Restless Legs Syndrome

Restless legs syndrome medical cannabis treatment

Restless legs syndrome, or Willis-Ekbom disease, is a condition that affects the nervous system and causes a person to experience uncontrollable urges to move their legs. This often greatly impacting their ability to carry out their day-to-day activities and ability to relax and get a good night's rest, which can have devastating consequences for a person's quality of life. However, recently in the UK, medical cannabis has emerged as a new treatment option for patients with restless legs syndrome if other conventional treatment approaches have failed to meet their needs.

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More than 80% of those with restless legs syndrome also encounter periodic limb movements (PLM) according to the NHS.


Between 5 and 10% of the population in the UK, the US, and in Europe, are affected by restless legs syndrome, say NICE.


An 80% improvement in quality of sleep was reported using medical cannabis oil in a double-blind placebo-controlled trial.

Over ⅔

Of UK adults would consider medical cannabis treatments, according to Releaf’s representative research.

“Having a medical cannabis card makes me feel better - and that counts“

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Daisy, Releaf Patient

October 2023

Am I eligible?

Articles on Restless legs syndrome

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06. 09. 2023

Is medical cannabis effective in managing pain?

If you are looking for a complementary pain management solution to add to your existing treatment plan, you are anything but alone. Right here in the UK, around 34% of the population (that's close to 15.5 million people) are affected by chronic pain. Chronic pain is an unwelcome passenger on the journey for many patients living with long-term medical conditions, and is a common symptom of countless diseases and illnesses.


Need or urge to move your legs

A tingling feeling

A burning sensation

A throbbing sensation

Feeling itchy or shivery.


Trouble sleeping

Disturbed sleeping

If you are suffering from any of these symptoms. Please speak with your GP to find out more.

Treatment options:

So long as Restless legs syndrome is not linked to another underlying condition, it can usually be managed by making lifestyle changes such as daily exercise, avoiding stimulants in the evening and having a sound sleeping routine. If symptoms are persistent or frequent, common restless legs syndrome treatments include dopamine agonists, painkillers and sleep-aids.







Find out if you may be eligible for medical cannabis restless legs syndrome treatments here
Am I eligible?

A word from our specialist

“Many conditions that lead to chronic pain often respond poorly to conventional pharmaceutical medications. More and more is being understood about how the endocannabinoid system interacts with the more well-known pain pathways to work synergistically with these conventional medications. Chronic pain comes with a variety of associated symptoms such as poor sleep, fatigue, brain fog and reduced appetite – all of which treatment with medical cannabis can improve.“
Dr David Tang

Clinic Director

Are medical cannabis restless legs syndrome treatments available in the UK?

When people with restless legs syndrome are not responding to the conventional or licensed treatments typically used by the NHS, life can become very difficult to manage. For these patients, medical cannabis may be an option worth exploring, and it is an option made available to them at Releaf. 

This is because cannabis-based treatments have demonstrated promising potential in treating movement disorders like restless legs syndrome because of their positive effects on regulating motor function, sleep, and emotional wellbeing. 

Because restless legs syndrome commonly disrupts patient’s bedtime routines and affects their ability to fall asleep, or stay asleep throughout the night, medical cannabis’ sedative effects can prove useful to assist in getting a good night's rest.

When our bodies are less tired, they operate at a higher functionality, and so we’re often able to cope better with emotional stress, or the impact or health can have on our day-to-day lives. 

Although further research is required to fully explore the impact medical cannabis treatments can have on restless legs syndrome, for now the evidence appears promising, and anecdotal data shows this course of treatment can have incredibly beneficial results for some. 

To find out if restless legs syndrome medical cannabis treatments may be able to benefit you, fill out our eligibility checker here.

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