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Cancer Survivors Increase Cannabis Use After Cancer Diagnosis: New Study Reveals

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A recently published cross-sectional study sheds light on the prevalent use of cannabis among cancer survivors, aiming to understand their usage patterns, product preferences, and methods of delivery. With an increasing interest in alternative approaches to manage cancer-related symptoms, the study highlights the need for education among healthcare providers and survivors regarding cannabis use during cancer treatment.

The study, conducted on 1886 cancer survivors from 41 U.S. states who received treatment at the largest NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center, reveals intriguing insights into the cannabis habits of these survivors.

Key Findings

  • High Prevalence of Cannabis Use
    • Nearly half (48%) of the surveyed cancer survivors reported having used cannabis at some point in their lifetime.
  • Post-Diagnosis Increase in Cannabis Use
    • Among those using cannabis, approximately half revealed an increase in cannabis use after receiving a cancer diagnosis.
  • Usage Patterns During and After Treatment
    • Of the survivors who used cannabis post-diagnosis, 40% reported using it during and after cancer treatment, while 35% used it exclusively during treatment, and 25% used it after completing their cancer treatment.
  • Common Types of Cannabis Products
    • Dry leaf cannabis (71%), cannabidiol (CBD) oil (46%), and cannabis candy (40%) emerged as the most popular cannabis products among cancer survivors.
  • Preferred Modes of Delivery
    • Inhalation or smoking was the predominant mode of cannabis consumption, with 69% of survivors choosing this method over eating or drinking. Notable inhalational methods included rolled cannabis cigarettes (79%), pipes (36%), water pipes (34%), vaporizers or vapes (14%), and e-cigarette devices (14%).
  • Increased Need for Education
    • The study underscores the importance of educating healthcare providers and survivors about the current evidence on cannabis use during cancer treatment.


As close to half of the surveyed cancer survivors reported an uptick in cannabis use following their diagnosis, understanding these usage patterns becomes crucial for healthcare providers. With diverse preferences in product types and modes of delivery, this study emphasizes the necessity of strengthening cannabis regulatory frameworks and promoting informed decision-making for optimal benefits and minimal adverse events during cancer treatment.


Lydia K. (Bsc. RN) is a cannabis writer, which, considering where you’re reading this, makes perfect sense. Currently, she is a regular writer for Mace Media. In the past, she has written for MyBud, RX Leaf & Dine Magazine (Canada), CBDShopy (UK) and Cannavalate & Pharmadiol (Australia). She is best known for writing epic news articles and medical pieces. Occasionally, she deviates from news and science and creates humorous articles. And boy doesn't she love that! She equally enjoys ice cream, as should all right-thinking people.