What We Know About CBD for Restless Leg Syndrome in 2021
As the years go by, CBD continues to prove itself as an effective solution and treatment for multiple conditions. Unlike most pharmaceutical treatments, CBD can offer relief to a wide range of health-related circumstances.
Within this range of treatment possibilities, CBD has been shown to offer multiple benefits for people with restless leg syndrome (RLS). The evidence speaks for itself, so let’s dive into the background of this topic, as well as the latest research about CBD’s effectiveness in treating RLS.
What Is Restless Leg Syndrome?
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Strokes states that restless leg syndrome (also known as Willis-Ekbom Disease) “causes unpleasant or uncomfortable sensations in the legs and an irresistible urge to move them.” (May 2017)
RLS symptoms often appear after periods of inactivity, which explains why these symptoms may commonly occur later in the night, around a person’s bedtime. Someone with RLS may feel uneasy after long periods of sitting down or not moving. This discomfort triggers them to begin moving their legs to relieve that unpleasant feeling, even if it only provides temporary relief.
The uncomfortable sensations caused by RLS can occur in different ways and are likely to be present within the limbs (for example, leg muscles). It is not common for these sensations to affect the skin. While these sensations are difficult to explain, some patients will describe the feeling as achy, throbbing, pulling, or even electric.
That being said, it’s important to note that the symptoms of RLS are more complex than a muscle cramp or when your leg “falls asleep” and becomes numb. Some patients may include these in their list of symptoms, but it is very rare.
RLS can range in severity, and while it may be inconvenient, it rarely will affect one’s ability to live a normal, healthy lifestyle.
What Causes RLS?
There is no definitive cause of restless leg syndrome. A study from Harvard notes that more than 40% of patients with RLS have family members with this condition. Aside from a possible genetic connection, RLS has a range of probable causes, including the following: low iron levels, high caffeine intake, disrupted dopamine pathways in the brain (linked to Parkinson’s disease), and more.
Aside from the conditions linked to RLS, the risk factor may increase as a result of pregnancy, peripheral neuropathy, diabetes, taking certain medications, and your gender & age.
A 2020 study shows that women are about 50% more likely to have restless leg syndrome than men. Also, RLS will typically occur in patients above the age of 40.
What Is CBD?
Now that you know more about restless leg syndrome, let’s talk about CBD. If you are new to the world of CBD products & treatment, there is no need to be intimidated. You may see CBD a lot in the media, marketed products, or even health journals. It may be popular, but it can also be a very beneficial method for a range of treatments.
In short, CBD refers to cannabidiol, which is one of the most notable active ingredients found in marijuana (aka cannabis) plants. While CBD does derive from the hemp plant (a cousin of the marijuana plant), it does not provide the psychoactive effects or “high” feeling that cannabis products containing THC will produce.
CBD is not a cure; however, it has been shown to provide relief for many symptoms that result from health conditions. CBD can help relieve an extensive range of health symptoms without the risk of developing a dependency.
Over time, numerous studies and trials have led to FDA-approved forms of CBD treatments that are effective & safe to use.
Can CBD Products Help with Restless Leg Syndrome?
There are multiple solutions that can help diminish the symptoms of restless leg syndrome.
Most treatments for RLS are natural or therapeutic remedies, including the use of CBD oil. A 2001 study found that the cannabidiol (CBD) in cannabis plants was able to interact with the human body’s endocannabinoid system to provide effective results for RLS and other movement conditions.
That being said, this is just one of the various studies that show how CBD can offer relief for RLS symptoms. While it does not explicitly target RLS, CBD oil has been proven to help reduce anxiety and improve the quality of sleep. Considering that RLS symptoms commonly occur during the night (often disturbing the legs from inactivity), it makes sense that CBD benefits for sleeping can translate to relief for RLS symptoms.
While there is not enough research available to definitively say that CBD can cure restless leg syndrome, there is a substantial amount of studies that show how it has the potential to help. These studies show that the therapeutic properties in CBD can effectively treat the root causes or triggers behind RLS.
How Does CBD Work In The Body to Relieve Symptoms of RLS?
While restless leg syndrome is not a life-threatening condition, the symptoms may get more severe over time. If the symptoms get to the point where a patient wants to seek out treatment, CBD can be a helpful solution– here’s how.
We previously mentioned how cannabidiol (CBD) interacts with the endocannabinoid system within the body. So, how does it work within the system to relieve symptoms? Well, this 2001 study researched the effects and found that the use of CBD can regulate dopamine levels in the patient. This is important to note because the symptoms of RLS and other movement disorders will often respond well to the regulation of dopamine to offer relief.
CBD has properties that can calm nerves and relax muscles which can significantly benefit people with restless leg syndrome. Common RLS triggers are rooted in the nerves & muscles, causing chronic pain or uncomfortable sensations. Considering that CBD can effectively relax muscles and nerves, it leaves RLS patients with a lower risk of experiencing those triggers.
The actual CBD treatment for restless leg syndrome can work through different methods. A common approach is to take CBD orally, which allows the cannabinoid to enter the bloodstream, where it works to provide relaxing benefits. Another option is to apply CBD oil topically, which enables you to target specific areas of your body where symptoms may appear. There is an extensive list of ways to use CBD. However, oral and topical methods are most common for treating RLS.
Other Treatments To Help With Restless Leg Syndrome
In some cases, restless leg syndrome can be more complex, making it more difficult to find a proper treatment. While CBD has been shown to offer practical benefits and effective treatment for many patients, there are other routes people with RLS may try instead.
While it may not necessarily be a form of treatment, many people with RLS are advised to cut back on caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco. Especially when it comes to caffeine, these substances can amplify the symptoms of RLS.
While you may be advised to cut back on some substances, you may also be advised to increase your daily exercise. Regular exercise has been shown to improve sleep, which can minimize nighttime symptoms of RLS.
Certain medications are used to target the causes of RLS cases in order to diminish symptoms. This may include over-the-counter antihistamines like Benadryl, which can help restlessness in some cases. However, there are more serious medications like SSRIs that may be prescribed to someone who has RLS linked to high levels of anxiety.
Some doctors may suggest getting tested for iron or vitamin D deficiencies, as they may be linked to restless leg syndrome. If you have a deficiency that could be causing your RLS symptoms, then taking supplements can help.
Try CBD For Restless Leg Syndrome
Now that we’ve shared the important information we have about CBD for Restless Leg Syndrome in 2021– are you ready to give it a try? With the right products, you can experience the beneficial results of CBD to reduce symptoms of triggers of your restless leg syndrome.
If you’re looking for some full-body relaxation (plus a tasty little treat), we recommend trying our delicious CBD Gummies– they’re perfect for on-the-go relief!
Perhaps you’re looking for a CBD product that can offer fast-acting results. In that case, our CBD Nasal Inhalers offer a custom blend of CBD (50 mg of organically grown Broad-Spectrum CBD oil), menthol, and therapeutic-grade essential oils, which might be the best option for you. Just inhale & enjoy the refreshing sensation for instant relief.