I have muscle spasms from a spinal cord injury after a car crash. Can using marijuana help reduce spasms or stop them?
3 years ago
I've taken various meds, including Zanaflex, but want to try marijuana. The side effects can be pretty intense from the different medications and I would like to try something else if possible. How does marijuana help reduce spasms if at all and would the doctors there recommend it for someone like me? If so, what should I take and how much?
Answer - Dr Patricia Frye
Cannabis is a potent anti-spasmotic and is often recommended to relieve muscle spasms that occur for any number of reasons. Patients with painful muscle cramps caused by neuromuscular diseases such as multiple sclerosis experience great relief with cannabis, as do patients with other conditions such as twitches, achalasia (spasms of the esophagus), and muscle fasciculations. Since both CBD and THC are muscle relaxants, it’s best to try a cannabis variety that has a little of both. They will synergize each others potency. This is especially important if you want the benefit of maximum muscle relaxation without the psychoactivity that might cause mental impairment and interfere with your productivity. Start low and go slow. Cannabis, unlike most pharmaceuticals, works better at low to moderate doses than at high doses. Less is more! This means start with 1-2 measures - drops or puffs, and wait to see how your body responds. With inhalation, wait 5-10 minutes before assessing the need to add more, and with tinctures, wait 15-20 minutes. So, add 1-2 puffs or drops at the appropriate intervals. Once you have determined the amount necessary to alleviate the spasm, start with that dose the next time your symptoms flare up. Remember, fast in, fast out. Inhaled medication lasts about 2-4 hours, while the effects of tinctures can last 6-8 hours.