What are the best cannabis strains for cancer-related symptoms?

This article is by Bailey Rahn and originally appeared on Leafly.com.

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.

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.

Treating Pain with Cannabis

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 is a THC-heavy indica strain that crushes pain with a tidal wave of full-body euphoria and physical relief. This one will keep you thoroughly tranquilized, so save it for nights and restful days.


ACDC is one of the most highly-acclaimed pain slayers in the cannabis world. This sweet, citrusy hybrid strain is a perfect choice for patients trying to avoid the psychoactive effects of THC.



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

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


Treating Nausea with Cannabis

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.


The indica 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.




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.



Need to stay up and active, but your stomach is keeping you down? Try Super Lemon Haze, a classic citrus-smelling strain with potent antiemetic properties and an energetic cerebral high.

For more nausea-relieving strain suggestions, check out Leafly’s search filters.


Treating Appetite Loss with Cannabis

When it comes to dealing with appetite loss, high-THC strains are the way to go. Indicas tend to be the best hunger enhancers out there, but some hybrids can offer comparable relief with less of a toll on your overall energy.


Bk Bubba Kush


A descendent of the resin-packed hash plants of Afghanistan, appetite loss stands no chance against the high-THC indica Bubba Kush. It’ll help you work up a ravenous hunger, but beware of the notorious couchlock tendencies of this strain if you’re looking to stay up and active.


Sko Skywalker OG


So you need an appetite boost but not at the expense of your energy. A hybrid like Skywalker OG is a great option if you’re looking to sharpen the appetite without feeling overly lethargic. Instead, this strain offers a blissfully uplifting state of mind to keep you as positive as you are hungry.


GdP Granddaddy purple


The high-THC content of this classic indica 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.


Treating Depression with Cannabis

For depression symptoms, strains that boost both energy and mood tend to be the most effective medicines. The terpene called limonene that’s found in many citrus-smelling strains is also known to alleviate depression, so try sniffing out some other potential options on your next dispensary visit.

Ss Super silver haze

Super Silver Haze is an esteemed sativa strain that revitalizes and invigorates happiness and creativity with a strong citrus flavor.

Cbl Chernobyl


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.


Pen Pennywise


Pennywise is the strain you’ll want if you’re looking for a more relaxed mindset, as opposed to the active and high-energy effects of sativas. What makes Pennywise a unique indica, however, is its high CBD content, so its effects 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.


Treating Fatigue with Cannabis

As a general rule, fatigue is best met with a sativa strain due to their rejuvenating and energetic buzz, but there are plenty of uplifting hybrids to choose from as well.

Strawberry CoughSC


With a sweet strawberry aroma matched by no other strain, Strawberry Cough brings new life to both mind and body. This fragrant hybrid not only boosts energy levels, it also carries moods to heights that are hard to achieve when your energy is low.

Pex Pineapple express


Hop aboard the Pineapple Express and it’ll take you straight to a place where euphoria meets newfound energy. Its tropical flavors are an added bonus, offering a spectrum of pineapple, mango, and papaya aromas.




When you’re tired, it’s hard to motivate yourself into the hobbies and activities you once enjoyed. The high-energy sativa Chocolope can help you change that, as enhanced sensory awareness and focus help you rediscover your happy, creative side. Best cannabis strains for cancer-related symptoms

For more fatigue-curbing strain suggestions, use Leafly’s search filters.


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