Anti-Aging & Medical Cannabis Blog

Many patients often ask if medical marijuana for muscle spasms works. The answer is yes, medical marijuana can help with muscle spasms. In fact, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society has found that medical marijuana can help with muscle spasms and spasticity.

Medical marijuana doesn’t just help for those that have long-term, chronic neuromuscular disease. The benefits of medical cannabis can also be experienced by those that are having more short-term muscle cramps and spasms. The same principles that make it effective for conditions like multiple sclerosis (MS) also make it effective for shorter term muscle issues.

What Causes A Muscle Spasm?

Muscle spasms are technically referred to as involuntary hypertonicity. You have probably seen professional football, baseball, and basketball players suffering from muscle spasms on TV. They also affect many millions of Americans on a daily basis. The pain felt from a muscle spasm is created by the sudden, involuntary contract of muscle tissue. The pain can last for a few seconds to several minutes. The milder version of muscle contractions are often referred to as cramps. It is possible for cramps to be caused by the following:

  • Insufficient stretching before physical activity
  • Muscle fatigue
  • Exercising in heated temperatures
  • Hormone imbalance or pregnancy
  • Dehydration
  • Electrolyte imbalances in potassium, magnesium, and calcium
  • Poor blood circulation
  • Excess weight
  • Prescription drug side effects
  • Age

Traditional Treatment For Muscle Spasms

There are many ways that muscle spasms may be treated depending upon their severity. One of the traditional ways to treat spasms is rest and rehydration. This may help with more mild spasms, but the more severe spasms that are often accompanied by significant pain do not typically respond to just rest and hydration.

The more severe muscle spasms may be caused by underlying conditions such as spinal cord injuries, degenerative conditions such as dystonia or Huntington’s disease, or a number of diseases of the nervous system such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and multiple sclerosis. These conditions may lead to spasticity, and cause muscles to remain in a state of continuous contraction, causing stiffness or tightness of the muscles and interfering with normal speech, movement and gait.

The treatment options for more severe muscle spasms often come with a laundry list of potential side effects. Potential side effects of these drugs include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Dry mouth
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Depression
  • Rash

Maryland Or Delaware Medical Marijuana For Muscle Spasms

To understand if medical marijuana is even an option in Maryland or Delaware for muscle spasms, we first need to understand what the law says about receiving medical marijuana. In order to access medical marijuana in Maryland or Delaware you need to submit an application with the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission or the Delaware Office of Medical Marijuana. This application is designed to do several things, but it primarily verifies that you are a resident of the state of Maryland. Once the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission or the Delaware Office of Medical Marijuana has reviewed your application and approved they will issue you a medial ID number. At this time you will then need to go to a certified medical cannabis provider to receive your certification for a medical marijuana card.

When you are prepared to speak with a medical marijuana doctor you will need evidence of a qualifying condition to receive medical cannabis in Maryland or Delaware. The good news is that severe or persistent muscle spasms is a qualifying condition for medical marijuana. In this case you would just need something in your medical records to show that you suffer from muscle spasms and you could qualify for Maryland or Delaware medical cannabis.

Medical Marijuana For Muscle Spasms

Ok, so now that we know you can get medical marijuana for muscle spasms in Maryland or Delaware the question is how it can help. The primary way it can help is by interacting with our body’s endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system is a complex network of receptors located throughout the body in areas such as the brain, muscles, bones, skin, nervous system, digestive system, and more. The system works as a signaling system in the body to produce balance.

A study by the University of South Carolina found that cannabinoids such as THC bind with cannabinoid receptors within the human endocannabinoid system to reduce levels of inflammatory proteins. Reduced levels of these proteins in turn results in a suppression of the spasm response. Other studies have examined the effectiveness of THC and CBD combination therapies to decrease muscle spasticity and suppress neuroinflammation.

Other studies have shown that medical marijuana can significantly reduce pain associated with spasticity. One particular study found that smoked cannabis was an extremely effective way to reduce pain related to muscle spasms.

Medical Marijuana And Muscle Recovery

While medical marijuana has been shown to have significant abilities to help with severe muscle spasm issues, it also has the ability to treat less severe forms of muscle pain. The anti-inflammatory properties of medical marijuana are not only useful for diseases such as MS but can also help with more common muscle pains and inflammation.

There are a growing number of professional athletes for instance that have touted the medicinal anti-inflammatory benefits of medical marijuana for muscle inflammation and pain. In particular, many are turning to a component of medical marijuana, CBD, for relief. CBD or cannabidiol is a part of the marijuana plant and has strong anti-pain and anti-inflammatory properties.

As professional and elite athletes endorse CBD compounds for muscle recovery and pain management, even major professional sports leagues are reexamining their position on the use of medical marijuana for pain management and workout recovery. In recognition of these changes, the World Anti-Doping Agency removed CBD from its list of banned substances in 2018. So, you can see there are recognized benefits for medical cannabis now even in the world of professional sports.

Medical Marijuana For Muscle Spasms Takeaways

The evidence is clear that medical marijuana is able to help with both pain and inflammation that is related to and caused by muscles spasms. The states of Maryland and Delaware specifically acknowledges muscle spasms as a qualifying condition for medical marijuana because of its ability to help with this often debilitating problem. If you are suffering from muscles spasms or cramps it is clear that there is an alternative for you.

The team at Green Relief Health is here to help you with those muscle cramps or chronic pain, by helping guide you through the Maryland or Delaware medical marijuana qualification process. To find out more, give Green Relief Health‘s certified medical marijuana doctors a call at (410) 368-0420 or (302) 564-9994. Our experienced team is always available to help!


Ryan Nawrocki