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The Benefits of Cannabis for Post-Cancer Recovery and Cancer Survivors


cannabis for cancer survivors

Anyone who has ever lost a loved one, or seen a loved one suffer through cancer but survive, can tell you that the Big C does horrendous things to both the body and the mind.


For cancer survivors, regaining quality of life is essential after treatment. There are also many other things you can do to ensure that the years ahead are bright, hopeful, and healthy. Doctors recommend the usual guidelines for cancer survivors which are no different from anyone who wants to improve their overall health: keep your weight down, eat more vegetables, stay away from inflammatory-inducing food and drink, don’t smoke, exercise, get enough sleep, and minimize exposure to stress.


In addition, adding cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) to your post-cancer recovery plan can also produce a tremendous amount of health benefits.


Side Effects of Chemotherapy and Radiation

Coming off chemotherapy and radiation treatments can often leave cancer patients feeling fatigued and restless, especially if they suffered from anxiety and insomnia as a result of these medications. Not being able to get proper rest and shutting off the mind will only impact your healing and wreak havoc on your immune system.


CBD has been proven to be a safe, natural tool for managing anxiety and insomnia. Patients can use a variety of forms of CBD whenever anxiety kicks in, while higher doses can be taken at the end of the day to ensure restful sleep. Because sleep plays such an important role in overall health, getting too little of it will affect nearly all your systems especially immunity, the brain, hormone regulation, weight, and metabolism. It also affects cell function and growth, which is even more reason to use CBD to assist in sleep and cancer recovery.



Cancer-related pain can affect many patients even months or years after treatment. Meanwhile, during treatment, pain can be caused by the tumor or cancer in the body part where it is located, or in the areas surrounding it especially if it grows.


In some cases, cancer survivors still have to deal with chronic pain. It can be so persistent that finding relief may feel hopeless, and it can also affect your overall quality of life. CBD is an excellent alternative to opioids for finding relief from pain; studies show that its powerful anti-inflammatory responses provide amazing relief from many kinds of pain. In a 2018 study, researchers found out that CBD was effective for reducing pain associated with cancer as well as neuropathic problems and fibromyalgia.


Improve appetite

Cancer treatments, medications, and stress can all affect the appetite of patients. Loss of appetite has been one of the biggest side effects of chemotherapy and radiation, and it can linger on for weeks or months after treatment.


Certain types of THC are known to induce appetite and make eating enjoyable again; this has been proven in many studies time and again. You can consume THC in many ways, and expect to find it appealing to eat different types of food over time. However, be sure to pay attention to the types of food you eat; to maximize cancer recovery, it’s always recommended to eat more fruits and vegetables especially dark green veggies. Make eating colorful foods a part of your daily lifestyle, and drink lots of water throughout the day.


However, you may also be prone to nausea and vomiting especially if you are still fresh from cancer treatment. While THC and CBD can reduce nausea and vomiting, especially high CBD products, it’s best to still avoid foods that are high in fat and grease, as well as foods that have a strong smell. For some patients, they find it easier to start eating soft foods and nothing with too much acid or texture. Alcohol, salt, and caffeine should be limited, if eaten at all.


Quit Tobacco

Smoking cigarettes is responsible for around 20% of all types of cancer in the United States alone, and 30% of all deaths. On top of that, smoking is linked to 80% of all lung cancers and lung cancer deaths.


The good news is that smoking-related cancers are avoidable and preventable. Having said that, it’s easier said than done to quit smoking. CBD in particular has been shown to be helpful in smoking cessation because of its anxiolytic effects. Some cancer survivors think that just because they have kicked the Big C, they can resume smoking again. Why not try CBD to kick the habit once and for all?


Even if you have survived cancer, smoking again can put you at risk for developing another type of cancer down the line. Reduce your chances simply by quitting cold turkey, with the use of CBD.


Avoid Stress

Cancer is perhaps the most stressful disease anyone can have. It takes a serious toll on your emotional, mental, and physical well-being. Surviving cancer doesn’t automatically signal the end of these distresses, and in some cases you may even have PTSD from all the difficulties you went through as a cancer patient.


In combination with a healthy lifestyle, CBD and/or THC can be used to relax more efficiently. You can even use it in combination with other stress-reduction tools such as meditation, relaxation, cancer support groups, and counselling. Limit interactions with people or environments that stress you out and focus on activities that bring you joy.



Cannabis comes in many forms and they are widely available for cancer patients and survivors to use. Always begin treatment with cannabis under the guidance of your physician or a doctor who is knowledgeable about cannabis and cancer, so that you never have to second guess the type of consumption method or dosage that is best for your specific needs.






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