Leg cramps, aka charley horses, can be excruciating, and come on suddenly, shocking the sufferer. They can take place at any time, but most commonly occur during physical exertion or while sleeping. If you’re prone to charley horses, it might be time to look into giving delta-8-Tetrahydrocannabinol (delta-8 THC) a try.
While delta-8 THC is more well-known for its psychoactive effects, the reality is that its interaction with the body’s cannabinoid receptors allows delta-8 to regulate all kinds of important bodily processes, some of which may contribute to providing relief from this condition.
What are Leg Cramps?
A leg cramp is an involuntary and sudden contraction of the muscle, and while it can occur anywhere in the body, by far it most often occurs in the calf muscles. It can create sudden, extreme pain, and feel like the muscle is being twisted or squeezed.
Leg cramps often happen during physical exertion, when the muscle becomes fatigued. It can happen more frequently during extreme hot or cold temperatures, or when the body is dehydrated. It can also take place at night, due to the position of the leg while we sleep. Some people experience leg cramps due to poor circulation to the muscle.
How is Leg Cramping Usually Treated?
In most cases, leg cramps go away quickly – so quickly that the person doesn’t even have time to get treatment. Most often, the muscle contraction lasts for a few minutes, although in severe cases it can go on for hours or even days. If that’s the case, you should seek medical attention – if not just to get rid of the debilitating pain that can occur. In most cases, a prescription muscle relaxer can take care of the issue while also acting as a preventative.
If you’re experiencing frequent leg cramps, you might need to consider that there’s another issue going on, like chronic dehydration or poor circulation to the calf muscle. It can also be something as simple as putting more time into stretching before exercising, to warm up the muscle.
Is Delta-8 THC a Possible Solution When it Comes to Leg Cramping?
Even in 2022, more people are turning to delta-8 THC for all kinds of issues related to the muscles. Delta-8 was first discovered back in the 1960s, and acts as a mild psychoactive that’s about 30% less intoxicating than marijuana’s key cannabinoid, delta-9 THC. Delta-8 even offers a nice mellow high that can feel quite relaxing, but as a cannabinoid it can do a lot more than that.
Delta-8 THC is recognized to be quite useful as an analgesic, so it can have a desensitizing effect on pain receptors in the nervous system - how delta-8 works strongly on CB1 receptors in the nervous system compared to other cannabinoids found in hemp. This could help with the pain that’s associated with a leg cramp, but it may not stop the actual contraction of the muscle.
Whether or not delta-8 THC has a muscle relaxant effect remains to be seen. It’s not that there’s reason to believe it doesn’t, since other cannabinoids do seem to offer this effect, but instead that research on delta 8 is not as extensive as research on more well-known cannabinoids like CBD and delta 9 THC. Delta8’s generally soothing nature on the nervous system may clue us in that it can, in fact, ease tension in the muscles, but we are still waiting on verifiable clinical data to be able to make that sort of claim.
One thing we do gotta mention is that if you’re taking a prescription muscle relaxer for leg cramping, you might need to ask your doctor whether or not it’s safe to take delta-8 THC. You see, this cannabinoid may suppress an enzyme needed to metabolize certain medications, known as CYP3A4. Bottom line, your doctor can offer more information.