Getting diagnosed with cancer is nothing less than the worst nightmare for many people. And sadly, the side effects of its treatments, including chemotherapy, are also equally bad. So, people stuck with this condition often think about what they can do to ease their pain.
Luckily, many US states now have a medical cannabis program that has “cancer” as a qualifying condition. Though cannabis is not a cure for cancer, it has shown its potential in helping people cope with the side effects of cancer treatment. And that’s why many people nowadays are applying for a medical marijuana card online to treat their chemotherapy side effects.
In this article, we’ve listed down the top six cannabis strains that may help you handle the side effects of chemotherapy treatment. Let’s find out more.
Cannabis Vs. Chemotherapy Side Effects
Doctors generally use chemotherapy as a treatment method to damage the cancer cells, and slow down and stop their growth inside the body. However, chemotherapy treatment cannot differentiate between a cancer cell and a healthy cell. And thus, it may also start destroying healthy cells, which may result in many uncomfortable side effects.
The list of side effects caused by chemotherapy include:
- Loss of appetite
- Easy bleeding
- Sexual dysfunction
- Hair loss
- Fertility problem
- High risk of infections
Handling all these issues, along with the unpredictability of the treatment results, may also cause stress, dipression, and anxiety.
Luckily, cannabis may be of help here.
There have been various studies conducted on the use of cannabis to ease the side effects of chemotherapy. And the results were quite positive. As per the experts, the cannabinoids found in cannabis have great potential in treating the symptoms associated with chemotherapy. For instance, CBD can be very helpful in reducing the symptoms of anxiety, pain, and inflammation. Plus, it may also help people with sleep disorder. THC may also help in improving sleep, suppressing nausea and increasing appetite.
There are two cannabinoid-based medicines also available for treating chemotherapy-related side effects- Nabilone (Cesamet) and Dronabinol (Marinol). And these are already approved by the Food and Drug Administration. However, as these medicines are made in laboratories, they do not have all the compounds found in the cannabis plant. And therefore, a lot of people prefer using marijuana in its natural form.
So, if you are thinking of which cannabis strains you should use for managing the side effects of chemotherapy, here is a list for you.
Best Strains for Chemotherapy Side Effects
If you are already a cannabis user, you probably know that there are two major categories of marijuana strains- Sativa and Indica.
Sativa strains usually have more uplifting and energizing effects. And therefore, people use it to improve their mood and relieve fatigue. However, a high dose of this type of strain may induce extreme anxiety and paranoia in some cases.
On the other hand, an Indica-dominant strain tends to produce a high that is more physical and sedating. And that’s why it is used for promoting sleep and relieving pain. But because its effects are extremely relaxing, it’s probably not a good idea to use it in the day time.
Also, both these types of strains may help you with appetite loss and nausea. But the effectiveness of these actually depends on the amount of THC in them.
As you can see, every strain has its own benefits. And thus, choosing the right strain for chemotherapy side effects is really hard. So what do we do now?
Don’t worry, we’ve already made a list for you. Here are the top 5 cannabis strains to help you with the symptoms of chemotherapy side effects.
1. Blue Dream
Blue dream, a hybrid of Haze and Blueberry, is an amazing cannabis strain that is very well known for its medicinal properties. It is a well-balanced strain with 60 percent Sativa and 40 percent Indica. This means the patients can enjoy the positive effects of both types of strains.
With a THC content of around 17 to 25 percent and CBD between 0.1 to 0.2 percent, the strain can help the users with many symptoms of chemotherapy, including pain, depression, stress, and fatigue.
This particular strain is actually very different from others on the list. With a CBD content of 16 to 24 percent and a minimal THC level (0.5-1.2 percent), ACDC is a perfect strain for people who want to enjoy the benefits of marijuana without feeling any psychotic effects.
Being a Sativa-dominant, this strain can help people manage several different symptoms, such as depression, stress, and insomnia. And thanks to the high CBD levels, it won’t increase your anxiety too.
3. Granddaddy Purple
Granddaddy Purple is also an amazing strain to help people relieve the side effects of chemotherapy. A cross between the Purple Urkle and Big Bud, the strain is an Indica dominant one (~80 percent). It contains a generous amount of THC (17-24 percent) and very less CBD (>1 percent). And it is quite well known for its appetite-inducing effects.
The strain is also very helpful in treating the symptoms of pain, anxiety, and depression. However, if you have some anxiety issues, you should stick to a low dose only.
Chocolope is a strong Sativa-dominant strain (95 percent) that is created by crossing the Chocolate Thai with Cannalope. With a THC content of around 18 to 23 percent, it is frequently used by patients to deal with pain, fatigue, and low mood. However, as the effects of this strain are very energizing, you should avoid consuming it near bedtime.
5. Northern Lights
Northern Lights is also a classic cannabis strain with several medicinal benefits. This particular strain is an Indica dominant one (~ 90 percent), which is a cross between Thai and Afghani landrace strains.
It has a THC level of around 15 to 22 percent and the CBD level generally under one percent. Therefore, patients often use it to treat symptoms such as loss of appetite, dipression, nausea, and insomnia.
The list of cannabis strains to deal with chemotherapy side effects can never be complete without mentioning Chemo. As it is clear with the name, this particular strain is made specifically for cancer patients.
The strain has a very high level of THC (29 percent), which means it’s not ideal for cannabis newbies. However, if your THC tolerance is high, it can provide you with everything that you need. It can help you ease your nausea and increase your appetite. Plus, you can also use it to treat depression, pain, and sleep disorder.
So, these were our top picks of cannabis strains to help you with chemotherapy side effects. However, you should note that this list is not exhaustive. There may be many other options too out there. And therefore, you should discuss the symptoms you are facing with the staff of the dispensary you are buying from.
Also, before you apply for a medical marijuana card online, you should talk to your doctor and discuss if it really is the right decision for you or not.