CBD and Muscle Spasms
CBD oil has appeared in many headlines for its use and effectiveness in many serious diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, arthritis, and more other diseases, but what are its benefits in the case of muscle spasms? Does this only apply to the most severe cases, or can it help with mild spasticity, too?
What are muscle spasms?
Most people have had muscle cramps at least once in their lives, from foot cramps to tense and tight muscles. Certain disorders and diseases can also cause muscle spasms. Muscle spasms or cramps are common, although people who are older and overweight are at higher risk. Athletes are also at increased risk of muscle spasms due to physical activity, with 67% of triathletes experiencing muscle cramps. For example, multiple sclerosis (MS) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) can cause muscle spasms in a large number of patients, ranging from minor discomfort to severe pain.
Spasms can last for a few seconds, minutes or even hours in some cases. They usually occur in the legs, but can also affect the arms and back, as well as all other muscle groups throughout the body. Intense spasms can also cause cracks in tendons or ligaments, especially if the tissue is already weakened or partially torn.
Permanent, repeated spasms can also cause shortening of the soft tissues, which can make the affected muscles tight, inflexible and subject to injury. A permanently stiff joint, such as a hip, knee, shoulder, ankle or elbow joint, is debilitating and reduces the quality of life for many people and can reduce their joy in life.
The treatment of these diseases, as well as the common causes of muscle spasms, usually means that patients have to rely on traditional prescription medicines or, at best, homeopathic procedures, such as dietary changes, to reduce the chance of muscle cramps. In some cases, especially with neurological diseases, traditional prescription medications may not even reduce and completely relieve muscle cramps in some patients.
As a result, Cannabis has become an increasingly popular option and alternative to traditional prescription drugs. It is also a natural and effective alternative to everyday spasms or normal muscle injuries.
However, when muscle spasms become chronic and debilitating, they need medical attention. These seizures cause sudden pain and muscle tension that interferes with daily functions. Chronic muscle spasms often occur due to neurological disorders. Conditions such as multiple sclerosis and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis interfere with muscle communication with the brain. After that, the muscles are constantly tensed, causing spasms.
Some patients have chronic muscle spasms and may be a side effect of certain medications. Medicines used to treat asthma, blood pressure, cholesterol, Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease can cause muscle cramps.
Many people with muscle spasms now have the opportunity to try Cannabis-containing products such as CBD oil to relieve symptoms. CBD can reduce pain and inflammation so you can feel good.
Types and symptoms of muscle spasms.
Symptoms of muscle spasm focus on sudden and usually short pain, although it may last longer. The muscles affected by cramps also feel tense, sensitive to touch and can bulge. Spasm sites are also easy to pinpoint due to the level of pain, but they can be misinterpreted based on their location.
For example, headaches may actually be due to spasms in the neck, while chest tightness could be chest cramps. However, if you feel chest tightness, you should not hesitate to seek medical attention, as this could also be due to a more serious cause, such as a heart attack.
Countless triggers can contribute to the symptoms of daily or recurrent muscle spasms. Dehydration when working outdoors or running a marathon can cause muscle spasms as well as inflammation resulting from a muscle injury, such as a torn or otherwise injured muscle.
Additional muscle spasms are caused by:
⦁ Poor blood circulation
⦁ Hormonal imbalance
⦁ Magnesium or potassium deficiency
⦁ Side effect of prescription drugs
⦁ Spinal cord injuries
⦁ Tense muscle
⦁ Compressed nerve
⦁ Chronic pain
Muscle cramps can be divided into different categories, which are often used to diagnose spasms if they recur. The types of spasm are:
- Hypertonic muscle spasms
Hypertonic muscle spasms are characterized by constant muscle contraction, which is also described as extreme muscle tone or unexplained tension. These spasms are also called overactive or spastic muscle spasms and do not always cause the pain associated with cramps, although they still strain the muscles.
- True hypertensive spasm
True hypertensive spasms result from damaged or malfunctioning feedback nerves that prevent the muscles from relaxing. Because damaged nerves cause true hypertensive spasm, it does not occur during exercise, so it requires continuous medical treatment.
- Stomach cramps
Gastric spasms are a type of “spam” caused by chronic inflammation, obstruction or distention in the stomach. Chronic conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) often cause stomach cramps. Babies with colic also experience abdominal cramps.
Angina is a muscle spasm that results from the heart not getting enough blood and can be caused by heart disease and hardening of the arteries or atherosclerosis. Spasms of angina are felt in the chest, neck, shoulders and jaw.
Muscle spasms are usually classified as mild because they are common and often do not require treatment. However, severe or recurrent muscle spasms, such as MS, true hypertensive spasms, or muscle injuries, should be treated.
Benefits of using CBD oil to treat muscle spasms.
If you suffer from chronic or acute muscle spasms, you may have reached a pharmacy and various painkillers that offer relief. While such muscle relaxants may offer a temporary solution, they do not address the true cause of your muscle spasms. In addition, certain drugs that soothe muscles can be addictive.
- Side effects of muscle spasm prescription treatment.
Daily muscle spasms often respond to treatment with readily available procedures at home, such as stretching and massaging the area to reduce cramps. But patients who rely on prescription muscle spasms usually suffer from muscle injuries or illness.
Possible side effects of prescription muscle spasms include: drowsiness; nausea; headache; dry mouth; chest pain; lack of breath; depression; rash.
In addition to procedures, muscle spasms can include changes in diet, physiotherapy, stretching and massage, and usually have positive side effects. These natural procedures often go hand in hand with prescription drug treatment for patients with frequent muscle spasms.
For muscle injuries, medications can be prescribed to reduce spasms, as well as opiates for chronic pain caused by injury. However, because opiates are most effective in the case of intense, short-term pain resulting from surgery, bone rupture, or any other serious accident, they are not suitable for recurrent chronic pain as they can be addictive.
CBD oil can also offer relief from spasticity without the habit-forming properties or side effects of pharmaceutical medical relaxants.
To fully understand how CBD oil treats muscle spasms, one must first understand the endocannabinoid system (ECS).
Let’s recall a bit, what is this ECS then? The endocannabinoid system, which is predominantly located in the brain and central nervous system, affects many areas and functions of the body through many networks of cannabinoid receptors.
Endocannabinoids are compounds naturally produced by our body that regulate this system by acting on the CB1 and CB2 receptors of cannabinoids; The phytocannabinoids found in the Cannabis plant can work flawlessly on our endocannabinoid system because they reflect the chemical structure of our body’s endocannabinoids. As the main component of CBD oil, cannabidiol (CBD) is one of more than 100 phytocannabinoids found in the cannabis plant, it is able to act on our endocannabinoid system in a natural and familiar way.
By acting on our endocannabinoid system, cannabinoids such as CBD can reduce the pain and frequency of muscle spasms.
Among other benefits, it blocks the FAAH fatty acid, which breaks down anandamide. CBD increases the levels of anandamide in the body. The body uses anandamide to relieve the following symptoms:
- Pain: Anandamide regulates pain sensations. It manages the signals that are sent between your brain and nerves when muscle spasms cause pain.
- Inflammation: Damaged tissues become inflamed as a defense mechanism. By controlling the number of immune cells that cause inflammation, anandamide can calm the affected area.
- Mood symptoms: CBD acts on serotonin receptors to improve mood. Elevated levels of anandamide in the brain also help you feel happier and calmer.
Efficiency of CBD oil use in the treatment of muscle spasms.
If you are considering using CBD oil instead of medication to stop muscle spasms, you must be confident that it will work. With that in mind, let’s find out what research has to say about the use of CBD oil in the treatment of muscle spasms.
CBD oil to stop muscle spasms.
By acting on the endocannabinoid system, CBD oil can reduce muscle spasms by altering the way the central nervous system communicates with muscles; that is why it is so effective in treating multiple sclerosis (MS).
A placebo-controlled study was conducted in Switzerland in 2004 to examine the effects of Cannabis on multiple sclerosis. The researchers looked at two groups of patients with multiple sclerosis and found that Cannabis was good for test subjects. The researchers concluded that “standardized Cannabis sativa plant extract could reduce the frequency of spasms and increase mobility with tolerable side effects in MS patients with persistent spasticity who do not respond to other drugs.”
A similar study was conducted in 2010 by the University of California. A randomized, placebo-controlled study examined cannabinoids in patients with multiple sclerosis and spasticity. A total of 30 people completed the trial, and the results showed that the Modified Ashworth scale (used to measure spasticity in patients with multiple sclerosis) had a mean reduction of 2.74 points compared with placebo.
CBD oil for seizure pain relief.
The endocannabinoid system contains CB2, the cannabinoid receptors responsible for pain. CB2 can reduce the experience of sudden or chronic pain caused by muscle cramps and is affected by cannabinoids such as cannabidiol (CBD).
A 2005 study examining the effects of cannabinoids on MS in patients suffering from spasm-related pain yielded promising results. After four weeks of testing, the Cannabis-based group, which contained both THC and CBD, reported a reduction in pain. The study even concluded: “Cannabis-based medicines are effective in reducing pain and sleep disorders in patients with central neuropathic pain due to multiple sclerosis and are generally well tolerated.”
CBD oil as a muscle relaxant.
The cannabis plant contains two anti-inflammatory substances that have shown to act as muscle relaxants. Both delta-limonene and beta-myrcene have properties that reduce anxiety, promote sleep and show a relaxing effect on movement. Limonene and myrcene are two of the many compounds naturally found in cannabis plants, called terpenes, which give many fruits and plants their unique taste and aroma.
An additional way CBD can help to relax muscles is the ability to reduce anxiety and promote relaxation by increasing the presence of mood-enhancing neurotransmitters such as serotonin and anandamide in the brain. CBD oil is also able to reduce cortisol levels by reducing stress and protecting the body from the negative effects that this “stress hormone” can cause to reduce physical and mental abilities.
How to use CBD oil for muscle spasms.
Whether you suffer from occasional cramps or chronic muscle spasms, you want quick and effective relief that is available when you need it.
Vaped CBD oil enters the bloodstream directly through the lungs, the effect is immediate. Due to their fast action, CBD types are perfect for the immediate relief of muscle spasms. CBD taken in this way usually lasts only 30 minutes to an hour, so if you are looking for a longer-lasting solution, it is recommended that you also consider using CBD oil drops, capsules, or otherwise.
CBD topical products such as body oils, ointments, lotions and gels can also be a great way to reduce muscle soreness or spasticity. Although not as fast-acting as CBD type or drops, CBD topicals combined with area massage can provide targeted relief that usually lasts for several hours.
The dose you need can vary depending on your weight, metabolism, tolerance and many other factors. It is always best to start with the lowest recommended dose of CBD and adjust as needed. For general information on CBD dosing, see our dosing section or blog post.
The most suitable CBD oil for muscle spasms.
To find the best CBD oil for muscle spasms, there are several considerations that you need to consider.
Regardless of which method you choose to take your CBD oil – vape, topical products, drops, or all of the above – it is extremely important that you purchase a high-quality product if you want to see results.
Buy an organic product. Buying CBD oil derived from organic cannabis ensures that your product does not contain any pesticides or herbicides.
Read the ingredients. Avoid products that contain artificial or chemical additives. Also, check the THC content if it is an ingredient you want to avoid.
As a starting point, look for brands that offer the best, safest and most effective CBD products.
In conclusion. If you are not happy with the way you have treated muscle spasms or cramps so far, CBD oil actually can be a great alternative.
So whether or not there is a health condition associated with symptomatic muscle spasticity, it can also occur when long days are spent in sedentary work or due to intense workouts and exercises, muscle spasms can affect anyone. From mild twitching to acute and chronic pain. And the severity of muscle spasms can vary greatly.
Fortunately, CBD oil could help by offering a milder and potentially more effective alternative to traditional muscle spasm treatments.
If you found this article interesting, you may also want to read:
The information on the internet about CBD products and their use will be ambiguous, so we always recommend reading safe and reliable sources. We also use websites related to the Cannabis industry, research and education to prepare information.
The content of this site is for informational purposes only. We are not medical experts and this should not be interpreted as medical advice. Be sure to consult your doctor before undergoing CBD or other treatment.
The chemistry of every human body and brain is unique, so the use of CBD to improve mental as well as physical health does not guarantee results. However, many GWEEPRODUCTS CBD oil users have included it into their daily routine as one of the therapies for improving mental, physical health and quality of life.
References: cbdoilreview.org; healthline.com; marijuanadoctors.com; ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
Photo from Unsplash.