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Cannabis can serve as ‘pick-me-up’ puff

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If you’re low on energy and find that a puff or two of cannabis has a “pick-me-up” effect – it turns out you’re not alone. Now, a large-scale study seems to validate that cannabinoid effect.

The inhalation of cannabis is associated with a perceived decrease in fatigue, according to data recently published in the journal. Medical Cannabis and Cannabinoids.

A team of researchers affiliated with the University of New Mexico evaluated the effects of smoked cannabis on fatigue intensity levels in 3,922 subjects over a period of more than 3 years. Study participants self-administered cannabis at home and reported changes in symptoms in real time on a mobile software application.

Articles more important than indicates vs. sativa

“On average, 91.94 percent of people experienced a decrease in fatigue after consumption with an average reduction in symptom intensity of 3.48 points on a visual analog scale from zero to 10,” they informed the investigator.

“While labeling plant phenotypes (‘C. indicates,”C. sativa,’ or ‘hybrid’) did not differ in symptom relief, people who used items to burn the flower reported greater symptom relief than pipe or vaporizer users. Across cannabinoid levels, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) levels are generally not associated with changes in symptom intensity levels.

They concluded: “Using the largest database of real-time effects of cannabis Used in the United States, we have found that the combustion of whole and dried cannabis flowers has a generally quick and energizing effect for most people who have symptoms of fatigue.

Some are even more tired, but most have a boost

Most people had a boost of energy, but some felt more tired. “While some users’ sessions resulted in increased fatigue or experiences of fatigue-related side effects, most people reported an overall decrease in their perceived fatigue intensity levels. …

“Future research will benefit from investigating the real-time effects of cannabis use on behavioral and mental fatigue in altered body states and how different phytochemicals in the cannabis plant aggregate and/or interact in its mental and physical effects in healthy people and clinical populations.”

Using similar methods, UNM researchers previously reported that exposure to cannabis is associated with real-time reductions in migraine symptoms, pain intensity, stress, depressive symptoms and nausea, among other symptoms.


Full text of the study, “The effect of consuming cannabis flowers for the treatment of fatigue”, appears in Medical Cannabis and Cannabinoids. Paul Armentano is deputy director of NORML.

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