Strains & products

The best cannabis strains for cancer-related symptoms

Published on October 20, 2015 · Last updated July 28, 2020

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.

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 strain
Blackberry 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.

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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 strain
Pennywise 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.

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Bailey Rahn
Bailey Rahn
Bailey is a senior content manager at Leafly, specializing in strains and health. She's spent 7+ years researching cannabis products, spreading patients’ stories, and exploring healthy ways of integrating cannabis into daily life.
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