Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Olivia Newton-John, on her third bout with breast cancer, swears by medicinal cannabis to help with her symptoms. So much so, she’s started a foundation that aims to research the benefits of plant-based medicine.
Undergoing treatment for stage-four metastatic breast cancer, the 73-year-old Grease star and 80s music icon says two things are getting her through this fight: positivity and cannabis.
Husband John Easterling has been growing medicinal marijuana for his wife on their ranch in Santa Barbara, where it’s legal to do so. In her native Australia, however, she’s lobbied the government to approve medical cannabis, especially for cancer patients.
“Medicinal cannabis is something that should be available to everyone who is going through a chronic illness or pain,” she told Who Magazine via the Daily Mirror.
Seeing the fight through
According to Prevention, this isn’t new for Newton-John. In 2020, she sang the plant’s praises on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen. “It’s really helped me with the pain, with sleep, with anxiety, I believe with inflammation,” she said.
Easterling founded his plant-based medicine business Amazon Herb Company in 1990, which has since merged with TriVita. He now grows 21 different strains of cannabis.
“I was a little nervous because I don’t like the feeling of any kind of mind-altering thing,” the actress once told Good Housekeeping. “But I started out very slowly, and I adjusted to it, and it’s really helped me greatly.”
It even helped her get off opioids, which were paramount during her most difficult struggle against the disease. That’s why she started the Olivia Newton-John Foundation: To ensure everyone has access to the education, the products, and the benefits of plant-based medicine.
“I was a little nervous because I don’t like the feeling of any kind of mind-altering thing,” the actress told Good Housekeeping. “But I started out very slowly, and I adjusted to it, and it’s really helped me greatly.”
Study after study has shown the benefits of marijuana as medicine, especially for those undergoing treatment for cancer.
“My dream is that we will realize a world beyond cancer. I honestly believe we can do it,” Newton-John says on the foundation’s website. It’s safe to say we all do.