Based on a study conducted by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders, about 7-10% of the general adult population in the U.S., show symptoms of RLS. Restless leg syndrome, also known as RLS or Willis-Ekbom disease, is a condition characterized by the uncontrollable movement of the legs due to uncomfortable sensations. This medical condition could start at an early age and progress as you grow old. And since the symptoms of RLS get worse at night, they often interfere with your sleep patterns and thus reduce the quality/quantity of sleep.
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Symptoms of RLS
Most people struggling with restless leg syndrome will describe the condition as an abnormal and unpleasant sensation that starts when your feet are resting. This concern usually happens to both feet, and rarely on the arms. Once the sensations start, they tend to worsen considerably in the evening, with the legs twitching at night. For the subject to minimize the RLS discomfort, they sometimes have to move around, stretch, pace, or walk.
Once an individual struggling with RLS starts experiencing creeping, crawling, pulling, aching, or throbbing sensations within their limbs, rather than on their skin, then it’s best to reach out to a medic. Other symptoms include sleep disruption, daytime sleepiness, bedtime behavior problems, and work performance issues.
Causes of RLS
RLS could be a genetic condition, but it’s also linked to many other medical disorders and medications. According to medical experts, RLS can affect people of all ages, with the symptoms worsening as you become an adult.
As earlier mentioned, RLS is a genetic condition passed down to offspring, and approximately 92% of patients struggling with Willis-Ekbom disease report having a first degree relative with this medical disorder. Other medical issues that could cause RLS include diabetes, pregnancy, kidney disease, hypothyroidism, Parkinson’s disease, Fibromyalgia, iron deficiency, Uremia, depression, and peripheral neuropathy.
Marijuana for RLS Treatment
In the treatment of RLS, sometimes traditional medication results in adverse side effects, while others are very expensive or ineffective. As an alternative treatment plan, medical marijuana can provide relief for this sensory-motor disorder.
According to research published on ScienceDirect on Cannabis for RLS, six patients exhibiting RLS symptoms showed commendable improvement in their symptoms after consuming marijuana. Out of the six patients, five experienced remissions, while one had total relief after inhaling the cannabidiol, CBD, contained in the marijuana.
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How Does Medical Cannabis Help with RLS?
When treating RLS, medical marijuana works on the cannabinoid receptors in the brain. To put it simply, the compound induces psychoactive effects on the brain regions that coordinate motor activities and pain relief. By restricting prostaglandin biosynthesis, the cannabinoids obstruct pain receptor pathways, hence easing the symptoms of RLS.
Medical marijuana is a promising alternative if you are looking to avoid the severe side effects of traditional medication. When taken for RLS treatment, tetrahydrocannabinol, THC, and CBD show significant potential in improving pain and reducing pain. One other prevalent concern arising from the RLS condition is insomnia, and medical hemp can help in enhancing sleep and also relieving anxiety.
Best Marijuana Strains to Use for RLS
If a subject is experiencing prickling, crawling, throbbing, aching, and finds it impossible to control movement in their feet, they’re likely struggling with RLS. Over time, cannabinoids have gained considerable traction in the treatment of RLS. These alternatives to conventional medicine not only help in alleviating pain and discomfort but also improve a subject’s sleep.
So, which strains of cannabis are considered suitable for the management of RLS? Among the best species include:
- Purple Kush– This is a Cannabis Indica strain that contains about one-fourth THC. Once taken, it spreads through your body, relaxing muscles, leaving you with a sedated feeling. It also relieves pain, which is a common symptom among RLS patients.
- Afghan Kush– This Indica strain is high in THC. It relaxes muscles and brings about calmness to your body. Once taken, the sedating effects last for hours, giving you a chance to enjoy adequate sleep.
- Granddaddy Purple– This strain makes it hard to keep your eyes open. Therefore, you should take it before you go to bed. This Indica strain is high in THC, which guarantees a good night’s sleep.
- AC/DC– This is a hybrid strain that contains higher CBD content than THC. AC/DC has a potent whole-body calming effect, which helps you focus. If you start experiencing RLS when you sit down, AC/DC helps alleviate the pain and boosts your concentration.
- Holy Ghost– This hybrid marijuana strain blends both the Indica and Sativa strains in equal proportions. With its 15-28% THC content, you can expect to focus once you consume it.
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Medical marijuana is a potent alternative to traditional medicines in the treatment and management of the symptoms of RLS. Take the next step and seize the opportunity to regain control over your well-being. MMJDoctors can link you to a medical cannabis-friendly doctor for the diagnosis of your RLS condition. Besides conducting a thorough evaluation, a marijuana physician can give you a medical marijuana recommendation to help you access the prescribed strain from your local marijuana dispensary, depending on your state.