Muscle cramps are involuntary contractions of muscles, often accompanied by pain. Causes vary from muscle overuse, dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, and trauma. These spasms are also a defining symptom for multiple sclerosis (MS) and cerebral palsy (CP.)
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There are different types of muscle spasms, affecting different muscles and muscle groups throughout the body. Treatment will depend on the spasms’ underlying cause, with the most common treatment protocol being medication. Your physician may prescribe a combination of anti-inflammatories and muscle relaxants to relieve the pain and manage the spasms.
Away from these conventional treatment protocols, research has shown the effectiveness of marijuana in treating various kinds of muscle spasms.
Medical Marijuana for Muscle Spasms
Across different states marijuana is legalized by federal, it is an approved treatment option for muscle spasms.
Much of the findings on marijuana’s use and efficacy for muscle spasms are actually from research about MS. A study by the University of Carolina found that the cannabinoid THC binds with receptors within the human endocannabinoid system (ECS) to reduce inflammatory proteins’ release.
Lower levels of these proteins suppress the spasm response, and you can look forward to fewer muscle spasms that last a shorter time. A recent study that has been published in the journal Frontiers in Immunology highlights the effectiveness of a combination of THC and CBD to suppress neuroinflammation and decrease muscle spasticity.
The synthetic forms of these cannabinoids also showed great results. According to a study involving subjects with varying spasticity levels, the synthetic cannabinoid, Sativex, is just as effective in managing spasticity. The Sativex was administered throughout a 4-week period, at the end of which the subjects reported a significant improvement of up to 20% in their pain and other symptoms.
In yet another study, researchers found that the cannabinoid, Nabilone, reduces pain associated with spasticity. The research also found that smoked medical marijuana effectively alleviates pain and other symptoms even among patients with spasticity that has proved resistant to conventional treatments.
Medical Marijuana for Muscle Recovery
As outlined, muscle spasms can result from overuse and injury to the muscles during exercise or following a traumatic incident. Medical marijuana can also help with these types of spasms, thanks to its role in muscle recovery.
The anti-inflammatory properties of medical marijuana help reduce the effects of oxidative stress induced by exercise or trauma. With proper muscle recovery, you can look forward to less frequent and less severe muscle spasms. The recovery process will also not be as painful for you.
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Research on the use of medical marijuana for managing and controlling muscle spasms not linked to MS is quite limited. There has been a renewed interest in this area of research in recent times, and researchers are interested in knowing how cannabis can manage muscle spasms caused by muscle injuries.
There is, however, plenty of anecdotal evidence and testimonies from patients supporting the efficacy of medical marijuana in treating all types of muscle spasms and the associated symptoms.
How to Use Medical Marijuana for Muscle Spasms
You can choose from several delivery methods depending on the strain you are using for the treatment and your type of muscle spasm.
The most commonly used method of delivery is through topicals, although you can ingest cannabis edibles, smoke it, or consume it in any other way. Topical applications are effective because they provide localized relief by numbing your muscle spasm and easing the contraction. Massaging the area while and after applying the cannabis-infused topical will help to relieve your muscle spasms faster.
This localized treatment also works best because it helps your immune system respond more efficiently to muscle injury spams. Once absorbed into your system, the marijuana will, through ECS receptors, influence your white blood cells to react accordingly, helping your muscles to recover faster, in addition to controlling the muscle spasms.
Medical Marijuana Strains for Muscle Spasms
Tens of medical marijuana have shown great potential in dealing with muscle spasms, both related and unrelated to MS. It is expected that research will help identify which strains work best for different types of muscle spasms.
That said, trial-and-error is the way to find a strain that works best for your muscle spasms. Licensed medical marijuana doctors can give you some recommendations to get you started. You can check in with your doctor from time to time and have them assess how well a particular strain is working for you until you find the right one.
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Get the Help You Need
Get approved by one of our licensed doctors, and get a letter of recommendation and ID card. With all these, you should enjoy easy access to medical marijuana at various dispensaries to help with your muscle spasms. Apply now to get your medical marijuana card.