Think about the last time the crawling, tingling sensation in your legs woke you. Did you wonder if you could use CBD topicals for your restless legs? If you have restless leg syndrome, you’re no stranger to dropping off to sleep only to be wakened by the irresistible urge to move your legs. Uncomfortable sensations often occur along with the urge to move. Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is real and can be debilitating. About one in 10 Americans have RLS.
What is RLS?
As already noted, RLS, also called Willis-Ekbom disease, is a condition that causes a crawly, needlelike sensation that causes you to move your legs. If you don’t have RLS, you may be thinking, so? Well, interrupted sleep often can cause severe depression along with a host of other health troubles.
Researchers think the condition may be caused by an imbalance of the brain chemical dopamine, which sends messages to control muscle movement. Although symptoms fluctuate in severity, there isn’t a cure. A doctor can diagnose RLS based on these symptoms:
- An often irresistible urge to move your legs, usually accompanied by uncomfortable sensations.
- An urge that starts or gets worse when you’re resting, such as sitting or lying down.
- Partial or temporary relief with activity, such as walking or stretching.
- The urge to move is worse at night.
- Your symptoms can’t be explained by another medical or behavioral condition.
But, if there’s no cure, what can you do? Leg massages, heating pads or a hot bath can help ease some of the discomfort. But there’s more.
CBD topicals for restless legs
Recent research indicates that you might want to seek out CBD topicals for restless legs. When the urge to move strikes, massaging a CBD topical on the affected leg can ease discomfort quickly. Rather than travel through the digestive system and liver as it would if you ingested it, CBD topicals bypass the bloodstream and head straight for the pain. Here’s something you’ll like. They’re safe with no side effects, and CBD topicals don’t get you high.
Topical CBD works with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) we all have. In the 1970s, CBD came to the attention of scientists conducting tests on animals. Epilepsy symptoms seemed to abate when they administered CBD. Studies in the ‘80s meant to discredit CBD, inadvertently gave it distinction.
“By using a plant that has been around for thousands of years, we discovered a new physiological system of immense importance,” says Raphael Mechoulam, the dean of the transnational cannabinoid research community. “We wouldn’t have been able to get there if we had not looked at the plant.”
Today, experts recognize that the ECS monitors appetite, sleep, mood, memory and possibly other systems. The ECS has three components: receptors, enzymes and endocannabinoids.
CBD topicals and the ECS
Two receptors, CB-1 and CB-2, travel the body and endocannabinoids bind to them. The body has many enzymes, but two in particular break down cannabinoids. They are arachidonylethanolamine (AEA), nicknamed anandamide from the Sanskrit word for bliss, and 2-arachidonylglycerol (2-AG).
CB-1 is found mostly in the nervous system and brain. CB-2 is found outside the brain and tends to monitor and regulate the immune system. Both are found throughout the skin. Once enzymes break down cannabinoids, the resulting endocannabinoids search for receptors to bind with.
When the ECS functions optimally, you’ll have a general sense of well-being and good health. Our bodies create endocannabinoids to stimulate the receptors. When the balance is off, the receptors can’t do their jobs and illness or imbalance can occur. The good news is that you can help kick-start the system by ingesting or applying CBD.
When an imbalance occurs in the ECS, it’s usually because of overproduction of an enzyme or protein, or an overexpression of receptors. So, when the ECS doesn’t function properly, your body can’t efficiently regulate its emotions, appetite, memory and all the other things the ECS monitors. Introducing CBD helps increase the amount of endocannabinoids in your system by altering the way the fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) enzyme works.
FAAH removes excess andanamide by breaking it down. Remember andanamide, the bliss molecule? CBD stops FAAH from breaking down the andanamide, leaving more endocannabinoids in your body. More endocannbinoids means your body is able to deal with pain, depression and other conditions.
The beauty of CBD topicals for restless legs
CBD topicals are convenient and easy to use. As I mentioned, they don’t get you high and there are few, if any, side effects. Plus, you can safely use topicals as often as you need them. Once applied, the CBD topical interacts with the CB receptors that rove through the body. Intuitively, the receptors and CBD work to calm the irresistible urge to move. You can ease into a relaxing, restful sleep.
CBD is a known pain reliever because of its anti-inflammatory, analgesic properties. But it’s important to choose a high-quality CBD topical that combines CBD, essential and carrier oils. Do your homework to understand CBD and how it works. Then seek out the product that will work for your condition.