The 7 Ways CBD Oil Helps Foot Problems
Pain is pain no matter what part of the body is affected by it. But when pain originates in the foot, it can be life-altering by affecting your mobility and preventing you from enjoying routine daily activities, such as shopping, taking your kids to the park and exercising.
According to a recent American Podiatric Medical Associates study, nearly 80 percent of adult Americans have experienced a foot problem. Sources of foot pain range from bunions and ill-fitting shoes to more severe ailments, such as Achilles tendonitis, arthritis and diabetic neuropathy.
Regardless of its source, almost 50 percent of people with foot ailments choose over-the-counter products for relief, while 25 percent do nothing. One increasingly popular alternative to chasing away foot pain is with cannabidiol (CBD) products. Recent studies have found that transdermal (topical) CBD significantly reduced joint swelling and pain without adverse side effects. That’s great news for those managing foot pain but how does it work?
How CBD Oil Works Against Pain and Inflammation
Hemp-derived CBD oil interacts directly with receptors in our endocannabinoid system. Also known as the ECS, the endocannabinoid system is a network of receptors responsible for regulating vital functions such as sleep cycles, inflammatory response, and stress levels.
The action of CBD oil on the ECS has a full-body effect that may also help manage foot problems due to its anti-inflammatory and pain-reducing properties. Hemp-derived CBD also has the added benefit of providing temporary relief without the psychoactive properties inherent with products containing THC. In fact, hemp-derived CBD oil must have 0.3 percent or less THC content as mandated by law.
Although all high-quality CBD oils have anti-inflammatory properties and can be effective in treating a variety of symptoms related to foot pain, certain administration likely yields the fastest results when used for seven common foot problems.
7 Common Foot Problems
There are hundreds of conditions that can be classified as foot problems, and this list is far from exhaustive, but some of the most common are described below along with recommended CBD products that may help alleviate pain and inflammation.
1. Achilles Tendinitis and other forms of Tendonitis– is an injury of the Achilles tendon that connects the calf muscles of the lower leg to your heel bone. It’s a common injury among runners who overdo it during training and among people who run moderately but are in not-so-good shape.
Achilles tendinitis pain typically begins as a dull ache in the calf and or the back of the leg. At times, it can intensify if there is not enough time given for the injury to heal or if the tendon tears, which would then require special medical attention. The properties of hemp-derived CBD oil to reduce pain and inflammation may help this type of injury.
2. Diabetic neuropathy- is a type of nerve damage that can occur if you have diabetes. High blood sugar (glucose) can injure nerves throughout your body. Diabetic neuropathy most often damages nerves in your legs and feet. It develops gradually and is comprised of four main types of this condition:
- Peripheral neuropathy-feet and legs affected first followed by hands and arms
- Autonomic neuropathy-affects neural system controlling heart, lungs bladder, etc.
- Proximal neuropathy- also called diabetic amyotrophy, this condition is more common in people who have type 2 diabetes and in older adults
- Mononeuropathy-comes on suddenly and involves damage to a specific nerve, causing pain in the foot, thigh or anywhere else in the body
Diabetic neuropathy can cause a wide range of serious foot problems, such as ulcers, infections, deformities, and bone and joint pain. Diabetic neuropathy is a serious complication of diabetes that affects up to 50 percent of people with the condition.
Besides people who have diabetes, those who are substantially overweight, smoke or who have kidney disease are also at risk for diabetic neuropathy. Hemp-derived CBD oil can help with pain management, inflammation management and neuroprotection of the foot.
3. Gout- is a form of arthritis resulting from a buildup of excess uric acid in the bloodstream. Uric acid crystals eventually form in the joints, especially around the big toe and cause swelling and intense pain.
The tendency to experience a gout attack can be an inherited trait but it can also be brought on by high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, surgery, chemotherapy, stress and certain medications. Limiting consumption of certain foods and drinks may reduce your chances of getting gout. Limiting or avoiding shellfish, organ meats (kidney, liver, etc.), red wine, beer, and red meat are good ways to start.
Hemp-derived CBD oil can help with pain management, inflammation management and neuroprotection of the foot and joints. Recommended CBD products include CBD with capsaicin, Pain Cream with CBD & Lidocaine, Warming CBD Salve, CBD Pain Patch
4. Degenerative Hallux Disorders-In addition to its tendency for getting stubbed, your big toe (great toe or hallux in medical terminology) is susceptible to a number of painful conditions including:
- degenerative arthritis (hallux rigidus)
- bunions (hallux valgus)
- traumatic conditions (sesamoiditis or turf toe)
Pain and inflammation management often calls for cold or heat compresses, change of diet or surgery. When symptoms are mild or easily managed, a high-quality CBD oil topical may provide temporary relief without the side effects of OTC analgesics or prescribed medications.
5. Heel Pain, Plantar Fasciitis- Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. Almost one third of US adult respondents to a recent survey cited heel pain as the primary source of their foot pain. Heel pain happens when inflammation occurs with a thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes (plantar fascia).
Plantar fasciitis most commonly occurs in people with high arches or flat feet. It can also happen to people who spend long hours on their feet without the proper supportive footwear.
Anti-inflammatory and pain relieving properties of CBD may help to manage the symptoms as well as to suppress the inflammation that causes the pain.
6. Neuroma – is a painful condition, also referred to as a “pinched nerve” or a nerve tumor. It is a benign growth of nerve tissue frequently found between the third and fourth toes. It brings on pain, a burning sensation, tingling, or numbness between the toes and in the ball of the foot. The most common cause of neuroma is wearing ill-fitting shoes, high heels or shoes with a tapered toe box.
The good news is that mild neuromas can be managed with padding, orthopedic devices or modifying your activities that put pressure on your feet. CBD oil can help with pain management, inflammation management and neuroprotection.
7. Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome-Tarsal tunnel syndrome is a compression, or squeezing, on the posterior tibial nerve that produces symptoms anywhere along the path of the nerve running from the inside of the ankle into the foot. In layman’s terms, if you have tarsal tunnel syndrome, you have painfully swollen ankles and feet.
Tarsal tunnel syndrome is similar to carpal tunnel syndrome, which occurs in the wrist. CBD oil can help with pain management, inflammation management and neuroprotection.
Our feet have 25 percent of all the bones in our bodies – 52 bones in all. With 33 joints, 107 ligaments, and 19 muscles and multiple tendons holding everything together, the foot is susceptible to a variety of injuries and ailments likely to cause pain and immobility. Hemp-derived CBD oil has been shown to have beneficial properties lessening the severity of inflammation and pain.
When pain and inflammation can’t be alleviated by taking off shoes and kicking your heels up, CBD oil products may provide relief in a more holistic, natural way without the side effects of over the counter and prescribed medications.
CBD Oil for Muscle Spasms: Is Cannabidiol an Effective Treatment?
CBD is a great way to relieve the symptoms of muscle spasms.
In this article, we will be looking at the best CBD for muscle spasms.
We’ll cover how it works, what dose to use, what forms work best, and what side-effects to watch out for.
What Are Muscle Spasms?
Muscle spasms, also known as muscle cramps, are the result of involuntary contractions. Muscle spasms can become an issue if they cannot be relaxed naturally.
Anyone can suffer from muscle spasms with the most common muscle groups being the thighs, claws, arms, hands, and feet.
Pain levels range from mild annoyance to severe pain.
When you suffer from muscle spasms, the affected muscle may feel harder and look distorted. This is due to the involuntary contractions. These spasms can last a few seconds to 10 minutes or more.
Muscle spasms can happen at any time to people of all ages. When you’re exercising, sitting still, sleeping, or even walking to the shop you can experience these cramps.
Some people suffer more than others. People with diabetes, anemia, MS, spinal injuries, or kidney disease can suffer more from this issue than people in good health.
What Causes Muscle Spasms?
Whether you suffer from the above ailments or not, there are a few common issues that can cause muscle spasms. See the list below.
- Insufficient stretching before physical activity
- Muscle fatigue
- Physical activity in hot climates
- Electrolyte imbalances
- Too much caffeine
- Exhaustion and lack of sleep
- Certain prescription medications
Methods to Reduce or Prevent Muscle Spasms
As well as using CBD for muscle spasms there are some ways you can reduce or prevent the spasms entirely. Of course, if you suffer from a disease, illness, or take medication that causes muscle spasms, these pointers may not help.
If you regularly suffer from muscle spasms, then implementing a few of the points below may help you:
- Stay hydrated
- Make sure to stretch before strenuous activity
- Try and lower your stress levels (CBD is great for this)
- Get a full 8 hours rest at night
- Take mineral supplements that include magnesium, potassium, and sodium
- If prescription meds are causing issues, speak with your doctor about alternatives
- Cut down on the caffeine
- Avoid over-exercising
Muscle Spasms & the Endocannabinoid System
The endocannabinoid system is made up of cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2. It’s a complex cell-signaling system that was first identified in the 1990s.
Regardless of whether you use CBD or other cannabis products, this system is part of everyone’s biology.
Endocannabinoids are cannabinoids made inside the body. They help regulate a range of functions and processes. See the list below for a few of these.
- Mood and emotion
- Immune response
In the same way that endocannabinoids interact with the body, cannabinoids from the hemp plant do as well — including CBD. They do this by interacting with CB1 and CB2 receptors.
CB1 receptors have been identified predominantly in the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord). They’ve also been found in connective tissues, the intestines, gonads, and other peripheral organs.
CB2 receptors have been identified in white blood cells, the spleen, tonsils, thymus, and lymphatic system.
CBD and other cannabinoids interact with these receptors. Studies have shown that CBD impacts receptor activity. They can interact with neurotransmitters, reduce inflammation, and aid in pain relief.
When a muscle contracts, causing cramps and spasms, it’s because of a chemical message from the central nervous system. The body’s endocannabinoid system can take care of this and reduce contractions and pain.
If the body struggles to produce enough endocannabinoids to stop these chemical signals, then muscle spasms will continue to cause discomfort.
This is where CBD comes in.
CBD interacts with the CB1 receptors in the central nervous system and effectively slows the chemical signals that are causing the spasms .
This results in muscle relaxation and fewer muscle contractions. Pain relief coincides with these effects.
Can CBD Relieve Muscle Spasms?
As mentioned in the last section, CBD interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system to relieve muscle spasms and the pain associated with it.
CBD Relaxes the Muscles
CBD is a great muscle relaxant. Unlike painkillers, muscle relaxants work to solve the issue of muscle cramps rather than just numbing the pain that results from it.
The beauty of CBD is that it gets to the root of the problem and influences the chemical signals that cause muscle spasms (as mentioned in the last section).
Unlike spasmolytic and neuromuscular blockers, CBD has few negative side effects and works with your body’s natural functions rather than against them.
Spasmolytic muscle relaxants are particularly dangerous, especially for older people. They can increase heart rate, and blood pressure, and can be incredibly addictive as this type of medication is part of the opioid group.
CBD certainly isn’t dangerous, doesn’t increase the heart rate, and there are no documented cases of addiction to the cannabinoid.
CBD Reduces Stress
CBD helps reduce stress which can be a trigger for muscle spasms.
There is a lot to say about CBD reducing stress and anxiety . The cannabinoid is commonly used to help these problems by people all over the world.
Although stress is not directly related to muscle spasms, it can be one of the reasons you’re experiencing these issues.
It’s important to address the cause of an issue. If stress is giving you muscle spasms, you should work toward reducing or eliminating it completely. Lowering stress levels using CBD could be a great long-term treatment if stress is the cause.
CBD Can Aid Sleep
Lack of sleep and exhaustion can cause muscles to spasm. CBD can help you get to sleep faster and achieve a full nights’ rest.
If you struggle with sleep, high-doses of CBD before bedtime can help you doze off into a deep sleep. Stress is often the cause of lack of sleep, so both factors go hand in hand.
Some research shows that CBD can have an effect on cortisol levels .
Cortisol regulates your sleep cycle. Some people (particularly insomnia sufferers) have high levels of cortisol at night which keeps them awake.
Taking high doses of CBD at night can decrease cortisol levels, getting you to sleep easier and faster.
CBD Aids Muscle Recovery
CBD is believed to aid in muscle recovery . Many athletes and fitness fanatics use CBD as it can speed up the muscle recovery process.
If you’re experiencing muscle spasms after exercise or excessive physical activity, this benefit will help you get instant and long-term relief.
During strenuous exercise, the muscles tear and rebuild during the recovery period. During this period some people experience cramping and spasms. If you can recover more efficiently you will experience less discomfort.
How Much CBD to Take for Muscle Spasms?
High-potency CBD oil is the best treatment for muscle spasms.
How much you take will depend on you and how your body reacts to the CBD. If you’ve never used CBD before it’s best to start small and work your way up.
The dosage needed to stop muscle spasms will vary from person to person, so a bit of self-experimentation is needed to find your balance. Steadily increase your dosages until you get the effect you’re looking for.
Oils are the easiest way to find out how many milligrams of CBD you need to control muscle spasms. You can adjust the dosage by increasing or decreasing the drops of oil taken.
Final Thoughts: Does CBD Work for Muscle Spasms?
CBD is a great way to reduce muscle spasms and pain you may have as a result of them. Unlike other muscle relaxants and painkillers, CBD has few negative effects on your body and is a natural product.
As well as solving the problem directly, CBD has a number of benefits that work together to reduce muscle spasms for the long-term.
If you got to the end of this read, you’ll know exactly how CBD can help muscle spasms and what to look for when it comes time to purchase a treatment.
If you have any questions about CBD and muscle spasms, please comment down below.
Thanks for reading.
References Used in This Article
- Shenglong Zou and Ujendra Kumar. (2018). Cannabinoid Receptors and the Endocannabinoid System: Signaling and Function in the Central Nervous System. International journal of molecular science,19(3): 833.
- Esther M. Blessing, Maria M. Steenkamp, Jorge Manzanares, and Charles R. Marmar. (2015). Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders. Springer Neurotherapeutics, 12(4): 825–836.
- Scott Shannon, Nicole Lewis, Heather Lee, and Shannon Hughes. (2019). Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series. The Permanente Journal, 23: 18-041.
- Danielle McCartney, Melissa J. Benson, Ben Desbrow, Christopher Irwin, Anastasia Suraev, and Iain S. McGregor. (2020). Cannabidiol and Sports Performance: a Narrative Review of Relevant Evidence and Recommendations for Future Research. Springer Sports Medicine-Open, 6: 27.
Livvy is a registered nurse (RN) and board-certified nurse midwife (CNM) in the state of New Jersey. After giving birth to her newborn daughter, Livvy stepped down from her full-time position at the Children’s Hospital of New Jersey. This gave her the opportunity to spend more time writing articles on all topics related to pregnancy and prenatal care.
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Can CBD Help Stop Leg Cramps?
It’s never a pleasant feeling, waking up in the middle of the night to the sharp, sudden tightness of a leg cramp. While cramp may, on the surface, be a minor medical issue, the pain can occur randomly and last for hours, compromising one’s ability to stand or relax.
CBD has been touted as a potential remedy to stop leg cramps, but what does the research say about its usefulness?
While explicit clinical evidence studying leg cramps is lacking, CBD has proven itself a valuable anti-inflammatory. CBD products can indirectly help relieve pain associated with leg cramps and muscle spasms by diminishing the sensation of pain rather than soothing the muscle’s tension. And unlike other muscle relaxants and painkillers, CBD is a natural remedy with virtually zero adverse effects on the body.
Download Free Guide to CBD
What Causes Leg Cramps?
Leg cramps, also known as muscle fits or spasms, are a sudden, uncontrollable contraction of the muscles in the leg. They predominantly affect the calf muscles, though leg cramps also occur in the thighs and hamstrings.
While sometimes leg cramps happen for no apparent reason (called idiopathic leg cramps), other probable causes of muscle cramps include:
- Long hours of muscle stillness
- Too much muscle strain
- Inadequate stretching before physical exertion
In rare conditions, muscle cramps could be a potential symptom of more severe concerns, such as liver disease or a reaction to a medication. If the cramps continue for longer than 10 minutes despite attempts to unclench the muscle, or they occur after encountering a toxic substance, it’s worth seeking medical attention.
How CBD Helps Relieve Leg Cramps
CBD interacts with the body via the endocannabinoid system (ECS) , which substantially regulates how we experience pain. CB1 and CB2 are spread throughout the brain and body, and the body’s natural endocannabinoids interact with these receptors to maintain homeostasis.
When one consumes CBD oil, the CBD acts on the ECS receptors by modifying how they bind to cannabinoids. In effect, CBD enhances the capacity of the ECS to do its job. It extends the concentration of anandamide , the body’s “bliss” molecule, in the body for longer, allowing it to reduce pain sensations and soothe inflammation in the damaged muscle.
To note: CBD doesn’t bind to CB1 or CB2 receptors in the way THC does. CBD is, in scientific terms, what is known as a non-competitive negative allosteric modulator . Put, CBD dampens or blunts CB1 receptors, making them less receptive to THC and anandamide.
CBD does not intoxicate or produce paranoia via overconsumption like THC does, and it’s virtually impossible to overdo it. You can use as much as needed to get pain relief, and there are a variety of consumption options available for those seeking to use CBD oil for leg cramps.
Vaping CBD oil via a cartridge is perhaps the fastest way to introduce it to the bloodstream via the lungs. Once inhaled, CBD circulates through the body and quickly reaches the pain sensors in the brain, helping to reduce inflammation and anxiety while relaxing the leg muscles.
Dosing CBD oil with sublingual drops is another faster-acting option to attain relief from muscle cramps. Start with a few drops placed under the tongue and swallow after five seconds.
Topicals are another popular option for fast-acting leg cramp relief. With topicals, the CBD interacts directly with the ECS in your skin to provide relief. Massaging the affected area with a CBD oil lotion or gel will quickly ease the pain and last five to six hours from application.
Does cannabidiol have different effects at different dosages? The Biphasic Effects of CBD
Yes, CBD does have different effects at different doses. CBD can have more stimulating effects in low doses (around 20 mg or under). At higher doses (around 40 mg – 50 mg +), CBD has more sedative effects.
By blunting CB1 receptors, CBD can increase the amount of anandamide available in the blood. It has a similar effect when used in combination with THC, where using low to moderate doses of CBD with higher doses of THC can both reduce the “high” of THC and elongate its effects. This is because CB1 receptors aren’t “soaking up,” processing and eventually breaking down the THC/anandamide.
Alternative Ways to Get Relief
Besides CBD, there are other options to achieve relief from leg cramps, though they may not be as fast-acting or effective.
Doctors often prescribe pain relievers or muscle relaxants to address chronic pain and cramps , though they have their share of side effects. Prescription drugs are another alternative, though there is no recommended medication to cure cramps specifically.
Stretching, foam rolling, yoga , massage, or the use of a heating pad may all be valuable tools in releasing the tension in a muscle cramp if CBD oil or painkillers aren’t nearby.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is CBD oil a good muscle relaxant?
CBD oil helps to relax muscles by way of its anti-inflammatory properties. By interacting with the ECS, CBD slows the reuptake of endocannabinoids and allows the body to quickly repair tense muscles and soothe the pain associated with muscle tension.
Does CBD oil help with restless leg or leg cramps?
Yes, CBD oil can help soothe the pain and inflammation that go hand in hand with leg cramps. And while the evidence is lacking, anecdotal reports suggest that CBD also may help calm the spasms associated with restless leg syndrome.
Article written by
Shanti Ryle Content Writer
Shanti Ryle is a content marketer with more than half a decades’ experience writing about cannabis science and culture. Her work has been featured in Forbes, Weedmaps News/Marijuana.com, Wall Street Journal, and other publications.
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