Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is one of the most disabling and sometimes painful sensorimotor ailment of the nervous system that has only in recent years become more widely accepted as a clinical disorder with its own distinct features. Usually, symptoms respond well to dopamine agonists, anticonvulsants, or opiates, but still a subset of patients remains refractory to medical therapy and/or reports serious side effects. Recently, patients’ statement of a remarkable and total remission of RLS symptoms following cannabis use has been reported. Here, we confirm and extend these findings to more patients with RLS. The antinociceptive effect of marijuana has been documented in many painful neurological conditions, and the potential benefit of cannabis use in patients with refractory RLS should therefore be questioned by robust clinical trials.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Megelin T, Ghorayeb I (2017) Cannabis for restless legs syndrome: a report of six patients. Sleep Med 36:182–183. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sleep.2017.04.019
Benarroch E (2007) Endocannabinoids in basal ganglia circuits: implications for Parkinson disease. Neurology 69(3):306–309. https://doi.org/10.1212/01.wnl.0000267407.79757.75
Mendiguren A, Aostri E, Pineda J (2018) Regulation of noradrenergic and serotonergic systems by cannabinoids: relevance to cannabinoid-induced effects. Life Sci 192:115–127. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lfs.2017.11.029
Bloomfield MA, Morgan CJ, Egerton A, Kapur S, Curran HV, Howes OD (2014) Dopaminergic function in cannabis users and its relationship to cannabis-induced psychotic symptoms. Biol Psychiatry 75(6):470–478. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsych.2013.05.027
Moreno E, Chiarlone A, Medrano M, Puigdellivol M, Bibic L, Howell LA, Resel E, Puente N, Casarejos MJ, Perucho J, Botta J, Suelves N, Ciruela F, Gines S, Galve-Roperh I, Casado V, Grandes P, Lutz B, Monory K, Canela EI, Lluis C, McCormick PJ, Guzman M (2018) Singular location and signaling profile of adenosine A2A-cannabinoid CB1 receptor heteromers in the dorsal striatum. Neuropsychopharmacology: official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology 43(5):964–977. https://doi.org/10.1038/npp.2017.12
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
About this article
Cite this article
Ghorayeb, I. More evidence of cannabis efficacy in restless legs syndrome. Sleep Breath 24, 277–279 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11325-019-01978-1