These will prevent you from falling asleep…
Contrary to what you might believe, marijuana doesn’t necessarily cause you to become zonked out on the couch. If you still believe this to be the case, you’ve either never tried weed before or else you’ve watched one too many stoner stereotype movies. Yes, some strains help with insomnia or cause couch-lock, but there are also types of weed that invigorate and energize the user.
Which is just as well, because the United States is like the rest of the world when it comes to failing in the fight against fatigue. A 2017 report by the National Safety Council found that an incredible 43% of Americans admitted not getting enough sleep to perform their duties at work safely!
What is Fatigue?
Also known as reduced energy, physical or mental exhaustion, tiredness, or reduced motivation, fatigue is the feeling of being tired. Individuals suffering from fatigue report feeling a lack of energy and decreased motivation, and it is usually divided into two categories.
If you have physical fatigue, it means your energy levels are so low that performing everyday tasks is difficult. Whether you are carrying or pulling something, or climbing a flight of stairs, this form of fatigue makes every step seem like a mile.
If you have mental fatigue, it is difficult to keep your concentration. In many cases, it is a challenge to keep your eyes open, and your problem-solving abilities drastically dwindle because your mind is too tired to think efficiently.
What Causes Fatigue?
There is a myriad of reasons why someone can feel fatigued:
- Physiological Issues: Lack of sleep, over-exercising, or pregnancy.
- Physical Ailments: Cancer, diabetes, glandular fever, or anemia.
- Psychological: Anxiety, depression, or stress.
Lifestyle habits such as drinking too much caffeine, psychological issues such as worrying about things in your life, or a medical problem, can cause fatigue. Chronic fatigue syndrome is a condition that causes daily tiredness. It is defined as ‘profound’ fatigue that lasts for a minimum of six months and results in total exhaustion and cognitive impairment after the most minor of exertions.
Fatigue could also be a sign of a disease that you’re not even aware of. For instance, you may be anemic from losing blood, only to find that it is colon cancer that is causing the issue. Type 2 diabetes can also cause fatigue, although you would also have other symptoms such as feeling thirsty all the time and urinating regularly.
As so many different reasons can cause fatigue, it is often hard to diagnose the source of the problem. Fatigue isn’t always classed as the standard tiredness feeling that you are accustomed to and can be felt in any of the following ways:
- Aching or sore muscles
- Slower reflexes
- Difficulty in concentrating
- Lack of motivation
Fatigue is also potentially deadly. In the National Safety Council report, an incredible 97% of respondents had at least one risk factor for fatigue. Over 80% held positions deemed at ‘high risk for fatigue’ including roles that require constant attention or are physically/cognitively demanding such as working at a construction site or driving a vehicle.
Two-thirds of respondents admitted feeling tired at work, over half felt less productive, and 44% had problems focusing. Fatigue can lead to disaster in the workplace, at home, or on the road. Did you know that if you lose two hours sleep from a ‘normal’ 8-hour sleep schedule, that you could feel as impaired as an individual who has consumed up to three beers?
Here are a few more shocking statistics that show fatigue is dangerous:
- Over 5,000 people die in drowsy-driving related crashes each year on American roads.
- You are three times more likely to be involved in an automobile accident if you are fatigued.
- If you are awake for 20 consecutive hours, it is the equivalent of being legally drunk.
- Chronic sleep deprivation causes medical conditions such as cardiovascular disease, obesity, and depression.
An estimated 70 million Americans have a sleep disorder, and the nation’s lack of sleep is hurting organizations, too. Fatigue is believed to cost U.S. employers $136 billion per annum in health-related lost productivity according to the National Sleep Council.
Traditional Treatments for Fatigue
Unfortunately, there is no universal treatment because it depends on the reason for the tiredness. If you undergo tests which show no underlying medical reason, a series of dietary and lifestyle changes could help:
- Improving your sleeping habits to ensure you get plenty of sleep each night.
- Reducing overall caffeine intake and not consuming any after about 1 pm.
- Finding a balance between enough exercise and plenty of sleep.
- Trying a relaxation technique such as meditation or yoga.
- Identifying the stressors in your life and working to reduce or eliminate them.
- Avoiding the use of narcotics, nicotine, and alcohol.
- Being realistic with your schedule and workload.
There are also over-the-counter and prescription medications. If you have a sleep disorder, you could be told to try an OTC antihistamine. Sleeping pills are another option but could work against you by ensuring you feel drowsy long after it is time to wake up. Prescription medications can also cause side effects such as unsteadiness, memory lapse, and daytime sleepiness.
Marijuana and Fatigue
At present, research into the effects of weed on fatigue specifically is lacking. However, the herb has been tested on patients with conditions which have ‘fatigue’ as a symptom. A prime example is multiple sclerosis; a condition that affects an estimated 400,000 Americans. Aside from feelings of tiredness, MS symptoms include muscle weakness and anxiety.
As you may know, scientists who want to study cannabis in the United States must get approval from federal, state, and local agencies, and only research low-grade herb from the University of Mississippi. As a result, many studies to date involve observational studies rather than clinical trials.
In 2016, Doctor Thorsten Rudoff of Colorado State University gained fame for trying to crowdfund money for research into weed’s effect on MS patients. His team at the Integrative Neurophysiology conducted an observational trial on 139 MS patients in Colorado who were already using marijuana.
The trial found that the majority of weed users showed reduced signs of neurological disability and were able to either reduce their consumption of prescription medication or stop using it altogether.
If a lack of sleep is causing your everyday fatigue, cannabis could help. A study authored by Dr. Gwen Wurm, published in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs in July 2019, found that marijuana is replacing opioids as a sleep aid. In a survey of 1,000 weed users, 84% said the herb helped them sleep, while 83% said it replaced OTC or prescription sleep aids.
Meanwhile, there are tens of thousands of weed users who say it gives them a boost of energy when they need it most. Certain strains could even replace your morning cup of coffee. Below, we provide you with five marijuana strains potentially capable of increasing your energy levels. There are also other strains available to help you sleep which are not covered in this article.
5 Marijuana Strains that Could Help You Fight Fatigue
1 – Jack Herer
Jack Herer is a spicy-pine Sativa dominant cannabis strain that is known for giving its patients an incredible energy boost and mind-boggling high effects that are long-lasting. Jack Herer packs an astounding 18-24% THC punch and will definitely knock you into action. It is perfect for individuals who suffer from depression, anxiety and is known to help those with fatigue.
2 – Super Silver Haze
You can’t create a list of Sativa cannabis strains and not list Super Silver Haze. This supreme cannabis strain has been around for over 20 years and still lives up to its name. It is so popular that it has actually become iconic. Featuring 70% Sativa and only 30% Indica, this marijuana strain provides an energizing boost that will definitely hit the spot and keep you going like the energy bunny.
3 – Blue Dream
This slightly sativa-dominant hybrid is one of the biggest sellers of all time. It has a THC content that ranges from 17% to 24% and a CBD level of up to 2%. It is famed for being easy to grow and is many people’s go-to strain for a quick Wake and Bake session. It was developed in California as the Golden State became the first in the modern era to legalize medicinal marijuana.
It is a cross of Super Silver Haze and a Blueberry Indica and is adored by users for the full body relaxation it offers. Despite the relatively high THC content in some cuts, the high is a gentle one, which means it is a good option for novices. In general, users are filled with happy vibes when using Blue Dream, and it enables you to complete your tasks for the day and still find time to socialize.
The mellow high takes its time to have an effect, which is why it is so valued within the medical marijuana community. If you are feeling fatigued, have some Blue Dream and relax. It helps manage stress and provides a fuzzy sensation that makes you feel fantastic. However, it does all of this without inducing couch-lock, leaving you with ample energy to do whatever is necessary for the rest of the day.
4 – Green Crack
The name has less to do with the awful drug called ‘crack,’ and more to do with the almost addictive light-bodied high. Snoop Dogg renamed this strain, which was originally called Green Kush. It is a strongly sativa-dominant hybrid and is a cross of Sweet Leaf Indica and Skunk #1. The THC level ranges from a moderate (by today’s standards) 13% to a potent 21% with around 0.1% CBD.
Once you smoke some Green Crack, you will be astounded by the potency of the cerebral high. You will feel invigorated yet strangely comfortable and relaxed at the same time. It is a prime example of a great morning strain because of the energy buzz, along with the fact that it doesn’t promote a body high.
It is the strain of choice for creative individuals who want to get a lot done. The stimulating cerebral high provided by Green Crack is also said to improve a person’s level of focus. If you don’t like coffee but love weed, this strain is an obvious way to start your day. Please note that Green Crack can also cause a case of the munchies – good news if you enjoy eating breakfast.
5 – Durban Poison
This strain is almost a pure sativa and is one of the most coveted on the market. It was probably created in the South African city of Durban and was discovered by an American weed activist in the 1970s. He brought it home, and the rest is history! It is a real treat if you can get your hands on this pure South African landrace which has a THC content of 16-20% and minimal CBD.
If you are looking for something to boost your mood, Durban Poison is the right option! Like many other strains on the list, this one is a nice morning smoke that gives users a potent cerebral high. You may feel invigorated and perhaps even inspired to be more creative and productive. It is a favorite amongst those in the creative field and is also said to arouse one’s curiosity.
You can expect to feel euphoric, and this sensation is extremely stimulating. It is a great option if you have a free day and feel like exploring because it will allow you to see and experience things you normally miss. Best of all, the head high can last for hours, which should help keep those feelings of fatigue at bay.
Final Thoughts About Marijuana and Fatigue
Finding the best strains for fatigue isn’t easy, but we hope this guide helped. Please note that a strain grown in one region could produce high levels of a certain terpene; but if you grow the same strain in a different climate, it could have a very different effect. Take this into account when growing one of the above. Here are three more useful tips on picking a marijuana strain to combat fatigue.
- Steer Clear of CBN: Cannabinol is a breakdown product of THC. As THC degrades, more CBN gets produced. Although research is ongoing, it appears as if CBN has sedative qualities – the last thing you need when fatigued!
- Look at Limonene and Pinene: Unlike CBN, these terpenes are believed to help provide a boost of energy.
- Consider a Vaporizer: In general, inhaling marijuana is likely less sedative than using an oral or edible preparation. When weed is consumed orally, it is metabolized differently in your body. The THC in some strains will get broken down into a strong psychoactive metabolite which produces a more sedating effect than if you inhale weed. Feel free to smoke your weed, but a vaporizer may provide an even smoother sensation.