Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME)/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

Much like how cannabis functions as a medicine is a mystery, so too are the causes of ME/CFS. Medical experts have proposed biological, genetic, infectious and psychological causes, but no definite mechanism has been implicated as of yet.

ME/CFS Symptoms include chronic fatigue, impaired memory and concentration, muscle pain (myalgia), headaches, sore throat, sensitivity to food & light, extreme malaise, IBS-like symptoms, night chills and sweats and tender lymph nodes. These symptoms usually last over an elongated period of time – 6 months or more. Onset is usually gradual, although critical life events and consistent physical stressors may exacerbate the likelihood of ME/CFS developing. Rest does not solve ME/CFS.

Although there isn’t a known cause of ME/CFS, sufferers seem to have an inflamed spinal cord and brain. There are no major empirical studies or clinical trials looking at the ability of cannabis to ameliorate ME/CFS symptoms, but subjective reports from patients so far report positive experiences.

There is some tentative evidence that ME/CFS is related to other conditions such as IBS, fibromyalgia and interstitial cystitis due to potential autonomic nervous system (ANS) dysfunction. Immunological and endocrine abnormalities have been observed in some people with ME/CFS.

Check out the positives and negatives below and if you’d like to speak to Doctor Frank about your condition and getting a medical marijuana card, get in touch!

Value of Medical Marijuana

23 out of 4,276 patients (0.54%) surveyed use cannabis for ME/CFS. As ME/CFS could well be related to other treatment-resistant conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), migraine, fibromyalgia and interstitial cystitis, it may well be a condition that arises from a clinical endocannabinoid deficiency (CECD) and/or autonomic nervous system (ANS) dysfunction. This means that there may be some link between the gastrointestinal system, the ANS, the immune system and the endocannabinoid system. Anxiety also seems to have an effect on these conditions. Cannabis may also be preferable to certain analgesics, and may well help mitigate the side-effects of powerful antibiotics.

Positives

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Negatives

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Treatments

Sativas were overwhelmingly preferred by those with ME/CFS, at 39.13% compared to indica’s 17.39%. This is not surprising – those who are fatigued are more likely to go for strains high in THC, THCV, limonene, pinene and beta-caryophyllene for their more “energizing” effects. Of course, how these cannabinoids and terpenoids interact with each other and how they act in the body (and at what doses) is not know yet, so take this as more theory than advice.

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