Using CBD for Restless Leg Syndrome: What the Research Says

Restless Leg Syndrome is one of many conditions that modern medicine has yet to find a cure for. Sufferers are left to try to manage symptoms and live with this disease. Using CBD for restless leg syndrome is the newest possible treatment option.

With many traditional treatment options, there are a lot of negative side effects that could potentially happen, and alternative treatments are limited, both in options and effectiveness.

Knowing this we dove deep into what restless leg syndrome is, how it’s currently treated, and how CBD Oil might be used to help those suffering from RLS.


What is Restless Leg Syndrome?

Restless leg syndrome (RLS) is a neurological dysfunction that causes irresistible urges to move your legs and throbbing, itching, or creeping sensations that can be miserable. These sensations often occur when you are relaxed or asleep, leading RLS to be classified as a sleep disorder.  

Once you have developed restless leg syndrome it is important that you seek treatment. Although not a fatal condition, symptoms can develop over time to the point where a patient is unable to get a full night’s sleep and their quality of life is severely affected.

Also known as Willis-Ekbom disease, this condition can happen to anyone, although certain groups are at higher risk including the elderly and women with fibromyalgia.

Fibromyalgia is a painful condition that effects muscles, joints and bones mostly in women. RLS is thought to escalate the symptoms of this condition because it limits both the quantity and quality of sleep for these women.

While this condition can develop in anyone, genetics seem to play a major role. 50% of people with RLS has a family member that suffers from similar symptoms. Other potential causes include:

  • Iron Deficiency in the brain
  • Kidney failure and renal disease
  • Antidepressant, Antipsychotic and nausea medication
  • Other sleep disorders
  • Spinal cord injuries

Since there is no known cure, it is important that people with symptoms do their best to not aggravate or trigger the condition.

Restless Leg Syndrome Triggers

While doctors are uncertain of the exact reasons that restless leg syndrome develops, there are habits that seem to worsen symptoms.

The normal protagonists for many conditions, smoking and excessive alcohol consumption join caffeine as the leading causes of increased frequency and intensity of symptoms.

Another thing that tends to worsen RLS symptoms in high-intensity activity. While exercise is always recommended, those with RLS should limit themselves to walking and casual exercise, rather than excessive activities that will tax their body.

By eliminating these activities and adding a regimented treatment plan, many are able to live comfortably with RLS.   


Does CBD Oil help Restless Leg Syndrome Symptoms?

CBD interacts with the bodies endocannabinoid system (ECS); whose primary function is to maintain homeostasis throughout the body and modulate internal changes. This modulation includes improving neurological conditions, sleep, and pain and inflammation.

This management and regulation have shown promise in a number of areas of the human body, but two are of particular interest for RLS sufferers.

Early studies for Parkinson’s disease sufferers have shown that CBD positively improved sleep quality. The mechanics behind Parkinson’s sleep loss is also due to muscle issues (in the eye). So, while the link is assumptive, it does have promise.

Restless leg syndrome causes loss of sleep due to agitation and often painful sensations in the legs. One of the most promising uses for CBD has been that of pain management. A review of research and clinical trials published by Ethan B. Russo once again showed CBD to be a viable option for pain and inflammation relief.

Maybe the best part is the lack of side effects that come with taking a natural substance like CBD.

Traditional Treatments for RLS

There are a handful of medications normally prescribed for patients with RLS, all of which carry side effects, especially after long-term use.

The first, Dopamine producing drugs. Dopamine is a hormone normally found in the brain that is linked with mood and controlling body movements. By boosting dopamine patients tend to experience less restlessness while relaxing.

Antiseizure and antidepressants are also often to manage the feelings of itchiness and pain in the legs and help patients sleep. These medications are unfortunately associated with weight gain and dizziness.

The last option for treatment is Opioids. These painkillers are a last option but have serious side effects, including addiction and psychoactive effects.

In each of these cases, RLS sufferers adapt to these medications and often their symptoms will worsen over time. This leads many to alternative, or plant-based treatment options.  

Alternative Treatments for Restless Leg Syndrome

Iron supplementation is one of the main natural remedies for RLS. Iron deficiencies are linked with low dopamine levels in the brain and doctors believe this is a cause for developing RLS.  

Intravenous (IV) iron infusions have improved RLS symptoms in 76% of patients without any side effects. Oral consumption of iron supplements also has benefits, although does come with potential stomach issues.

Magnesium is the other natural treatment often used. Magnesium is a muscle relaxant that helps soothe nerves and is commonly uses for leg cramps.

While both of these options seem limited compared to prescription drugs, you also don’t have to worry about severe side effects.

Adding CBD Oil to a regimen of Iron and Magnesium supplementation may help you naturally and effectively treat symptoms of RLS.


How to use CBD for Restless Leg Syndrome

Thanks to the popularity of CBD recently it has never been easier to get your hands on some and it is currently available nationwide in the United States.

You also have a variety of options as to how you consume CBD. You can use Oils or tinctures, topical CBD, Vaping, or edible versions of the product.

Sublingual is the most common method. By placing an oil or tincture directly under your tongue the substance is absorbed directly into your bloodstream for quick and easy use.

Especially if mixed with magnesium CBD topicals might be an attractive option for relieving the muscle twitching and discomfort of RLS. Applied directly to the legs, a cream or slave brings targeted relief.

Vaping CBD is the fastest way for CBD to reach your bloodstream and may be a great option for sudden bouts of symptoms, but there are health concerns about vaping.

Lastly, CBD edibles, such as gummies, brownies, gel caps and even teas have been developed to make consuming CBD as easy as eating. The drawback here is that CBD has to pass through the digestive system before reaching the ECS.


Best CBD for Restless Leg Syndrome

We often recommend either Charlotte’s Web CBD Oil or MedTerra CBD if you are looking to use CBD Oil for restless leg syndrome symptoms.

Both of these brands are knowing for their organic hemp, extremely high-quality extraction and manufacturing processes, and third party lab reports to verify that you are getting quality CBD.

The difference between the two is that Charlotte’s Web is a Full Spectrum product rather than a 0% THC product, like MedTerra is. Depending on where you live, your personal preferences, and work requirements you may want to opt for the THC Free version!

If you would like to try a CBD topical for restless leg syndrome, try Joy Organics CBD Salve. Just like the MedTerra CBD products, Joy Organics produces a THC Free end product.

Their gel-caps also get our recommendation as they use a water-soluble technology that has better absorption than a standard CBD pill.

Last but not least, CBDFx Gummies are a go-to option in the edible category for a wide range of maladies. These sweet and chewy bites allow you to precisely manage your dosages and are mixed with other nutrients like turmeric and spirulina.

For more options on CBD products to treat RLS, you can look through our complete list of recommended CBD brands!


Dosing CBD Oil for RLS

Everyone is different and will react to different substances in different ways. CBD Oil is no exception to this!

That being said, dosing CBD for restless leg syndrome symptoms will be different for each individual. Some things to consider are:

For general dosing guidelines, we usually recommend .2 to 1 mg of CBD per 10lbs of bodyweight. This means a 200lbs male should start somewhere between 4mg and 20mg of CBD.

Especially if you’ve never taken CBD before, we recommend you start on the lower side of this range for dosing. As always, consult a medical professional if you have any questions about dosing or using CBD.


Final Thoughts on CBD and RLS

Like many uses for CBD, using CBD for restless leg syndrome is still under-researched. The studies we do have indicate that CBD Oil will help with RLS. It is also shown to be safer than many over the counter medicines for treating symptoms of RLS.

If you suffer from the sleepless nights and pain, discomfort, and itching associated with restless leg syndrome, CBD may be the perfect treatment option to add to wise lifestyle choices and minerals like iron and magnesium.