Cbd oil for twitching

CBD for Muscle spasms

Muscle spasm is an unintentional contraction of muscles. Do cannabis cannabinoids help in providing relief or solutions? Let us discuss this in this article.

Thighs, calves, foot arches, hands, arms, neck, shoulder blades, and rib cage are the most common areas affected by muscle spasms. These contractions could be sensed in an individual muscle, entire muscle group, or selected muscle fibers.

Calf cramps are also known as Charley horses. These cramps last for a few seconds to minutes, or continuous but the pain could be debilitating. Some of the other related terms to refer to muscle spasms are muscle twitch, cramps, spasticity, and muscle contractions.

This article intends to discuss the following aspects of muscle spasms and if the applicability of cannabinoid-based treatments could provide relief to affected populations.

Top causes for muscle spasms

  • In most common cases, muscle spasms occur due to relentless exercise and sports.
  • Insufficient stretching, exercising in heated temperatures.
  • Mineral deficiencies including potassium, calcium, and sodium.
  • Pregnancy
  • A recent study1 points out causes such as electrolyte disturbances, neurological disorders in people over the age of 60 years, compression of nerve roots or compressed arterial vessels.
  • Consumption of certain medications such as diuretics for specific conditions including, high blood pressure, kidney failure, heart attack, and strokes could lead to muscle spasms.
  • A 2008 study2 details that disabling symptoms such as muscle stiffness, spasms, muscle cramps, pain, tremor is associated with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) a chronic and disorder of the Central Nervous system. Moreover, of all the symptoms, 90% of MS-affected patients are troubled with muscle spasms and spasticity.

How to treat muscle spasms?

Firstly, analyzing the underlying cause for muscle spasms is crucial. Only then appropriate treatment could be undertaken. We have seen above that muscle spasticity could occur because of two broad reasons. They are:

  1. Exercise-induced
  2. Neurological conditions including MS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis(ALS), and spinal cord injury.

As a result, patients choose to self-medicate with cannabis. Anecdotal evidence suggests that cannabis extracts are beneficial to control MS symptoms that include pain and spasticity.

Role of Cannabis in treating muscle pains

  • A 2012 Study4 reports on results from a UK based randomized trial. Here, adult patients who suffered from muscle spasms, muscle stiffness, and other associated pains typical of MS were studied. They were assigned cannabis extracts ( THC) daily and compared with a placebo for 12 weeks. The trial concluded that cannabis extract could be useful for treating muscle problems typical of MS and provided effective pain relief.
  • A 2019 study5 states that adult patients with MS experienced relief after smoking cannabis.
  • Furthermore, a four-arm cross-sectional study among patients with mixed neurological conditions, including MS and spinal cord injury, were administered THC, CBD, THC: CBD, and placebo. Observations were: (a) significant improvements in spasticity in the THC scale. (b) a reduction in the severity in all three cannabinoid conditions.
  • A noteworthy mention from a review study is that most clinical trials concerning multiple sclerosis and treatments with cannabis have all dealt with whole-plant extractions. The THC: CBD ratio varies according to strains such as 1:1, 2:1, and 3:1.
  • A 2009 study6 stated that combined THC and CBD extracts were generally considered to be well-tolerated. These combined cannabinoid therapies not only provided symptomatic relief but also reduced intoxication and other side effects.
  • To sum up, investigations from several studies unanimously report that cannabis therapy has been effective for treating spasticity, in most cases, symptom reduction in multiple sclerosis (MS).

Best cannabis strain for muscle spasms.

Cannabis breeders combine the best features from Sativa and Indica strains to create a new hybrid that could generate desired results. Hence, the resulting new variety could either be a perfect blend of both parents or a dominant hybrid of Sativa or Indica. ( whichever is the dominant parent)

The effects of the hybrid cannabis strains vary according to the THC: CBD ratio. Hence, they are used for several medicinal and therapeutic purposes to treat symptoms like depression, anxiety, paranoia, chronic pain, etc.

According to a survey from a study, 7 medical cannabis users preferred Indica strain to treat symptoms including neuropathy, spasticity, seizures, insomnia, and joint pain.

Effects of medical marijuana-based strain and route of administration study, 8 demonstrate that symptoms such as nausea and spasm could be affected by various methods of cannabis administration.

For example, Afghan kush, a popular indica strain, is rich in THC and CBD but known for its high CBD content. Their psychoactive properties and their medicinal effects help relieve pain in chronic cases and pain caused by leg cramps.

CBD benefits for muscle spasms

  • A significant reduction in the frequency of spasm was observed in THC and CBD combinations and also while THC alone was administered. But no improvements were observed while on CBD alone, reports a review study.
  • Similar observations are noted from a 2003 mouse model study of multiple sclerosis. THC alone caused a rapid onset of muscle relaxation and pain relief but CBD alone caused no inhibition of spasticity. Hence, THC is the active ingredient in producing anti-spasticity benefits.

Hemppedia compiles a wealth of information about various disease conditions and the applicability of cannabinoids in lifestyle lead disorders. For example, the potential of CBD in supporting combat sports professionals, athletic professionals in managing concussions, neurological complications, musculoskeletal disorders, pain management, and much more is mention-worthy at this juncture.

In each of these disease conditions, the form in which an individual prefers to ingest cannabinoids into their system might vary from person to person. Similarly, every individual may need different dosages and potencies.

Currently available studies provide a little or sparing reference to any specific form of CBD for treating muscle spasms, cramps, or muscle-related pain. Also, most clinical investigations consider the use of THC and CBD or THC alone.

For example, a study 9 informs that several patients reported a decrease in muscle spasms after smoking marijuana.

But this study has inferred results only based on smoking medicinal marijuana.

Contrastingly, findings from a recent study 10 establishes that transdermal application of CBD Oil showed compelling improvements in pain and other disturbing symptoms. But in patients with peripheral neuropathy.

There are marked differences in the nature, causes, and treatment of multiple sclerosis and peripheral neuropathy. But there are several common symptoms in both neurological disorders.

Ultimately, users who are more comfortable with CBD could try full-spectrum CBD oils or balms for transdermal applications to relieve pain from specific points. And combine sublingual administration or CBD capsules for overall pain management and well-being based on individual needs.

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CBD patches provide positive effects in decreasing pain-related conditions including, pain caused by inflammation, localized pain, muscle spasms, multiple sclerosis, chemotherapy, lower back pains, injury, etc.

What are the side effects of using cannabis products?

Generally, we are aware that the use of psychoactive cannabinoids especially THC for managing anxiety, stress, pain could lead to certain side effects. These could be mild to severe depending on the condition, dosage, and several other factors.

CBD Oil for Muscle Spasms: Is Cannabidiol an Effective Treatment?

CBD is a great way to relieve the symptoms of muscle spasms.

In this article, we will be looking at the best CBD for muscle spasms.

We’ll cover how it works, what dose to use, what forms work best, and what side-effects to watch out for.

What Are Muscle Spasms?

Muscle spasms, also known as muscle cramps, are the result of involuntary contractions. Muscle spasms can become an issue if they cannot be relaxed naturally.

Anyone can suffer from muscle spasms with the most common muscle groups being the thighs, claws, arms, hands, and feet.

Pain levels range from mild annoyance to severe pain.

When you suffer from muscle spasms, the affected muscle may feel harder and look distorted. This is due to the involuntary contractions. These spasms can last a few seconds to 10 minutes or more.

Muscle spasms can happen at any time to people of all ages. When you’re exercising, sitting still, sleeping, or even walking to the shop you can experience these cramps.

Some people suffer more than others. People with diabetes, anemia, MS, spinal injuries, or kidney disease can suffer more from this issue than people in good health.

What Causes Muscle Spasms?

Whether you suffer from the above ailments or not, there are a few common issues that can cause muscle spasms. See the list below.

  • Over-exercising
  • Insufficient stretching before physical activity
  • Dehydration
  • Stress
  • Muscle fatigue
  • Physical activity in hot climates
  • Electrolyte imbalances
  • Too much caffeine
  • Exhaustion and lack of sleep
  • Certain prescription medications

Methods to Reduce or Prevent Muscle Spasms

As well as using CBD for muscle spasms there are some ways you can reduce or prevent the spasms entirely. Of course, if you suffer from a disease, illness, or take medication that causes muscle spasms, these pointers may not help.

If you regularly suffer from muscle spasms, then implementing a few of the points below may help you:

  • Stay hydrated
  • Make sure to stretch before strenuous activity
  • Try and lower your stress levels (CBD is great for this)
  • Get a full 8 hours rest at night
  • Take mineral supplements that include magnesium, potassium, and sodium
  • If prescription meds are causing issues, speak with your doctor about alternatives
  • Cut down on the caffeine
  • Avoid over-exercising

Muscle Spasms & the Endocannabinoid System

The endocannabinoid system is made up of cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2. It’s a complex cell-signaling system that was first identified in the 1990s.

Regardless of whether you use CBD or other cannabis products, this system is part of everyone’s biology.

Endocannabinoids are cannabinoids made inside the body. They help regulate a range of functions and processes. See the list below for a few of these.

  • Mood and emotion
  • Sleep
  • Memory
  • Appetite
  • Fertility
  • Immune response
  • metabolism

In the same way that endocannabinoids interact with the body, cannabinoids from the hemp plant do as well — including CBD. They do this by interacting with CB1 and CB2 receptors.

CB1 receptors have been identified predominantly in the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord). They’ve also been found in connective tissues, the intestines, gonads, and other peripheral organs.

CB2 receptors have been identified in white blood cells, the spleen, tonsils, thymus, and lymphatic system.

CBD and other cannabinoids interact with these receptors. Studies have shown that CBD impacts receptor activity. They can interact with neurotransmitters, reduce inflammation, and aid in pain relief.

When a muscle contracts, causing cramps and spasms, it’s because of a chemical message from the central nervous system. The body’s endocannabinoid system can take care of this and reduce contractions and pain.

If the body struggles to produce enough endocannabinoids to stop these chemical signals, then muscle spasms will continue to cause discomfort.

This is where CBD comes in.

CBD interacts with the CB1 receptors in the central nervous system and effectively slows the chemical signals that are causing the spasms [1].

This results in muscle relaxation and fewer muscle contractions. Pain relief coincides with these effects.

Can CBD Relieve Muscle Spasms?

As mentioned in the last section, CBD interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system to relieve muscle spasms and the pain associated with it.

CBD Relaxes the Muscles

CBD is a great muscle relaxant. Unlike painkillers, muscle relaxants work to solve the issue of muscle cramps rather than just numbing the pain that results from it.

The beauty of CBD is that it gets to the root of the problem and influences the chemical signals that cause muscle spasms (as mentioned in the last section).

Unlike spasmolytic and neuromuscular blockers, CBD has few negative side effects and works with your body’s natural functions rather than against them.

Spasmolytic muscle relaxants are particularly dangerous, especially for older people. They can increase heart rate, and blood pressure, and can be incredibly addictive as this type of medication is part of the opioid group.

CBD certainly isn’t dangerous, doesn’t increase the heart rate, and there are no documented cases of addiction to the cannabinoid.

CBD Reduces Stress

CBD helps reduce stress which can be a trigger for muscle spasms.

There is a lot to say about CBD reducing stress and anxiety [2]. The cannabinoid is commonly used to help these problems by people all over the world.

Although stress is not directly related to muscle spasms, it can be one of the reasons you’re experiencing these issues.

It’s important to address the cause of an issue. If stress is giving you muscle spasms, you should work toward reducing or eliminating it completely. Lowering stress levels using CBD could be a great long-term treatment if stress is the cause.

CBD Can Aid Sleep

Lack of sleep and exhaustion can cause muscles to spasm. CBD can help you get to sleep faster and achieve a full nights’ rest.

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If you struggle with sleep, high-doses of CBD before bedtime can help you doze off into a deep sleep. Stress is often the cause of lack of sleep, so both factors go hand in hand.

Some research shows that CBD can have an effect on cortisol levels [3].

Cortisol regulates your sleep cycle. Some people (particularly insomnia sufferers) have high levels of cortisol at night which keeps them awake.

Taking high doses of CBD at night can decrease cortisol levels, getting you to sleep easier and faster.

CBD Aids Muscle Recovery

CBD is believed to aid in muscle recovery [4]. Many athletes and fitness fanatics use CBD as it can speed up the muscle recovery process.

If you’re experiencing muscle spasms after exercise or excessive physical activity, this benefit will help you get instant and long-term relief.

During strenuous exercise, the muscles tear and rebuild during the recovery period. During this period some people experience cramping and spasms. If you can recover more efficiently you will experience less discomfort.

How Much CBD to Take for Muscle Spasms?

High-potency CBD oil is the best treatment for muscle spasms.

How much you take will depend on you and how your body reacts to the CBD. If you’ve never used CBD before it’s best to start small and work your way up.

The dosage needed to stop muscle spasms will vary from person to person, so a bit of self-experimentation is needed to find your balance. Steadily increase your dosages until you get the effect you’re looking for.

Oils are the easiest way to find out how many milligrams of CBD you need to control muscle spasms. You can adjust the dosage by increasing or decreasing the drops of oil taken.

Final Thoughts: Does CBD Work for Muscle Spasms?

CBD is a great way to reduce muscle spasms and pain you may have as a result of them. Unlike other muscle relaxants and painkillers, CBD has few negative effects on your body and is a natural product.

As well as solving the problem directly, CBD has a number of benefits that work together to reduce muscle spasms for the long-term.

If you got to the end of this read, you’ll know exactly how CBD can help muscle spasms and what to look for when it comes time to purchase a treatment.

If you have any questions about CBD and muscle spasms, please comment down below.

Thanks for reading.

References Used in This Article

  1. Shenglong Zou and Ujendra Kumar. (2018). Cannabinoid Receptors and the Endocannabinoid System: Signaling and Function in the Central Nervous System. International journal of molecular science,19(3): 833.
  2. Esther M. Blessing, Maria M. Steenkamp, Jorge Manzanares, and Charles R. Marmar. (2015). Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders. Springer Neurotherapeutics, 12(4): 825–836.
  3. Scott Shannon, Nicole Lewis, Heather Lee, and Shannon Hughes. (2019). Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series. The Permanente Journal, 23: 18-041.
  4. Danielle McCartney, Melissa J. Benson, Ben Desbrow, Christopher Irwin, Anastasia Suraev, and Iain S. McGregor. (2020). Cannabidiol and Sports Performance: a Narrative Review of Relevant Evidence and Recommendations for Future Research. Springer Sports Medicine-Open, 6: 27.
Livvy Ashton

Livvy is a registered nurse (RN) and board-certified nurse midwife (CNM) in the state of New Jersey. After giving birth to her newborn daughter, Livvy stepped down from her full-time position at the Children’s Hospital of New Jersey. This gave her the opportunity to spend more time writing articles on all topics related to pregnancy and prenatal care.

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CBD Oil As a Muscle Relaxant [Try this All-Natural Treatment]

There’s a lot of misconception about the difference between muscle relaxers and painkillers. There’s also confusion regarding the role CBD oil plays as an alternative treatment option for both.

First, painkillers function via the central nervous system (CNS). They work to “deceive” the mind into thinking there is no pain, when in reality there is.

Consider a serious bone fracture. A skateboarder shatters his tibia into 19 different pieces and rushes to the nearest emergency room. Once doctors shoot him up with dilaudid (or morphine, or whatever), pain receptor function ceases and he becomes none the wiser regarding the searing pain that’s coursing through his body. In fact, he’s probably happy as a clam.

Do muscle relaxers work the same?

Muscle relaxers (known in the clinical world as ‘neuromuscular blocking agents’) work differently. Instead of functioning through the CNS by blocking pain transmission at the brain, they function at the actual site of the muscle(s). This cuts off nerve transmission at the acute musculoskeletal level. Think of painkillers as affecting the brain, and muscle relaxers as affecting actual muscles.

Understandably, this brings about some confusion as to what cannabis’ exact role is in terms of pain management. We all know that CBD is an excellent pain modulator within the central nervous system, but does it function at the actual site of muscles as well? In other words, is CBD oil as a muscle relaxer an actual thing, or are people just getting the terms ‘muscle relaxers’ and ‘painkillers’ mixed up?

As it turns out, cannabis does function well as both a neurological “painkiller” and an acute neuromuscular blocking agent.

In this article, we’ll go over exactly how CBD as a muscle relaxant functions at the physiological level. Many people are switching over from their prescription relaxant medications to CBD oils. This is for a number of different reasons, which we’ll talk about below.

As is always the case with health, however, it pays to know what’s going on at the physiological level before you jump headlong into a new treatment option.

Muscle Relaxers: What are they, and why are they dangerous?

Liked we explained briefly, muscle relaxers work by severing neurological communications between the CNS (the brain) and the actual muscles themselves. In that regard, relaxants and painkillers are indeed similar. The only real difference is the specific location where the nerve transmission interruption takes place.

Now bear in mind that is a broad, relative explanation. If a neurologist were to read that, they’d probably feel inclined to elaborate on several dozen different things to provide a more exacting definition. But for our purposes, it will suffice.

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In terms of the different kinds of muscle relaxers out there, several different types are commonly prescribed to treat localized spasticity. More often than not they’re used as acute (temporary) treatments, but sometimes they can be used along with opioid painkillers for effective treatment of chronic pain as well.

Common Muscle Relaxers

Xanax and Valium are probably the two most well-known muscle relaxers. These drugs are called benzodiazepines. Though they’re often used as anti-anxiety or sleep medications, they have good muscle-relaxing properties as well. Valium especially is a frequently prescribed relaxant for mild-to-moderate acute musculoskeletal pain wherein full-strength opioid painkillers are unnecessary.

Drugs like Zanaflex (tizanidine) are also common and work to reduce spasticity in cases of spinal cord injury or multiple sclerosis (of which CBD is another great treatment option, by the way).

Prescription medications like Soma (carisoprodol), Flexeril (cyclobenzaprine), and Robaxin represent the strongest class of muscle relaxants. These are Schedule IV Controlled Substances (as are Xanax and Valium). They produce meprobamate as a byproduct of their chemical breakdown. Meprobamate is a powerful tranquilizer that produces a sensation of whole-body euphoria. It is dangerous because it can galvanize dependence, abuse, and full-on addiction.

While not statistically as dangerous as opioid painkillers , prescription muscle relaxants still present a dangerous array of potential side effects (such as depression, low blood pressure, and liver problems), and can even be fatal when combined with alcohol or over the counter sleep medications. (Sadly, many combine muscle relaxants with heavy alcohol use as a potential means for suicide).

What are Muscle Relaxants Used for?

Muscle relaxers are used for uncontrollable muscle spasms that originate via neurological impulses sent from the central nervous system. These spasms (which can be extremely painful) originate from several different things:

  • Spinal cord injury or damage (the brain and spinal cord compose the CNS)
  • Diseases like multiple sclerosis , cerebral palsy, and fibromyalgia
  • Acute muscle strains and tears

Some use prescription pharmaceutical relaxants to treat these involuntary muscle contractions. The relaxants work by interrupting neurological communication at the site of the muscle. Spastic signals from the CNS come to a stop, and the muscles relax and shut down. (Surgical procedures also sometimes incorporate relaxants to provide temporary paralysis).

You can see then, the difference between the function of painkillers and muscle relaxants; in our aforementioned hypothetical situation of the skateboarder with the shattered tibia, a muscle relaxant would be an entirely insufficient treatment – he’s dealing with severe acute trauma, not spastic neurological signals between the CNS and various muscle groups.

CBD Oil as Muscle Relaxant: So how does it work?

With the fundamental understanding of muscle relaxants and what they do behind us, we can now look into the physiological roles of CBD (cannabidiol) oil, and how it functions as a neuromuscular blocker.

When muscle groups contract (whether voluntarily or involuntarily), it is in response to a nerve impulse that originates from within the central nervous system. Long neurons extend from the spinal cord and stretch outwards to various organs and muscle groups throughout the body. When these neurons reach the synapse of a particular group of muscle fibers, cell-to-cell communication takes place and the fibers contract. (That’s an elementary way to put it, but it will have to suffice in order to skip talking about action potentials, sarcomeres, and ion differentiation across cell membranes).

In any regard, in order for CBD to work as a muscle relaxant, cannabinoid receptors must be present at the site of muscular synapses. This is where the endocannabinoid system comes in.

If you haven’t heard of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) , you need to inform yourself now. In short, it is an innate network of cannabinoids and cannabinoid receptors that occur 100% naturally in the human body. Everyone has the receptors, whether they’ve smoked marijuana every day for 50 years or have never touched the drug in their life.

The ECS: A complex yet remarkable receptor network

Studies have shown the ECS to be present in virtually every single physiological system in the human body. In a nutshell, this explains the incredibly far-reaching medical potential of cannabis.

The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) has called the endocannabinoid system “… the most important physiologic system involved in establishing and maintaining human health.”

In terms of the ECS acting as a muscle contraction regulatory device, studies have found cannabinoid receptors in the signaling machinery of skeletal muscle. In other words, it appears cannabinoids (such as CBD) may play a significant role in the communication between muscle groups and the neurons that control them.

Remember research is still a long way off in regards to pinpointing how this works. Also, it is unclear how exactly the ECS functions regarding the chemical pathways of cell-to-cell communication. One thing is for certain, though — cannabinoids absolutely play a part in the alleviation of muscle spasticity .

In fact, cannabis has for years shown excellent results in multiple sclerosis patients that deal with chronic spasticity. It’s only been somewhat recently, though, that individuals started using the oil to treat spasms stemming from other conditions.

Why CBD Oil?

If you’re wondering why we keep talking about CBD, or if you’re wondering what the heck it even is, it’s essentially a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that comes from the marijuana plant.

The two primary cannabinoids in marijuana are THC and CBD. THC is the psychoactive component that’s responsible for getting us high. When you smoke a joint, for example, you inhale both CBD and THC. CBD oil is an all-natural extraction of the non-psychoactive cannabinoid. That is, a way to receive all the medical and therapeutic benefits of cannabis without having to get high.

CBD as a Muscle Relaxant: The Bottom Line

Alleviating muscle spasms at the molecular level is just one of the many potential uses of CBD . Thousands of people have switched over to it from prescription medications (like carisoprodol or benzodiazepines) due to the high costs and dangerous side effects of the latter.

Keep in mind though that CBD oil for muscle spasms will not work for everyone. If you’re considering using it for your own condition, do your research and select a reputable tincture.

The oils we’ve selected below have been some of the most reputable and proven brands in recent years. They have shown good results for a variety of muscle and pain-related conditions, including spasticity.