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Our muscles ought to be limber and pliable, but in many people, that’s unfortunately not the case. Muscle spasms and lack of spasticity are a problem for millions of people all over the world, making it painful and difficult to move; sometimes to the point of being completely debilitating. Luckily, we’ve got cannabis for muscle spasms and limited spasticity, with exciting progress on treating this malady.
Cannabis for Muscle Spasms and MS
Spasticity problems can happen for an array of reasons, but perhaps the biggest and most severe cause for muscle spasms and lack of spasticity is a disease called multiple sclerosis (or MS). MS is a progressive disease of the nervous system with no known cure that plagues 2.5 million people. It destroys a protective coating around the brain, brain stem, and spinal cord called the myelin sheath. This results in an array of symptoms, including loss of voluntary muscle control and spasticity.
According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, spasticity “refers to the stiffness and involuntary muscle spasms that are indicative of the disease.” This is a problem in 9 out of 10 MS patients, sooner or later. Some know it as mild muscle stiffness, but others endure constant ache, cramps, involuntary muscle spasms, or even paralyzation in severe cases. Sleep is hugely affected, which affects other symptoms as well.
MS and Cannabis: The Numbers Are In
In a 2012 study, researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine found a one-third decrease in spasticity in MS patients that consumed cannabis compared to participants given a placebo. The ability to move more is a huge deal, but it also reduced the patient’s perception of pain by 50% – far more than any other medication.
Another study showed that 77% of subjects found cannabis helpful in managing symptoms, especially spasticity and pain. As cannabis legalization increases and stigma decreases, many more MS patients have turned to the plant for relief. 76% of respondents in one study said they’d consider using cannabis to manage their MS and 28% already are.
Other Conditions That Cause These Problems
MS is the most well-known of culprits behind spasticity problems, but other conditions can also cause spasticity issues. Some other causes are brain and spinal cord injuries, stroke, meningitis, fibromyalgia, and Lou Gehrig’s disease. Other kinds of brain damage can also be the culprit, like diseases in addition to MS that compromise the myelin sheath, such as B12 deficiency and encephalitis.
How Cannabis Helps Muscle Spasticity
The exact reasons that cannabis is helpful in these matters are not known, but it is generally understood that anti-inflammatory properties that are the cause for the success of cannabis for muscle spasms. A study conducted at the University of South Carolina found that the immune system’s inflammatory proteins are deactivated by cannabis. As with many of the therapeutic benefits of cannabis, research is just getting rolling; but it sure is off to an exciting start.
If you are interested in learning more about cannabis for muscle spasms, schedule a consultation with our skilled team.
Want to learn more about cannabis for muscle spasms and MS? Here's what you need to know about current findings and some exciting news on the way.
Medical Marijuana For Muscle Spasms: How Effective is it?
What Causes Muscle Spasms?
Are you wondering if medical marijuana for muscle spasms is an effective treatment? To get a complete understanding of medical marijuana’s medicinal benefits for muscle spasms, let us first understand what causes muscle spasms in the first place.
Muscle spasms, also known as involuntary hypertonicity, can afflict anyone regardless of their level of athletic activity. Muscle Spasms are caused when muscle tissue suddenly and involuntarily contract. These symptoms can last anywhere from a couple of seconds to a few minutes.
Spasms can be caused by muscle fatigue, dehydration, poor blood circulation, or even just age. They can also occur if you exercise in really heated temperatures or don’t stretch enough before physical activity.
List Of Possible Causes For Muscle Cramps & Spasms
- Poor blood circulation
- Excess weight
- Prescription drug side effects
- Insufficient stretching before physical activity
- Muscle fatigue
- Exercising in heated temperatures
- Hormone imbalance or pregnancy
- Electrolyte imbalances in potassium, magnesium, and calcium
What Are The Symptoms?
Muscle spasms symptoms usually depend on which muscle is involved and what’s causing the spasm. If you have a skeletal muscle spasm, you’ll experience acute onset pain and your muscle may bulge underneath the skin. These spasms usually resolve within seconds and usually require stretching. Muscle fasciculations (or twitches) are when a few muscle fibers in a localized area contract repeatedly for a short time. They are usually caused by stress, anxiety, caffeine, or can be a symptom of neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis.
Medical Marijuana, Can It Help With Spasms?
The link between weed and muscle spasms has been studied mostly by the MS community to see how MS can be treated by marijuana. Muscle spasms can be triggered by inflammation, which marijuana can help reduce through marijuana cannabinoids such as THC. Studies have also shown that the cannabinoids extracted from medical marijuana can treat neuropathic pain from muscle spasms in multiple sclerosis patients.
While marijuana is an optional treatment, muscle spasms are usually treated with pain relievers, anti-inflammatory drugs, or muscle relaxers. However, these drugs may have more side effects than medical marijuana. Muscle spasm sufferers have found that medical cannabis helps ease the symptoms of muscle spasms without negative side effects.
Studies have shown that medical cannabis is effective in treating muscle spasms regardless of whether medical cannabis is ingested or inhaled. However, because different strains of medical marijuana have different levels of THC and CBD, the effectiveness of each strain of medical marijuana in treating multiple sclerosis differs between each medical marijuana strain.
Best Medical Marijuana Strains For Muscle Spasm Treatment & Relaxation
Some of the best medical marijuana strains for treating muscle spasms are hybrid strains of medical marijuana and Sativa-dominant strains of medical marijuana. White Widow is a popular hybrid marijuana strain that treats stress, anxiety, and pain, which makes it a perfect cannabis strain to treat muscle spasms and calm the nervous system. Other hybrid marijuana strains that help treat muscle spasms are ACDC cannabis, Canna-Tsu cannabis, and Chemdawg 4 cannabis.
High-CBD Medical Marijuana Strains
- Charlotte’s Web (high-CBD)
- ACDC (high-CBD)
- Canna-Tsu (high-CBD)
- Ringo’s Gift (high-CBD)
- Harlequin (high-CBD)
High – THC Medical Marijuana Strains
- Godfather OG (high-THC)
- ChemDog (high-THC)
- Strawberry Banana (high-THC)
- Emperor Cookie Dough (high-THC)
- Super Glue (high-THC)
Best Sativa, Indica & Hybrid Cannabis Strains For Muscle Spasms
Sativa-dominant marijuana strains that help treat muscle spasms include Amnesia cannabis, Great White Shark cannabis, Charlotte’s Web cannabis, Sweet Diesel cannabis, and Jamaican Dream cannabis. Although hybrid marijuana and Sativa-dominant marijuana strains are usually the most effective marijuana strains to treat muscle spasms, there are a few Indica marijuana strains that help treat muscle spasms as well. Mendocino Purps cannabis and the Redwood Kush cannabis both have anti-inflammatory and relaxing properties which help calm the nervous system and treat muscle spasms.
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