Using cannabis to treat restless leg syndrome

Published May 11, 2019 12:01 p.m. ET
Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

Have you ever found yourself being thankful for the benefits of weed after a long hard work week or a superficial injury? If you have, then you already know about the relief that some marijuana strains can offer in the right situations. Cannabis is a natural producer of cannabinoids, which can interact with the bodies receptors to regulate typical bodily functions such as pain or stress management. Now before we explain why the effects of weed are so useful for those with restless leg syndrome, here’s a rundown of what the diagnoses are, and some of the symptoms that present themselves in patients.

What is restless legs syndrome?

RLS (restless leg syndrome) causes uncomfortable and often uncontrollable sensations that produce jerky movement or the urge to move them. This typically happens later in the day or evening, while the person is trying to rest for extended periods of time. It is a neurological disorder that produces the sensations from within the individual’s brain, which is why so far, it has been challenging to treat with much success.

What are the symptoms of restless legs syndrome?

There are many different symptoms that commonly occur in people with RLS, but there are a specific few that are looked for by doctors and medical professionals who are trained to give this diagnosis.

  • Pain, pulling, aching, throbbing, or any other uncomfortable sensations in the lower legs that come on without warning, and create an irresistible urge to move or stretch. This symptom is expected to occur most at night or later in the day while sitting or lying down to rest. They can occur in one or both legs and vary in length and intensity.
  • Symptomless periods almost always occur in the morning.
  • Sensations occur at least once per week.
  • Exhaustion from lack of sleep.
  • Loss of concentration.
  • Impaired memory
  • Decreased work productivity.

Benefits of marijuana for sufferers of restless leg syndrome

A massive 7%-10% of the population will struggle with RLS at some point in their lives. Though isn’t yet a cure for the syndrome, there are many effective treatments that can be used to alleviate some of the symptoms. One study conducted by Thomas Magelin for the for the Department of Neurophysiology Clinic in France had success when five of their six participants were able to put their RLS into full remission after using weed strains that were high in CBD.

Another from the European Journal of Internal Medicine used Sativex to administer the cannabinoids to over 200 patients. Participants reported a 60% reduction in painful symptoms, and the remaining 40% experienced full remission. The key to the differences between these two studies is that one used pure cannabis oil that was rich in CBD, while the other used a highly processed marijuana product that is almost entirely THC.

5 marijuana strains that can help to sooth the symptoms of restless legs syndrome

  1. Cannatonic - Hybrid
  2. Critical Mass - Indica
  3. Tahoe OG Kush - Hybrid
  4. Girl Scout Cookies - Hybrid
  5. Blueberry - Indica

Have you found success in treating your restless legs syndrome symptoms using a specific weed strain? If so, we want to hear from you! Drop a comment down below, and let the world know what’s been working for you.

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