Fatigue is a feeling of constant tiredness or weakness. It can affect our body or mind or a combination of both.
Fatigue can affect anyone and for the most different reasons. A study conducted in 2011 says that the prevalence of fatigue in the general population has been reported to range from 7% to 45%, and another study found that 38% of US workers reported being fatigued.
Several factors that work in combination can cause fatigue, including medical conditions, unhealthy lifestyle choices, workplace problems, and stress.
As a result, people may struggle to get out of bed in the morning to fulfill their daily tasks.
Depending on the diagnosis, people can alleviate fatigue with appropriate expedients and treatments, including good quality sleep, eating and drinking habits, physical activity, or the use of medications.
However, a new study shows that cannabis flowers sold in dispensaries may treat fatigue.
Published in Karger Journal in April 2022, researchers of the University of New Mexico have measured for the first time how medical and recreational cannabis flower products sold in dispensaries affect feelings of fatigue.
The study involved 1,224 people who recorded 3,922 cannabis flower self-administration sessions between June 6, 2016, and August 7, 2019, using the Releaf App.
The findings show that, on average, 91.94% of people experienced decreased fatigue following cannabis consumption.
Cannabis flowers labeled as Indica, Sativa, or Hybrid didn’t differ in symptom relief. Also, the cannabis consumed through the use of a joint to combust flowers had more significant symptom relief than the use of pipes and vaporizers.
According to the study, less than 24% of users involved in the trial had several adverse side effects that corresponded to feelings of fatigue. Therefore, researchers concluded that the impact and extent of side effects experienced are likely to vary with individuals’ metabolic states and the properties of the plant.
Furthermore, although symptom relief doesn’t differ by user age and user experience, male users experienced greater symptom relief than female users.
Many may think that frequent use of cannabis results in fatigue and decreased behavioral activity, goal pursuit, and competitiveness. But the study shows a new aspect of cannabis propriety with little interest in the scientific literature.
Clinical studies in the United States have historically been limited to investigating the effects of cannabis with high levels of THC and other cannabinoids.
“No study to date has measured how the breadth of common, commercially available cannabis flower, the most widely used type of product, affects fatigue levels in actual time and how labeled product characteristics are correlated with changes in feelings of fatigue and related side effects,” the study read.
In order to provide a precise analysis of users’ self-administration sessions, people involved in the trial had to indicate their medical conditions, real-time symptom intensity levels before and after consumption, and any possible side effects experienced.
Before consuming cannabis, users had to enter the app information about the product they intend to consume based on information provided on cannabis product labels.
The findings suggest that cannabis strains don’t significantly affect symptom relief. However, while consuming cannabis flowers by smoking a joint has greater effects, using pipes and vaporizers has a minor impact on the feeling of relief from fatigue.
“Findings confirm that the combustion method is the only significant independent predictor of fatigue symptom relief. Vaporizers and pipes are similarly inferior to joints for one-hour symptom relief, but vaporizers appear to become less effective relative to pipes over a more extended period, i.e., vaporizers may offer the least sustained effect on relief from fatigue symptoms,” the study read.
The findings also revealed that cannabis strains labeled as “Indica” are associated with more reporting adverse side effects. But at the same time, cannabis strains labeled as “Sativa” are weakly associated with increased reporting of positive side effects.
Researchers say THC and CBD levels can’t explain any difference in fatigue symptom relief. In fact, while higher THC levels are poorly associated with increased reporting of side effects and don’t affect the reporting of negative or positive side effects, higher CBD levels seem to decrease the reporting of adverse side effects.
As neither Sativa nor Indica strains could be predictors of symptom relief, researchers of the study think that “other cannabinoids and non-cannabinoid chemical constituents, such as terpenes and terpenoids, may affect the perception of mental and physical fatigue or the relationship between THC, CBD, and fatigue.”
Researchers concluded that, despite the study’s limitations, cannabis flowers have fast-acting and energetic effects for most people with fatigue symptoms involved in the trial.