Cannabis and Health

Restless Legs Syndrome: how do Cannabis Light and CBD work?

A very appreciated DIY remedy to find relief from RLS, Restless Legs Syndrome

Restless Legs Syndrome or RLS is a very common and undervalued disorder that, if not properly treated, can have a strong negative impact on the overall quality of life of those who have it. According to many people suffering from this annoying night-time agony, the consumption of cannabis light before falling asleep may be the key to ensuring a peaceful and restorative sleep. Let’s try to understand if cannabis light can actually be an effective remedy for Restless Legs Syndrome.

 What is the Restless Legs Syndrome?

Restless Legs Syndrome is a neurological disorder characterized by an unstoppable voluntary or involuntary leg movement, often associated with a sensation of discomfort/pain. Symptoms occur mainly when the subject is resting and usually they improve or disappear totally during physical activity, with frequent leg movements, and standing.

The main symptoms are:

  • Internal itching sensation
  • Tingling
  • Continuous movements in bed at night
  • Restlessness
  • Involuntary spasms
  • Collations and shocks to the legs that are concentrated during sleep (especially the first phases of falling asleep) and to a lesser extent also recur when awake during muscle relaxation.

The big problem of those suffering from this syndrome is the difficulty in falling asleep and the presence of disturbed and unrefreshing sleep.

Often those suffering from this problem lack sufficient sleep hours and during the day they suffer from drowsiness, irritability, difficulty in concentrating as well as pain and swelling of the lower limbs. This syndrome, that affects both children and adults, occurs either in defined periods of life or indefinitely in about 15% of the population, with a large predominance in elderly female subjects.

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The Causes of RLS

Many recent pieces of research have focused on finding a cure for this syndrome since it appears to be increasingly present in modern populations. In general, most of the researches have stressed the central role of the dopaminergic system in the pathogenesis of the disorder, as sometimes this decompensation can occur naturally (often due to a genetic predisposition) or it can be triggered by taking some types of drugs or by a period of particular stress (physical and/or psychological). Furthermore, it also favours the onset of a lack of iron and mineral salts.

Drugs for the treatment of Restless Legs Syndrome

After ascertaining that this disorder is not caused by a low level of ferritin in the blood or that the person does not need an integration of mineral salts, the doctor has few options to treat RLS. Mainly, there are treatments with Benzodiazepines, which are used to facilitate sleep and achieve a muscle relaxant effect. Another treatment used is the one based on Dopaminergic Agonists or molecules capable of mimicking the action of dopamine by binding to its receptors and activating them.

Can cannabis light alleviate RLS symptoms?

The scientific experiments concerning cannabis for curative purposes for RLS are decidedly few and not very specific. What is not lacking, on the other hand, is a very large number of testimonies from people who have decided to cure themselves naturally with cannabis to promote sleep (lacking due to the constant nocturnal movement) and which have immediately seen great improvements. These findings are abundant online, where many argue that inhaling cannabis with high levels of CBD and THC facilitates not only falling asleep but also the decrease or disappearance of muscular symptoms for several hours.

We asked ourselves why cannabinoids could be the future of treating this very common syndrome and probing the available literature we came across some studies that identify the key to cannabis action in the interaction of cannabinoids (THC and CBD) with the endocannabinoid system (a system of receptors naturally present in the human body). Among its many actions, it also deals with the modulation of dopamine release, a substance which, as we have just said, plays a fundamental role in the treatment of Restless Legs Syndrome.

Anecdotal stories and the few studies available on this theme suggest that cannabis can be promising support and aid for those suffering from Restless Legs Syndrome. We hope that in the future medical research will focus more effectively on cannabis-based treatments and finally find an effective cure without contraindications for RLS.

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