A large scale study into the effects of consuming cannabis flower as a treatment for fatigue has found positive results, according to data collected by researchers at the University of New Mexico.
Researchers studied data taken from 3,922 self-administered cannabis sessions from 1,224 participants using an app called Releaf. The app is designed to help individuals take note of the effects of the different cannabis chemovars and strains they buy while recording real-time changes in their symptoms.
The study, entitled “The Effects of Consuming Cannabis Flower for Treatment of Fatigue“, was the first experiment of its kind, and revealed that people had a good chance of seeing improvements in fatigue after smoking cannabis flowers.
A recent YouGov study found that 1 in 8 adults in the UK reported feeling “tired all the time”. A quarter said they feel tired “most of the time”, and a third reported feeling weary around “half of the time”. According to the NHS, feeling “tired all the time” is so common that it has its own acronym: TATT.
Dr. Jacob Miguel Vigil, a co-author of the study said: “Despite the conventional beliefs that frequent Cannabis use may result in decreased behavioural activity, goal-pursuit, and competitiveness, or what academics have called ‘amotivational syndrome’, people tend to actually experience an immediate boost in their energy levels immediately after consuming cannabis.”
“One of the most surprising outcomes of this study is that cannabis, in general, yielded improvements in symptoms of fatigue, rather than just a subset of products, such as those with higher THC or CBD levels or products characterized as Sativa rather than Indica” added Dr Sarah Stith, another co-author of the study.
The study also found that people consuming cannabis using pipes and vaporizers generally saw less relief from fatigue than those combusting cannabis flower in joints. This observation may suggest that the temperature at which the phytochemicals in cannabis combust could affect changes in fatigue. The authors also suggested that other cannabinoids and noncannabinoid chemical constituents in the plant, such as terpenes and terpenoids, may affect the perception of mental and physical fatigue or the relationship between THC, CBD, and fatigue.
Researchers also highlighted some of the limitations of the study, such as the lack of a control group. People who treat symptoms of fatigue with cannabis who may have failed to adequately benefit from alternative treatment options may also be particularly more likely to report benefits from cannabis. Despite these limitations, the study shows that whole natural cannabis flower can have fast-acting and energetic effects for the majority of users who use it for treating fatigue.