Can I use CBD with Chemotherapy?

Cannabidiol, also known simply as CBD, has become a common feature in shopping centers, smoke shops, and online stores throughout the country. Much of the popularity of CBD stems from the fact it has been shown to be effective for treating a wide array of common and prevalent ailments such as anxiety and chronic pain. Perhaps the most exciting aspect of CBD, and the one that earned it much of its early recognition has been its use in helping cancer patients, namely those currently going through chemotherapy.

We get a lot of questions at regarding chemotherapy and why CBD is so often recommended as a way to help alleviate its side effects. Rather than continue to respond to each query individually, we have instead put together this quick primer on just how CBD can help those looking at possible chemo treatments. 

This list should give you a basic understanding of why CBD comes up so often in discussions around cancer treatment and overall wellness.

CBD and Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is a common treatment for many forms of cancer. The downside is that the drugs used in chemotherapy to kill cancer cells can often have severe adverse effects on the rest of the body. The tradeoff may be that the benefits outweigh the side effects, but that still doesn’t mean that the process is not painful, unpleasant, or leads to a degradation of quality of life. For this reason, people have sought out methods to reduce these unpleasant side effects. 

One of the most effective treatments for many of the negative aspects of chemotherapy has been found to be Cannabis products, of which CBD is the most readily available and the one most commonly legal throughout the United States. Officially speaking, No CBD products have been FDA-approved to treat cancer or symptoms of cancer or to ease side effects of cancer treatment.  With that said, there are now thousands of documented cases of those who have taken CBD and reported beneficial results. 

There are currently two synthetic THC-based Cannabis drugs that have been approved to treat nausea and vomiting that is caused by chemotherapy.

The best way to explain how CBD can benefit those going through Chemo is to break it down by symptom:

Nausea and Vomiting

Nausea and vomiting are major side effects of chemotherapy and play a big role in the quality of life reduction many report from these treatments. People have experimented with hundreds of different methods of reducing nausea as many of the standard treatments involve powerful and expensive over-the-counter drugs. With years of experimentation, we have learned that CBD ranks amongst the best alternatives. It has been found that CBD can have very beneficial effects for those going through chemotherapy. In fact, the American Cancer Society has listed cannabinoids such as CBD as a treatment option for chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting and that it should be tried when other treatments fail to offer results. 

Appetite Changes

A lack of appetite is another big issue for those dealing with chemotherapy. Much of this comes from the nausea you will feel (something CBD seems to help with), but there are typically other causes for a lack of appetite that go beyond simply feeling uncomfortable or sick.  CBD appears to address many of these issues by interacting with serotonin receptors that play an important role in appetite and digestion. CBD also interacts with CB-1 and CB-2 receptors in the endocannabinoid system, and CB-2 receptors are thought to interact with the gastrointestinal systems of the body directly.

The American Cancer Society states that cannabinoids may help stimulate appetite in people with cancer.

Effective Pain Relief

People from all walks of life are now using CBD and Cannabis products rather than relying on addictive painkillers. CBD may be a great alternative or augmentation to your pain reduction efforts for those going through cancer treatment and who have regular chronic pain issues. CBD has been shown to lessen tension and inflammation and reduce pain symptoms caused by various chronic conditions

Anxiety Reduction

The effects of cancer, and many of the drugs used to treat it, have been found to increase one’s anxiety and can, in turn, lead to other health issues and problems (such as lack of sleep). Recent studies have shown promising evidence that CBD may be an effective option for anxiety reduction. CBD usage increases your natural serotonin levels and can be used to mimic the beneficial effects of many antidepressants without the same side effects. 

Regulating Sleep

Another critical aspect of recovery and overall health is getting decent sleep. Cancer patients will often struggle with sleep, and it is usually due to a variety of reasons. Rather than seek out the aid of multiple powerful sleep aids, many are instead turning to CBD. Due to its ability to treat many of the underlying causes of sleep loss, CBD has been promoted by the American Sleep Association as a method of getting better rest throughout the night. The relaxation, pain relief, and anxiety reduction all work to allow your body to sleep better and wake up feeling more energetic. It has also been shown that CBD interacts with specific endocannabinoid receptors, likely affecting our sleep/wake cycle for the better.

Other Cannabis Products and Cancer

As we have stated earlier, THC products have become widely used in the treatment of cancer symptoms, with two drugs already being approved by the FDA and on the market.

CBD used in tandem with Marijuana products has been proven to offer increased beneficial effects. These products and their ability to fight nausea, relieve pain, build appetite and reduce anxiety have been found to provide excellent results for all sorts of people at all stages of cancer treatment. For example, A 2016 study found that people with nausea due specifically to chemotherapy found relief after taking Sativex, a medicine containing CBD and THC.

The Entourage Effect

Part of the reason CBD and THC products work so well together comes from the Entourage Effect phenomenon. The Entourage Effect refers to the way that Cannabinoids and Terpenes from in the Cannabis plant and found in Full-Spectrum CBD and Marijuana will seemingly bounce off one another and become more powerful when working in tandem. This synergy of cannabis compounds provides powerful results and is often well-suited to those going through medical treatments or suffering from severe ailments.

Even without THC, Full-Spectrum CBD is typically better for those with Cancer and undergoing treatment, as the added terpenes and cannabinoids allow for one to benefit from The Entourage Effect and improves the efficacy of the CBD taken. 

Is It Time to Try CBD for Yourself?

Whether or not you are going through chemotherapy, CBD has a lot to offer you. Whether you seek relief from pain or anxiety or simply seek a better night’s rest, you owe it to yourself to give cannabidiol a try. At, we offer the purest and most potent forms of CBD and are regularly updating articles on the latest news and uses of the compound.  Check back often for the latest updates on CBD, the science behind it, and the products it is featured in.


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