New Study Shows Many Breast Cancer Patients Use CBD and Don’t Tell Doctors

A new anonymous online survey took feedback from over six-hundred breast cancer patients spread out across the United States. The patients were sourced through and had on average received a cancer diagnosis twenty months earlier. The findings of this survey were published back in October of 2021 in the journal Cancer. What the published article stated has been both surprising and validating for those who support the use of Cannabis items like CBD to help alleviate the symptoms of those suffering from issues like cancer. As it turns out, a considerable percentage of the respondents used Cannabis products during treatment, with only just over a third actually talking to their doctors about its usage. 

Anecdotal evidence has long pointed towards CBD helping those with cancer deal with many of the worst symptoms, including pain, anxiety, insomnia, and nausea, and this study provides some of the best anecdotal evidence yet collected. In the past, other studies have looked into the widespread use of Cannabis products amongst cancer patients, but this is one of the first that was taken from cancer patients on a national level. 

Studies like this are of great interest to us at, so we wished to take a closer look at the findings and how it coincides with our understanding of CBD and symptom alleviation.

What the New Survey Found

The wide-ranging survey of breast cancer patients involved 605 females and 5 males, with an average age of 57. Almost every US state was represented other than North Dakota, South Dakota, Mississippi, and Montana. It was found that 42% of respondents had used some form of Cannabis to reduce symptoms, with just under 40% of those using Cannabis having told their doctors about it.

It turns out that nearly half of those with breast cancer use Marijuana or CBD, usually to lessen the side effects of treatment which can include pain, anxiety, insomnia, and nausea.

Of those using Cannabis, 78% used it to reduce pain, 70% used it to reduce insomnia, 57% used it to help with anxiety, 51% used it to handle stress better, and 46% used it to help with nausea. 75% reported Cannabis was “extremely or very helpful at relieving their symptoms.” 57% said that they had found no other successful alternatives for relieving their symptoms.

Of the products used, 43% preferred CBD, 19% preferred an equal ratio of CBD to THC, and only 26% preferred THC- dominant products (7% did not respond). Gummies, inhalables, and extracts were the dominant product type.

Why Patients May Not Inform Their Doctors

While many who talk to their doctors about using Cannabis products like CBD gummies find the doctor to be well-informed and supportive, this is not always the case. In the survey, it was found that a significant percentage of patients are hesitant to bring up Cannabis usage; in fact, only 39% told their doctors about it. 

Several factors likely influence the reluctance that patients have to speak to their doctors. The reasons probably include the fact that some Cannabis products, namely those derived from Marijuana, remain illegal at the federal level, and some may fear that having a conversation with their doctor about its usage could result in notes on their medical records. There is also a lot of cultural stigmatization from the decades of negative propaganda regarding Cannabis, and many may not want to be judged for admitting to its usage.

Talking to your doctor about Cannabis usage is critical because some cannabis products may interfere with treatments or make patients vulnerable to new side effects. 

If you wish to use Cannabis products, but your doctor is not willing to discuss it with you, you may want to seek out a medical expert who is more open to your questions and health goals. This knowledge has become ever more critical now that cancer is a qualifying condition in most states with medical cannabis programs.

What We Know About the Benefits of CBD

While roughly three-fourths of the breast cancer patients in the survey reported that using CBD and other Cannabis products was “extremely or very helpful” for their symptoms, anecdotal evidence is nothing new to the industry. Luckily, several scientific studies have been done in recent years that have looked closer into how CBD works within our bodies and the benefits it provides.

The following are some of the benefits CBD provides that are directly related to the symptoms experienced by those with breast cancer.

Pain Relief

CBD is used by countless people each day to help them manage their pain issues without the use of addictive painkillers. CBD has been shown to be effective in reducing pain symptoms caused by various chronic conditions

Regulating Sleep

CBD has been promoted by the American Sleep Association as a way to sleep and rest through the night more effectively. This effect has to do with the way many of the other benefits help to fight issues that regularly keep one awake.

Anxiety Reduction

Recent science has shown CBD to be an effective option for anxiety reduction. CBD usage can cause your body to boost natural serotonin levels and may even mimic the effects of many antidepressants without the adverse side effects. 

Nausea and Vomiting

Nausea and vomiting are common side effects of chemotherapy, and it has been found that CBD can have very beneficial effects for those suffering from those issues. In fact, the American Cancer Society has listed cannabinoids such as CBD as a treatment option for chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting.

Appetite Changes

By interacting with serotonin receptors that play an important role in appetite and digestion, CBD may help stimulate appetite in people with cancer. This is another reason that CBD is promoted by the American Cancer Society

Try Full-Spectrum CBD for Yourself

While there is no magic solution for all of our ailments, CBD may be a great answer for those who wish to avoid many of the side effects and addictive qualities found in modern drugs, and this is why so many of those with breast cancer have begun to seek it out.

It is important to note that the type of CBD that has been shown to be the most effective for helping with overall wellness is full-spectrum CBD, and this is due to something called the entourage effect (you can read more about the entourage effect here). 

At, we will continue to cover the latest CBD news and information and bring it straight to you. Check back often for the latest updates on CBD, the science behind it, and the products it is featured in.



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