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Hash test dummy Mum who grew cannabis plants ended up with crop 'so rotten, she couldn't give it away'

Arthritis sufferer Avril Smith (46) told Cork Circuit Criminal Court she cultivated 33 mature plants in a bid to manufacture cannabis oil to help with her condition.

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Avril Smith got a suspended sentence

Avril Smith got a suspended sentence

Avril Smith got a suspended sentence

This is the mum who cultivated a €27,000 crop of cannabis 'so rotten, she couldn't give it away.'

Arthritis sufferer Avril Smith (46) told Cork Circuit Criminal Court she cultivated 33 mature plants in a bid to manufacture cannabis oil to help with her condition.

She received a two-year suspended sentence after the court accepted her excuse was genuine and she was not involved in dealing the drug in any way.

Smith, however, declined to further explain her actions when approached by the Sunday World at her home outside Mallow last week.

"A journalist," she asked incredulously when our reporter knocked on her door.

"Are you out of your head?"

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Avril Smith speaks to our man Patrick O’Connell

Avril Smith speaks to our man Patrick O’Connell

Avril Smith speaks to our man Patrick O’Connell

A court report on her case, originally carried on the Cork-based Echo Live website, was picked up by news agencies around the world.

According to the website, Smith pleaded guilty to possession of €27,000 worth of cannabis herb and to cultivating 33 mature cannabis plants with a street value of €26,000 at a house at Ballyviniter Lower in Mallow on November 19, 2018.

Detective Garda Will Hosford of the Mallow District Drugs Squad said when gardai raided the house they found 33 mature plants, along with a quantity of cannabis herb, and Smith took full responsibility for both when questioned about them.

Crop

She told gardai that she suffered from arthritis and that she found the cannabis was helpful for the condition.

She said her plan was to turn the drug into cannabis oil to treat her arthritis and she went through the entire oil production process with gardai.

However, she told gardai that the cannabis herb from her first crop did not prove to be successful and quickly began to rot and, in fact, it looked off-colour, said Det Garda Hosford.

He said Smith told gardai that she could not give it away nor could she even smoke it herself it was so rotten.

Det Garda Hosford said that Smith was upfront and honest with gardai from the outset about the drugs and they found no evidence of any of the other equipment, such as weighing scales or packing equipment, associated with drug dealing.

Judge Sean O Donnabhain said he accepted the garda evidence regarding their belief that Smith was not involved in drug dealing and he noted that the harvested drugs found on the premises had passed their sell-by date.

He said in all the circumstances, including Smith's guilty plea, and the fact she had no relevant previous convictions, he believed a deterrent sentence rather than a custodial sentence was appropriate and he gave her a two year suspended sentence.

A number of studies have been carried out to evaluate the effect of using cannabis oil to treat rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

The first controlled trial to evaluate the use of cannabis-based medicine to treat RA happened in 2006.

Researchers concluded that, after five weeks of use, a cannabis-based medication called Sativex reduced inflammation and significantly improved pain.

Pain

Participants also reported improved sleep, and most of the side effects were mild.

A 2008 review of the use of CBD (cannabidiol oil) to treat chronic pain similarly concluded that CBD reduced pain and improved sleep without any negative side effects.

CBD oil is a medicinal product derived from cannabis.

Many of the primary chemicals in cannabis are cannabidiols.

However, CBD oils do not contain THC, the compound in cannabis that makes you "high".

In 2016, another study was done using CBD gel on rats.

Researchers again found that the CBD gel reduced both joint pain and inflammation without any side effects.

However, experts caution that further exploration is warranted as the existing studies have been relatively small.

According to healthline.com, many more studies, especially on large numbers of human participants, are still needed to fully understand the effects of CBD oil and other cannabis-based treatments on RA symptoms.

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