Medical marijuana for relief of cramps

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Since the very beginning of historical documented references, we have known that the marijuana plant could provide numerous benefits and relief for a nearly limitless list of common ailments. From Ancient China where cannabis plants were ground up and combined along with other elements like alcohol to achieve a state of sedation for surgery, all the way to India where a medical marijuana drink called Bhang was and is still commonly used to treat a variety of common conditions.

The trouble is that years of exposure to stereotypes and propaganda has skewed the opinions of the people who no longer know what to believe about this once illicit drug. The truth is that the marijuana plant species is a complex one with well over 3000 different strains, and each type will produce a unique combination of over 100 cannabinoids and terpenes. These elements are all capable of inducing an entirely different effect, which is the reason why some strains are specifically labeled as medical marijuana.

What is medical cannabis?

You might notice that some of the most world-famous marijuana plant strains known for their medicinal properties are often available through your average recreational dispensary, that is because medical marijuana is not its own breed. Instead, it is a group of strains that are known to provide benefits for specific medical issues. Most recreational cannabis strains can also be medical marijuana, which is where the confusion begins for less experienced consumers.

How cannabis works to treat cramps

Medical marijuana for cramps works on a level that is impossible to see with the human eye, as is also true with most pharmaceutical options. The elements called cannabinoids that are produced by cannabis plants work together to provide both instantaneous and long-term relief of this painful symptom. Some medical marijuana strains will induce a sense of euphoria while others come paired with less noticeable side effects, but they all work in the same way.

The human body is equipped with what is called an endocannabinoid system which is designed as a locking mechanism, that is unhinged by the release of our own naturally produced hormones and chemicals that are eerily similar to cannabinoids. Our brains release these elements to interact with the endocannabinoid system, which responds by controlling our typical bodily function for our most basic needs, such as hunger or pain. Luckily, cannabinoids resemble each other so closely on a molecular level, that they too can trigger this response which can help to reduce pain, inflammation and improve mood.

Is it safe to use medical marijuana for cramps?

Every medication comes with its own list of possible side effects and results, and while medical cannabis is no different, it is the only entirely non-toxic and effective option. Medical marijuana is completely safe to use for cramps in a variety of different ways and comes with a few side effects that all subside as soon as the cannabinoids leave your system.

Research on medical marijuana for cramps

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According to one study from the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, the effects of medical cannabis products are in fact beneficial for treating many different painful conditions including cancer, heart disease, menstrual cramps and leg cramps. Unfortunately, the size of this and any other marijuana plant effects on pain research study online is minimal with only a handful of participants in total, but the number of patients that reported a decrease in pain was nearly 90%, which shows significant promise.

Most common causes of cramps

Though medical marijuana for cramps can be effective, it is important to assess and treat the root of the problem at hand. Otherwise, you may never notice a dramatic reduction in symptoms, and if you do, the effects will only be temporary. Below, you will find a list of the most common reasons that a person might experience cramps. If you feel that you might have a severe problem, then it is highly recommended to seek a physician’s opinion before proceeding with any type of self-medicating.

  • Injured or overextended muscles
  • Poor circulation
  • Too much activity in hot temperatures
  • Potassium or magnesium deficiency
  • Muscle fatigue
  • Nerve damage
  • Dehydration
  • Swelling or inflammation (caused by injury or PMS)
  • Kidney disease

Common reasons for menstrual cramps

1. Endometriosis
This is a condition that causes the uterus lining to develop in regions outside of the uterus.

2. Adenomyosis
The uterine lining normally forms attached to the wall of the uterus, but this condition causes the two to coexist, as the lining forms inside of the uterus wall.

3. Cervical Stenosis
This is where the opening of the cervix is too small, causing a buildup of pressure, pain and discomfort.

4. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
An infection that is often caused by sexually transmitted bacteria in the female organs.

5. Uterine Fibroid
Growths that occur in the lining of the uterus.

How to use medical marijuana for cramps

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There is no right or wrong way to use marijuana plant products to treat painful cramps. Here, you will find some of the most commonly used methods of ingestion for cannabis and infused products:

  • Inhalation - Smoking, vaping or dabbing.
  • Topical - Creams, salves, sprays and oils.
  • Ingestion - Any type of marijuana plant product that is in an edible form, including oil, tincture and edibles or beverages.

Benefits of using medical marijuana for cramps


The effects from all cannabis strains can vary greatly, however in general, the benefits that can extend to sufferers of painful cramps are relatively the same, with the most significant difference being the potency of the buds or products.

  • Non-toxic
  • Instant pain relief
  • Reduced inflammation
  • Improved mood
  • Increase in energy levels
  • Enhanced appetite
  • Controlled nausea

Side effects

Despite the overall safety of marijuana plant products as they are not toxic, some consumers may experience one or more of these common side effects.

  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Paranoia
  • Dry mouth
  • Elevated blood pressure or heart rate
  • Delayed reaction time
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Trouble with memory
  • Breathing issues


iStock / Aleksandr_Kravtsov

THC and CBD are the two primary active cannabinoids that are consumed or applied during the treatment of cramps with marijuana plant products, but that doesn’t mean that they do the same thing. In fact, each of these two compounds seems to have its own effects, benefits and drawbacks.

THC - Tetrahydrocannabinol is the psychoactive cannabinoid that is produced by the marijuana plant. It is solely responsible for the nearly instant euphoric sensations that are expected from consuming cannabis products when ingested. However, it does not cause the same mind-altering results when applied topically.

CBD - Cannabidiol is often touted as the medicinal ingredient of the two, as it does not have the intense stereotypical sensations, and instead offers a boost of medical benefits by reducing inflammation, improving mood, and helping to regulate other normal bodily functions.

The best products to treat cramps

The right options for treatment will depend on the type and severity of the symptoms that you are experiencing.

For menstrual cramps:

  • Capsules
  • Bath bombs
  • Cannabis oil tampons

For other muscle cramps:

  • Cream/ointment/salve
  • Spray (both oral and topical)
  • Edibles

The best cannabis strains for cramps

Though not everyone will have the same experience with a particular product or strain, there are a few types of marijuana that are known for their potent pain-relieving qualities. If you are unable to acquire any of the cannabis strains listed below, then it is highly recommended that you seek one that boasts a healthy quantity of CBD.

  • Purple. Mr. Nice
  • Taliban Poison
  • Blue Velvet
  • Molokai Frost
  • Afghan Haze
  • Bettie Page

How to get a medical marijuana prescription for cramps

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To learn the process for your particular region, it is always a good idea to check out your Federal Government’s website for the most up to date instructions on how to apply. However, in most legal areas, it is as easy as scheduling an appointment with your family physician or visiting your nearest cannabis clinic.

Pros and cons of obtaining a medical license for cannabis

It is important to remember that not everyone resides in a region with cannabis-friendly laws, so for some, obtaining a medical marijuana license may be the only way to legally access this all-natural medication, but for those in legal states, there is the option of using recreational cannabis dispensaries, which leads us to our final question. Is there really any reason to get a medical license for marijuana when you no longer need special permission to carry or use it? Well, to help you to decide, here is a list of both the positives and negatives that can come from getting a medical marijuana license.


  • Ability to carry more substantial amounts of cannabis
  • Protection of your consumption under the Human Rights code
  • Access to medical marijuana dispensaries
  • Discounts on products in some stores
  • Medically verified reason to consume without question
  • Get permission to grow more than 4 marijuana plants
  • Treatment under the advisement of a medical professional
  • Recommendations geared towards your specific issue or condition


  • Can be costly and time-consuming to obtain
  • Difficult to prove the least visible or documented medical conditions to obtain m edical marijuana
  • Lower potency products
  • Less selection
  • Some regions require regular renewal of licensing
  • Will not pay for your prescription
The best marijuana strains to help with muscle pain


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