How to Use CBD Oil for Restless Leg Syndrome
Due to advancements in alternative medicine, CBD products have become a fundamental component in numerous natural remedies. As one of the most beneficial cannabis-derived elements, CBD can help with everything involving imbalance in the body.
There’s no end to CBD’s restorative capabilities, from treating sleep problems to healing muscle soreness to regulating appetite and digestive issues.
Since most workspaces require many hours sitting on desks, an increasing number of patients report stiffness, twitching, and sharp pain in the legs. The last few years saw an increase of 21% of the US population suffering from restless leg syndrome.
Pharmaceutical drugs don’t offer the proper treatment for this syndrome, but some studies indicate that CBD’s calming effects can do wonders for patients with RLS.
If you’re curious about how CBD oil can help those suffering from RSL and how they can regain a good night’s sleep, continue below.
What is restless leg syndrome?
Commonly associated with leg twitching, soreness, or pain that causes an uncontrollable urge to move the legs, restless leg syndrome is a disorder that can happen to anyone. Known as Willis-Ekbom disease, this neurological disorder affects both genders, regardless of age.
Restless leg syndrome most frequently occurs at night and can be detrimental to the patient’s sleep schedule. From lack of exercise to a chemical imbalance in the brain, RLS can happen at any point in one’s life.
RLS induces involuntary movements, tingling, and twitching in a vicious routine, not allowing the individual to get proper rest. You can partly soothe the effects of RLS by taking a walk, shaking your leg, or stretching after sitting for an extended period .
However, since these issues occur most often at night, the individual faces difficulty sleeping or staying asleep. A disrupted sleep cycle can seriously impact a patient’s life. RLS symptoms keep the person awake and cause drowsiness, intense fatigue, and irritability.
Besides impairing one’s sleep schedule, RLS causes an array of other unpleasant side effects, such as:
- Sharp pain
- Soreness in the legs
- Discomfort, no matter the position
- Disrupted sleep, insomnia, and nightmares
- Psychological issues and arguments resulting from irritability
RLS not only causes discomfort in the lower area of the body, but it can influence the psyche and well-being of the concerned individual.
The inability to function properly during the day can affect how the patient behaves socially and individually. Normal daily activities like going to classes, remaining calm at work, or having dinner can be impacted by RLS.
And when pharmaceuticals don’t relieve RLS symptoms, patients turn to alternative medicine, like supplements and oils.
What causes restless leg syndrome?
Often, RLS patients can’t pinpoint the exact cause of the syndrome. The main cause reported by researchers is a chemical imbalance of dopamine, which is responsible for proper muscle movement.
Sometimes, RLS can be hereditary , and it is usually experienced by families who have a history of it. Studies have shown that specific gene variants can be associated with RLS, and these patients show symptoms before 40 years of age.
Another huge indicator of activating RLS is iron deficiency in the brain. Other factors that can lead to RLS are dysfunction in the brain section aimed at movement control.
This section also relies on dopamine to produce smooth muscle movement. Disruption in this brain section results in involuntary movements, twitches, and uncontrollable shakes. People living with Parkinson’s have an increased chance of developing RLS disorder.
RLS symptoms can also appear as a result of psychological disorders. Sometimes, disrupted sleep, sleep apnea, and insomnia may trigger RLS onset.
Other factors that may aggravate RLS symptoms include:
- Low levels of iron
- Antinausea drugs
- Antipsychotic drugs
- Alcohol misuse
- Nicotine consumption
- Caffeine overconsumption
Relieving RLS symptoms can be accomplished by decreasing coffee and alcohol consumption, quitting smoking, following a healthy sleep schedule, and increasing iron intake.
If you’re pregnant and suspect RLS symptoms, worry not, as they could result from hormonal changes. If that’s the case, the RLS symptoms should disappear within four weeks after giving birth.
Another surprising and less common fact about RLS is that even children can develop it. The condition is more common in women than men, and it can appear with aging.
Since RLS is more considered an inconvenience than a serious medical issue, it can accompany other severe medical problems like spinal cord damage or lesions, kidney failure, anemia, diabetes, alcoholism, or nerve damage.
Best treatment for restless leg syndrome
Besides dietary changes, better sleep cycles, and iron consumption, RLS can be treated in other ways. If the patient disregards the necessity of treating RLS, it can drastically influence the overall quality of life.
Fatigue and sleepiness will make the individual feel exhausted most of the time, affecting daily activities.
Psychological factors of RLS include irritability, trouble focusing, short-term memory loss, limited attention span, and sleep deprivation. All these elements could lead to dire psychological conditions like depression and anxiety.
The difficult part of treating RLS is defining the underlying cause for it. The RLS symptoms will improve once the root cause is determined and treated.
If no doctor can locate the key reason, then the patient should consider the following:
- Taking warm baths
- Walks after long sitting periods
- Everyday exercise plans
- No more alcohol or smoking consumption
- Diet changes
- Iron incorporation
- Better sleep habits
- Avoiding coffee
If the abovementioned natural remedies for RLS don’t work, the medical specialist might prescribe medication like:
- Sleep aids and sleeping pills
- Anticonvulsant drugs like gabapentin
- Muscle relaxants for spasms and cramps
- Dopamine agonists
Pharmaceuticals might cause some side effects initially, but prolonged use may lead to drug tolerance. That might require the patient to take a higher dose of the medication or switch drugs altogether. Prolonged use of opioids and muscle relaxants can even worsen RLS effects .
Varicose Vein Treatment
Another possible cause of restless leg syndrome can be varicose veins. Although very similar, varicose veins and RLS are widely different. These two disorders are accompanied by pulsating pain, stiffness, and cramping, but varicose veins precede RLS symptoms.
Recent studies show that varicose veins and RLS are connected in the treatment factor. Patients who receive treatment for varicose veins experience partial or complete elimination of RLS symptoms. In comparison, those treated exclusively with RLS medication did not quickly or sufficiently relieve the symptoms.
Varicose veins develop due to the obstruction of the normal blood flow in the body. Medicine that thins the blood or increases the speed of blood flow in circulation can decrease swelling and diminish the physical appearance of the veins. Treating painful varicose veins and RLS can be done through sclerotherapy or essential pain-soothing oils.
Oils rich in omega-3 fatty acids are also helpful in decreasing swelling, thinning the blood flow, and cooling the skin. Other treatments for varicose veins are more permanent solutions that require surgical assistance. These involve non-invasive treatment to remove or collapse the damaged vein.
CBD oil is a final, more accessible solution to varicose veins and effectively alleviates the pain. The non-psychoactive cannabinoid in cannabis plants, CBD, helps relieve severe pain and relax the patient. It will also decrease the pain and ease RLS symptoms, allowing the patient to get a good night’s sleep.
CBD oil is well-known for reducing discomfort and inflammation due to enlarged veins. If you’ve never used medicinal CBD, you can always give hemp oil a try first, as it has no traces of THC or CBD.
Natural treatments for restless leg syndrome
Natural remedies for restless leg syndrome include more alternative medicine approaches, and none is better than CBD oil. Incorporating CBD oil into your everyday life can help soothe tension and feelings of discomfort.
Besides relieving RLS twitching, stiffness, and sores, CBD oil can help with severe issues like arthritis and fibromyalgia. According to recent studies , CBD can help lessen RLS symptoms, and some patients even claim their symptoms have disappeared altogether.
While CBD does not present a forever cure for RLS for the time being, it can help patients who struggle daily with the condition. Since RLS leaves individuals feeling worn out, exhausted, irritated, and uptight, a massage with CBD oil can help soothe the painful areas.
Since RLS causes stiffness in the legs, the individual can apply CBD oil to the target areas, which will allow them to loosen up and relax. Using CBD oil to treat painful areas will also cause the mind to enter a deep state of rest , one which the patient is not getting from the lack of sleep.
CBD oil will not only help the body get rid of the unyielding pain but give the mind a break. It can also increase dopamine release, which will alarm the patient to become sleepy and relaxed. Sufferers may want to include CBD oil in their self-care routines alongside other healthy habits like exercising, practicing yoga , taking long baths, cycling or jogging.
CBD can also help curb negative thoughts and emotions accompanied by RLS like anxiety and depression. It will also help facilitate a positive relationship with one’s body.
Last but not least, CBD oil can help patients struggling with sleep. A good night’s rest is the best way to relieve RLS symptoms, and you can incorporate a schedule along with meditation, light stretching, and CBD. CBD oil will only give a boost to the other factors.
Other natural ingredients that might help with RLS symptoms include Ashwagandha, chamomile tea, mint, valerian root, etc.
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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?
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.
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.
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.