Muscle Spasms

Can medicinal cannabis help patients deal with muscle spasms and pain symptoms? Find out below. 

What are muscle spasms?

A muscle spasm occurs when the muscle contracts suddenly and uncontrollably. The spasms and cramps can coincide in one or more muscles and can be painful. They typically last a few seconds to fifteen minutes.

Recurring muscle spasms can be a symptom of various medical issues. They are often associated with a muscle strain but can also be a sign of medical conditions such as diabetes and liver disease. They can interfere with your daily life and affect sleep, but muscle spasms are not severe in most cases.

Who usually gets them? 

Muscle spasms are common among those who are:

  • Elderly
  • Infants
  • Pregnant
  • Athletes
  • Overweight

Causes of Muscle Spasms

Various factors that cause muscle spasms may include the following:

  • Aging: Losing muscle mass can put a strain on the muscles. These changes can lead to more frequent muscle spasms as we age.
  • Dehydration: Losing body fluids while exercising can cause the muscles to cramp and spasm.
  • Hypothyroidism: A less-active thyroid gland can lead to muscle spasms.
  • Low electrolyte levels: Low calcium or potassium levels in the blood can cause muscle spasms.
  • Medication: Certain medicines, including pseudoephedrine and statins, can cause involuntary muscle spasming.
  • Menstrual Cycle: People who experience monthly periods can have significant muscle cramping and spasm due to that process. 
  • Nerve disorders: A pinched nerve or spinal cord injury can cause nerve compression, leading to muscle spasms.
  • Physical strain: Overusing the muscles during exercise or strenuous activities can lead to cramps and spasms.
  • Pregnancy: Pregnant women may experience leg spasms due to low electrolyte levels, circulation changes, and nerve pressure.
  • Tight muscles: Inactivity and insufficient stretching can cause muscles to cramp and spasm. 

Muscle spasms can happen to any muscle; however, they occur most often in the following areas:

  • Abdomen
  • Arms
  • Hands
  • Feet
  • Legs

Diabetes and MMJ

Diabetes is a chronic disease when the pancreas no longer makes insulin or the body doesn’t use the insulin it produces. Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas that allows glucose from our food to pass from the bloodstream into the cells to produce energy. All carbohydrates are broken down into glucose in the blood and then assisted by insulin to travel to blood cells. 

Being unable to produce insulin or utilize it raises blood glucose levels. Over time, high glucose levels can cause damage to the body and the failure of various organs and cause serious health problems like heart disease, kidney disease, or vision loss. There’s no cure for diabetes, but maintaining weight, eating healthy food, and being active can help manage the condition. 

The Texas A&M School of Public Health performed a 2022 data analysis study that examined national survey results from over 15,000 people. They found that female cannabis consumers who consumed substantial amounts of cannabis had a lower incidence of diabetes than females with little to no cannabis use. 

A 2016 trial in Diabetes Care found that THCv could present a new therapeutic option for glycemic control in people with type 2 diabetes. The authors noted that using THCV significantly impacts fasting blood glucose levels and improves pancreatic function. 

A 2013 study of around five-thousand adults found that marijuana use was associated with lower fasting insulin levels, insulin resistance, and smaller waist circumference. Cannabis use acts through the direct and indirect stimulation of cannabinoid receptors in the endocannabinoid system. This cell-signaling system modulates the body’s central nervous system and helps maintain homeostasis.

Can medical marijuana help with muscle spasms? 

Medical marijuana is commonly found to possess significant anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which can help with muscle pain management reasonably quickly. Cannabinoid receptors bind to the brain and peripheral nerve cells and help regulate how you see and feel the pain to reduce symptoms. Medical cannabis, therefore, as opposed to other drugs, appears to be an excellent alternative to treat and manage pain and muscle spasms due to inflammation. 

A Daily News report recently stated that medical cannabis relieves headaches, muscle spasms, low mood, and diarrhea and can be used topically or via inhalation. Chronic pain lasts extended and can occur in many body parts simultaneously. It typically interferes with a person’s daily routine and can lead to anxiety or depression. 

CBD has anti-inflammatory qualities, can reduce pain, and even fully treat pain in some patients. It is also an antioxidant and can help reduce long-term inflammation. CBD contains cannabinoid receptors that can block chronic pain signals in the brain and trigger an increased immune response.  

THC, CBD, and CBG may help muscle spasms by reducing inflammation and calming the nervous system. More research is needed, but we can be sure to see more cannabis products for muscle spasms in the medical cannabis community within the next few years. We know that CBD is widely used across the United States and seems an excellent way to relieve muscle spasms and chronic pain symptoms.

Last Updated: July 25, 2023

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