In the UK, an amazing one 260,000 people live with chronic fatigue syndrome, an invisible and often misunderstood disease that affects every aspect of life.

People with chronic fatigue are often told that they are “just tired” or “lazy” or that medical tests have found “nothing wrong”. As a result, many are left without treatment and desperate for a way to improve their quality of life.

Over the years, cannabis research has come a long way. It is becoming increasingly clear that one cannabinoid, CBD, can help alleviate a myriad of mental and physical health conditions. But could it provide some much-needed relief for those with chronic fatigue?

What is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), also known as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), is a long-term condition characterized by extreme fatigue. Symptoms of ME/CFS include:

  • I feel extremely tired all the time
  • Still feel tired after sleeping
  • Long recovery times after physical activity
  • sleep problems
  • Problems with memory and concentration

Some people with chronic fatigue syndrome may also experience muscle or joint pain, headaches, and dizziness. The severity of the symptoms varies from day to day, but the symptoms of fatigue usually last for more than 6 months. Although CFS can affect anyone, it is more common in women in their mid-20s to mid-40s.

There is no known cause of chronic fatigue syndrome, but it is believed to be triggered by either a viral or bacterial infection, hormonal imbalance, or possibly genetic influence. As a lasting consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic, there is now a new wave of long covid Patients with chronic fatigue syndrome.

Because ME/CFS cannot be fully explained by an underlying medical condition, there is no specific diagnostic test. There is also no known cure for ME/CFS, but there are several ways the symptoms could be managed. These include:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • energy management
  • Medicines for pain or sleep

Many people with chronic fatigue need to make long-term adjustments to their daily routines by taking steps to limit stress and minimize physical exertion. More and more people have turned to CBD in recent years to help manage their symptoms of fatigue, but is there any evidence it might help?

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of many active compounds found in CBD Cannabis sativa plant, plant. It is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, meaning it cannot get you high. CBD is therefore proving to be extremely popular with those looking for some medical benefits of cannabis from the whole plant, but without the intoxicating effects of the plant’s mind-altering molecule, THC.

CBD interacts with our body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), a complex cell signaling network responsible for regulating our mood, appetite, sleep, pain levels, immune health, and more. By coordinating these biological functions, the ECS strives to maintain stability in the body.

Its exact mechanisms of action are not yet known, but some researchers believe that CBD can modulate the activity of the cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2. This, in turn, can increase the signaling of our body’s naturally derived cannabinoids called endocannabinoids.

This is why CBD seems to have such widespread benefits for our mental and physical health; Improving ECS ​​function can support the wide range of biological functions that this system coordinates.

As a result, CBD appears to be effective in treatment rare forms of epilepsy and shows immeasurable promise in the treatment of fear, inflammatory diseasesand more – but could it help people living with chronic fatigue?

Could CBD Help With Fatigue?

results of a Recent study suggest that whole plant cannabis may be effective in treating fatigue. The researchers found that “cannabis generally resulted in an improvement in symptoms of fatigue,” however, the researchers did not address to what extent the effects were due to THC, CBD, or a combination of the two.

Currently, no studies have specifically examined the effects of CBD on CFS. However, there is some evidence that CBD may help alleviate some of the symptoms associated with the condition, making it a promising candidate for future research.

Despite the lack of research, countless anecdotal reports suggest that CBD can help those with chronic fatigue. Emma Franklin, who lives with CFS, shares Cannabis Health News that she believes that “CBD oil was a really important ingredient of [her] Restoration.”

“I started taking CBD to help with CFS and anxiety and depression. Over a period of a few weeks, I began to sleep more easily… These sleep improvements have allowed me to return to work after seven years without a job… I’ve also seen tremendous improvements in activity levels, as well as reduced pain scores.” , shares Emma.

But, promising as it is, anecdotes are no substitute for hard data. While we await the results of future studies on CBD and ME/CFS, let’s take a look at the related evidence supporting its use in combating fatigue.

CBD for CFS: the proof

In recent years, several studies have examined the effects of CBD for fibromyalgia, a condition characterized by chronic pain and extreme fatigue. Although CFS and fibromyalgia are two different conditions, there is a notable overlap in their symptoms. With increasing evidence that cannabinoids may help people with fibromyalgia, could the same be true for people with chronic fatigue syndrome?

In 2017, a Verification was published in Opinion on therapeutic targets A possible mechanism for the therapeutic effect of CBD in chronic pain was described therein. The authors state that CBD appears to reduce the activity of glial cells, a type of brain cell involved in central sensitization. Since central nervous system hypersensitivity is also a hallmark of chronic fatigue, these results suggest that CBD may also be effective in treating ME/CFS.

Another theory for using CBD to treat CFS is the connection between inflammation and fatigue. Studies have found that patients with chronic fatigue syndrome are abnormal high cytokine levels, which are the proteins involved in promoting and maintaining inflammation. These are demonstrably “causally related to [CFS] symptoms.”

Patients with CFS also show reduced antioxidant content. Studies have also shown this oxidative stress (the imbalance between harmful free radicals and antioxidants in the body) is a major contributor to chronic fatigue.

In 2019, a Verification Published in antioxidants concluded that CBD has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. While not specifically tested in the context of fatigue, CBD may help rebalance inflammation and oxidative stress in the body, thereby reversing fatigue.

Could it make the fatigue worse?

The World Health Organization (WHO) has stated that CBD is “generally well tolerated with a good safety profile,” but it has been shown to cause mild side effects in some people. These include nausea, loss of appetite and, surprisingly, fatigue.

This is obviously a possible contraindication to using CBD to treat CFS. Since these side effects are usually resolved with the right dosage, the general recommendation is to start low and increase your dose.

Speaking of dosage, there’s some evidence that lower doses might be better for people with fatigue. This is because CBD is biphasic, meaning it can have opposing effects on the body depending on the amount you ingest. A Review 2017 Article found that “low-dose CBD has a stimulating effect, while high-dose CBD has a sedative effect,” so this is something to consider if you’re looking to try CBD for fatigue.

If you are taking other medications, it is also important to consider the risk of drug interactions while using CBD. For this reason, you should always consult a doctor or healthcare professional before adding CBD to your treatment plan.

How to use CBD

Although CBD is not currently an approved treatment for chronic fatigue, commercial products are widely available for those who believe CBD could help. Unlike THC, which is only available by prescription in the UK, CBD is perfectly legal to purchase and use provided the product contains less than 1mg of THC per container.

When it comes to deciding how to take your CBD, your options are far from limited. Here are just a few of our most popular types of CBD products:

CBD oil

Oils are probably the most popular way to take CBD. Sublingual instillation allows CBD to enter the bloodstream quickly, so the benefits are felt almost immediately. There is a wide range of oils. If you’re unsure whether full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or CBD isolate is best for you, take a look at our latest products Guide to CBD Oil.

CBD gummies

If the taste of CBD oil isn’t for you, CBD-infused gummies are a great and delicious way to get your dose in. Gummy bears give you a constant daily dose of CBD that builds up in your system over time. They are generally not as potent as oils, so you may need to increase your dose.

CBD capsules

Capsules are another way to experience the benefits of CBD oil without the taste. Because the encapsulated oil has to go through the digestive system, it takes a little longer for the effects to kick in (between 30 minutes and 2 hours). They should also be taken with food so that the CBD can be properly absorbed in the stomach.

CBD vape

Vaping is another quick way to get CBD into your bloodstream. A vape is also portable, so it can provide instant relief on the go. However, it is important to remember that the long-term effects of vaping are not fully understood, so approach this method with caution.

Want to try CBD but don’t know where to start? Check out ours Beginner’s Guide to CBD