBD Business

John’s husband grows cannabis for her treatment

John Easterling, John’s husbands the past 10 years, grows cannabis at their Santa Barbara home. He pointed out the irony that John, despite her star status, was never involved with the drug culture in the music business or Hollywood.

He said that marijuana took only 20 minutes to help alleviate her pain. “It’s not like you do it for 30 days and see what happens, you know right away.” He also said that the number and size of tumors is shrinking. 

John also said marijuana helped her deal with anxiety and sleeping better.

Studies have backed up what John experienced with getting herself off morphine. Researchers at the University of Texas-Galveston recently published a study that showed opioid prescriptions dropped in states where medical marijuana is legal. 

In 2018, a study from the University of California-San Diego and Weill Cornell Medical College found a 30 percent drop in opioid prescriptions between 1994 and 2014 with patients in the Medicaid system.

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