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Study Finds Cannabis Flower Useful to Decrease Fatigue

A study entitled “The Effects of Consuming Cannabis Flower for Treatment of Fatigue” was published in Medical Cannabis and CannabinoidsIn April. In April, the authors interviewed through University of New Mexico’s Economics and Psychology Departments. MoreBetter was also involved in the study as creator of Releaf app.

This study examined 1,224 participants who consumed 3,922 cannabis flowers between June 6, 2019 and August 7, 2019. Participants used the Releaf app. The participants recorded how tired they felt before and after consumption and made notes about specific strains and their properties.

According to the results, 91.94% felt their fatigue had decreased after using cannabis. The researchers found that no specific strains of cannabis, whether indica or sativa, had a beneficial/negative effect on fatigue. Smoking joints provided more relief than smoking via pipes or vapes.

The authors also wrote that less than 24% of consumers felt negative side effects (described as “lack of motivation or couchlock”) while approximately 37% felt more positive effects (such as “feeling active, energetic, frisky, or productive”). “The findings suggest that the majority of patients experience decreased fatigue from consumption of Cannabis flower consumed in vivo, although the magnitude of the effect and extent of side effects experienced likely vary with individuals’ metabolic states and the synergistic chemotypic properties of the plant.”

Interview with BenzingaJacob Miguel Vigil, the research author described the findings as a complete opposite to what was previously believed about cannabis. “Despite the conventional beliefs that frequent Cannabis use may result in decreased behavioral 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,” Vigil said.

Both Vigil and Dr. Sarah Stith from UNM’s Department of Economics were surprised that cannabis decreased fatigue in so many participants. “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,” Stith said.

 “At the same time, our observation that the major cannabinoids tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) were largely uncorrelated with changes in feelings of fatigue suggest that other minor cannabinoids and phytochemicals such as terpenes may be more influential on the effects of using cannabis than previously believed,” said Vigil. “In the near future, I anticipate that patients will have the opportunity to access more individualized cannabis products, with distinct and known combinations of chemical profiles for treating their specific health needs and lifestyles.”

MoreBetter’s Releaf App used in this study was designed with helping medical patients and recreational consumers track their consumption data and in essence, demystify cannabis. MoreBetter’s COO, Tyler Dautrich, provided a statement to BenzingaThe study findings. “This obviously has implications for patients experiencing fatigue as a symptom of their medical condition, but we also believe this can lead to healthier options for individuals dealing with general day-to-day fatigue,” Dautrich said.

Although the relationship between cannabis and decreased fatigue is still a new topic of research, analysis of cannabis use in conjunction with exercise has become an increasingly popular topic. Last summer, the banning of Olympic runner Sha’Carri Richardson for a failed drug test prompted numerous discussions and studies analyzing how cannabis is not a performance enhancing drug. 

In December, the University of Colorado, Boulder announced that it would be conducting a “first of its kind” study on cannabis and exercise with 50 paid volunteers. Participants will be able to choose from either CBD-dominant, or THC dominant strains. Then, they’ll run for forty minutes on a treadmill.