2,500-Year-Old Mummy Treated Breast Cancer with Cannabis

New imaging of an Ukok woman who died at the age of 25, whose mummified body was found on Siberia's Ukok Plateau in 1993, showed that she likely used cannabis as treatment for breast cancer.

The cause of her death is not certain, but the Siberian Times reported that an MRI shows the woman suffered from stage IV breast cancer. The mummy had a tumor in her right breast and axial lymph nodes with metastases in the spine, Dr. Andrey Letyagin, of the Institute of Physiology and Fundamental Medicine, told the source. 

The mummy was found surrounded by the remains of riches of the time, from hearty meals to six horses that were saddled as if ready to be ridden. Researchers believed she was a princess or a shaman based on her lavish burial.

The woman was also buried with cannabis, and experts concluded she used the drug as a form of treatment for the cancer. The woman was thought to have had the disease from age 20 to 25.

Scientists speculated that the woman's use of cannabis may have led her to have visions, which were taken as spiritual messages by her people, and that is what earned her a high-ranking status in her community. 

"Probably for this sick woman, sniffing cannabis was a forced necessity. And she was often in an altered state of mind. We can suggest that through her the ancestral spirits and gods could speak," Dr. Natalia Polosmak, the archeologist who found her remains, told the source.

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