CBD oil has been touted as an elixir for many conditions. Could it help control restless leg syndrome?
Restless leg syndrome (RLS) affects up to 10 percent of the U.S. population, causing people to lose sleep due to uncontrollable spasms in the legs when trying to rest. If you suffer from RLS, you may find temporary relief by moving your legs in an attempt to stop the cramping and tingling feelings in your legs. Unfortunately, those unpleasant symptoms do not go away, and you’re left feeling tired during the day due to a lack of restful sleep.
Because the probable causes of RLS cover a wide range of conditions — everything from an iron deficiency and a low level of dopamine in the brain to varicose veins — remedies are hard to come by. Yet a small number of studies and anecdotal reports suggest CBD oil might help you alleviate the uncomfortable sensations of RLS and swollen varicose veins.
How CBD Oil Works on RLS
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is found in the cannabis plant along with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Both substances interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system, which regulates our perception of certain physiological sensations, such as mood, hunger, energy level, pain, and sleep, among many others. The difference between CBD and medical marijuana is that CBD oil is most often derived from industrial hemp, which contains a higher amount of cannabidiol, but doesn’t contain THC, the psychoactive agent that creates a feeling of euphoria in the user. That’s why you’re able to buy CBD oil in retail stores.
In recent years, medical cannabis has been approved by many states to treat a variety of conditions, including chronic pain and inflammation. For RLS patients, CBD oil’s main benefit is its relaxing effect, which eases a person into a restful sleep. That conclusion is supported by a recent study, which reports RLS patients experiencing a reduction in symptoms after taking cannabis.
CBD oil is not a cure for RLS; it merely alleviates some of the painful side effects of the condition. If you believe you suffer from RLS, you’ll need a full diagnostic review to determine what may be causing it. RLS has been attributed to several medical conditions, including iron deficiency, kidney disease, diabetes, and Parkinson’s disease. It could also be due to medications you take, such as antidepressants and anti-nausea medications. If you have one of those conditions, you’ll be prescribed dopamine agents to boost dopamine levels in the brain, iron supplements, or another medication to treat that condition.
Varicose Vein Treatment for RLS
Another possible cause of your RLS could be varicose veins. Varicose veins and RLS share many symptoms, including pain and cramping in the legs. Studies have suggested a connection between RLS and varicose veins. According to the research, when people with both RLS and venous insufficiency were treated for varicose veins, RLS symptoms greatly diminished.
Similar to its calming effect on RLS patients, CBD oil might reduce the discomfort and inflammation caused by varicose veins. If you don’t want to use CBD or medical marijuana, you can try hemp oil, which contains neither CBD or THC. It instead contains omega-3 fatty acid that thins blood as it runs through veins. Varicose veins develop when blood becomes blocked in the veins due to malfunctioning valves. Any substance that increases the speed of blood flow aids in circulation, decreases swelling, and reduces the appearance of varicose veins.
CBD can be taken before bed either orally or topically. Start with a low dose, and of course, check with your doctor first to ensure it doesn’t interfere with other medications you may be prescribed.
However, if you’re looking for a more permanent solution to your painful varicose veins and RLS, you’ll need a noninvasive treatment to collapse or remove the damaged vein. CBD oil, while typically not harmful, provides only a brief respite from varicose vein or RLS symptoms - it's not a cure.
Meet With the Vein Specialists
At Center for Vein Restoration, our only goal is to help our patients overcome the pain of varicose veins and other venous disorders. Using the latest in diagnostic and surgical techniques, we’ll improve your vein health and quality of life. Contact us today for an appointment.