CBD for Chronic Fatigue: Can it help?


 | Last revised

Nov, 2022

Chronic fatigue syndrome is a complex constellation of symptoms characterised by prolonged periods of debilitating fatigue that does not improve with rest periods.

However, the symptoms extend beyond feelings of fatigue, and many patients experience headaches or migraines, sleep disturbances, gastrointestinal changes, trouble concentrating – AKA brain fog – ongoing aches and pains and flu-like symptoms.

Shockingly, doctors estimate up to 90% of CFS cases go undiagnosed. 

CBD is a proven antidote to many of the symptoms afflicting CFS patients, so can it be helpful for this condition? It absolutely makes sense. 

In this article, we explore the latest scientific research on CBD for chronic fatigue so you have the relevant information to make an informed choice about whether cannabinoid medicine might be right for you.

What is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

Chronic fatigue syndrome is a disabling disorder that is poorly understood, and the underlying causes are not clearly defined.

Symptoms can include:

  • Feelings of extreme and prolonged fatigue
  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Gastrointestinal changes
  • Post-exertional malaise (PEM) – tiredness with exertion
  • Inability to perform day-to-day activities
  • Swollen glands and flu-like symptoms
  • Disrupted sleep
  • Poor concentrating (brain fog)
  • Food sensitivities
  • Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS)

There are several other chronic conditions that frequently occur with CFS, including fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and TMJ (Temporomandibular joint) pain.

What causes chronic fatigue syndrome?

The underlying causes of chronic fatigue syndrome are not fully understood. However, some theories suggest it may be triggered by one or more of the following factors:

  • Emotional Trauma
  • Viruses such as Epstein Barr Virus
  • Bacterial Infections Like Pneumonia
  • Mould exposure
  • Environmental toxin exposure
  • Hormonal Imbalances
  • Lifestyle choices

While the triggers are not fully understood, CFS may be the result of an exaggerated immune response to the above-mentioned triggers, which results in widespread inflammation [1]. 

Bottle of CBD oil oil with a cannabis leaf placed in front.

CBD For Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

There is very little published research regarding the use of CBD specifically for chronic fatigue. 

However, an ever-increasing number of studies support the theory that CBD and THC can attenuate symptoms associated with CFS.

Inflammation and pain

CBD is widely recognised for its anti-inflammatory properties. 

In particular, a 2010 study found that several cannabinoids, such as CBD and THC, could calm the inflammatory process and reduce associated symptoms. [2]

There’s also speculation that chronic fatigue syndrome results from an endocannabinoid imbalance or deficiency. Researchers have linked low levels of natural cannabinoids to fibromyalgia. [3]

Fibromyalgia is like chronic fatigue syndrome, with the two illnesses sharing similar symptoms and clinical characteristics. [4]

Reducing inflammation and flare-ups may lessen the severity of CFS. 

CBD oil is worth exploring, especially if you’ve exhausted all other allopathic options.


When you feel like crap, your mood also tends to follow suit.

CBD is often praised for its ability to combat anxiety, depression and other mood disorders.

In a 2020 review article, researchers concluded, “​Preliminary clinical trials also support the efficacy of CBD as an anxiolytic, antipsychotic, and antidepressant, and more importantly, a positive risk-benefit profile.” [5]


Many people turn to CBD when experiencing sleep disturbances, and this is a common symptom associated with CFS.

Several animal studies and some human studies suggest that CBD’s ability to improve sleep is due to the fact it relieves other symptoms, such as pain and anxiety, that contribute to poor sleep.

In a 2017 review of the literature, researchers found that low-dose CBD had a stimulating effect and was associated with wakefulness, whereas high-dose CBD has a sedative effect.

“In a study among individuals with insomnia, results suggested that the administration of 160 mg/day of CBD increased total sleep time and decreased the frequency of arousals during the night.” [6]

Finding the Right CBD Dosage for Chronic Fatigue 

According to the World Health Organization, CBD is generally safe to use. But it can interfere with medicines you might already be taking, so check in with a doctor.

Assuming you’re good to go, what would be the correct CBD dosage for chronic fatigue?

Unfortunately, researchers haven’t extensively studied CBD for chronic fatigue. So you’re best to start low and go slow.

Researchers have reviewed the clinical data and found humans can tolerate up to 1,500 milligrams of CBD per day. [7]

However, side effects can include nausea and diarrhea. And we strongly advise against taking such a large dosage.

So you’re best to consult with your doctor if you’re unsure or are already on a prescription for chronic fatigue syndrome.

We recommend keeping a journal that outlines how much CBD you took that day and how you felt. Over time, a picture will begin to build where you can adjust the dosages to meet your needs.

Doctor holding a bottle of CBD in one hand and a stethoscope in the other.

CBD For Chronic Fatigue Australia 

Trying out a CBD treatment may be worthwhile if you or a loved one has chronic fatigue.

Fortunately, when it comes to getting CBD in Australia, you have a few options.

The legal way is to go through the TGA. You can do this by visiting a cannabis clinic and getting a prescription.

Once approved, you can visit a pharmacy where you can buy legal, medical cannabis products.

The second option is the green market. Australians are buying high-quality products from this market daily to avoid the high costs associated with the medical pathway.

Whether you decide green market or medical pathway, there appear to be very promising studies suggesting CBD can help ease many of the symptoms associated with this debilitating illness.

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1. , "Immune Response May Trigger Chronic Fatigue Syndrome".
Neuroscience News.
Project CBD.
3. Ethan B. Russo, "Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency Reconsidered: Current Research Supports the Theory in Migraine, Fibromyalgia, Irritable Bowel, and Other Treatment-Resistant Syndromes".
https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/can.2016.0009 .
4. D Buchwald, "Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome: similarities and differences ".
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9157484/ .
5. María S García-Gutiérrez et al., "Cannabidiol: A Potential New Alternative for the Treatment of Anxiety, Depression, and Psychotic Disorders".
6. Kimberly A. Babson & James Sottile & Danielle Morabito, "Cannabis, Cannabinoids, and Sleep: a Review of the Literature".
7. Kerstin Iffland and Franjo Grotenhermen, "An Update on Safety and Side Effects of Cannabidiol: A Review of Clinical Data and Relevant Animal Studies".


  1. Reno Xerri

    Thanks SY for the Info on CFS & Fibromyalgia. I will be consulting with my Doctor to see what he thinks.
    Would like to go ahead, but of course the costs may be high, but in saying that, just seeing my specialist Dr and paying for the natural supplements come at a high cost – with not much change in my situation. Maybe the green market is the way to go.
    Just a question – I had to do a urine test the other day, and was tested to see if I had any drugs in my system. (would it show positive if I took, say – CBD gummies or CBD oil?
    Thanks again for your info.

    • Hinterland co.

      Hey Reno, great to hear you’re exploring CBD for your condition! Drug tests don’t test for CBD metabolites, they only detect THC metabolites. It gets a little complex because a full-spectrum CBD oil contains trace amounts of THC, and it’s impossible to say whether this would show in a urine test. It depends how much you’re taking, how often etc. If drug testing is mandatory at your workplace, it may be a good idea to look into your workplace policies regarding medication and drug testing. You can also look into broad-spectrum products that contain zero THC, but you’d be missing out on the full entourage effect that occurs when THC is present. Wishing you all the best, Sy.


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Disclaimer. While we strive to relay the most factual education available, this shouldn’t replace official medical or legal consultation and recommendation. This is for educational and entertainment purposes only. Happy days.

Hinterland co. Byron Bay, Australia

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