Cannabis and CFS

I have been asked this question several times, today on facebook a CFS suffer shared her experience and an article. The two pieces of information resulted in my researching this post.

Experience: “Hi Ken, I’ve been using cannabis for pain and neuroinflamation management for some years now. After feeling a lot better in these aspects I’ve stopped using it and I’m missing some gut relieve I got from it so I decided to check its antibiotic properties as I remembered some traditional uses of cannabis (much less psichoactive in the past) were mostly because of them.”

Research: “showed potent activity against a variety of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) strains of current clinical relevance.” [2008]

Staphylococcus aureus keeps showing up in connection with CFS and I view it as a probable maintainer of CFS. It also has many antibiotic resistant species. See this blog post.

There are reports of it being effective for Lyme from user groups, but no published studies on PubMed.



  • “The latter [cannabis] compound showed moderate anti-MRSa (IC50 10.0 μg/mL), moderate antileishmanial (IC50 14.0 μg/mL) and mild antimalarial activity against Plasmodium falciparum (D6 clone) and P. falciparum (W2 clone) with IC50 values of 3.4 and 2.3 μg/mL, respectively.” [2015]
  • ” CBD also displayed powerful activity against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), with a minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of 0.5–2 µg·mL−1 (Appendino et al., 2008)…. CBN demonstrated anticonvulsant (Turner et al., 1980), anti-inflammatory (Evans, 1991) and potent effects against MRSA (MIC 1 µg·mL−1). Pinene is a major component of Sideritis spp. (Kose et al., 2010) and Salvia spp. EOs (Ozek et al., 2010), both with prominent activity against MRSA (vide infra)…. Amongst terpenoids, pinene was a major component of Sideritis erythrantha EO that was as effective against MRSA and other antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains as vancomycin and other agents (Kose et al., 2010). ” [2011]


Coagulation is the suspected cause of much of the neurological symptoms of CFS

  • ” The study thus shows that Cannabis sativa and the cannabinoids, THC and CBN, display anticoagulant activity and may be useful in the treatment of diseases such as type 2 diabetes in which a hypercoagulable state exists.”
  • Blood glucose and fibrinolytic activity were significantly increased [by hashish].” [1975]

Bottom Line

There are no suitable studies on PubMed,which means that I cannot clearly recommend it. There is evidence that it could theoretically help because of it’s impact on MRSA and other bacteria as well as coagulation thus I do not have grounds to question it’s use. The CFS suffer experience is consistent with the PubMed studies above.

Talking with a CFS user that have used cannabis, I would suggest using a juicer and making a smoothie out of the leaves. The logic is simple, this will likely result in the best delivery to the gut.

Side-effects of positive results

The obvious ones are to try to get a full coagulation workup, especially for inherited factors. There may be better treatments.

Check for what Staphylococcus species  that are in your system (mouth, bowel) – again, there may be better treatments, possibly ones that could lead to remission.