CBD Oil For Restless Legs


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Restless legs syndrome affects up to 15% of the population, yet no consistent treatment method exists. CBD for restless legs may change that! What are the symptoms of restless legs syndrome? What are the benefits of CBD to combat this neurological disorder? One of the sweetest parts of a long day is jumping into your comfy bed, feeling your body get heavy, and drifting off to sleep. For those who suffer from restless leg syndrome (RLS), this is almost impossible without the help of medication. With more research emerging about the potential benefits of cannabidiol (CBD) t

CBD for Restless Legs

Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a neurological movement disorder characterized by an inability to sit still, especially with an urge to move the legs. Victims describe the sensation as burning, searing, jolting, excruciating—any number of unpleasant descriptors to signify chronic pain.

It wasn’t until recently this ailment became accepted as a true clinical disorder with distinct features. According to a report in Springer Nature, “Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is one of the most disabling and sometimes painful sensorimotor ailments of the nervous system.” Estimates state that anywhere from 5% to 15% of the US population suffers from RLS, with about 3% moderate-to-severe cases. That number increases with age, if you’re a woman, and if you’re pregnant.

In addition, RLS is often associated with a variety of sleep disorders. According to the Sleep Foundation, “A study found that 88% of individuals with RLS reported at least one sleep-related symptom.” Restless legs syndrome has been linked to anxiety and depression. Inactivity and stress typically worsen symptoms as well.

In addition to a painful urge to move the legs, RLS symptoms include:

  • Mood swings
  • Irritability
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Memory problems
  • Short attention span
  • Sleep deprivation and other sleep disorders

But for the first time in a long time, CBD products and other medicinal cannabis-derived products may offer relief to RLS patients. Cannabidiol (CBD) has shown promise in treating many of the root causes of restless legs: muscle spasticity, anxiety, and much more.

What Causes Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS)?

According to the Center for the Advancement of Health, “RLS has no known cause, but a 2020 study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health suggests that genetics, kidney disease, and an imbalance in the neurotransmitter levels in the brain may be the causative factors.”

Furthermore, RLS has been attributed to several other medical conditions, iron deficiency, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, peripheral nerve damage, and beyond. Researchers have linked RLS symptoms to a wide range of medications, especially antidepressants and anti-nausea medications.

Traditional Treatments for RLS

How has humanity approached the treatment of RLS symptoms? The answer isn’t so black and white.

“Because the probable causes of RLS cover a wide range of conditions—everything from an iron deficiency and a low level of dopamine in the brain to varicose veins—remedies are hard to come by,” according to the Center for Vein Restoration. RLS treatment plans often differ from person to person, making any breakthroughs (like potential CBD for restless legs treatment) that much more significant.

The Center for the Advancement of Health advocates for discovering and treating the root cause of restless legs syndrome first. The first step in this process often involves a visit to your family doctor. Medical professionals are trained to identify potential causative factors and make medication or lifestyle change recommendations accordingly.

Traditional prescription drug recourse for RLS symptoms includes:

  • Dopamine agonists
  • Anticonvulsants
  • Opiates
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Any combination of the above

Unfortunately, “A subset of patients remains refractory to medical therapy and serious side effects such as augmentation and impulse control disorder may occur in patients with RLS treated with dopamine agonists,” according to Springer Nature. The side effects don’t stop with just dopamine agonists, either. Opiates are known to induce psychosis, difficulty breathing, and in severe cases: coma or death. Benzodiazepines, on the other hand, come with side effects like confusion, memory problems, the weakening of the muscles, and sedation.

As you may have guessed, there is no clear-cut answer for RLS patients, who may have any number of individual RLS symptoms. This makes CBD products and other cannabis goods an appealing option. Remember: CBD oil was federally legalized in the US with the 2018 Farm Bill; other medical cannabis products like marijuana have been legalized in a handful of states, with more and more signing up each year.

Before we dive into the specifics of RLS and cannabis, there are other non-prescription drug therapies for RLS symptoms:

  • Hot or cold packs
  • Baths
  • Massages
  • Yoga and stretching
  • Acupuncture
  • Improve sleep hygiene
  • Increase physical activity

Using Cannabis to Combat Restless Legs

According to the report in Springer Nature:

“Convincing treatment alternatives [for RLS] are lacking, but recently, patients’ spontaneous reports of a remarkable and total remission of RLS symptoms following cannabis smoking has been reported in six patients. Since that first report, we have identified 12 additional patients who spontaneously admitted recreational marijuana smoking. Similar to patients in the first report, the additional patients complained of severe to very severe RLS symptoms and were treated with one or more available drugs for RLS with poor or limited efficacy, except for patient 12 who declined long-term drug intake. All but one patient (patient 2) admitted total relief of symptoms following cannabis smoking…Side effects were panic attacks in one patient (patient 6), but otherwise, bedtime cannabis smoking was well-tolerated.”

Note: the Springer Nature report followed the use of marijuana, not CBD oil. However, many crossover benefits between CBD and THC (the primary cannabinoid found in marijuana) have been reported over the years. Plus, the term “cannabis” applies to both hemp (responsible for CBD products) and marijuana, meaning these plants share a closely-related chemical structure and resulting benefits when consumed.

This wouldn’t be the first time cannabis has been used to treat neurological disorders. In fact, the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) endorses the use of cannabis (both CBD and THC) for the treatment of symptoms relating to…

  • Multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Huntington’s disease
  • Tourette’s syndrome
  • Cervical dystonia
  • Epilepsy

The AAN believes there is the “strongest evidence for pure, oral CBD extracts” to lessen a patient’s muscle spasticity and “moderate evidence for THC pills and oral sprays” to lessen a patient’s spasticity and painful spasms.

Unfortunately, beyond the first and second reports of RLS patients and cannabis smoking, we do not have well-commissioned clinical trials validating all of this information. Furthermore, some RLS patients believe that CBD oil is more effective than marijuana-derived products at treating RLS symptoms, while scientists are inclined to promote THC over CBD.

CBD vs. THC for Restless Legs Syndrome

According to the Center for the Advancement of Health, “CBD, as research suggests, has properties that may help control your RLS symptoms and improve your quality of life. It’s also non-psychoactive, non-toxic, and safe.”

The main benefit: the relaxing effects of CBD are able to ease RLS-related anxieties and reduce overall muscle spasticity.

This aligns with the US government’s beliefs about pure, high-quality CBD oil. There is one CBD oil-containing medication currently prescribed in the United States. Epidiolex is used to treat rare and severe epileptic disorders, characterized by extreme bouts of muscle spasticity and chronic, painful spasms or seizures.

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However, as we mentioned above, scientists are inclined to promote THC over CBD for the treatment of RLS symptoms. It’s not that CBD is ineffective for RLS patients, as this is not the case! In fact, the Center for Vein Restoration believes CBD is not a cure for RLS but “alleviates some of the painful side effects of the condition.” Furthermore, CBD may help target related sleep disorders affiliated with RLS as well, perhaps improving the quality of life in patients.

But, the Springer Nature report mentioned earlier: “These patients admitted the superiority of cannabis smoking over the use of cannabidiol [CBD] for symptom relief.” Study authors note the “patient’s subjective estimation of the cannabis efficacy may also be skewed by the psychoactive and anxiolytic properties of the drug.”

In layman’s terms…

THC might not be more effective than CBD at treating RLS symptoms, but the intoxicating side effects of THC made study participants believe it was more effective.

To combat this potential research problem, Springer Nature scientists believe more well-controlled clinical trials are needed. We also suggest utilizing mixtures of both CBD and THC. For example, Full Spectrum CBD oils derive from hemp plants but retain hemp’s natural 0.3% concentration of THC. This small amount of THC is non-intoxicating. However, it allows your body to access the therapeutic potential of marijuana without the high!

CBD for RLS in Conclusion

Do you or someone you know suffer from RLS? Have you used cannabis as a potential mitigator of RLS symptoms? Let us know in the comments!

Although limited, current research implicates cannabis products (both CBD and THC) as potential therapeutic options for RLS patients. Remember to always discuss RLS treatment options with a medical professional in order to receive the best quality advice on improving your overall health.

With that said, we are hopeful that continued clinical trials will help us increasingly understand the relationship between CBD and coping mechanisms for restless legs syndrome. To purchase the highest quality CBD oil around, visit CBD Choice’s extensive directory of third-party lab-tested products!

Restless legs syndrome: The benefits of CBD

Restless legs syndrome (RLS) or Willis-Ekbom disease is a neurological disorder characterized by an uncontrollable urge to move the legs, especially at night. In North America and Eastern Europe, it is estimated that 4-29% of the population is affected by this disorder, which severely affects the quality of life of sufferers. Currently, there is no official treatment or cure for RLS. As a general rule, doctors recommend a healthier lifestyle, possibly with medication to reduce stress and ease pain. However, these medications are restrictive, as they cause side effects and do not really solve the underlying problem. For some people, CBD (cannabidiol) is a natural alternative that improves their condition day and night.

Recent clinical research indicates that CBD helps relieve many of the symptoms of RLS, while improving the quality of sleep for patients who often suffer from insomnia. With CBD, they can finally have productive days and peaceful nights.

What are the positive effects of CBD on RLS? How to properly consume CBD to relieve the symptoms of this neurological disorder, in what form and at what dosage? To fully understand how CBD works on RLS, let’s start by looking at the elements that characterize this condition.

What is restless legs syndrome?

Restless legs syndrome, also known as Willis-Ekbom disease, is a neurological disorder that can occur at any time in your life. Symptoms tend to occur at night, when your body is at rest, making it especially difficult to sleep. Automatically, lack of sleep can have a serious impact on your quality of life.

For most RLS sufferers, symptoms include itching and tingling in the legs that causes involuntary movements. All this restlessness prevents them from sleeping and leads to a feeling of intense fatigue during the day. A vicious circle that does not give patients a single second of respite.

Pain, discomfort, lack of sleep. All these negative aspects affect the physical and psychological well-being of patients. To relieve their symptoms, many people feel the need to move around nervously, which will naturally increase their level of stress and anxiety on a daily basis. Common situations such as going to class or staying for dinner can become embarrassing and impact their social life. Because of this, it’ s important to change habits and learn how to manage stress to get rid of this disorder, and this is where CBD comes in.

What are the benefits of CBD to combat RLS?

Scientific studies from 2017 have revealed the positive impact of therapeutic cannabis on RLS symptoms. On the one hand, it improves quality of life during the day by calming nervousness. On the other hand, it soothes itching and nighttime discomfort that prevents sleep, while providing patients with quality, restorative, and deep sleep. According to the study, 5 out of 6 participants confirmed a total remission following a treatment exclusively based on cannabis. On the other hand, all participants noted a significant improvement of their sleep at the end of the treatment.

As this study was carried out on only a few people, one can wonder if these results are valid for all patients. For the researchers, if CBD is so effective to fight against RLS, it is in particular thanks to its positive effects on the production of dopamine, also called the hormone of happiness. Indeed, RLS is caused by a neurological disorder, itself caused by a dopamine imbalance. Therefore, taking CBD helps the brain to stimulate this neurotransmitter and regulate it in a completely natural way.

Furthermore, scientists are unanimous in saying that CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system and offers a whole host of therapeutic virtues that can soothe pain and effectively reduce stress. Thanks to its anti-anxiety properties, hemp allows for a lighter, calmer, and more serene mind. That’s why RLS sufferers who take CBD before bed are finally able to find sleep, rest, and have a great day.

How to consume CBD to relieve the symptoms of RLS?

CBD oil

Typically, RLS sufferers take CBD oil orally or sublingually to relieve their symptoms. To enjoy the relaxing effects for a few hours, you can pour a few drops on your food or in your drinks. If you prefer a fast-acting, but shorter-lasting effect, you can pour a few drops of CBD oil directly under your tongue.

CBD flowers and resins

With CBD flowers and resins, the scents and flavors are all there. To consume them in a healthy way, you can use a vaporizer, or crumble them to incorporate them in your dishes or in your herbal teas. The advantage of vaporization is that the effects will be almost instantaneous and all the flavors of hemp will be perfectly preserved. If you choose to incorporate them in your culinary preparations, the relaxing effects will take longer to appear, but they will last effectively for a few hours.

CBD capsules

If you don’t like the taste of hemp and prefer a neutral product to get the benefits of medical cannabis, you may well turn to CBD capsules. These edible capsules have no taste or smell, but have the same soothing effects as oil or resin. Plus, the small capsule boxes are easy and discreet to carry around on a daily basis.

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How much CBD should I take to relieve RLS symptoms?

With CBD, there is no risk of overdosing, but there is no perfect dosage either. If you suffer from RLS, you should adjust the dosage according to the intensity of your pain and how you feel. Start with a low dose to see if it does much for you or not. If you feel that you need more, increase the doses gradually. If in doubt, ask your doctor or a pharmacist for advice, who will be able to guide you towards the most suitable dosage for you. Once again, it is important to remember that CBD is not a medicine and that it cannot replace a real medical follow-up. Sometimes, CBD is enough on its own. But in some cases, it can be used in addition to a medical treatment. Whatever the case, listen to your body and choose the CBD format that suits you best.

Can CBD permanently cure RLS?

No, CBD is not a medicine and it does not cure any disease. On the other hand, it can help relieve many symptoms and restore a better quality of life. In other words, it helps you get back to quality sleep, reduce stress and anxiety and thus, it accompanies you in a gentle and totally natural healing process.

Can CBD cause neurological side effects?

No, CBD is not known to cause neurological side effects, unlike some drug treatments. In fact, CBD is a natural substance that has powerful protective properties for the brain and neurons.

What Research Suggests: CBD For Restless Legs

One of the sweetest parts of a long day is jumping into your comfy bed, feeling your body get heavy, and drifting off to sleep. For those who suffer from restless leg syndrome (RLS), this is almost impossible without the help of medication.

With more research emerging about the potential benefits of cannabidiol (CBD) to support relaxation, discomfort in the muscles, and stress management, many people with RLS are turning towards CBD as a natural way to help them get a more restful sleep.

This article will investigate what the scientific literature says about CBD for RLS and how people are using it to manage their symptoms.

What Is Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)?

Also known as Willis-Ekbom disease, restless leg syndrome is classified as a One of the sweetest parts of a long day is getting to lay down and your comfy bed, feel your body get heavy, and drift off to sleep. For those who suffer from restless leg syndrome (RLS), this is almost impossible without the help of medication.

With more research emerging about the potential benefits of cannabidiol (CBD) to support relaxation, discomfort in the muscles, and stress management, many people with RLS are turning towards CBD as a natural way to help them get a more restful sleep.

This article will investigate what the scientific literature says about CBD for RLS and how people are using it to manage their symptoms.

What Is Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)?

Also known as Willis-Ekbom disease, restless leg syndrome is classified as a neurological sleep and movement disorder.

RLS usually affects people in the evenings before bed when they feel an extremely uncomfortable urge and deep aching to move their feet, legs, hands, arms, and even neck as they’re trying to sleep. The only relief they can get from this gnawing feeling is to move, but it can keep them up all night tossing and turning.

One of the strange things about this condition is that it’s almost exclusive to the evenings when one is trying to sleep, and it disappears the next morning. It’s common for people suffering from restless leg to sleep more in the day to catch up on the hours lost at night.

Restless legs syndrome is diagnosed into two categories:

1. Primary Restless Legs

Primary restless legs syndrome is idiopathic, which means it does not have a known cause, and it’s often left undiagnosed in many people. Some researchers suggest that it may be linked to genetics or low iron levels in the brain [1].

2. Secondary Restless Legs

Secondary restless legs are accompanied by other conditions such as Parkinson’s syndrome, thyroid dysfunction, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, pregnancy, or polyneuropathy.

Symptoms Of Restless Leg Syndrome

A doctor may diagnose a patient with restless leg syndrome or Willis Ekbom disease if they present with the following symptoms:

  • The urge to move limbs when resting
  • Tingling, pulling, or pain in the legs
  • More pronounced symptoms in the evenings
  • Aching legs after sitting or laying down
  • Constant motion, massage, bed-tossing to temporarily relieve symptoms

Your doctor may carry out a blood test to rule out possible vitamin and mineral deficiencies, and sometimes, a neurological examination is conducted. Another common test is the L-Dopa test, a reliable test that examines motor control symptoms related to Parkinson’s disease.

If the patient’s RLS symptoms improve while on L-dopa, it may suggest they have Parkinson’s or confirm RLS. However, if there are no improvements, doctors aren’t always quick to cross off RLS as a possibility as the relation between dopamine metabolism and this condition is still not well understood.

How Is Restless Legs Syndrome Treated?

Restless leg syndrome treatments can vary, depending on the severity of symptoms, but they will always include forms of self-care such as exercise recommendations and lifestyle changes to reduce stress on the body, such as quitting caffeine, alcohol, and smoking, along with relaxation techniques like meditation, breathing exercising, and yoga.

For more severe cases of restless legs syndrome, a patient may be prescribed medication such as L-dopa (Levodopa) to stimulate dopamine activity in the brain and nerve pain medication (opioids) to support comfort [2].

The FDA Has Not Approved CBD For Restless Legs Syndrome

While you’ll find many people on online forums raving about how CBD oil has helped them manage their RLS symptoms, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved any CBD product on the market to treat RLS.

And if you’re suffering from severe restless leg syndrome, you should visit your doctor for medical advice before turning to CBD as an option.

CBD is the primary active compound in hemp cannabis plants, and its main interaction occurs in the endocannabinoid system, which is tasked with maintaining homeostasis (balance) to help our vital functions perform optimally.

Research surrounding CBD’s use in medicine has been growing, but it’s still in its early days. We’ll get into some of CBD’s potential to support the symptoms associated with restless leg syndrome below.

CBD May Support Healthy Dopamine Levels In The Brain

While it’s not definitive, some evidence correlates restless leg syndrome with low dopamine levels in the brain.

Dopamine is a hormone with a lot of jobs. One of them is to regulate purposeful muscle movement and coordination by modulating the motor control center in the brain (basal ganglia). It’s been observed that any disruptions in this pathway could result in involuntary movements like tremors associated with Parkinson’s disease.

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Endogenous cannabinoids (produced internally) help keep the dopamine system in balance. CBD supports the endocannabinoid system (ECS) by preventing the release of enzymes that break down cannabinoids.

These higher cannabinoids are like boosting your wi-fi signal to relay messages throughout the body much more efficiently.

CBD is also suggested to directly support the mesolimbic dopamine system, which is responsible for our motivation, reward-related motor function, and learning [3].

CBD May Support Sleep Quality In Those Who Suffer From RLS

Insomnia is extremely prevalent in patients with RLS. The constant urge to move limbs at rest can leave them pacing their bedrooms or tossing and turning all night.

For most people, the symptoms seem to disappear in the day, and they can catch up on those lost hours of sleep—but that’s not always practical as there are commitments like school, work, caring for loved ones, and appointments to tend to in the day.

One of the popular reasons many people seek out CBD oil is to support restful sleep naturally. At large doses before bed, CBD may cause whole-body relaxation that primes the body for rest [4].

Another cannabinoid that has been gaining popularity for sleep support is CBN or cannabinol. It’s a minor cannabinoid that, when combined with CBD, shows greater potential for producing a sense of calm and relaxation that may help with restful sleep.

CBD May Help With Discomfort

People who experience more severe symptoms of restless leg syndrome report pain like pins and needles—kind of like that feeling you get when your foot falls asleep—which is likely caused by irritation of the nerves.

Doctors may prescribe RLS patients opioids to help mitigate the discomfort to help them fall asleep, but powerful opioids may not always be ideal as they’re highly addictive and come with a host of other side effects.

Many people find that CBD can provide them with gentle comfort for muscle-related soreness thanks to the endocannabinoid’s broad-acting effects of regulating our perception of pain.

There are currently no FDA-approved CBD products that contain CBD alone to manage pain, but research suggests that CBD combined with THC may prove effective in alleviating some muscle and nerve-related pain symptoms when taken in large doses [5].

CBD May Support Healthy Stress Levels

Stress is a common trigger for restless leg syndrome. Many patients report experiencing more severe symptoms during periods of stress in their lives, which is why many natural-based treatments for RLS involve stress management.

While stress is an important biological process in our central nervous system (CNS) designed for survival and motivation, too much stress is bad for us.

CBD has been down to activate the 5-HT1A serotonin receptors in the CNS, which moderates anxiety and nausea [5]. CBD oil in high doses has also been shown to affect GABA activity in the brain [6].

GABA is a neurotransmitter that counteracts the stress response brought on by cortisol. Higher levels of GABA in the brain helps to calm the central nervous system to enter the rest-and-digest mode.

How Do People Use CBD For Restless Leg?

Before you consider taking CBD oil for restless leg syndrome, you should consult your doctor to ensure it won’t cause any negative interactions with prescribed medications.

CBD is a versatile compound that’s now found in various products online and over-the-counter, from oils, capsules, gummies, lotions, and vape products. It’s important to know that what works for one person may not work for the next as CBD may affect individuals differently.

Based on anecdotal experiences of CBD oil users who suffer from restless leg syndrome, here are some pointers for shopping and using CBD oil effectively.

1. High Doses Of CBD

The studies conducted on the effectiveness of CBD towards sleep, discomfort, and stress used high doses of CBD upwards of 60MG per day.

If it’s your first time with CBD oil, you probably don’t want to dive too far into the deep end too fast, or you could end up with uncomfortable side effects. But you want a CBD product that will give you versatility in your dosing.

Our ultra-high potency 12,000MG CBD oil is perfect for this as it’s the most cost-effective option too. It delivers 200MG of CBD extract in every dropper full—but you can scale your doses as needed drop by drop.

2. Use Full Spectrum CBD Oil

Not all CBD extracts are made the same.

On the market, you’ll find two common types of hemp extract—full spectrum hemp extract, sometimes called whole-hemp extract, and CBD isolate, which only contains CBD.

Many experts agree that full spectrum CBD extracts will deliver the most potent effects as it contains a range of minor cannabinoids and terpenes to amplify and balance CBD’s actions in the body.

Full spectrum CBD extracts may have up to 0.3% THC, according to the US Farm Bill. While THC is federally legal, some states have strict restrictions around the compound, even in these trace quantities. Others may also want to steer clear from THC altogether due to sensitivities or potential medication interactions.

The next best option is broad spectrum CBD extracts. While less common, these extracts still contain other cannabinoids and terpenes but have undergone extra processing to eliminate traces of THC.

3. Take CBD Topically

Many people who need fast relief from restless leg syndrome will use ahigh-strength CBD topicallike a muscle rub or massage oil to deliver the benefits of CBD straight to the area of discomfort.

CBD topicals don’t enter the bloodstream. Instead, it interacts with the endocannabinoid receptors in the skin to support homeostasis. Unlike ingesting or smoking CBD, you can use CBD topicals as frequently as needed without the risk of discomfort associated with high doses of CBD like nausea, headaches, dizziness, and drowsiness.

The Takeaway: Can CBD Oil Help With Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)?

The research specific to CBD for restless leg isn’t sufficient, but we can expect more pre-clinical and clinical studies to investigate. Despite this, many people are still turning towards hemp-based cannabinoid use to improve one’s quality of life living with RLS and other movement disorders.

If you plan on using CBD for RLS, please check with your doctor first to ensure it’s safe and recommended for you.

The best treatments for RLS combine a mix of lifestyle changes, natural therapies, and doctor-prescribed medications to help alleviate severe symptoms. For example, RLS patients find that foot baths, massages, stress reduction therapies, and avoiding caffeine and alcohol help their condition.

You can check out our blog for more articles like this and how you can use CBD to support your health and wellness. You can also sign up to our Insider Scoop email list to receive industry updates straight to your inbox with exclusive Neurogan product offers.

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