CBD Oil For Restless Legs

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Does CBD Oil Work for RLS? Restless legs syndrome is a neurological disorder that causes an uncontrollable and painful movement of the 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) t

CBD Oil for Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) – August 2022

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Why People are Using CBD for RLS

The overall movement of the legs characterizes the symptoms of RLS. Symptoms can be accompanied by aching, crawling, or itching sensations in the limbs. There can also be leg twitching, especially during sleep.

Studies show that CBD may be useful for chronic pain relief (4) and sleep improvement (5) . Other studies suggest that CBD may act as a neuroprotective agent that protects nerve cells from damage (6) .

CBD is the non-psychoactive property of cannabis. Unlike its counterpart, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD does not make people high.

Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is medically known as Willis-Ekbom Disease. It is a neurological dysfunction that causes an uncontrollable need to move the legs accompanied by unpleasant sensations. The irresistible urge to move the legs often escalates at night, resulting in a lack of sleep.

Studies show that those with brain iron deficiency are prone to RLS (7,8) . The brain’s iron sufficiency may not be at the same level as that of the body’s iron levels (9) .

Studies show that women who have fibromyalgia , a disorder of the bones and muscles, are most likely to have RLS (10) . Sleep disruptions in RLS may aggravate fibromyalgia symptoms, including painful muscles and joints, fatigue, and morning stiffness (11) .

While there is no treatment for this condition, symptoms of RLS can be relieved with certain medications.

Dopamine-inducing drugs, also known as dopaminergic drugs, are recommended as treatments for moderate to severe RLS. These drugs increase the brain’s dopamine levels (12) . Dopamine is the hormone responsible for controlling body movements

However, the long-term use of these drugs can lead to RLS augmentation, a worse case of RLS that occurs even during the day (13) .

Another medication for RLS is Alpha-2-delta ligands (α2δ) , an antiseizure medication used by RLS patients to prevent augmentation from dopaminergic drugs (14) . However, these medications have side effects, like weight gain and dizziness.

Benzodiazepines are also prescribed for people with RLS to manage anxiety and sleep problems , such as insomnia (15) . Although this drug may not relieve RLS symptoms, it may improve sleep quality (16) .

Meanwhile, opioids, a type of narcotics , are used for severe RLS that do not respond to previously mentioned treatments. These medications are used to relieve pain and are prescribed in low doses because of its psychoactive properties (17) .

Some drugs can worsen RLS over time. These drugs are antidepressants, antihistamines, antipsychotics, and anti-nausea (18) .

Unlike pharmaceuticals that have negative side effects, CBD is a natural and safer alternative because of its good safety profile (19) .

How CBD Oil Works to Alleviate Symptoms of RLS

RLS symptoms usually occur at night, making it difficult for the RLS patient to fall or stay asleep, resulting in sleepiness during the day. RLS is one of the most common sleep disorders. As much as 10% of adults suffer from this condition (20) .

CBD has shown significant results in treating neurological disorders, including sleep disorders. Cannabidiol has improved the quality of life in people with Parkinson’s disease, according to research (21) . Significantly, CBD has also positively developed the quality of sleep for people with Parkinson’s disease (22) .

The result may be the interaction of cannabinoids, active chemicals in medical marijuana, and the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS).

The ECS functions to maintain the body’s homeostasis or equilibrium to adapt to internal changes (23) . The function involves interaction among neurotransmitters, cannabinoid receptors, and enzymes that can impact a person’s mood, appetite, immunity, and even pain reception (24) .

As CBD enters the body, it activates receptors that may influence the treatment of pain, inflammation, and enables a good night’s sleep (25) . These factors may help a person with RLS to feel at ease and rest soundly at night.

The Pros and Cons of CBD Oil for RLS

The Pros
  • CBD is considered as generally safe with an excellent safety profile according to a report by the World Health Organization (WHO) (26) .
  • Pain relief, inflammation reduction, muscle relaxation, and sleep comfortability are potential therapeutic benefits of CBD that can be linked to the treatment of RLS symptoms (27) .
  • CBD products are legally available in some states without any prescription.
The Cons
  • RLS has no proven cure yet. Further scientific studies and clinical research are needed to prove that CBD is indeed a cure for the medical condition.
  • The United States Food and Drug Administration (US-FDA) has approved only one CBD product for epilepsy (28) . Other CBD products in the market are still subject to research and clinical trials.

How CBD Oil Compares to Alternative Treatments for RLS

Iron deficiency in RLS patients can be addressed by taking iron supplements orally or intravenously (29) . However, oral iron supplements may cause side effects such as constipation, stomach pain, and nausea. Meanwhile, intravenous iron infusion showed improvements in 76% of the patients without any significant side effects (30) .

Magnesium supplements are considered as alternative treatments for RLS since these are commonly prescribed for leg cramps (31) .

Magnesium serves as a muscle relaxant . It soothes nerve endings and may help alleviate the symptoms of RLS. Magnesium can also be applied through the skin, especially in affected areas (32) .

Conventional alternative treatments for RLS involve walking and running to relieve pain by moving the legs. Other treatments may be relaxation techniques, such as meditating, stretching, and massaging affected areas.

In line with this, CBD may aid these alternative treatments for an enhanced treatment with minimal to no severe side effects, presented in studies (33) .

How to Choose the Right CBD Oil for RLS

Full-spectrum CBD oil contains all the beneficial plant compounds found in the cannabis plant. This spectrum includes terpenes, the natural aromatic oil of the plant that can contribute to the overall effectiveness (34) .

Full-spectrum contains THC, but only up to 0.3% per weight—the legally prescribed limit according to the 2018 Farm Bill (35) .

The broad-spectrum CBD oil is the same as full-spectrum, minus the THC. THC is extracted from the product using a process called chromatography, a method of physical separation of compounds.

The purest of the spectrum is called isolate. It only contains CBD, with no terpenes and no THC. It is also the least effective of all three because of its distilled form.

CBD Dosage for RLS

There are no standard dosages for CBD in general. However, the table shown below may be recommended as an initial dosing guide for initial doses based on effects and body weight (36) .

Weight Group Recommended Dosage for Mild Effects Recommended Dosage for Moderate Effects Recommended Dosage for Strong Effects
Light (less than 130 lbs.) 11 mg or less 12 mg to 14 mg 15 mg to 17 mg
Medium (130 to 230 lbs.) 18 mg or less 19 mg to 23 mg 24 mg to 27 mg
Heavy (more than 230 lbs.) 23 mg or less 24 mg to 30 mg 31 mg to 45 mg

Before taking any dosage, especially for first-time users, it is best to consult a medical professional experienced in cannabis use.

How to Take CBD Oil for RLS

There are several options on how to take CBD for RLS. What might work best for the condition may depend on the symptom and the area or body part concerned.

The most common form is the sublingual CBD. These are oils and tinctures usually taken under the tongue. Some of these products can be mixed with food and can be tasteless, odorless, or flavored.

Another form is the topical CBD. These are creams, balms, and salves that are often applied in a specific area of the skin. The solution is absorbed into the skin through the endocannabinoid receptors.

A fast-acting method of consuming CBD is vaping. Vaping CBD instantly relaxes the user upon inhaling and produces long-lasting effects. CBD oils for vape come in different flavors and are nicotine-free. However, there is a risk of lung damage with vaping.

Other CBD products come in the form of treats, like edible gummies and brownies. These appeal to the general public because of its traditional form.

Conclusion

Restless legs syndrome is a long-term condition that may gravely affect a person’s lifestyle and overall health.

According to studies presented, CBD can help RLS sufferers lighten their symptoms and complications. These symptoms include muscle pain and inflammation, insomnia, and mood swings caused by sleepiness and fatigue.

However, each individual’s metabolism and body composition can affect the effectiveness of CBD. The results may vary from one person to another.

The best way to know how one should treat RLS is by consulting a physician. Always consult a doctor first before trying new treatments or for any questions about the medical condition.

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.

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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