Can Cannabis or CBD Oil Treat ME (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome)?

Myalgic encephalopathy (ME) is a complex and controversial disorder characterized by chronic symptoms of fatigue that have no apparent cause and are not relived by rest. Although there is very little proven research into the potential for cannabis to treat ME, countless sufferers report feeling subjective relief.

What is ME?

Myalgic encepalopathy (ME) has been known by various names in the decades since it was first described, including myalgic encephalomyelitis, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), chronic Epstein-Barr virus (due to the belief that the condition was caused by the Epstein-Barr virus), post-viral fatigue syndrome, and systemic exertion intolerance disease.

As well as feelings of intense, unrelenting physical and mental fatigue and postextertional (post-exercise) malaise, ME may also cause those affected to experience headaches, muscle and joint pain, sore throat, digestive disturbances, swollen lymph nodes, impaired memory and concentration, and depression. Symptoms vary in severity according to the individual, and in some cases can seriously detract from the patient’s quality of life.

Physiologically, ME is strongly associated with inflammation of the brain and spinal cord; this is reflected in the term “encephalomyelitis”. Although, this term is gradually being replaced by “encephalopathy” to reflect generalized dysfunction of the central nervous system. A 2014 study found that patients with ME/CFS exhibited markers of inflammation in certain brain regions that were 45-199% higher than in healthy controls.

What causes ME?

The underlying cause of ME is still unknown, and it’s generally thought that a combination of genetic, environmental, infectious and psychological factors may be involved.

The possibility that viral infections play a role has not been discounted, although it appears the previous belief of the Epstein-Barr virus (which is known to cause mononucleosis or glandular fever) being the underlying cause was in fact incorrect. This is because it isn’t present in all sufferers of the condition (now, the chronic fatigue experienced due to the virus is specifically termed Epstein-Barr chronic fatigue). Also because chronic stress (lasting for six months or more) is believed to play a significant role.

Women make up the majority of ME cases and there appears to be a slightly higher prevalence among Native Americans and African Americans than among white Americans. It also appears there’s a genetic element to its development, as family studies have demonstrated that blood relatives of sufferers are at increased risk of acquiring the disease.

Does cannabis use improve symptoms of ME?

Although there are apparently no studies or clinical trials specifically investigating the ability of cannabis to improve symptoms of ME, there are numerous existing patients in U.S. medical states who report experiencing subjective relief from symptoms.

Typically, patients report experiencing relief from disturbed or unrefreshing sleep, joint and muscle pain, depression, and emotional imbalance. Some patients also report that cannabis use actually improves the primary symptom of fatigue, with many of these reports stating that sativa-dominant strains are more effective than indica-dominant.

Again, while there aren’t any specific studies into cannabis’ ability to improve the symptoms of ME, there are abundant studies investigating symptoms common in, but not limited to the condition. These symptoms include disturbed sleep, chronic pain, energy regulation, immune function, and cognitive and emotional disturbances.

Which ME symptoms are most improved by cannabis?

1. Sleep

The potential of cannabis to improve poor sleep is relatively well-established. Various studies have demonstrated that while REM sleep is reduced, deep sleep is increased with cannabis, which may lead to overall greater levels of refreshment in the subject.

2. Pain

Chronic pain is also well-known to be improved with cannabis use. It’s been demonstrated to help with both neuropathic (caused by an injury or dysfunction of the nerve itself) and nociceptive (caused by a factor other than injury to the nerve itself, such as a wound or inflammation in neighbouring tissue) pain.

3. Depression

The potential role of cannabinoids in the treatment of depression and cognitive impairment is controversial, but there are studies that imply that a positive effect could be gained by some patients. This positive effect is likely to depend on dose, regularity and history of use, and genetic and environmental factors.

Depression is thought to respond well to low doses and poorly to high doses of cannabinoid-receptor agonists such as THC. And memory has been shown to be improved with administration of rimonabant, a synthetic CB1-receptor antagonist that last year lost market approval as a weight-loss drug due to serious safety concerns.

Relationship between ME and fibromyalgia

There is such a high rate of ME and fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) existing together, and so many shared symptoms between them, that many believe it to be the same disease manifesting in slightly different ways between patients. 50-70% of patients diagnosed with FMS also fit the criteria for ME.

It’s thought that the difference in diagnosis stems from physicians classing their patients’ symptoms either as disorders of the muscles and joints (FMS), or of the immune system and due to either external (e.g. viral) or autoimmune causes (ME/CFS).

FMS is a condition characterized by chronic pain in specific areas of the body, and heightened sensitivity to touch and pressure. Sufferers also commonly experience chronic fatigue, muscle and joint pain, cognitive dysfunction, sleep disturbances, and depression. If the two conditions are one and the same, it could be said that FMS is the subtype in which pain is the primary symptom, and that fatigue is the primary symptom in the subtype currently known as ME or CFS.

While there has been a relative shortage of proven research specifically on ME and cannabis, there are a far greater number of studies into FMS and cannabis. Many of these studies  have found that cannabis can provide significant subjective relief of various symptoms, including muscle and joint pain, digestive dysfunction, and sleep disturbances.

The endocannabinoid system and ME

There have been a small number of studies investigating the role of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in the development and progression of ME, and several studies investigating its role in stress and generalized fatigue, and post-viral fatigue conditions. There’s also a relatively abundant number of studies on the ECS and related conditions such as FMS, chronic stress, and multiple sclerosis (which also numbers chronic fatigue among its primary symptoms and is in many ways similar to ME itself).

Essentially, it seems that the common thread underlying ME and chronic stress is inflammation within the brain and the tissues of the central and peripheral nervous system. While inflammation is not generally thought to be a symptom of FMS, that may be changing.

There’s a growing body of evidence suggesting that the reverse may in fact be true, and that inflammation of the fasciae (the sheet of connective tissue that surrounds and encloses muscles and organs within the body) may play a central role in FMS. In multiple sclerosis, inflammation and destruction of the myelin sheaths surrounding the neurons of the brain and central nervous system is the underlying cause.

It has been firmly established that the ECS has a fundamental role to play in the occurrence and management of inflammation, and its involvement in FMS is also well-known. Furthermore, the fact that chronic stress is a major cause of inflammation in the central and peripheral nervous system is also now becoming well understood.

Research into inflammation, the immune system, and ME

An important 2012 study investigated the effect of exercise on gene expression in MS patients and ME patients compared with healthy controls. The study found that genes involved in the expression of metabolite-detecting and adrenergic receptors were increased in ME sufferers, while only certain adrenergic receptors were found to be increased in MS patients.

One adrenergic receptor found to be increased in ME patients was the TRPV1-receptor. The TRPV1-receptor isn’t strictly part of the endocannabinoid system, although it’s been demonstrated on various occasions that its biological mechanisms may be affected by ECS-related activity. It’s also known that the endogenous cannabinoid anandamide is capable of activating it.

The relationship between anandamide, the TRPV-1 receptor and muscle fatigue deserves further investigation. Interestingly, a study conducted in 2010 investigated the potential benefits of regular consumption of high-cocoa, polyphenol-rich chocolate for individuals suffering from CFS, and found that symptoms were improved across the board for the high-cocoa group compared to controls.

Cocoa also contains anandamide, and it is thought that chocolate’s mechanism of action (in supplying subjective feelings of well-being and relaxation) is affected via the TRPV-1 receptor.

Can CBD oil help with ME?

The use of CBD oil is especially important for many patients, since not every country has medicinal cannabis programmes, but most countries do allow the sale of CBD oil. Here too, no studies specifically about CBD for ME have been published, but it’s worth investigating if CBD can help ease some of the symptoms.

We’re seeing some promising results, in that CBD may help with many aspects of fatigue. It may help sufferers:

Then there are reports of using CBD for chronic fatigue that are exciting and just go to show why it’s so important that more research be done. For example, this case of a boy in Norfolk who’d been basically bed-bound due to severe, chronic fatigue. He couldn’t function normally. He hadn’t been to school in eight years. His body wasn’t growing like it should and his hair had even stopped growing. But after his mom had him start a routine of daily drops of cannabidiol (CBD), he started a miraculous recovery.

Clearly, there is a great deal of work still to be done before our understanding of the relationship between the endocannabinoid system and conditions such as ME is complete. However, it’s certain that the role of the ECS is fundamental to such conditions.

  • Disclaimer:
    This article is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always consult with your doctor or other licensed medical professional. Do not delay seeking medical advice or disregard medical advice due to something you have read on this website.

Comments

78 thoughts on “Can Cannabis or CBD Oil Treat ME (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome)?”

  1. …”Typically, patients report experiencing relief from disturbed or unrefreshing sleep, joint and muscle pain, depression, and emotional imbalance. Some patients also report that cannabis use actually improves the primary symptom of fatigue, with many of these reports stating that sativa-dominant strains are more effective than indica-dominant…” This has been my experience exactly. It helps a lot with the pain, depression, and anxiety associated with this disease. For me it has been a life saver. Thank you for the well written article on this topic.

    1. Hi! I too suffer from ME and haven’t been able to find strains that done make my anxiety go through the roof. I would love to talk about your experience! Can you please email me? Thank you!

      Kristen

    2. I find higher Thc better too. Lets me sleep. Makes things better after two days. I use 41% thc 27 % CBD oil

  2. “The underlying cause of ME is still unknown, and it is generally thought that a combination of genetic, environmental, infectious and psychological factors may be involved.”

    NO. No, it is NOT generally thought that any psychological factors are involved in this disease. That has been solidly disproven, and we who are ill are extraordinarily sick of being told that psychology therapy is a treatment. It is not.

    The best that can be hoped for with psychotherapy treatments is a patient being better able to accept their disability – what a sick, sad goal that is.

    The Rituximab drug trials are showing that ME is an autoimmune disease. B cell depletion resulted in full cures for some people, once the antibodies cleared from their system. The inflammation is clearly caused by antibodies attacking our own body in some fashion.

    Those of us who have ME are often sensitive to certain drugs, or have abnormal reactions to them. Cannabis is not an exception. (This drug makes me inexplicably angry, though passive, and completely unable to focus – not a pleasant experience. And there’s no telling which components caused which effects).

    We need a cure, not highly dubious palliative treatments. Your writing skills are better used campaigning for more research funding for this condition, because it remains under-funded and discriminated against.

    1. Hi Donna,

      I recently found out that I have CFS. The things you have mentioned above sounds hopeful to me. Is there any further info/treatment/therapy/diagnosis you know about it?

    2. Unfortunately this is your opinion, Donna. your opinion only. Instead of berating this writer perhaps you should accept that this works for others, though not everyone, such as yourself.
      The endocannabinoid system is a proven fact. Good luck to you, but the rest of us will do what works.

      1. greencoach

        I tend to agree with Pd.
        Cannabis is helping enormously with my client who has found no help from anything else. The challenge with it is that with so many different strains, and a lack of general medical knowledge by most budtenders… the best you get as advice is to try a lot of different strains and track your responses.

        There is a lot to learn about cannabis before blowing it off. For example, I don’t do well with Sativa. I get angry and neurotic. I do well with Indica or Hybrids, but I need to be selective based on my goals. IF inflammation and pain is my primary issue, then I choose a blend or a strain that is suited for that. If stress and fatigue are disturbing, I select a strain known to help with these symptoms. But it’s an experiment for all because of what some call BioIndividuality – a term used to distinguish that all bodies respond differently.
        Just like no one diet works for everyone, no one Cannabis strain is perfect for everyone.

    3. Well put Donna. I read these articles with a lot of concern as I have 20 years of experience of dealing with this awful illness and I am sick of charlatans.

      1. Education is the key here! And you appear to be very uneducated on CBD/THC and all the amazing people cultivaring 100’s of strains, Finding the right balance of Thc % to Cbd % is key and the delivery method and quantity all vary from person to person, Your diet is the key to most illnesses and your mental state and mind set are key to everything in life. It is terrible for those who suffer with this infliction so assure me when i say i have sympothy for the suffers i have no sympothy for those who discredit something that has helped millions of people worldwide will all types of conditions, I am not saying it is a cure but i do believe if the right strain and dosage that it will aid many and with far less side affects than pharmicutical drugs. Please do some more research on this before you give your personal opinion and experience as the only outcome. who knows what you consumed and what was in it but nowadays all legitamate medicinal products coming from the THC/CBD industry are all lab tested and provide full chemical analysis and breakdown. I hope you find something to help your symptons and it most definatley could come from the very product you seem to be so against. All the very best to you

    4. Noeleen Keane

      Very interesting I have ME for over 12 years and in a relapse at the moment and thinking of trying CBD oil but a bit on sure

      1. my girlfriend has me
        and has all the common problems of me
        she was refered to an me specialist who reccomended a weeks holiday in a hospital ward and not your normal ward at that
        so i took it upon my self to do some research on cannibis oil as my auntie has been diagnosed with cancer
        after producing some rick simpson oil from blue cheese cannibis have defo seen changes in both people
        my girl friend takes a rice grain of the oil at night at around 7.45 pm
        within an hour the she goes to bed because the oil is taking effect
        she sleeps all the way through till 6am when the alarm goes off
        wakes up great no aches or pain
        and nowshe doesnt feel like she has to sleep in the afternoon
        so so far so good
        shes only been using the oil for one week
        only time will tell

      2. My mother suffers from ME and I have RA. I tried CBD oil yesterday for the first time from a friend, and then bought some for myself because I felt like it helped. My mother tried this morning and had her first functional day she’s had in weeks. If it’s legal where you are I suggest trying it. I’m so glad I did

    5. Donna I agree about antibodies attacking our own bodies. I have numerous allergies and one of my most irritating symptoms is intense skin itching. I’ve been on antihistamines for years and I was taking 2 or 3 some days and in the past when it got really badly out of control I’ve taken up to 6 in a day! Before I was given antihistamines I used to scratch my legs until they bled.

      I’ve been using CBD oil for around 7 weeks and in that time I’ve only needed 1 antihistamine per day. My itching is vastly reduced; I’ve tried numerous other natural things, including herbs, to try and control it but CBD oil is the only thing that’s helped.

      I’m also taking less Cocodamol and most of the time I don’t feel like I need it. I’m hoping I’ll be able to give up both meds completely when I’ve found the right CBD dosage for me; I’m still on a very low dose because I’m taking it slow as is recommended by some people.

      CBD also gives me a greater feeling of well being; it feels good and natural, like I’ve been missing it for years!

      1. I’m very interested to read Georgia’s comment. As a 5 year CFS sufferer I too have been dealing with itchy skin for 2 to 3 years with no solution accept that I need to live in Winter permanently ! CBD oil sounds worth a try for me.

      2. Georgia — how much and what type of Cannabis are you taking? I am searching to see if it might help the extreme weakness and anxiety I suffer from. Have to also see if it would interact with Zoloft. Thanks.

      3. Ellen Orsini

        Pleas let me know how much cbd oil to take for fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. Is three times a day enough.

    6. Lois d'Annunzio

      I totally agree that we need to stop saying that there is a psychological component .
      I am also tired of reading articles that start by saying that finally X research proves that ME is not psychological. That was proved many,many years ago.

    7. Heather McCabe

      Although this is an interesting and well written article. I too was angered regarding ‘Depression and emotional disturbance is a common feature of ME’ and the references to it having a psychological component. People, understandably, become depressed and anxious, when living with an uncontrollable, fluctuating, severely debilitating illness, that deprives them of living a normal life, causes Horrific suffering on a daily basis, and for which there is no solid treatment for. The psychological impact is the after affect of living with this illness; it is not part of the illness.

    8. Thank you for your article, Donna. I, too, (a sufferer for 37 plus years) am fed up with all the misinformation re: ME and the diagnosing of people who are “tired a lot” as having it. I have had stretches of many years where I was bedridden, unable to tolerate light or sound, barely able to speak and needing to hire people (out of pocket) to do everything, including helping me brush my teeth while lying on my side as I was too weak to stand and/or move my hand up and down more than once or twice. I am very fortunate to have kept positive during the worst of times and have never suffered depression and now am able to go out and appear normal for 7 to 10 hours per week and have more of a normal life. The fact that I will probably die before any help is available is disheartening and I hope that future sufferers have a brighter outlook. Over the years, I have tried many “remedies” that have been suggested and find that some things helped a little for a little while. The only real help has been eliminating as much stress (and movement) from my life as possible and (my apologies to those who are not religious) prayer.

  3. Dave Campbell

    Your article is awesome and great to read. Medical cannabis is awesome thing and anybody can enjoy its benefits. Even studies and researches also has proven that it works awesomely . Thanks for sharing this article.

  4. Hi cannabis does work ive just made cannabis eliquid it’s magic no swelling or pain its so much better for you than meds.

  5. After giving up cannabis for over a year to see where I was really at with my mental health, I didn’t feel any better – more pain, more depression, more headaches, and could not get myself out of fatigue once it started.

    I began experimenting again with small doses (as the come-down from large doses is counter-productive to all my conditions). I find that in the past and in the present, that Sativa helps change my perception on a brain level of the fatigue and I am able to push past mental resistance and physical resistance and get some things done!

    1. HI Cat,
      specifically what strain, i have heard ‘durban poison ‘ sativa is energetic. ( I have M.E.). thx,
      mostly i need it for the fatigue aspect. -l

  6. P.S. I do have Fibromyalgia and ME – officially diagnosed, along with depression. I used to be able to function with just depression for the most part, but after a car accident and injuries, I developed the chronic pain and fatigue states and my nervous system is not the same anymore.

  7. Thanks for this article.

    I can vouch for cannabis being useful for sleep, chronic pain, and general mood in ME.

    Also y experience that higher CBD levels are more therapeutic, and less intoxicating. I suggest that inexperienced medical cannabis users should avoid the high THC content strains to start with.

    First try THC : CBD ratios between 0:1 and 1:1. Then, if you want, carefully experiment with increasing the THC.

    “The underlying cause of ME is still unknown, and it is generally thought that a combination of genetic, environmental, infectious and psychological factors may be involved.”

    That is the broad generic non-specific coverall language which the medical profession uses to characterise almost every unexplained medical problem: ‘It’s probably a combination of everything.’

    It really means: ‘We don’t know, but don’t want to appear completely clueless.’

    1. Jean Wright

      The underlying cause is spirochetes in the blood that can be seen under a dark field microscope magnified x 12. Its the body’s inability to get rid of this bacteria that leaves us in a state of illness, its also a pre-curser to cancer so I was looking at Rick Simpson’s oil to see if it helps

      1. Kay Robertson

        Hi Just wondering what dosage would I have ME 21 yrs Dish Spine fused to neck So please reply with some good advise, I have tried cbd before got so itchy it drove me crazy and stopped WHAT DOSAGE. please help terrible Pain in muscles, headaches, tired,1Day out crash for 2days ,,Fog, DOSAGE Help

  8. Loved this article. So many useful informations! I actually came here researching to make sure using cannabis wouldn’t contribute to my FMS or CFS symptoms and now it seems I need to look into what strain to try and find. Unfortunately I live in a non-progressive state. Maybe some day this country will get with the times.

    1. I came here to research the same info and am now ready to throw all the different meds in the trash that get thrown at me every time I leave the docs office. I agree that plants not pills are the way to go…afterall its just all natural right?

    2. CBD oil definitely helps people feel better. CBD oil with less than 3% THC is considered a dietary supplement and is legal in all 50 states.

  9. I came down with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. My doctor acquired a licence. I absolutely found relief; just 2 puffs and I was well for hours.

    Now there are new breads of oils, tinctures and seeds for growing cannabis. New research has proven some cannabis plants are better than others.

    I would really appreciate knowing the names of these plants, seeds and oils by name.

    Can anybody tell me from there knowledge or experience.

    love to know

    Michel

  10. @ Michel

    see: “Sisters of the Valley” about CBD Oil, Salve, Tincture
    (havent tried it myself yet / still smoking the stuff what helps, even though
    would like to give it up and soon will try the salve or oil).

  11. I went to a workshop where the speaker was the leading researcher in CFS, Fibro, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome. He said they now know that they are all caused by an overactive nervous system and suggests that injesting cannabis in low doses helps with symptoms. He states that injesting rather than smoking, makes it last longer in your system and you should experiment with it to get just enough to help with symptoms, but not enough to get high from it. I use strains which have THC but also have a high amount of CBD. I use a Sativa strain for the daytime and an Indica to help me sleep. My CFS flare ups are milder and less frequent since I started using cannabis to treat my symptoms. I also take Magnesium about 900 mg every day. They say it is proven to help also.
    The researcher also said that reducing stress and doing deep breathing exercises also can help, along with not overdoing it on days that you feel healthy.

  12. I would like to know if cannabis oil would be effective in treating epstein barr and coxsackie viruses? I have a friend who suffers from both, for which there are no cures.

    1. Scarlet Palmer - Sensi Seeds

      Dear Sue,

      Thank you for your comment. We are sorry to hear about your friend’s situation. Unfortunately, as Sensi Seeds is not a medical practice, we are not able to provide any advice relating to medical situations other than to consult your doctor or other licensed medical professional. This article, written specifically for healthcare providers who may not be aware of the many properties of cannabis, may be useful to your friend in talking with their doctor. You could also try to contact local medicinal cannabis support groups, if you have not already done so. In the UK, there is the United Patients Alliance (you can find them on Facebook) and in the US there are many branches of NORML (google NORML followed by your area name). We hope this is helpful.

      With best wishes,

      Scarlet

    2. The most common cause of so called M.E…….. Chronic Fatigue……………… is congenital encephalitis / anaemia.
      This is being overlooked by the D.O.H on a very grave scale.
      We must stop the labels and diagnose the physical cause.

      This is abuse on a grand scale.

      Abuse of these individuals is probably the most serious shameful act of betrayal (against women) in the health service.

  13. Lynn - Leonard Crowell

    12-20-2016 // AGE 67 WHITE MALE,
    i HAVE CFS/FM, AND ALSO POST POLIO, FROM 1955,
    READING RESEARCH, I RELATE TO PAIN, FATIGUE, MIND FOG, DEPRESSION.
    FOR MANY YEARS, I EXPERIENCE THIS HEALTH PROBLEM TO
    SUMMER CLIMATE WEATHER, AS IT SEEMS TO EFFECT ME MUCH MORE IN
    HOT – HUMID CLIMATE.
    BEGINNING EARLY 2000’S,
    LIVING IN NORTHERN COLORADO PAST 20 YEARS,
    THE COLD TEMP’S EFFECT ME ”AS ” MUCH AS HOT WEATHER.

    GOT ANY FEED BACK ON CLIMATE TEMP’S, AND THE EFFECTS.

    BEGIN SEEING HEALTH CARE PROVIDER, WHO IS OPEN MIND,
    AND SIGNED FOR [ COLORADO RED CARD, MMJ ] DEC. 2016.

    AS NOTHING ELSE WORKS, SO LET’S TRY IT.

    LYNN = COLORADO

  14. I had ME and cured it myself or learned to support myself and my body so it could heal, I struggled with it for many years , from i was 19 until i got 27 years old. It got triggered by a mycoplasma infection in my lungs. I got the flue and suddently my longs were shutting down and i almoust got in a coma, after that i got ME. it was a lot of pressure in my life at that time, I got the lung infection 2 weeks before i was taking my final exam, had alot of work to do at school, was under alot of pressure. Were trying to find my way in life, moving out from home for the first time, and starting a new life. The recovering for me was a journay. I huge part of what helped my was changing my diet, nutrition and food has a lot to say, ( i made the change in gentle way with the aproach to help my body, not to try too change it or fix it.) I am a vegetarian and decided to cut out any artifical food that was harming my body. Added healthy fats, and chose to eat organic as much as possible and i also decided to go deeper into myself because i belive that this had to have a root cause and was interested in finding out what that could me. I was not this disease, it was something happening inside of me and i got curious about what it was trying to communicate to me. I began slowly to practice yin yoga and body scanning meditations to see how that made me feel, and that helped me to relax and more connected to my self, at the yoga center i met people who had me and connected to like minded people. That helped me alot it was so nice meet loving people, make new friend and to be able to share this with some who understood what i was going throught and to envestigate and try out differnt stuff to see how that effected the body together. I became curious about my emotions and my belife systems and the way i was thinking. I found out that the fatigue for me was a a huge general description on a lot of resistance that made me feel tired and heavy and under the resistance i found a lot of supressed emotions and feeling i was not counscious of before. It was parts of me that i had burried and were pushing against. a lot of old hurting memories and fears came up and supressed emotions. I was always pushing, forcing my self to be a certain way or trying to better alot of different stuff. The heavyness in my body and mind came from alot of differen things but it was truly a liberation to allow and feel it and learn to be with myself in total new way. I dont know if this the case for you but i have severial friends who had cfs and are healthy today. So there is hope! I will recommend you to watch this video from teal swan on cronic fatigue if you are interested in a deep percpective on a huge factor and catalyst for this condition. I ended up there after alot of different ways of looking at it. Personally i belive after what i have experienced in life that it all begings from an energetic level before it becomes a pysical problem, and another thing i have learned is that the way we aproach the body and ourself is key to healing. My body was never sick it tried to help me,it tried to show me what i was missing in myself that wanted my attention and it showed me how i was being with myself. I learned a totally different way to be with myself and take care of myself that i did not understand when i got sick that i needed. because i was so used to live that way that i could not see it. When i learned to meet my needs and myself in an different way and truly listen it changed alot and today i am dont have cronic fatigue anymore. I wish you the best on your healing journay 🙂

    1. Aryane Helen

      Hi Katja,

      I am 24 years old and have been diagnosed with chronic fatigue. Your description of the disease, and the psychological burden you felt matches most of my experience. Thank you for your comment and I will definitely try out yin yoga and see the video.

      Have a nice day,

      Aryane Helen

    2. Hello Katja,

      Thank you for your reply. I’m in a position where I may be diagnosed with ME. I have a clinic diagnosis of fibromyalgia which wasn’t correct. Over a year and a half I improved my symptoms greatly. I no longer have pain but struggle with fatigue. I was doing pretty well but now after a terrible episode of stress that exhausted my body I seem to be in the midst of some sort of flare up.

      Your message resonated with me. I believe my body can heal and will soon begin energy work to help release the things that cause my chronic stress response and PTSD. My body has been out of balance. My greatest fear is that the specialist I am seeing now will diagnose me with ME because he can’t find anything else wrong with me…these are his words.

      I feel like this illness is pushing me to live the way I want to live, a more spiritual existence.

      Your words give me hope. Thank you

  15. Tio rogers

    I have been suffering from ME/CFS for over 25 years, and like most others have run into a host of quacks with promised remedies that in desperation I turn to in the hopes of relief. Yoga and meditation help deal with the symptoms but offer no relief from the disease. So l look at the possibility that marijuana might offer relief from the pain, mental fog and loss of sleep.
    I live in Canada on the west coast where would I go to get some reliable information and some one to help guide me through this process?

    1. Scarlet Palmer - Sensi Seeds

      Dear Tio,

      Thank you for your comment. We are sorry to hear about your situation. Unfortunately, as Sensi Seeds is not a medical practice, we are not able to provide any advice relating to medical situations other than to consult your doctor or other licensed medical professional. This article, written specifically for healthcare providers who may not be aware of the many properties of cannabis, may be useful to you in talking with your doctor. You could also try to contact local medicinal cannabis support groups, if you have not already done so. In the UK, there is the United Patients Alliance (you can find them on Facebook) and in Canada, the US and EU there are many branches of NORML (google NORML followed by your area name). We hope this is helpful.

      With best wishes,

      Scarlet

      1. I would like to get in contact with ME/CFS patients for a living community in a THC friendly and cheap country.
        What would you suggest where to start?

      2. Scarlet Palmer - Sensi Seeds

        Hi Flomo,

        I’m afraid I don’t have an answer for your question, but I have posted it and your other comment here so that other people can see it. Do you have a Facebook / other social media group that people could contact you through?

        With best wishes,

        Scarlet

    2. Leslie Newman

      By now, you must know about Seattle. Legal there. Hasn’t Canada changed their laws ?

  16. Is there an indication that CBD oil can help with the extreme weakness of CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome)? That is my most debilitating symptom. AAARGH.

    1. Scarlet Palmer - Sensi Seeds

      Dear Denise,

      Thank you for your comment. We are sorry to hear about your situation. Unfortunately, as Sensi Seeds is not a medical practice, we are not able to provide any advice relating to medical situations other than to consult your doctor or other licensed medical professional. This article, written specifically for healthcare providers who may not be aware of the many properties of cannabis, may be useful to you in talking with your doctor. You could also try to contact local medicinal cannabis support groups, if you have not already done so. In the UK, there is the United Patients Alliance (you can find them on Facebook) and in the US and EU there are many branches of NORML (google NORML followed by your area name). We hope this is helpful.

      With best wishes,

      Scarlet

  17. Across the board, from Cleveland Clinic to Stanford papers on ME/CFS, this is one of the best articles I’ve read. Thank you. We need a voice and yours was spot on. <3

  18. May I so bold as to ask for an article or reply as to the specific strains, cbd / thc, terpenes, and preferred administration as in smoking, edibles, tinctures that are best for ME. I’m trying to self-medicate and am trying to learn as much as I can. When I began I thought it was as simple as sativa/indica, but in a short period of time I’ve learned it’s waaaay more than that if you want to get the most medically accurate form for ME. Thanks for all the info and shedding light! All of this is giving me such hope. 🙂

    1. Scarlet Palmer - Sensi Seeds

      Hi Claudia,

      Thank you for your comment, we’re really glad that you are finding useful information on the blog. Unfortunately, as Sensi Seeds is not a medical practice, we are not able to provide any advice relating to medical situations other than to consult your doctor or other licensed medical professional. This article, written specifically for healthcare providers who may not be aware of the many properties of cannabis, may be useful to you in talking with your doctor. You could also try to contact local medicinal cannabis support groups, if you have not already done so. In the UK, there is the United Patients Alliance (you can find them on Facebook) and in the US and EU there are many branches of NORML (google NORML followed by your area name). We hope this is helpful.

      It is possible that we will publish a more in-depth article on ME / CFS in the future, especially if there are further scientific studies released that can shed more light on this topic.

      With best wishes,

      Scarlet

    2. I’m wondering what you have discovered in your personal investigation into working with CBD oil and ME. I’m just starting to look for my husband who’s suffered with ME/CFS for 10 years and I’m overwhelmed. Any discoveries you’ve made may at least narrow the field for me. I’m so grateful for anything you’re able to share.

      In Light and Love,
      Cheryl

  19. I know this is an old thread, but has anyone here tried eating fresh (not dried or heated, frozen immediately after harvest and used in a smoothie) cannabis to help with ME/CFS?

    Undried flowers are known as “inactive”, but active=psychoactive in that context. I’ve used fresh cannabis and have experienced remarkable health benefits – but it does not get you high.

    Fresh/frozen buds are the missing link in our quest to use this plant for medicinal benefit. Forget juicing leaves – the power lies in the cannabinoids, and they are concentrated in mature buds.

    Arthritis, depression, pre-diabetes, and for a friend, kidney disease (terminal) have all been 90%+ eradicated by using fresh/frozen buds. The effects have been seen using commercial grade, high-THC buds.

  20. Great article! I have FMS AND CFS from effects of chemotherapy and radiation treatment. Had I know. More about CBD 6 years ago…I would have pursued it more. I am angered at the stigma around medical cannibas and saddened that it is not yet a readily acceptable treatment t in our modern world. Having just started 2 weeks on Sativa for day and Indica for night– I say I sleep amazingly with no Morning side-effects. Oh!! My restless leg syndrome is diminished when night time Indica. My day time pain is now very low 2 from a 9; although, I dont know why some days the CFS is harsher than other days. I find that the disabling fatigue is the thing that makes me depressed. I wonder if the fatigue will get better? Would love to know and feel alive again!!

    1. Dear Aum,
      That sound great! I am so happy for you that you have seen such relief! Could you let me know how you dose? I have CFS and am starting on 3 %CBD oil.
      Regards,
      Thilde

  21. Very interesting and informative article. I am currently suffering from symptoms which match the symptoms of ME to a T. I got some kind of mild virus about 3 weeks ago and felt the body pain, weakness, and fatigue that is normal for viruses, but those symptoms have not gone away. I missed many days of work and now feel my job could be in jeopardy. I have a fast paced Job which requires me to lift and be on my feet all day. Right now my body and mind cannot handle that type of work. I’ve had many tests done and seen a couple different doctors recently but no clues have come up to what this could be. Whatever this is, it is a very frustrating illness. My symptoms: general fatigue, muscle weakness, muscle pain(primary in calves, thighs, and hamstrings), knee joint pain, and mental fatigue/fogginess. hopefully I have answers soon. Good luck to us all.

    1. Scarlet Palmer - Sensi Seeds

      Hi Chris,

      Thank you for your comment, I’m sorry to hear about your current condition. I hope you make a full recovery soon!

      With best wishes,

      Scarlet

  22. I have this condition of chronic fatigue. What did help me was changing diet to a whole food plant based diet. And far infra red sauna that i use every other day. I am by no means out of the woods but these to changed took me from bedridden to walking more than 10 km per days. However i also experienced severe setbacks when i have overdone things. Will try cannabis in some shape or form.

    1. WOW Jakob — How long did the methods you mention take to help you. I have no ability to have an infra red sauna in my apt. But I do primarily eat a plant based diet.

      I am also part of the Gupta Amygdaola Retraining for Advanced CFS program. Centers on catching all the negative thoughts and feelings and creating new “grooves” in our psyches. Also utilizes meditation and some other ways to greatly reduce stress — stress is a major part of CFS.

      1. Denise, I see from the above comment that, as of June 2017 you were involved with the Gupta Amygdaola Retraining for Advanced CFS program. Do you feel that this has still worked for you? I’ve looked at the website: more snake oil or true claims? Thanks.

  23. I wonder if anyone has found relief from extreme weakness using Cannabis. If so — in what form and how much, how often. Seems like most people find relief from pain and unrestful sleep.

    Hoping Cannabis might (?) help my CFS weakness.

  24. Georgia — how much and what type of Cannabis are you taking? I am searching to see if it might help the extreme weakness and anxiety I suffer from. Have to also see if it would interact with Zoloft. Thanks.

    1. Hi Georgia & Denise — I’m also in the Gupta Amygdala Retraining Program. Also suffer from CFS’ extreme weakness. Was wondering about taking some form of Cannabis (not sure which one) and if it had helped anyone with CFS and weakness. I also take Zoloft.

  25. THCA influence the human endocannabinoid system and not the CB1 receptors. THCA influences the system in contrast to the in-direct effects of THC or CBD after it has been converted to THCA and CBDA in trace amounts during the process of metabolization. THCA affects four functions of the endocannabinoid system:
    (a) Releases COX-1,
    (b) Inhibits COX-2,
    (c) Inhibits TNF-Alpha,
    (d) Releases interleukin-10.
    THC and CBD are neutrals and neither acidic nor basic, so they and do not have the same effects on the endocannabinoid system as THC Acid or CBD Acid.

  26. Rebecca White

    This was clearly the most informative article that I have EVER read. I have been sick for 40 years. It took forever for a diagnosis. Cannabis is the ONLY thing that has helped me. Thank you so much.

  27. Excellent article! Great job on explaining ME, and the benefits of cannabis for it.

  28. Julia Eaton

    I have found this all encouraging, l have suffered for a long long time with cfs trying many supplements, it was suggested by my son who came across cbd that l should give this a go, which l am going to try.
    Julia

  29. I have always been allergic to milk and eggs. I was diagnosed with three different conditions in high school by 3 different doctors: lyme’s disease, chronic fatigue sundrome, fibromyalgia. The antibiotics they prescribed me caused allergic reaction. During my 20’s I had backaches, acne, migraines, insomnia.
    It wasn’t until my late 30’s when after I had my 2nd son, that all of this was from gluten intolerance and allergies to rice and potatoes! Seriously. My chiropractor helped me discover this after he commented the aches he would feel after pizza on the weekend. I am a different person now. If I add those foods in my diet, symptoms reappear. The paleo diet has transformed my life.

  30. I came here to learn about the relationship between ME and Cannabis…I stayed because the woman lying on the bed is very attractive : )

  31. I found this to be a very informative article. I happened onto this site because today is the first day that cannabis is legal in Canada. I’ve been struggling with a moderate case of ME, finally diagnosed six years ago. About forty years ago I had a bout of mono and haven’t been truly well since. I’ve had no treatment of any sort from my GP so I’ve been left to my own devices to figure out what might help to relieve my symptoms. Until now it’s been huge amounts of ibuprophen and rest. Tomorrow I”l be heading to a dispensary! Many thanks.

  32. Hello, I would be interested in living with Me/CFS Patients in a THC friendly and cheap country. There is plenty options which I tested already.
    Male, single 47 8 years suffering and very experienced in many treatments.
    I am looking forward to hear from you

  33. Tessa Avelar

    What type of CBD oil is good for internal scar tissue Had a bowel resection. Now have scar tissue on scar tissue on scar tissue. Scar tissue went over to ovary & ovary hurts.
    What brand of CBD oil is good for this?

    1. Scarlet Palmer - Sensi Seeds

      Hi Tessa,

      Thank you for your comment. We are sorry to hear about your situation. As Sensi Seeds is not a medical agency or practitioner, we cannot give any kind of medical advice other than to consult your registered healthcare professional. This article about the potential benefits of medicinal cannabis might be useful for you to show your healthcare provider if they are not familiar with it.

      You may also find it helpful to contact a support group for medicinal cannabis patients. In the UK there is the United Patients Alliance, and throughout much of the rest of the world there is NORML, who should be able to put you in touch with a group in your area (search United Patients Alliance or NORML followed by your area name).

      These are our pages on medicinal cannabis and medicinal cannabis strains, which you might also find interesting. We do have our own brand CBD products, which are reliably high in quality, but we only sell them as food supplements.

      I’m really sorry that I can’t help you further.

      With best wishes,

      Scarlet

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    Sensi Seeds

    The Sensi Seeds Editorial team has been built throughout our more than 30 years of existence. Our writers and editors include botanists, medical and legal experts as well as renown activists the world over including Lester Grinspoon, Micha Knodt, Robert Connell Clarke, Maurice Veldman, Sebastian Maríncolo, James Burton and Seshata.
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    Sanjai Sinha

    Dr Sanjai Sinha is an academic faculty member at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York. He spends his time seeing patients, teaching residents and medical students, and doing health services research. He enjoys patient education and practicing evidence-based medicine. His strong interest in medical review comes from these passions.
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