The study, which was published in the May 2022 issue of the publication followed 1,224 people in the USA via an app called “ReLeaf” between 2016 and 2019. The authors of the paper note that “On average, 91.94% of people experienced decreased fatigue following consumption with an average symptom intensity reduction of 3.48 points on a 0–10 visual analog scale (SD = 2.70, d = 1.60, p < 0.001).”
The in-depth analysis found other interesting and notable observations as well. According to the study, smoking a joint of marijuana flower was more effective than vaping. In addition, both Sativa and Indica strains provided the same fatigue relieving characteristics in that there was no statistical difference between the two. The presence of a higher amount of CBD only slightly increased the the degree fatigue symptoms.
Strains With Increased THC Levels
Interestingly, while an increase in CBD levels promoted a very slight increase in relief from fatigue, THC levels had less to do with the fatigue relief reporting except in some sub-groups of the participants. For inexperienced users, higher THC levels appear to offer less relief – which goes along with the idea that beginners should best start with lower THC strains, or use medibles and edibles with lower THC and wait to see how it affects them before dosing upward.
In their discussion area of their paper, the authors note that,
…we found that combusting whole, dried Cannabis flower has a generally fast-acting and energetic effect for the majority of people that have symptoms of fatigue. While some user sessions resulted in increased fatigue or fatigue-related side-effect experiences, the vast majority of people (about 92%) reported an overall decrease in their perceived fatigue intensity levels, averaging roughly 3.5 points on a standard 0–10 visual analog scale.
Smoke A Joint Or Vape?
The study’s authors also suggest in light of their observations, that the temperature in which cannabis is combusted at may have an influence on whether or not a person may feel relief from fatigue. They hypothesize that a higher temperature that is involved in smoking a joint than with vaping or pipe smoking increases the effectiveness of marijuana flower in inducing relief.
This of course doesn’t mean that edibles and vaping don’t have other health benefits, but specifically related to fatigue, it would appear that smoking a joint of dried flower is more effective than other forms of cannabis consumption.
Terpenes And Other Cannabinoids
Interestingly, the authors discuss the idea that it may not be THC or CBD that significantly affects a cannabis consumer’s fatigue relief, but rather other cannabinoids that are available in marijuana flower or the type of terpenes and terpenoids that are present and their concentration. They point out that more scientific study is needed on this subject and point out that cannabis flower in general can have significant concentrations of terpenes including pulegone, eucalyptol, alpha-terpineol, terpinen-4-ol, and p-cymene. It is suspected that these terpenes have a strong inhibitory effect on acetylcholinesterase. When acetylcholinesterase is inhibited, marked increases in cognitive and attention ability is noted.
Synergistic Effects of Whole Flower
So why not just focus on a compound like Eucalyptol? Well, as the authors note, it is possible that there are synergistic benefits from smoking marijuana flower with all it’s cannabinoids and terpenes, rather than just trying to extract a compound and using that for a medical benefit. In other words, while a compound like Eucalyptol may have anti-fatigue benefits, these benefits are increased by the presence of cannabinoids and other terpenes, creating synergy that increases the effect.
Conclusion – Feeling Fatigued? Smoke A Joint!
The results of the study show that smoking a joint provides energetic and fast acting results. If you’re interested in using cannabis for relief of fatigue, it’s recommended you start with strains that have lower THC levels – but if you are a Cannabis Veteran, go ahead and smoke whatever you want. Don’t worry about CBD levels for fatigue treatment.
Edibles and medibles of course have their own proven health benefits, but if you want to treat your fatigue, best to use whole quality flower and roll a joint!
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