A1 Marijuana Doctors Logo


Myoclonus is a neurological condition characterized by involuntary, sudden muscle contractions or jerks that can occur in various muscles throughout the body. These movements can be brief, isolated events or happen repetitively and persistently, impacting an individual’s daily life and functioning. Myoclonus can arise from various underlying causes, including brain damage, metabolic disorders, genetic factors, or as a side effect of certain medications. The condition can manifest in different forms, such as physiological myoclonus, essential myoclonus, or symptomatic myoclonus. Treatment for myoclonus is tailored to the individual and may involve medication, physical therapy, or addressing the underlying cause.

What is Myoclonus?

Myoclonus is a neurological condition characterized by involuntary, rapid muscle contractions or jerks. These movements can be brief and isolated or occur repetitively and persistently, affecting various muscles throughout the body.


The primary symptom of myoclonus is sudden, involuntary muscle jerks or contractions. These movements can range from mild and barely noticeable twitches to severe and disruptive jerks. Myoclonus can affect any part of the body, including the limbs, face, or vocal cords, and can either be focal (affecting a single area) or generalized (involving multiple muscle groups).


Myoclonus can arise from various underlying causes, including:

  1. Brain damage: Damage to the brain due to stroke, tumor, or head injury can result in myoclonus.
  2. Metabolic disorders: Imbalances in the body’s metabolism, such as kidney or liver failure, can lead to myoclonus.
  3. Genetic factors: Some inherited conditions, like Unverricht-Lundborg disease or Lafora disease, can cause myoclonus.
  4. Medication side effects: Certain medications, including antidepressants and antipsychotics, can induce myoclonus.
  5. Neurodegenerative disorders: Conditions like Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and multiple sclerosis may be associated with myoclonus.
  6. Infections: Central nervous system infections, such as encephalitis or meningitis, can lead to myoclonus.


Preventing myoclonus is often challenging due to the diverse range of underlying causes. However, some general measures can help reduce the risk of developing neurological conditions associated with myoclonus:

  1. Protect against head injuries: Wear helmets during high-risk activities, use seat belts, and take steps to prevent falls in the home.
  2. Maintain a healthy lifestyle: Regular exercise, a balanced diet, and avoiding excessive alcohol or drug use can promote overall brain health and decrease the risk of neurodegenerative disorders.
  3. Manage chronic conditions: Properly managing chronic metabolic disorders like diabetes or kidney disease can help prevent complications that could lead to myoclonus.
  4. Be cautious with medications: Follow your healthcare provider’s instructions when taking medications and report any side effects promptly.

If you suspect that you or a loved one may have myoclonus, consult with a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment options.

Medical Marijuana as a Treatment for Myoclonus

While research on medical marijuana for myoclonus is limited, some studies and anecdotal evidence suggest that it may help alleviate certain symptoms associated with the condition.

How does medical marijuana help?

Medical marijuana may aid in managing myoclonus through the following mechanisms:

  1. Muscle relaxation: Some cannabinoids have been shown to relax muscles, potentially reducing the severity and frequency of muscle contractions or jerks.
  2. Anticonvulsant properties: Medical marijuana has demonstrated anticonvulsant effects in some studies, which may help control involuntary movements in myoclonus patients.
  3. Pain relief: Medical marijuana may help manage any pain or discomfort associated with myoclonus.

Cannabinoids and Terpenes for Myoclonus

Certain cannabinoids may be effective in addressing myoclonus symptoms:

  1. CBD (cannabidiol): CBD has demonstrated potential benefits in reducing muscle spasms and providing pain relief. It also has anticonvulsant properties, which could be beneficial for myoclonus patients.
  2. THC (tetrahydrocannabinol): THC can provide muscle relaxation and pain relief. However, it is essential to use low doses, as high doses might exacerbate anxiety or other side effects.

There is currently insufficient evidence to recommend specific terpenes for the treatment of myoclonus.

It is essential to consult with a healthcare professional experienced in cannabinoid medicine when considering medical marijuana as a treatment for managing myoclonus-related symptoms. They can help determine the appropriate strains, ratios of cannabinoids, and dosages tailored to an individual’s specific needs and circumstances. Further research is needed to fully understand the long-term effects and efficacy of medical marijuana in managing myoclonus symptoms and side effects. It is also important to note that medical marijuana should not be considered a substitute for conventional treatments prescribed by a healthcare provider.

Dosage and Consumption Methods

Recommended dosage:

Figuring out the right dose of medical marijuana can be hard because people’s reactions to cannabinoids and terpenes can be very different. Factors such as the specific condition being treated, the patient’s weight, metabolism, and prior experience with cannabis all play a role in determining the right dosage.
Most of the time, it is best to start with a low dose and slowly increase it until you get the effects you want while minimising any possible side effects. For patients who are new to medical marijuana, starting with 2.5–5 mg of THC or CBD and slowly titrating upwards is often advised.

However, consulting a healthcare professional experienced in medical marijuana is essential to developing a personalised dosing plan tailored to the patient’s needs.

Consumption methods:

There are several methods of consuming medical marijuana, each with its advantages and disadvantages. Some common consumption methods include:

  1. Inhalation (smoking or vaping): Inhalation provides rapid onset of effects, usually within minutes, making it suitable for patients requiring immediate relief. However, smoking may pose respiratory risks, while vaping has been associated with lung injuries in some cases.
  2. Oral ingestion (edibles, capsules, tinctures): Ingesting medical marijuana provides longer-lasting effects compared to inhalation but has a slower onset, typically taking 30 minutes to 2 hours for effects to be felt. This method is suitable for patients requiring sustained relief but may require careful dosing to avoid overconsumption.
  3. Topical application (creams, balms, patches): Topicals can provide localised relief for conditions such as arthritis or skin disorders without producing psychoactive effects. The onset of action and duration of effects can vary depending on the product formulation and individual absorption rates.
  4. Sublingual administration (tinctures, dissolvable strips): Sublingual products are absorbed through the mucous membranes under the tongue, providing rapid onset of effects without the need for inhalation or ingestion. This method offers discreet consumption and precise dosing.

Obtaining a Medical Marijuana Card

Why get a medical marijuana card?

Getting a medical marijuana card is helpful for patients who are looking for other ways to treat their conditions.

  1. Legal protection: A medical marijuana card allows patients to possess, use, and in some cases, cultivate cannabis for medical purposes, within their state’s legal limits.
  2. Access to quality products: Medical marijuana dispensaries offer a wide range of tested and regulated cannabis products, ensuring patients receive safe and effective medication.
  3. Tax savings: In some states, medical marijuana patients are exempt from certain taxes applied to recreational cannabis sales.
  4. Professional guidance: Medical marijuana cardholders have access to healthcare professionals who can provide personalised recommendations, dosing advice, and ongoing support.

How to apply:

The process of obtaining a medical marijuana card varies by state but generally involves the following steps:

  1. Consult with Medical marijuana physicians to determine if medical marijuana is appropriate for your condition and obtain a written recommendation.
  2. Complete an application with the required documentation, including proof of residency, identification, and the healthcare professional’s recommendation.
  3. Submit the application to the appropriate state agency, along with any required fees.
  4. Await approval and issuance of the medical marijuana card.

Risks and Side Effects

Potential risks:

While medical marijuana can offer relief and improve the quality of life for many patients, it also carries certain risks and side effects. Some potential risks associated with medical marijuana use include:

  1. Dependency and addiction: Although the risk of addiction is considered lower than that of opioids or alcohol, some individuals may develop a dependency on cannabis.
  2. Impaired cognitive function: THC, the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis, can impair memory, attention, and reaction times, particularly with prolonged or heavy use.
  3. Respiratory issues: Smoking cannabis can cause respiratory problems, including bronchitis and lung irritation. Vaping has also been linked to lung injuries in some cases.
  4. Mental health concerns: High doses of THC or predisposition to mental health disorders can lead to increased anxiety, paranoia, or exacerbate existing mental health conditions.
  5. Drug interactions: Medical marijuana may interact with other medications, either enhancing or diminishing their effects. It is essential to discuss potential drug interactions with a healthcare professional before starting medical marijuana therapy.


Medical marijuana might not be right for every patient, especially those who already have certain health problems or risk factors. Contraindications to medical marijuana use may include:

  1. Personal or family history of substance abuse or addiction
  2. Severe liver or kidney disease
  3. Severe cardiovascular disease
  4. Pregnancy or breastfeeding
  5. History of psychosis or other severe mental health disorders
  6. Allergies or hypersensitivity to cannabis or its components

Legal Status

Where is it legal?

In the United States, the laws about medical marijuana are always changing. Currently, over 30 states and the District of Columbia allow its use under certain conditions. Each state has its own rules and a list of medical conditions that are allowed to use medical marijuana.

Even though some states have made medical marijuana legal, it is still illegal at the federal level because it is a Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act.

This difference between state and federal laws can make it harder for medical marijuana patients to get jobs, find housing, or travel across state lines, among other things. Patients should research their state’s guidelines and remain aware of potential legal risks.


Medical marijuana could help relieve symptoms and improve the quality of life for many people with long-term or debilitating illnesses.

When thinking about this treatment option, it’s important to know the right dose, how to use it, how to get a medical marijuana card, possible risks, side effects, and legal status.

Work closely with a doctor or nurse who knows a lot about medical marijuana to find out if it is a good and safe choice for your needs.

As the legal landscape surrounding medical marijuana continues to evolve, staying informed about changing regulations and guidelines is essential to ensuring responsible and compliant use.

As the field of medical marijuana continues to evolve, it’s crucial for patients, caregivers, and healthcare providers to stay informed about the latest research and developments. This guide aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the current landscape, but it’s always important to consult with healthcare providers for personalized advice.

Note: This article’s content is provided for educational purposes only. This information is not intended to serve as a substitute for professional legal or medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or queries regarding laws, regulations, or your health, you should always consult a lawyer, physician, or other licensed practitioner.