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The best cannabis strains for cancer-related symptoms

October 20, 2015

Almost every state with medical marijuana laws allows the use of cannabis for cancer patients, and considering the myriad of side effects associated with the disease and its treatments, it’s easy to see why. Cannabis can remedy pain, curb nausea, encourage the appetite, boost the mood, offer energy and motivation, assist with sleep, promote weight gain, and rekindle social enjoyment.


Cannabis and cancer

Each strain has its own unique effect profile, and what might be effective for one symptom might not be right for another. For you and your loved ones going through a cancer battle, we’ve compiled a list of strain suggestions for each symptom type, as well as some general guidance for managing pain, nausea, appetite loss, depression, and fatigue with cannabis.

Cannabis strains for pain

Strains containing high levels of both THC and CBD tend to be the most effective pain relievers due to their synergistic effects, but strains abundant in either of these cannabinoids may also do the trick.

Blackberry Kush

blackberry kush cannabis strainBlackberry Kush is a THC-dominant strain that crushes pain with a tidal wave of  physical relief. This one will keep you thoroughly tranquilized, so save it for nights and restful days.



harlequin cannabis strain

With a one-two punch of THC and CBD, Harlequin annihilates pain with minimal mental cloudiness. Keep this strain on deck for clear-headed relief throughout the day.

For more pain-relieving strain suggestions, check out this expanded list of suggestions or use Leafly’s search filters.

Cannabis strains for nausea

Nausea is best treated with strains containing some degree of THC, and this relief is typically delivered most quickly and effectively when smoked or vaporized.

Northern Lights

northern lights cannabis strain

The soothing power of Northern Lights will keep you glued in one spot for a while, but your nausea will stand no chance against its stomach-calming properties. With impressive THC contents that have won it numerous awards, Northern Lights is some of the most potent herbal medicine available for sour stomachs.

Blueberry Diesel

The Blueberry Diesel hybrid offers a fine balance of effects that are neither racy nor lethargic. Upset stomachs will settle while moods are lifted to new heights, making this strain a fantastic medicine for both mind and body.


Explore more nausea-relieving strains.

Cannabis strains for appetite loss

When it comes to dealing with appetite loss, high-THC strains are the way to go. If you’re worried about feeling overly stoned, try these in small doses or look for strain that has a balance of THC and CBD.

Bubba Kush

Appetite loss stands no chance against the high-THC strain Bubba Kush. It’ll help you work up a ravenous hunger, but beware of the couchlock tendencies of this strain if you’re looking to stay up and active.

Granddaddy Purple


granddaddy purple cannabis strain

The high-THC content of this classic strain isn’t the only thing that will get your appetite going–Granddaddy Purple’s sweet aroma of berries and grapes will have you craving a fruit medley (and quite possibly a fridge full of various carbs as well).

For more appetite-inducing strain suggestions, check out this expanded list of suggestions or use Leafly’s search filters.

Cannabis strains for depression

For depression symptoms, strains that boost both energy and mood tend to be the most effective. Try a strain high in the terpenes limonene or terpinolene, or consider a CBD strain that’ll help keep your mind clear and active.



Chernobyl cannabis strain

Chernobyl comes loaded with a sweet aroma of lemons and limes, and has the remarkable ability to jumpstart your energy and mood any time of the day.


pennywise cannabis strainPennywise is the strain you’ll want if you’re looking for a relaxed mindset without dizzying euphoria. The effects of this balanced CBD/THC strain are very clear-headed and focused as opposed to sleepy.

For more depression-curbing strain suggestions, check out this expanded list of suggestions or use Leafly’s search filters.

Cannabis strains for fatigue

A modest dose of an uplifting THC strain can be helpful for fatigue, but if THC makes you sleepy, we recommend something with balanced levels of THC and CBD.


cinex cannabis strain

When you’re tired, it’s hard to motivate yourself into the hobbies and activities you once enjoyed. The high-energy strain Cinex can help you change that, as enhanced sensory awareness and focus help you rediscover your happy, creative side.


Strains high in THC can be overly sedating for some. A strain with more CBD, like Cannatonic, would be a great choice for consumers who need just a gentle boost of relief alongside mental clarity.


Explore more fatigue-curbing strains.

  • paul

    what about cancer itself? indica best?

  • carolina Abah

    cannabis Idica cures cancer, Get some oil at

  • William Niblock

    Just got my stage 4 throat and lymph diagnosis and looking for recommendations to stop it’s progression. Being treated by the VA won’t go too fast either and there docs gave me 2-6 months before I m done. Suggestions???

    • Whatley

      Warning!!! AnnCannaMed is a scam.

  • Brian Woodworth

    I’ve been using them to get the appropriate quantity of bud and CBD oil needed for my condition for the past two months. My second order arrived just 2 days ago. They are quite discreet and professional

  • Debbie Lynn Meents-Aman

    My dad had pancreatic cancer, had surgery and it was successful, only to come back 2 years later now in the kidneys, lymph nodes and pancreas, what suggestions do you have. I have Green Revolution CBD Tincture oil with 12.5 MG CBD per dropper, Charlottes Web Tincture with 50 MG per dropper and CBD capsules with 50 MG each. Any other ideas are needed and welcomed..

    • Bhupinder Arora

      Hello Debbie…I am in same situation with my dad…he got diagnosed and the surgery was done successfully to remove the affected head of pancreas and adjoining parts that could be impacted. According to biopsy there doesn’t seem to be any metastases. The report says ductal adenocarcinoma and categorized as stage 2. He has just started chemo now and we are trying to take the dietary precautions and additions and doing things to be aware of keeping body oxygenated, alkalized and free from sugar.
      However, we want to include cannabis oil in the mix as well. I have no idea which strains would work and where to buy them from and how much dosage would be right to start with. If you could please guide me I will be very grateful. Thanks.

  • Tjay Austin

    What marijuana strain or oil can cure leukemia

  • Sharron Mullarkey

    I am Uk based, my Dad has recently been told he has cancer, and they are unable to give him any “conventional” treatment. The cancer is in the lymph nodes in his lungs, they are secondaries, the Oncologist believes, as they cannot locate any primary, that his own body has killed the primary, which does happen we are told. I have got him 10% CBD oil, and am hoping to get an oil containing TCH that will be the right one for him, not an easy call when you are dealing with something that is illegal in this neck of the woods. If anyone can advise me regarding which oil would be best for him, containing THC from which strain of plant I would be very very grateful. And my hope and love to everyone out there in the same situation. xx

  • Reg Black

    You forgot the best cancer stain of all UBC CHEMO was invented by the University of British Columbia Canada specifically for cancer patients back in the 80’s and a version of that just was in high times top 10 strains from 2017 Remo Chemo

  • Sharon Gerson

    my son on law was just diagnosed with stage 4 cancer in colon, on liver and abdominal wall. he starts chemo in 2 days. the doctors have basically given him a death sentence and he is only 39. I have heard stories of people with stage 4 that are now cancer free. Any suggestions?

    • Jillian McWhorter

      Get him to a good acupuncurist and load him up with CBD. I have Stage 4 cancer and have been told by Sloan Kettering and MD Anderson integrative docs to do acupuncture at least once a week, and take Maitake D mushroom liquid supplement every day. There is some (if little) research that shows tumor shrinkage from mushrooms. I’m so sorry you’re going through this. Good luck!