Updated on January 28, 2019. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Richard Koffler, MD, Board Certified Physiatrist
When you have dystonia, your muscles contract involuntarily, making it difficult to do daily tasks. A type of dystonia called focal dystonia causes these contractions to happen in a specific area, and most often occurs in the fingers and hands.
Like other muscle spasticity disorders, dystonia doesn’t have a cure. The world of standard medicine is still searching for a treatment that consistently provides relief, but advocates for natural solutions have found increasing evidence that marijuana medicine can reduce spasms when other medications don’t.
When choosing a medical marijuana product, you should keep in mind the strain of marijuana used to create it. And patients who use plain flower must prioritize the strain type when they get medicine.
Knowing the science behind marijuana and its strains can help you find the right medication. Understanding the connection between the types of marijuana strains and the two major cannabinoids is key to making an informed decision.
Marijuana contains many components called cannabinoids, but there are two major ones: tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Each has its own healing properties, but both can help patients dealing with pain and muscle spasms.
We categorize marijuana strains into three types:
Focal dystonia mainly causes muscle contractions and the resulting pain. So, strains with a good balance of THC and CBD would relieve these symptoms the most effectively. While each cannabinoid can address those symptoms on its own, they provide even more relief when used together.
Therefore, hybrid strains bred to have good amounts of both cannabinoids can relieve focal dystonia symptoms best. Balanced hybrid strains enhance cannabis’ benefits for folks with muscle spasms and pain. Plus, they tend to cause fewer side effects because THC and CBD minimize each other’s drawbacks.
You can still get benefits from indica or sativa strains if you need to adapt your treatment plan for other symptoms. Everyone reacts differently to cannabinoid ratios, so sometimes you need to try out different strains and medications to find the perfect fit.
Nothing beats the expertise of a professional in the medical marijuana industry. Doctors certified to recommend cannabis medicine can advise you on what will relieve your symptoms the best. During your shopping trip, the budtenders at your dispensary can teach you about the products available to you.