Last updated on 13 August 2021
What Is Restless Leg Syndrome?
Known as Willis-Ekbom disease, the more common name for this condition is Restless Leg Syndrome, shortened to the initials of RLS. It is a neurological condition that affects around one in ten people. Many sufferers have only mild symptoms, but for some, it is severe and can be a miserable condition to live with.
The symptoms usually include a throbbing, tingling or crawling feeling in the legs, and sometimes in the arms or the rest of the body. These sensations are somewhat distracting and often very unpleasant, and are usually more intense at night-time resulting in a loss of sleep. To relieve these sensations, the urge to move around or rub the limbs becomes overwhelming. It is difficult to sit still or remain lying down for long periods of time as the compulsion to move is so strong.
During sleep, limbs can often twitch at frequent intervals, enough to disturb the sleep of both the sufferer and sometimes their partners. Natural remedies for Restless Leg Syndrome are often sought to help with the lack of sleep as it adversely affects every aspect of daily life.
What Causes Restless Leg Syndrome?
Some evidence has shown that RLS is connected to problems with dopamine levels. Dopamine helps to regulate movement, and if there are low levels of the chemical in the brain, involuntary movement can become an issue. Dopamine levels naturally lower at the end of the day and might be a contributory factor to RLS worsening at night. A deficit of iron in the bloodstream is strongly linked to low dopamine levels, so anemia may be a cause of RLS.
Underlying health conditions, such as diabetes, fibromyalgia, Parkinson’s Disease, and rheumatoid arthritis can also contribute to RLS. As can certain medications including some antidepressants, antihistamines, lithium, and antipsychotics.
It is known that genetics play some part in the condition, with RLS running in families. Some people suffer from Restless Legs with no known cause at all, with blood tests showing no abnormalities. No matter what the cause, CBD for restless legs can help in many cases. As a natural treatment for the condition, it is worth considering in most instances.
CBD Oil for Restless Leg Syndrome
Treating RLS is not easy and currently, no definitive cure is known. A regular GP will offer dopamine agonists and iron-increasing drugs, anti-seizure medication and sleeping tablets by way of treatment. Most of these drugs come with side-effects of one kind or another and they may not alleviate the symptoms at all.
CBD oil cannot cure the condition, but it can help manage the worst of the symptoms to make life more bearable. CBD oil offers RLS relief by calming and relaxing the body, and by assisting in a good night’s sleep. Involuntary movement is greatly reduced and anxiety is improved. CBD oil impacts dopamine and increases the levels of neurotransmitters in the brain. Parkinson’s Disease symptoms can also be positively affected by CBD oil.
What Does Research Say About CBD Oil For RLS?
A small study1 conducted at the Clinical Neurosciences Centre in Bordeaux, France concluded that 83% of participants saw a considerable reduction in their RLS symptoms. Looking into natural remedies for Restless Leg Syndrome, the study used just six individuals. While the small number of participants used means the study is statistically inconclusive, 5 out of the 6 people who took part saw an improvement in their condition.
In a separate study about Cannabis, Pain, and Sleep2 it was established that cannabis helps with sleep, and RLS was mentioned as a condition that could be helped with the plant extract. As the lack of sleep is one of the most troubling symptoms, CBD for restless legs goes a long way to offer some relief.
How To Use CBD For Restless Leg Syndrome
There are a number of ways to take CBD oil for restless leg syndrome. With a variety of methods available when it comes to using CBD oil, it is possible to find the one that gives you the best RLS relief.
Fibromyalgia and Restless Leg Syndrome Natural Treatment
Around 30% of women with fibromyalgia also suffer from RLS. As a lack of sleep is a problem with both conditions, finding a natural treatment with no side effects will greatly improve daily life. Taking CBD oil for restless legs will have the added benefit of helping with symptoms of fibromyalgia at the same time, such as chronic pain in the muscles, depression and the inability to focus. Although there has been little scientific research into using CBD oil to treat fibromyalgia, it is gaining popularity with sufferers as an effective way to help control the symptoms. Users report a considerable improvement in their symptoms.
Read more about CBD and Fibromyalgia in this article.
Bottom Line – Is CBD Oil for Restless Legs an Effective Treatment?
CBD for Restless Leg Syndrome can be effective. The urge to move constantly is greatly reduced, resulting in a peaceful night’s sleep that benefits every aspect of the sufferer’s day. Whether the oil is taken orally, or a restless legs cream used, there is evidence that CBD works well for a large number of people. As a totally safe and inexpensive treatment, it is an effective way to improve day-to-day life.
Restless Legs Syndrome does not always need treatment. If the condition isn’t seriously impacting your life regularly, then alternative action might be all that is required to manage the symptoms. Exercise can go a long way to improving the condition, as can a change of diet and possibly losing weight.
- Shannon, Scott, and Janet Opila-Lehman. „Effectiveness of cannabidiol oil for pediatric anxiety and insomnia as part of posttraumatic stress disorder: a case report.“ The Permanente Journal 20.4 (2016): 108
- Russo EB, Guy GW und Robson PJ. „Cannabis, pain, and sleep: lessons from therapeutic clinical trials of Sativex, a cannabis-based medicine.“ PubMed Chem. Biodivers (2007)