Your body has more than 650 named muscles. If you consider the smaller muscles that are part of the larger ones, that number may be as high as 840. With so many muscles, your body likely works hard to maintain them. But if you have certain conditions, you might suffer from severe or persistent spasms. That’s why some people turn to CBD oil. But you might be wondering if it is effective to treat muscle spasms.
What Are Muscle Spasms?
When you have a spasm, one or more of your muscles involuntarily contract. This happens spontaneously. It is not serious for many people. With acute spasms, your muscles might be dehydrated, stressed because of overuse, or not have enough potassium. Poor circulation can also be a cause.
If you have muscle spasms regularly, you may have a more serious condition. That might be because of extreme stress or nerves that have disrupted your spinal cord’s nerve signals. That might be because of a pinched nerve, hernia, injury to the spinal cord, or another condition. Other potential causes can be because of:
- Hormonal Issue
- Vascular Problems
- Toxic-Metabolic Issues
- Neurological Conditions
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
Using CBD Oil
Muscle spasms, especially ones that might be because of multiple sclerosis, can usually be treated by using pain relievers. Other treatments can include muscle relaxers, antianxiety medication, or even botulinum toxins. But for many patients, these medications come with undesirable side effects. Or they might not even be effective for some people. That is why some patients have turned to CBD oil.
Some research has suggested that marijuana may be able to help persistent muscle spasms. A 2018 report from the National Academy of Sciences looked over the available research. It found that the effects of CBD oil may treat chronic pain, ease nausea from chemotherapy, and calm muscle spasms.
The review looked at evidence that suggested that using oral cannabinoids might be an effective method of treating muscle spasms that were caused by multiple sclerosis. It also suggested that inhaled and oral cannabinoids might help ease chronic pain for adults. It suggested that both CBD and THC could help to ease patients’ spasms.
However, the levels of CBD and THC vary depending on the strain. That means it is difficult to determine how each strain might impact patients. It is best to use caution and start out slowly, so you can see for yourself what a good dose of a particular strain might be.
Is It Effective?
Some studies have looked at isolating the important compounds in marijuana. That way, they can look at how it might affect medical conditions. For instance, in 2013, an Israeli study was published that looked at the naturally occurring chemicals in marijuana. The research suggested that these cannabinoids might help to decrease inflammation of the brain and spinal cord. That might help people who suffer from muscle spasms.
While not as reliable as scientific studies, many patients who use medical cannabis have offered anecdotal evidence. They have found that when using CBD oil for muscle tremors, spasms, or severe pain, there are often positive results.
How CBD Oil Works
Your body has an endocannabinoid system, or ECS. This system creates and uses cannabinoids, which you can also find in the marijuana plant. Your body has CB1 and CB2 receptors, which bind to the cannabinoids. This process can help maintain your bodily functions.
However, if you have a health condition that causes muscle spasms, you may have different levels of endocannabinoids than the norm. Your ECS makes anandamide, an endocannabinoid that attaches to your CB1 receptor. When it activates the receptor, your mood may improve, and you might not have as much inflammation and pain.
If you have multiple sclerosis, you likely have higher levels of anandamide than normal. That suggests that your body releases this substance to protect itself from the effects of multiple sclerosis. If you have inflamed or damaged tissue, then your body produces more of the substance. Using CBD oil could help you take advantage of it.
CBD has unique effects on your ECS. Instead of binding to the CB1 and CB2 receptors, it boosts the system’s abilities. It can block the fatty acid known as FAAH, which may break down anandamide. If you take CBD oil, then your body’s anandamide levels may increase. Then, it can relieve symptoms like pain.
This is because your pain sensations are regulated by anandamide. This substance helps manage the signals that your brain and your nerves send to each other. CBD oil may also impact inflammation. When the tissue is damaged, it might become inflamed to protect you. By managing the immune system cells that can cause inflammation, anandamide might soothe the area.
Finally, you might even find that CBD oil helps with your mood. It can attach to your brain’s serotonin receptors to boost your mood. That can help you feel calmer and happier.
Choosing the Right CBD Product
You can get CBD in different forms. Depending on your symptoms, you can get different benefits from each type. For example, you might want to look for one that has small amounts of THC in it. You will not get a high because there will still be lower levels of THC, and the CBD can balance it out.
The dosage and how often you take it will determine the effects of the CBD oil. For example, if you use a vaporizer or put CBD oil in your food, it will enter your bloodstream and affect your entire body. A topical provides localized effects.
If you find traditional medicines don’t work, you might want to consider turning to CBD oil to treat your muscle spasms. It might be anti-inflammatory while offering pain relief. The chemicals interact with your endocannabinoid system and influence how you perceive the pain.
The current research is encouraging for patients. But deciding if CBD oil for muscle spasms is right for you is a personal decision. You should speak with your health care provider before deciding.