Muscle Spasms and Medical Cannabis


The latest research demonstrates that medicinal cannabis can relieve muscle spasms.

What Are Muscle Spasms?

Muscle spasms or cramps occur when muscles tighten involuntarily. They occur quickly and subside soon after, but the experience can be uncomfortable. Spasms can impact a variety of different muscles, which affects the nature of symptoms. Spasms in skeletal muscles are the most typical, and they are usually the result of poor hydration or electrolyte issues. Gradually extending the affected muscle can relieve the discomfort.

What Are the Common Causes of Muscle Spasms?

Causes of muscle spasms depend on which part of the body is affected, any present risk factors, and environment, but dehydration and expenditure of electrolytes are believed to be the chief triggers.

  • Spasms occur if a muscle is over-exerted, especially if it has been stretched too much or remained in a fixed position for a long time.
  • A condition that causes thinning of arteries known as atherosclerosis, or peripheral artery disease, might also cause cramps and spasms.
  • Spasms occurring in the legs are a common result of exercise, but cramps in calves and toes might also arise at night.
  • People who experience chronic back or neck pain might also suffer from frequent muscle spasms.
  • Patients with spinal cord injuries or other conditions affecting the nervous system could also be susceptible to muscle spasms.
  • Spasms may occur in muscles enveloping the esophagus after they become inflamed due to health conditions such as reflux esophagitis.
  • Spasms of the coronary artery are commonly referred to as Prinzmetal’s angina.
  • Muscle groups that suddenly contract and twist are indicative of a movement disorder called dystonia.

Why Include Medical Cannabis to Treat Muscle Spasms?

Muscle spasms are involuntary contractions of the muscles caused by a range of medical conditions and trauma. The spasms range from mild to severe and may last only momentarily or chronically.  Codeine and other medications are typically prescribed, yet patient results vary.  In 1990, a research studied compared the effectiveness of the THC found in medical cannabis with codeine, a common pain reliever that is prescribed to patients experiencing muscle spasms.  The findings revealed that THC is a significantly more effective treatment for muscle spasms, even benefitting patients with histories of failure with traditional treatments.

The American Medical Association has gone on record to note that cannabis and THC are especially beneficial for patients with muscle tremors resulting from trauma and multiple sclerosis.  As new research into the benefits of medical cannabis for treating muscle spasms evolves, patients find new hope in improving their quality of life while living with ALS, nerve injuries, cerebral palsy and other debilitating conditions.

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