Marijuana and Cancer: Common Questions and Myths, Debunked [Podcast]

August 23, 2018

For thousands of years, marijuana—also known by names such as pot or weed—has been used for medicinal purposes. A psychoactive drug, marijuana is an illegal drug under U.S. federal law; however, some have legalized medical and recreational marijuana on their own, including Massachusetts, the home state of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

So where does marijuana come into play when it comes to treating cancer? And can it help patients manage cancer? We dive into these questions, and other common questions, myths, and misconceptions about marijuana and cancer, with Ilana Braun, MD, chief of Adult Psychosocial Oncology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. This is an episode of Cancer Mythbusters, a Dana-Farber podcast.

Ilana Braun, MD.
Ilana Braun, MD.


  • 1:06: Braun explains whether marijuana can cure cancer or have a role in controlling cancer
  • 1:53: Discussion about marijuana’s ability to provide side effects from cancer treatment
  • 2:33: Braun explains whether patients should ever use marijuana without consulting a physician
  • 2:54: Risks of marijuana use that patients should know about
  • 3:18: Options for patients who do not live in Massachusetts or a state where marijuana is medicinally legal
  • 4:16: Braun lays out what else she thinks patients need to know