However, cannabis isn’t necessarily bad for you, and it may very well have some benefits.
Like Weiner, 75% of survey respondents who used cannabis said it was extremely or very helpful in relieving their symptoms. “These symptoms are wearing them down thin and interfering with quality of life and ability to finish treatment,” Weiss shares.
Weiss says it should be “do ask, do tell” when it comes to cannabis use during cancer treatment.
“It is important to let your doctor know that you have these symptoms and that you want to learn more about cannabis and also ask if there are other therapies for these symptoms,” she adds.
Misinformation about how cannabis treats cancer
Patients used both THC and CBD products, with a majority preferring CBD (cannabidiol). CBD is derived from hemp, a cousin of the marijuana plant, but unlike THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), the active component in marijuana, CBD won’t get you high. On average, survey respondents used more than three types of cannabis products including gummies, inhalables or extracts.
The survey also revealed some disconnects about cannabis.
Nearly half of users thought cannabis could treat cancer — but it can’t. Many assumed it was 100% safe — and it’s not, Weiss shares. A possible reason for these disconnects? Most people got their information on cannabis from family, friends and the internet, not their doctor, the survey reveals.
What are the risks and side effects?
While cannabis may help with some symptoms of cancer and/or its treatments,