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One qualifying condition for medical cannabis that most states have in common is cancer. Currently, scientists have not proven that cannabis can cure, treat, or help with cancer. 


Still, it’s beyond doubt that cannabis can help remedy symptoms of cancer and chemotherapy, such as pain, nausea, lack of appetite, sleep problems, and fatigue.


So, it’s no surprise that cannabis for managing cannabis symptoms is gaining ground among patients and doctors. 


But, what does science say about cannabis for cancer, and what are the recommended cannabis products for cancer patients? Let’s find out.


Scientific Findings on Cannabis for Cancer

Scientists have studied the effect of medical cannabis on cancer and discovered that medical marijuana could help cancer patients manage their symptoms. 


Studies have not proven that marijuana can cure cancer, and like every other drug, marijuana has side effects.


According to the CDC, “avoiding or delaying conventional medical care for cancer or relying on marijuana alone to treat or manage the effects of cancer may have serious health consequences.”


You should discuss your treatment options with your doctor before you start using cannabis for cancer.

Does Cannabis Help Alleviate Cancer Symptoms?

Yes, science has proved this much.


The CDC unequivocally states that: “Studies of the chemicals (or cannabinoids) found in the marijuana plant suggest that certain cannabinoids can help treat nausea and vomiting from cancer chemotherapy, as well as in treating neuropathic pain (pain caused by damaged nerves).”


A scientific article published in 2013 stated that a 14-year-old terminal patient showed marked improvement with no side effects after treatment with Rick Simpson oil, a popular cannabis extract.


Another study performed over 11 years showed that study participants who used cannabis were at a lower risk of bladder cancer. It is yet to be proven if cannabis use lowered their risk of bladder cancer. 


The results of an experiment published in 2010 showed that CBD helped inhibit breast cancer. The study states that “the results have the potential to lead to the development of novel non-toxic compounds for the treatment of breast cancer metastasis.”


The National Cancer Institute states, “Chemical components of Cannabis, called cannabinoids, activate specific receptors throughout the body to produce pharmacological effects, particularly in the central nervous system and the immune system.” The institute also says that “Cannabinoids may have benefits in the treatment of cancer-related side effects.”

What Are The Available Cannabis Products For Cancer Patients?

You may see marketers tout many drugs as effective cancer treatments, but if the FDA has not approved them or they are not available in licensed dispensaries, you can’t be sure they are effective.


Even worse, such drugs may contain harmful substances. That’s why we’ve listed the best cannabis products for cancer below.

Dronabinol (Marinol, Syndros)

The FDA has approved Dronabinol, a drug containing delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, for the treatment of nausea and vomiting caused by cancer chemotherapy. The drug also treats weight loss and poor appetite in AIDS patients. 

Nabilone (Cesamet, Canemes)

Nabilone is another drug the FDA has approved for managing cancer symptoms; it is a synthetic cannabinoid. Patients can ingest Nabilone orally to treat nausea and vomiting.


CBD is noted for its pain relief and sedative qualities. Also, there’s evidence that CBD may enhance the effects and absorption of drugs used to treat cancer.


You may think, what is the best cannabis product for cancer pain? CBD is the likely answer, thanks to its sedative qualities.


CBD is also best for patients who do not want to experience the “high” associated with THC because it is not psychoactive and can counteract the “high” of THC. 

Nabiximols (Sativex) 

Nabiximols is legal in the UK, Canada, and other parts of Europe, but it is still under study in America, and the FDA has not approved its use for treating cancer symptoms.


It can treat cancer-related pain, muscle spasms, and symptoms of multiple sclerosis. 

Rick Simpson Oil

Rick Simpson Oil, also called RSO, is a cannabis oil created by a Canadian engineer and cannabis advocate named Rick Simpson.


RSO is made from cannabis via a process that ensures the final product contains all the cannabinoids and terpenes intact. It is made by washing cannabis buds with a solvent; then boiling off the solvent to produce the oil.


Rick Simpson was diagnosed with skin cancer in 2003, and he claims that marijuana treatment helped cure him, but scientists are yet to prove this claim.


Rick said applying RSO topically helped cure him of cancer but that patients can take it orally to help with internal cancers. Again, scientists have not verified his claims, but many patients use RSO to alleviate cancer symptoms and chemotherapy side effects. 


There is no branded RSO product in the market because Rick Simpson does not produce it for profit, but in states where medical marijuana is legal, you can find RSO products in dispensaries.

Side Effects of Cannabis for Cancer

Like all drugs, cannabis for cancer management has side effects. Hence, it is best to speak with a qualified doctor before you use any drug.


Also, medical cannabis for cancer can interact with other medication you may be taking, so DO NOT self-medicate.


After your prescription, all products you buy from licensed dispensaries are tested for harmful substances so that only quality products are available to patients.


Patients can also prevent side effects from using cannabis for cancer if they follow the correct dosage and physician’s instructions.


Cannabis may worsen the conditions of patients who suffer from paranoia, hallucinations, depression, mania, and other mental illnesses.


Other side effects of cannabis for cancer include:

  • Dizziness 
  • Drowsiness
  • Increased heart rate
  • Mood changes 
  • Blood pressure problems
  • Memory problems 


Older patients are more likely to suffer these side effects, so doctors often start them in low doses. 


Like we’ve said before, you can prevent many of these side effects if you speak with a qualified marijuana doctor before you use cannabis for cancer. Also, have someone you trust close by when you start using cannabis for cancer or if you change your dose so that they can look after you if you notice any changes. 

Cannabis, Cancer, and Psychoactivity

Psychoactivity is a common side effect of using cannabis for cancer. Some cannabis drugs contain a high concentration of THC, and as such, patients are likely to experience unwanted psychoactive effects.


On the other hand, CBD products are not psychoactive, so they are recommended for patients who don’t want to experience psychoactivity. A review of studies conducted in 2017 showed that CBD is generally safe and has few side effects.

Should I Consume Cannabis for Cancer?

Cannabis is a proven remedy for symptoms of cancer and side effects of chemotherapy, such as nausea, fatigue, and loss of appetite. Consuming cannabis to manage these symptoms can improve a patient’s quality of life. 


Using cannabis for cancer has side effects. Fortunately, they can be managed or even eliminated, which is why it is best to speak with a qualified marijuana doctor before you use medical marijuana.


Also, how you use cannabis for cancer matters. Smoking may exacerbate the condition of patients with certain forms of cancer, and patients with lung cancer should not smoke anything.


Your doctor is the best person to advise you on the mode of administration. Doctors may recommend cannabis topicals for cancer patients who suffer from skin cancer.


You can find the best cannabis products for cancer in licensed dispensaries; you only need your medical marijuana card.

Elevate Holistics Can Be Your Trusted Wellness Guide

Here at Elevate Holistics, we believe in the healthful benefits of marijuana and that access should not be a barrier to these benefits. That’s why we have developed a full-option marijuana service that acts as the bridge between you and the benefits of nature’s wonder plant.


We have up-to-date and vital information to help you make the most of medical marijuana, and we would love to share them with you; all you have to do is ask.


With your medical marijuana card, you can buy the best cannabis products for cancer patients from licensed dispensaries.


However, the first step to getting your medical marijuana card is an appointment with a qualified marijuana doctor, and we can make that happen. 

Get Your MMJ Card Right From Home

Elevate Holistics’ process is quick, affordable, and done entirely online. It’s never been so easy.

About the author

Ally Hilbert is the Content and SEO Manager here at Elevate Holistics, working to publish and run Elevate’s blogs and landing pages, as well as conduct keyword research, competitor analysis, and more. After having brain surgery at the age of 17, Ally became fascinated with medical cannabis and its benefits, and, at 18, had her first CBD-related piece published. Today, she’s been writing about cannabis for the past six years, and simply can’t think of a better company to get to do it for. When she’s not writing or editing, Ally’s side-by-side with her pup Sadie in Seattle.
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