5 Best Marijuana Strains for Restless Legs (2018 Update)

Find out which marijuana strains are best...
MarijuanaBreak Staff / Updated on September 10, 2018

Marijuana strains for rls

If you have unusual sensations such as crawling, prickling or aching in your legs when you sit still or lie down, or find it almost impossible to resist the urge to move them, it’s likely you have Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS). As well as being common in pregnant women, it is a surprisingly regular problem amongst Americans with up to 10% of people suffering from the issue.

In this article we will explore the different treatments available for RLS and discuss how specific marijuana strains are helping millions of people worldwide.

What is Restless Legs Syndrome?

The condition is sometimes known as Willis-Ekbom disease and is a nervous system issue that results in an overwhelming urge to move your legs. It typically causes an unpleasant creeping sensation in your calves, thighs, and feet and the problem is usually at its worst at night. In rare cases, the arms are also affected.

While it is not a serious condition in itself, restless leg syndrome could be a symptom of a larger problem. Doctors usually conduct a blood test to see if there are any underlying issues.

What Causes Restless Legs Syndrome?

In the vast majority of cases, there is no obvious cause for the condition. In these instances, it is known as primary, or idiopathic, restless legs syndrome and it can run in families. Some neurologists believe restless legs syndrome could be a result of how the body handles the chemical, dopamine.

This chemical plays a role in controlling the movement of the muscles and could potentially be responsible for the involuntary movement of the legs associated with restless legs syndrome.

It is worth noting that in some instances, restless legs syndrome is the result of an underlying health condition such as kidney failure or iron deficiency anemia in what is known as secondary restless legs syndrome. Specialists have yet to come up with a satisfactory reason why the condition is so common in pregnant women. However, it usually disappears soon after giving birth.

What Are The Symptoms of Restless Leg Syndrome?

  • Sufferers of restless leg syndrome report the following:
  • An unpleasant creepy-crawly sensation.
  • A painful cramping sensation in the legs, often in the calves.
  • A feeling as if there is sparkling water inside the blood vessels of their legs.
  • An itching, throbbing, burning or tingling sensation.
  • An irresistible urge to move their legs.

The severity of the condition varies from mild to completely unbearable. It is interesting to note that women suffer from restless leg syndrome twice as often as men.

If you have restless legs syndrome, there is an 80% chance you also suffer from periodic limb movements in sleep (PLMS). If you have this particular condition, your leg will jerk or twitch uncontrollably. It usually happens at night when you sleep, and in many cases, the twitching and movement will cause you to wake up. The movements are relatively brief with episodes lasting from 10-60 seconds.

What is Life with Restless Legs Syndrome Like?

While it may seem like a relatively minor complaint, restless legs syndrome can have serious long-term health consequences if it interferes with your sleep. As well as preventing you from operating at full capacity, lack of sleep increases your risk of suffering from other medical conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.

A lack of sleep also damages your immune system and makes you more likely to become ill. According to a variety of studies, people who sleep less than seven hours a night gain more weight and are at a greater risk of becoming obese than those who sleep more than seven hours. The above is just the tip of the iceberg. Lack of sleep results in loss of sex drive, reduced mental capacity, depression, anxiety and much more.

For individuals that suffer from restless legs syndrome, night time can be a miserable experience. They spend several hours tossing and turning as the unpleasant sensation in their legs take hold. This issue could happen just once a week, or it can impact sufferers practically every night.

Traditional Ways to Treat Restless Legs Syndrome ( Not Marijuana Related)

marijuana for restless legs

If the condition is part of an underlying medical problem, treating that condition will normally get rid of the issue. Otherwise, the following treatments are regularly used.

Heat, Cold, Massage

You apply heat, and cool packs to the muscles as alternating heat and cold can sometimes alleviate the aches and pains associated with the condition. Another remedy is to have someone massage your lower legs just before bedtime.

Relaxation & Exercise

Regular exercise such as brisk walks and leg stretches could help. Likewise, scheduling some relaxation time before bed could reduce the symptoms. Options include tai chi, meditation, and yoga.

Adopt Better Sleeping Habits

First and foremost, create a sleep schedule and stick to it. That means going to bed and waking up at the same time. Develop a bedtime routine designed to relax you before going to sleep. Read a book, take a bath and stay away from electronic devices!

Related article: 4 Best CBD Oils for Sleep and Insomnia (2017 Review)

Medication

First of all, make sure you’re taking your vitamins because lack of folic acid, iron, magnesium and vitamin B are associated with restless leg syndrome. You can also try over the counter medication such as naproxen, ibuprofen or ketoprofen. Prescription medication such as muscle relaxants could help, but in many cases, they don’t relieve the leg sensations and also cause drowsiness during the day.

Medical Research on Marijuana for Restless Legs Syndrome

Research about the use of marijuana for restless legs syndrome is relatively new, and there isn’t enough volume to draw conclusions just yet. However, the early signs are encouraging. A 2017 study by Megelin and Ghorayeb used CBD on six patients who suffered from restless legs syndrome. Every one of them reported a significant improvement in their sleep quality.

The aforementioned link between restless legs syndrome and dopamine has also been investigated at length. A 2017 study by Stampanoni et al. on the impact of cannabinoids on Parkinson’s Disease once again showed that the cannabinoids found in marijuana interact with CB1 and CB2, the endocannabinoid system’s cannabinoid receptors, to control the release of dopamine. If there is indeed a link between dopamine and restless legs syndrome, CBD could be used to regulate its release and bring a halt to the symptoms.

5 Best Marijuana Strains for Restless Legs Syndrome

Marijuana for restless legs

1 – Granddaddy Purple (Indica Marijuana Strain)

This Indica dominant marijuana strain is almost a ‘knockout’, so we don’t recommend taking it during the daytime. However, take Granddaddy Purple before going to sleep, and you’ll find it extremely hard to keep your eyes open! Seriously, it makes your eyes feel heavy in a hurry and if you’re already tired, say goodnight! Its THC level is 17-27%, and its CBD level is 7%.

2 – Holy Ghost (Hybrid Marijuana Strain)

This is a hybrid marijuana strain with 50% indica and 50% sativa. Its THC content is 28% so be prepared for lift off! Holy Ghost provides you with a focused high that gives you energy after about 10 minutes of ‘couch lock.’

3 – Purple Kush (Indica Marijuana Strain)

Purple Kush is a pure indica marijuana strain with a THC content of 22%. It routinely figures in ‘top 10 most powerful strains in the world’ lists, and it rewards users with a euphoric head high that eliminates any feelings of pain. The high spreads throughout the body and leaves you feeling sedated.

4 – AC/DC ( Hybrid Marijuana Strain)

This is another 50:50 hybrid, and unlike other entries on the list, AC/DC has a relatively low THC content (1-6%) and high CBD content of 20%. It has a strong effect on the whole body but enables you to concentrate at work, so it is worth taking during the day if restless legs syndrome strikes you as you sit down.

5 – Afghan Kush (Indica Marijuana Strain)

Also known as Afghan OG, this indica marijuana strain contains 21% THC, 6% CBD and 1% CBN. It provides your body with a calming feeling and relaxes the muscles. The impact can last for up to three hours which is plenty of time for you to get some sleep!

Final Thoughts About Marijuana For Restless Legs Syndrome

Although research is still in its embryonic phase, there is already evidence to suggest that marijuana is capable of eliminating the effects of restless legs syndrome. It can relax the entire body and help you get some much-needed sleep.

Sources
https://www.floridahospital.com/restless-legs-syndrome-rls/statistics-restless-leg-syndrome-rls
http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Restless-leg-syndrome/Pages/Introduction.aspx
http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Restless-leg-syndrome/Pages/Symptoms.aspx
https://www.healthline.com/health/restless-leg-syndrome/treatments#gabapentin7
http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/tiredness-and-fatigue/Pages/lack-of-sleep-health-risks.aspx
http://www.sleep-journal.com/article/S1389-9457(17)30222-8/abstract
http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/full/10.1089/can.2017.0002

5 Best Marijuana Strains for Restless Legs (2018 Update)
September 10, 2018
4.8 33
33 comments
  1. Gerrit
    Wake up! (literally, l mean)

    Robert Et Al.,

    4AM and lm reading all of your comments about me. Many years of rls have been followed by years of RLs and restless arms and restless torso. Especially Robert l would advise to wake yourself up completely. Its the only thing that works for me. Once fully awake the R… bodyparts relax. I still cant believe no researcher has found the link between rls and the sleepy state of mind that always creates it. Few have mentioned the agony of the spouse having to deal with this. We have a king with separate mattresses so my movements are not as easily transferred to ‘her side’. Nevertheless, often she wakes up from my movements and has no choice but to wake me up (or kill me cause she gets very cranky when she doesnt get her 8 hrs). Ohw, 8 hrs of sleep. Just the thought puts a smile on my face! I will definitely take your advice and try the various options mentioned to see if after decades of this, there is a form of ‘permanent’ relief. Been up now for close to an hour and my R arms are almost gone. One episode of Frasier should finish it off completely. Good night everybody! 😉

  2. Bev Collier
    Desperatlely seeking help with RLS

    I too have severe RLS. I’m a healthy 63 year old female who has suffered with this most of my adult life. I also get it in my arms and shoulders from time to time. I take all my important vitamins, have no health problems and work out at least 3 days per week. Working out has done nothing to help. In fact, I’d have to say, the harder I work out my legs and arms, the worse the RLS is at night. I stretch before bed each night, I go to bed by 10 pm, and within an hour to an hour and a half, I am awaken by jumpy legs (and arms) sometimes) so bad that I have to get out of bed and do twenty squats. Some times, I have to do this twice a night as they eventually come back. To say I can recall a time when I actually got a good nights sleep without the help of an occasional sleeping pill, would be a lie. Naturally, I don’t want to take sleeping pills and so I only take a little piece of once every week or so because I’m so exhausted, that I need to sleep. I am desperately looking for a cannibas solution as nothing else has ever worked for me, however, I don’t want to get stoned every night. From all I’ve been reading there is probably something out there, with CBD oil blended perhaps with just a touch of THC to help with the sleep, that might help. If anyone finds it, please contact me. I do live in Canada so it is legally available to me now, but with so many different products out there, I have no idea where to begin.

  3. Chelle
    Marijuana causes rls for me

    I suffer with rls. Usually marijuana helps, occasionally certain strains actually cause it for me. For instance, Candyland gives me severe rls for hours.

    Is there any research on marijuana causing rls?

  4. Christopher P. Diehl
    Baking soda for RLS

    I have severe rls. To the point of contemplating suicide. Best way for me to describe it is someone is hitting your knee cap with a hammer to test your reflexes. About every 30 seconds my legs jump uncontrollably. This happens all day every day and the only way i get relief is if I walk around. Last night at about 830 made 72 hours straight I was without sleep. I read an article saying to mix 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda in a cup of water and drink it. I swear on everything that in 20 minutes my restless legs were gone. I slept for about 16 hours. If you live in a state that mj is illegal or you don’t want to go that route please try the baking soda. It really worked. Also try a bar of IVORY soap or IRISH SPRING in your sock before bed. It helps a lot of people. God Bless all of you and I’m praying we can get through this.

    1. Peter Erikson
      Can't last too many years longer

      All my life I’ve had little tricks to stop my RLS symptoms from getting worse at night, starting at about age 10. Now that I’m 61, forget about it — it’s always bad and nothing helps. I can’t imagine living with this that many more years. I saw the comment about baking soda; maybe I’ll try it. If I have to pee at all, it makes my RLS especially bad. So I’ll get up for a while and then stand at the urinal for as much as 5 or 10 minutes to empty my bladder in drips and drabs.

      1. Jay Moroso
        Long pee time

        Get your prostate checked. Probably enlarged, causing the blockage/low urine flow.

  5. August
    Suggested strain

    I use blue afgani to help mine. Its relaxing and takes hold quickly. I sleep well and have zero symptoms.

  6. Jennifer Metzler

    I use THC & CBD – i make my own lotion with various Indica strains, cbd & essential oils. No more nerve blockers, no more magnesium baths!!! 2 years, im 49yo female

  7. Robert

    I have had RLS my entire life. I am a 53 male. I couldn’t count on 2 hands the number of nights I have gotten 8 hours of sleep in the past 20 years. 3-5 hours is average with some nights getting no sleep at all. Typically, I start getting restless around 6:00 p.m. I have tried several medications and am currently on Neupro patches. If they kick, I can cope until I fall asleep around 10:00 or 11:00 p.m. but I inevitably wake myself up rocking in bed between 2:00 and 3:00 a.m. and I am awake until morning. When my medication does not kick in, I spend hour after hour rocking back and forth on the floor sometimes moaning or chanting in a way to try to center myself. I find myself in a horrible state of not being able to keep my eyes open but also not being able to stop moving to fall asleep. Sometimes, I feel like I am losing my mind. The best way I can convey how it feels is if you were trying to fall asleep and every time you dozed off, someone would shake you awake preventing you from…all night long!

    I have never tried marijuana until recently and the few times I have, I have gotten some relief. I was just approved for Medical Cannabis in my State and will be going to the dispensary next week. I am hopeful that this will help and that I may actually see a solid nights sleep.

    1. Stephan

      Hi Robert, have you started your RLS treatment with Medical Canabis, I would be very interested to hear how it goes and learn from your experience. I have been taking Mirapex to treat my RLS for the last 18 years and now I feel that Mirapex does not work so well…. Would love to try something new.

  8. One educated girl

    Indeed restless leg syndrome does Not include pain! That would be an underlying condition and could very well be mineral deficiencies . Lack of B12 can cause pain and cramping in the lower extremities not to mention decreased concentration . It’s extremely important for the body to have balanced B-12 levels . If your B12 is low it could take you over three years of eating beef every single day and that still would not bring you back up to Natural levels or function of B12 in the body . B12 injections are the only way to increase and maintain under production of B12 in the body. Over the counter B12 has been proven not effective when your B12 is low . Pinched nerves in the back can cause pain in the legs or calves . Yes it sounds strange that your back can cause your leg to hurt but in fact the nerve system of the back often reflects in extremities of the body. Once again if you’re experiencing pain I would see an MD and request blood work to make sure you’re not suffering from any deficiencies in the body. Chemical imbalances in the body can affect sleep, pain and concentration and it’s often overlooked by patients. After experiencing many years of back problems & attention deficit disorder I have learned so very much from having wonderful Dr.s . And just playing experience . Leg cramps can also be a result of a lack of potassium. Bananas are rich in potassium. I laughed when they came out with the term restless leg syndrome. I believed it was a drug company using the term just to sell their new medications. Attention deficit disorder walks hand-in-hand with this effect in the legs. Children that can’t sit still often in fact feel the effects of crawling skin and the feeling of electricity shooting through their legs. I myself as one. I in fact remember in elementary school sitting and rubbing my legs and class because they would crawl so badly. In the 1960s no one knew about attention deficit disorder. I was not hyperactive, I just could not sit still because my legs were crawling. If I had to sit in a hot classroom during the summer time my legs would start to crawl. That was over 50 years ago. I do know that exercise and blood flow help in my case. Reaching for something to ingest or smoke isn’t always the answer first and foremost have your blood work done to make sure there aren’t any mineral or hormonal Deficiencies . Then reach for your medical marijuana.

    1. KEV

      Your opinion is simply that. While I’m not a proponent of marijuana use, having severe RLS forces us to look into all options. RLS runs in my family, going back to at least my Grandfather. If you had it you would understand that it can be painful. I’ve went through years of various testing with different doctors and specialists, until I found one that understood it better than the rest. When not managed with medication I experience the urge to move them and deep pain all throughout the day and night. I’ve attempted to do more such as exercise and run, all to no relief. Obviously there is much more to it than what is understood. Quite possibly it’ll be something that’s easy to fix once more research is done. Until then we’re left struggling until we find a doctors who understands us and attempts to try all means. At this point it’s about managing the symptoms and making it tolerable. Sorry to sound mean, but just because you don’t believe it to be real doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist and impact a lot of people.

  9. Dan Forsyth

    Will just cbd oil work? How much should I use? My son gave me some hemp-infused oil. Thank you for any feedback.

  10. Mary Frazier

    Taking medicine for restless legs, will try a strain for natural results. Would love if cannabis could help me with this disorder because I really don’t like having to depend on pharmaceutical drugs.

    1. Lynda

      I suffer with RLS for quite a few years now. I also had it when i was pregnant with my son. But it went way after that. a few years ago i got it, had no idea what it was. I explained to my dr. my symptoms. he knew right away. wrote out a script for me. been on it ever since. Tried going off them, too hard. Gives me insomnia. I have recently started CDb oil for pain, so hoping it helps with my RLS and help to get off meds.
      it is the worse feeling when trying to sleep. The meds do work but would rather use something natural.

  11. Dazey82

    So glad to see all the positive results. I too have RLS and have been taking Parkinson’s drugs for quite some time. I tried grandaddy purps recreationally and found it stopped my rls immediately! I am so happy, it also helps me sleep which is huge cause I have narcolepsy AND insomnia at night. What a combo huh? Anyway, this is a miracle drug that is so versatile. Try it!!!

    1. Shan

      Hey glad it worked for you I also have rls and have troubles sleeping the combo leaves me with many nights with no sleep so I will definitely try that

    2. Keitha Jackson

      I have severe RLS. Have finally controlled it with Horizant (gabapentin) but the side effects are driving me crazy, literally. I am not a smoker or a recreational drug user so I am totally unfamiliar with the ways of using HCT/CBD . Also the kind that might help me best. My problem right now is not my RLS. It the sleep deprivation, balance problems, depression, fuzzy eyesight, etc. You name it – I got it. I need advice such as do you need a prescription to get this online? What about the CBD alone vs. the CBD/THC combo? Thanks for any and all advice.

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