CBD oil is often recommended for the treatment of insomnia and chronic pain. Additionally, some studies have shown that CBD oil may assist in improving neurotransmitter production in the brain and might be a potential therapeutic aid in CBD for restless leg syndrome. In this post, we examine the complications and possible causes of the condition and see what scientific research says about treating RSL with Cannabidiol extracts.
What is RSL?
Restless leg syndrome is a condition that affects the body’s nervous system. The result is involuntary movements of the individual’s legs2. The person suffering from the condition will frequently experience the sensation to move their legs – and when the sensation becomes present, the individual may find that they start to experience additional symptoms, especially in cases where the person tries to resist these urges that they will feel.
Epidemiological studies have shown that the prevalence of restless leg syndrome may be as high as 14.3% in the general population1. There seems to be a higher risk of restless leg syndrome as age increased.
One of the most bothersome factors about restless leg syndrome is the fact that the urges often tend to become worse at night. This often causes a person to experience the symptoms while they sleep. In such a case, the person often also experiences a condition known as PLMS or Period Limb Movements in Sleep. The problem here is that this can greatly interrupt a person’s ability to sleep their full seven to nine hours.
Typical symptoms of RLS
While the most common symptom would be the urge to move either one or sometimes both legs, there are other symptoms that a person may also experience when they suffer from restless leg syndrome. In addition to the sensations to move their legs, the person may also experience these symptoms:
- It may feel like there are bugs crawling on the person’s legs
- There might be a burning or itching sensation in their legs
- The leg muscles may be affected by cramping
- A throbbing sensation may also develop in the person’s legs
Potential causes of RLS
A significant issue faced with restless leg syndrome is the fact that medical experts are not entirely sure what causes the condition to develop3. Some breakthroughs have been made in research surrounding restless leg syndrome. In many cases, the condition is linked to genetics – it has been found that those with a family history of the condition may be at a higher risk. The condition may also be related to underlying diseases, as well as the use of certain medications.
Conventional treatments for RLS
Physicians often find it difficult to treat restless leg syndrome. This is because the cause of the condition can often not be pinpointed. There is no known cure that can completely eliminate the condition, but physicians usually tend to assist in treating the symptoms that a person is experiencing.
A physician will usually try to determine if any underlying diseases could be present that contributes to the restless leg syndrome. This may include diabetes, certain nutritional deficiencies, anemia, kidney disease, Parkinson’s disease, and more. If such a disease is present, then the physician will focus on providing treatment for the underlying cause.
In other cases, a range of drugs may be provided to the patient. The drugs will often be tested one-at-a-time, but there are cases where more than a single drug may be prescribed. The same drug does not work for all patients – a person may have to try different options before they find the medication that works best for them.
Some potential options that may be provided to a person with restless leg syndrome may include4:
- Dopamine agonists
- Alpha2 agonists
- Dopaminergic agents
CBD oil as a therapeutic solution for treating RLS
CBD oil, a cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant, may be a possible treatment for RSL. This oil has shown to offer a number of potential therapeutic benefits for patients – all of which could potentially assist in reducing the particular symptoms that have been associated with restless leg syndrome.
According to a study published in the ELSEVIER Sleep Journal5, scientists found that the use of cannabinoids could have potential benefits for relieving symptoms experienced by patients with restless leg syndrome.
As someone with restless leg syndrome, you may find that you’re unable to sleep properly. Fortunately, cannabidiol has been shown to be effective for both sleep and anxiety6.
Many scientific studies are proving that CB1 receptors located throughout our nervous system are also found directly underneath our skin. I spread this topical CBD over my body, making sure to be generous over my back and other areas. Sometimes I get elbow pain, so I’ll just massage some of the body spread around the elbow joint after my post-workout shower. Oh, and it makes my skin feel super-soft.
Restless leg syndrome deprives a person of sleep and causes them difficulty in their day-to-day life. While there are certain conventional treatments that could be useful, finding the right drugs is often difficult. CBD oil, however, poses as an effective treatment option without the need for the pharmaceutical drug. The oil may be helpful in reducing the symptoms of restless leg syndrome and improve the individual’s ability to achieve a peaceful night’s sleep.
1 S.M. Fereshtehnejad, A. Rahmani, M. Shafieesabet, M. Soori, A. Delbari, M.R. Motamed, J. Lokk. Prevalence and associated comorbidities of restless leg syndrome (RLS): Data from a large population-based on door-to-door survey on 19176 adults in Tehran, Iran. PLOS ONE. 17 Feb 2017. https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0172593
2 Restless Legs Syndrome Fact Sheet. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Fact-Sheets/Restless-Legs-Syndrome-Fact-Sheet
3 Restless Legs Syndrome. Cleveland Clinic. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/9497-restless-legs-syndrome
4 Treatments for Restless Legs Syndrome. WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/brain/restless-legs-syndrome/restless-leg-syndrome-treatment
5 T. Megelin, I. Ghorayeb. Cannabis for restless legs syndrome: a report of six patients. Journal of Sleep Medicine. Aug 2017. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1389945717302228
6 S. Shannon, N. Lewis, H. Lee, S. Hughes. Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series. The Permanente Journal. 7 Jan 2019. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6326553/