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Cannabidiol (CBD) is an active compound drawn from the Cannabis plant. It’s nonintoxicating, meaning it won’t get you “high.” It’s also growing in popularity, thanks to its slew of therapeutic benefits for conditions like epilepsy and anxiety.

Can it help with restless legs syndrome (RLS) while it’s at it? The short answer is: maybe.

Keep reading to learn more about the limited research on CBD’s effect on RLS, and see our picks for the best CBD oils.

We selected these products based on criteria we think are good indicators of safety, quality, and transparency. Each product in this article:

  • is made by a company that provides proof of third-party testing by an ISO 17025-compliant lab
  • is made by a company that discloses the source of their hemp
  • contains no more than 0.3 percent THC, according to the certificate of analysis (COA)
  • passes tests for pesticides, heavy metals, and molds, according to the COA

As a part of our selection process, we also considered:

  • the company’s certifications and manufacturing processes
  • product potency
  • overall ingredients
  • indicators of user trust and brand reputation, such as:

Keep in mind that these oils don’t have any added ingredients or properties that make them particularly better at easing RLS symptoms than other oils. Rather, we chose them because we think they’re high quality overall.

Pricing guide

  • $ = under $50
  • $$ = over $50

Best CBD isolate oil for RLS

Lazarus Naturals Flavorless High Potency CBD Tincture

  • Price: $
  • CBD type: isolate
  • CBD potency: 1,500 milligrams per 30-milliliter bottle
  • COA: available online

This pick is a CBD isolate oil. It offers a combination of high potency and plain taste, making it a good choice for those who want to mix their oil into food or drinks.

It’s also formulated with organic coconut medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil, which means it may not work for those with tree nut allergies.

Lazarus Naturals has a substantial assistance program — offering 60 percent off most of their product line for veterans, low income households, and those on long-term disability.

Use code “Healthline10” for 10% off your first order. One-time use only.

Best broad-spectrum CBD oil for RLS

Medterra Ultra Broad Spectrum CBD

  • Price: $$
  • CBD type: broad-spectrum
  • CBD potency: 2,000 milligrams per 30-milliliter bottle
  • COA: available online

This is a broad-spectrum CBD tincture, meaning it has the added benefits of additional cannabinoids and natural terpenes.

It’s also made without genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and with organic MCT oil (coconut-derived oil).

It comes with a dropper applicator to help with measuring your correct dosage. You can choose among strawberry mint, citrus, or unflavored options.

Use code “health15” for 15% off.

Best full-spectrum CBD oil for RLS

Cornbread Hemp Distilled CBD Oil

  • Price: $$
  • CBD type: full-spectrum
  • CBD potency: 750 milligrams per 30-milliliter bottle
  • COA: available online

Cornbread Hemp describes this oil as one with a smooth, mild flavor, best for daytime use.

This oil is U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) certified organic and is made using hemp flowers only — which means it’s made without stems, stalks, leaves, or seeds. Some say that provides a cleaner taste.

Cornbread Hemp products come with a 30-day guarantee.

Use code “HEALTHLINE” for 25% off your first order.

Right now, there’s extremely limited research on CBD and RLS. Here’s what we know so far.

Dopamine synthesis

According to the Center for Restless Legs Syndrome at Johns Hopkins, it’s possible that RLS is associated with a disruption in the brain’s dopamine pathways.

A small 2019 study looked at smoking cannabis and its effects on RLS. The research showed that chronic cannabis use is linked with lowered dopamine synthesis capacity. This may explain the reported effectiveness of cannabis in RLS.

Keep in mind that this study focused on cannabis overall, rather than CBD specifically.

Anecdotal evidence

A 2021 study that looked at reasons for CBD use showed that 5 percent of people in the study used it for RLS.

Other anecdotal evidence also suggests some people may find relief from RLS with CBD.

Another 2019 paper noted that numerous people report using cannabis for RLS. However, as the paper points out, there would need to be robust clinical trials before one can confidently say that cannabis helps with RLS.

More recently, a 2022 study looked at the effects of CBD on RLS in patients with Parkinson’s disease. It looked at six subjects and found that CBD didn’t improve the symptoms of RLS any more than the placebo did.

There isn’t much hard science behind CBD for RLS. But if you still want to try it, it’s probably fine to do. Just make sure you’re aware of the potential side effects and speak with a healthcare professional first.

Taking CBD oil is pretty easy. First, you’ll want to shake the bottle to make sure it has a nice consistency. Most oils will come with a dropper so you can place the oil directly under your tongue. Keep it there for at least 30 seconds before you swallow.

You can mix some oils into food or drinks if you prefer, but this may affect absorption.

Proper serving sizes for CBD differ quite a bit and depend on individual factors, according to a 2012 review. These include:

  • body weight
  • intended use
  • metabolism
  • body chemistry

Finding the dosage that works best for you may take some trial and error. It’s always a good idea to start slowly, looking at the product’s recommended dose or the dosage you and a healthcare professional talked about.

You can always increase the dose and frequency until you’ve reached the results you’re looking for. But again, it’s best to chat with a healthcare professional first.

Generally, doses can be taken at least 4 to 6 hours apart, any time of day. However, if you’re looking to ease nighttime RLS symptoms, take it at least 1 hour before bed.

A 2017 review suggests that CBD just may improve insomnia as well, encouraging restful sleep.

When you’re looking for CBD oil, keep in mind that not all CBD products are created with the same high quality practices and testing.

The FDA has yet to approve any over-the-counter CBD products, so the best way to shop is to take the time to carefully research before you buy any products.

Here are some general things to look for:

  • Product testing. Make sure your product comes with an up-to-date, comprehensive COA from a reputable third-party lab. This is very important, as the COA shows whether the product contains as much CBD and THC as the label claims. This will also show if the product passed tests for contaminants like mold, pesticides, and heavy metals.
  • Company transparency. The best, most responsible CBD brands will be direct about where their hemp is grown and how they produce their products.
  • Ingredient list. Take a close look at the ingredients before you buy. This way, you can scan for anything you may be allergic to. You can also check for added ingredients that may be helpful for the condition you’re looking to treat.
  • Brand reputation. It’s possible that the CBD company you’re shopping may have pending lawsuits or FDA warning letters. Some quick searches before you click “buy” can help you avoid these brands.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), CBD is largely thought to be safe. Still, some people may experience side effects, like:

  • fatigue
  • diarrhea
  • changes in appetite
  • changes in weight

It’s a good idea to talk with your doctor before trying any CBD product, especially if you’re taking any medications. CBD may interact with some medications.

It’s always best to be careful when testing out any new-to-you products. Look closely at the ingredient list before you use the product, to avoid any potential allergic reactions.

Avoid CBD if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.

Can CBD help restless legs syndrome?

Right now, there isn’t much research on CBD for RLS. But some anecdotal evidence suggests it may help. If you want to try CBD for RLS, talk with your doctor first.

Can CBD make RLS worse?

There isn’t any evidence that CBD can worsen RLS.

What is the best CBD for RLS?

There’s no one CBD product that works best for RLS. Instead, you’ll want to focus on finding a high quality product that comes with an up-to-date, comprehensive COA.

What is isolate vs. full-spectrum CBD?

CBD isolate contains CBD alone — there are no added cannabinoids in it.

Full-spectrum CBD contains CBD as well as other cannabinoids, including THC, CBG, and CBN. It might also contain flavonoids and terpenes.

In other words, with full-spectrum CBD, no cannabinoids are removed.

What is THC?

THC is the main psychoactive compound found in cannabis. Keep in mind that it can cause a “high” depending on the amount you ingest.

Typically, the amounts of THC in CBD products are so small they cannot make you feel intoxicated.

What is broad-spectrum CBD?

Broad-spectrum CBD contains CBD as well as some other cannabinoids. However, certain cannabinoids — usually THC — are purposefully removed from the product.

What do full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD contain?

Full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD can contain these compounds:

  • proteins
  • fatty acids
  • chlorophyll
  • fiber
  • flavonoids
  • terpenes

Research about CBD’s effectiveness on RLS is very limited right now. However, some anecdotal evidence suggests it may help ease RLS symptoms.

Talk with your doctor before trying CBD and be sure to shop for your CBD oil carefully.

Is CBD legal? The 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp from the legal definition of marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act. This made some hemp-derived CBD products with less than 0.3% THC legal at the federal level. However, CBD products containing more than 0.3% THC still fall under the legal definition of marijuana, making them illegal at the federal level. Some states have legalized CBD, so be sure to check state laws, especially when traveling. Also, keep in mind that the FDA has not approved nonprescription CBD products, and some products may be inaccurately labeled.