Therapeutic Potential of Cannabis for Muscle Spasms | cannabisMD

The Therapeutic Potential of Cannabis for Muscle Spasms

Influence of Cannabis on Muscle Spasms

Image Credit: Leszek Glasner on Shutterstock

What are Muscle spasms? A spasm is a movement which is uncontrolled and unwanted by the person or thing which usually controls/uses it. In the example of a muscle spasm this is when a muscle will move or react in a way that is uncontrollable and unwanted by a person. Certain conditions such as Parkinson’s can be the cause of this but in most common cases muscle spasms are the result of the following potential reasons.

What Are the Potential Causes of Muscle Spasms?

  • Medical Condition: As mentioned before, conditions like Parkinson’s, diabetes and even Multiple Sclerosis (MS) can result in muscle spasms.
  • Injury: Injuries that leave muscles damaged or nerves pinched can lead to muscle spasms when they react i.e. a spinal injury could lead to leg twitches etc.
  • Over Use: If you overuse a muscle the pattern of use can activate the muscle i.e. if you lift to many weights for bicep curls your activated bicep muscles can twitch afterwards.
  • Dehydration: Lack of hydration or healthy minerals can make your muscles seize up, twitch and even cramp which can be painful.

Although anyone can, and most likely will, experience occasional muscle spasms, there are some diseases and other medical conditions that can cause them more frequently. These include multiple sclerosis, kidney disease and anemia.

There are no treatments available specifically to treat muscles spasms at present. Usually, gently stretching and massaging the muscle can help to relieve the pain. However, this is one medical condition in which prevention really is the most important approach.

Studies have shown cannabis can effectively reduce the frequency and intensity of spasms, including in patients diagnosed with multiple sclerosis who suffer from spasms very regularly.

Does Cannabis Help With Muscle Spasms?

Two cannabinoids in cannabis which we have seen a lot of research into, both in clinical and scientific research studies, known as CBD (Cannabidiol) & THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) are said to be the main properties within cannabis for treating muscle spasms. When you consider some of the major and minor potential causes of muscle spasms listed above you might wonder to what extent cannabis can actually effect these causes. Providing minerals to avoid dehydration? Maybe. Curing Parkinson? Unlikely. However, we should not count cannabis out just yet because certain studies into the therapeutic values of cannabis (study available below) are highlighting the potential use of cannabis for spasms caused by MS.

While there is not yet enough research to confirm conclusively that cannabis is an appropriate treatment method for muscle spasms, it is well known that those suffering from chronic conditions such as multiple sclerosis find it reduces their frequency and severity.

More research is needed in order to confirm these reports. This is more easily said than done, as the federal restrictions on cannabis hamper research efforts. While increasing numbers of states are legalizing the production, sale, purchase and use of medical cannabis, researchers continue to struggle to conduct large scale studies of the drug.

Nonetheless, medical researchers persist in their investigations of cannabis and its effects, and it is hoped that a cannabis-based drug which targets muscle spasms and other symptoms will soon become available.

Here is the full scientific article if you wish to download it.

Jonathan Neilly

Registered with the British Psychological Society, breaking the taboo on mental health issues is one of the driving forces in Jonathan's life. His background in biomedicine gives him additional understanding of the factors that work together to influence the human condition.

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