Many of us struggle with sleep. In fact, 1 out of 2 Canadian adults have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep. A bad nights’ rest can easily ruin your day, especially when you wake up feeling irritable, forgetful or stuck in a bad brain fog. Worse still, poor sleep is linked to negative health outcomes including weight gain and a weakened immune system. Although there are many types of sleeping disorders, approximately 5-15% of Canadians are having trouble sleeping due to a very painful one: Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS). Also known as Willis-Ekbom disease, this condition causes an uncontrollable urge to move your legs, often accompanied by painful sensations such as crawling, throbbing or aching. Because these symptoms are aggravated by lying down or staying still for a long period of time, RLS sufferers often experience the most discomfort at night. As a result, these individuals often endure disrupted sleep and are left feeling tired and low energy for the remainder of their day.

How is restless leg syndrome treated?

Lifestyle changes are often the first recommendations made for RLS sufferers. Some relief may come from small changes like:
  • Decreasing alcohol and tobacco
  • Sticking to a sleep routine
  • Increasing daily physical activity
  • Warm/cold compress
  • Massage
However, some individuals require pharmacological treatment in order to sleep. Common medications prescribed for RLS include:
  • Anti-seizure drugs
  • Opioids
  • Benzodiazepines
Although these drugs can offer relief for some, they are not always effective and can be quite costly. As a result, a growing number of individuals are seeking a more natural way to reduce their RLS symptoms and improve their sleep quality through cannabis.

Does cannabis improve sleep?

Cannabis boasts a variety of relaxing properties: not only does it soothe anxiety and reduce stress, but it has shown effectiveness in helping individuals fall asleep. A 2013 study performed on habitual cannabis users found that higher concentrations of THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) were able to shorten sleep latency and also reported more ease in falling asleep. Improved sleep was also reported in 2018 when 409 insomnia patients recorded their experience with cannabis via an app. Participants were asked to rank the severity of their insomnia symptoms on a scale of 1-10, and on average, it was found that a reduction of 4.5 points was experienced following treatment. A 2017 study involving six RLS patients reported symptom remission for five participants following cannabis consumption. Better still, the patients reported sleep improvements following treatment. Although these results are promising, further quality research on the topic is still required.

Seeking Restless Leg Syndrome Relief in Calgary with Medical Cannabis

The best way to know if medical cannabis can help you manage your RLS symptoms is to come in for a medical consultation with a physician at one of our medical cannabis clinics in Calgary. Appointments for Alberta residents are free and covered by Alberta Health Services. Prior to your medical consultation with one of our licensed physicians, you will be educated on how medical cannabis works in our body and how it reacts to our endocannabinoid system. During your education session with a Cann-Expert, you will learn:
  1. The main differences between an Indica, Sativa, and Hybrid strain
  2. Benefits of THC, CBD, and Balanced strains
  3. Our unique Endocannabinoid Systems (ECS)
  4. The timing of inhalation vs ingestion
At the time of your consultation, your Revolution Medical Cannabis doctor will review your medical history and ensure that cannabis will not conflict with any medications you’re currently taking. Our Calgary medical cannabis doctors will then prescribe the best treatment plan for you. Our team will guide you in selecting a licensed producer as well as the registration. Dealing with Restless Leg Syndrome? Schedule your medical cannabis consultation with a doctor today!

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Medical Cannabis appointments available everywhere in Canada.