Cannabis Strains for Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)
Patients with restless leg syndrome (RLS) suffer from an irresistible urge to move their legs while resting. The condition also causes them to experience painful sensations in their legs. The severity of RLS symptoms tends to increase during sleep, which then makes it difficult to fall and stay asleep. Additionally, the severity of RLS symptoms can vary each day; on some days it can be mild and uncomfortable while on other days it’s irritating and excruciatingly painful.
Restless leg syndrome affects around 10% of the American adult population. The problem could be bigger than that, since in many cases the condition its misdiagnosed as other neurological or sleep-related conditions. The main cause of RLS remains a mystery, but medical experts agree that there is likely a genetic factor involved. There have been gene variants linked to RLS in families where the condition occurs in those under 40 years old. However, there is also evidence suggesting that RLS is associated to a dysfunction in the basal ganglia, the part of the brain that utilizes dopamine to help you move.
The current treatment for RLS is focused on relieving symptoms, oftentimes only providing temporary relief. Leg massages, hot baths, and iron supplements are usually prescribed; in severe cases, dopaminergenic agents and anti-seizure drugs are recommended. However, there are still many cases of patients who find no relief from conventional treatments for RLS and have turned to cannabis.
If you are interested to start using cannabis for RLS, check out these top 5 strains:
- Granddaddy Purple is a strong indica with a high CBD content. This strain is highly recommended for those suffering from severe RLS symptoms as Granddaddy Purple effectively knocks out pain and will help you sleep. Granddaddy Purple is not suited for daytime medication; its strong psychoactive high is felt in both body and mind delivering a dreamy, cerebral, and euphoric high.
- Afghan Kush is loved by patients with RLS for its ability to relax the muscles and induce a calming high. This indica is known for delivering long-lasting relief, ideal for those who have a difficult time falling and staying asleep because of restless leg syndrome. Compared to other strains, Afghan Kush typically tends to hit the body more than the mind. Afghan Kush is also used by patients to treat chronic pain, anxiety, and loss of appetite.
- Charlotte’s Web is a strain that has been cultivated to have less than 0.3% THC, which has made it an increasingly popular choice for patients who don’t want to experience the psychoactive effects of cannabis. Its high CBD content makes it a top choice RLS patients as well as numerous other conditions including epilepsy. If you need medication that won’t affect your daily tasks, Charlotte’s Web is an excellent choice. Smoke this strain anytime of the day for relief from RLS because it won’t cause drowsiness or put you to bed.
- Stephen Hawking Kush was named after the world famous genius astrophysicist, Dr. Stephen Hawking. This strain was created by combining Harle-Tsu with Sin City Kush. Stephen Hawking Kush is an indica-dominant hybrid that’s recognized for its high CBD content that melts pain and tension away while helping relax both body and mind. This strain is also beneficial for inducing hunger in those that have lost their appetite due to treatment or mental disorders. However, many patients also appreciate that Stephen Hawking Kush is a novice-friendly strain particularly for patients who prefer to handle low THC doses, but require a powerful medicinal dose.
- Harlequin is a sativa-dominant strain best used for daytime medication. The result of a Nepali indica, Colombian Gold, Swiss and Thai landrace strains, Harlequin is touted as one of the most effective strains for pain thanks to its CBD and THC content. Harlequin delivers an alert, clear-headed high; ideal for RLS patients who need an energizing strain for morning and daytime medication. Its potent medicinal properties have made Harlequin a crowd favorite for its ability to relax mind and body without completely sedating or intoxicating you.
What are your favorite strains to medicate with for restless leg syndrome? Share with us in the comments below.