Dystonia is a neurological movement disorder characterized by abnormal muscle tension and involuntary, painful muscle contractions and spasms. It can effect any part of the body but the most common are the eyes, hands, shoulders/neck and legs. Sometimes it can affect the entire body or one whole side. The spasms, which can be mild or severe, can interfere with performing day-to-day tasks
Symptoms of Dystonia
Limbs or torso take on an abnormal, twisted posture
A foot, leg or arm can turn inwards
Body parts can jerk rapidly
Causes of Dystonia
Primary dystonia, where muscle spasms are the only symptom and there is no other associated condition, is usually inherited. It is caused by a part of the brain called the basal ganglia and unbalanced dopamine levels which affects the movement of certain muscle groups. There is also something called secondary dystonia which is caused by things like stroke, brain injury, infection of the brain and Parkinsons.
Cannabis and Dystonia
Cannabis is shown to help with Dystonia. The two active ingredients in marijuana, THC and CBD activate the CB1 and CB2 receptors of the endocannabinoid system, which in turn regulate the excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitters necessary to ease muscle tremors and jerky movements. The positive effects that cannabis has on spasticity (muscle contractions) are across the board from dystonia, multiple sclerosis and parkinson’s. The recommended method is through concentrate oil or topicals
CBD or THC
THC has been shown to be particulariy helpful in the treatment of focal dystonia (which affects the eyes). But researchers found that treatments with CBD (with small amounts of THC) caused significant improvements in both a 65 year old woman and a 31 year old man suffering from dystonia. Many people who use cannabis to help with the symptoms of their dystonia also report having decreased levels of stress and anxiety. Cannabis can also act as a sleep aid and mood regulator.
Many people feel that using cannabis to help with the side effects of Dystonia may be the most effective tool available for managing the condition in any effective, long term manner.
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