CBD and Muscle Pain: Does it Work?
Whether you’re a dedicated athlete or a casual gym-goer, you’ve probably experienced occasional muscle pain or soreness. Even stay-at-home parents and those with desk jobs can end up with stiff muscles! Thankfully, cannabis and its compounds are natural pain relievers. Of all the cannabis products on the market, CBD topicals are some of the best options for muscle pain relief. In this guide, you’ll learn how cannabidiol creams and ointments work to relieve pain.
CBD Balms: What Are They?
CBD balms, which are sometimes called muscle rubs, are fragrant topical creams and oils that people use to soothe their sore muscles. Cannabidiol is typically mixed with other soothing and calming ingredients like tea tree, eucalyptus, and peppermint oils.
The country’s cannabis industry features a vast selection of topical treatments, of which CBD muscle rubs are an important member. By law, these products can contain no more than 0.3% THC, so they won’t get you high when you buy CBD cream. CBD balms and CBD roll on gel are an excellent alternative for those who want to abstain from THC or who live in areas where it is illegal.
Will CBD Balms Alleviate Muscle Pain?
While many users find the best CBD oil tincture to be relaxing and soothing, the experience you’ll get when you buy CBD topicals may depend on multiple factors. The type of CBD used, additional ingredients like essential oils, the dosage, and your biological makeup will all play a role in how a muscle rub will affect your pain level.
The question “What is CBD oil?” is a complicated one. Cannabidiol products come in several formulas, which fit into three categories: isolate, broad-spectrum, and full-spectrum. A CBD isolate has been stripped of other compounds and comes in a powder form. Broad-spectrum products include most cannabis compounds, minus the THC, while full-spectrum products contain numerous cannabinoids, terpenes, and a very small amount of THC. The absence or presence of any of the above compounds will partly determine the pain-relieving effects when you use the best CBD topicals.
The amount of cannabidiol in a balm will also affect the level of arthritis pain relief it provides, which means some users may need a higher dose to feel the beneficial effects. As with other products, it’s important to read the label so you understand the ingredients, and it’s best to choose lab-tested products that are proven to offer relief.
The Research on CBD for Muscle Pain and Inflammation
There’s limited research on the efficacy of CBD on inflammation because most previous studies included an analysis of the whole plant, which naturally contains additional cannabinoids such as THC. One such study showed that arthritic lab rats receiving doses of CBD experienced less muscle pain and inflammation. Another review demonstrated that cannabidiol may reduce inflammation and improve mobility and pain in those with multiple sclerosis. However, more research is needed to document the benefits of CBD for pain relief.
It’s not clear whether topical treatments are effective against muscle pain, but many consumers report notable improvements. In an Arthritis Foundation survey, over 2500 patients were interviewed. Of that number, 79% had considered using or had used CBD as an alternative to other topical pain relievers and anti-inflammatory prescription medicines.
How To Use CBD Oil Topicals to Relieve Muscle Pain
Topical products such as CBD oils, lotions, and creams work on certain parts of the body, helping to soothe pain in areas such as muscles and joints. The cannabidiol in these products is absorbed by the user’s skin, bypassing the bloodstream. Therefore, these muscle rubs affect the body much like over-the-counter pain-relieving creams that work for a certain length of time.
CBD muscle balms interact with the numerous cannabinoid receptors found in a user’s skin. These receptors are just one small part of the ECS or endocannabinoid system, which works to maintain homeostasis or balance across various bodily functions, including pain regulation. A recent study in Neurology showed that cannabidiol desensitizes and binds to these receptors, which regulate inflammation and pain perception.
Most users rub balms and other topical CBD products into the skin over painful areas and let the cannabinoids work. Some muscle pain treatments also include menthol, peppermint, and other essential oils, which add a cooling sensation as well as anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties.
CBD and Muscle Recovery: Is There a Connection?
After a strenuous workout, many people experience muscle soreness and aches. Tough workouts cause microscopic tears to the body’s muscle fibers, which may lead to inflammation, soreness, and pain. While the breakdown and subsequent recovery of these muscle fibers is crucial to growth, soreness can feel quite unpleasant. If left untreated, it might cause undesirable changes in a person’s body. By suppressing the natural inflammatory response encountered after a challenging workout, CBD allows the muscles to recover faster.
Several research studies, including those mentioned in the paragraphs above, indicate that cannabidiol works to soothe inflammation related to soreness. CBD also inhibits cytokine, chemokine, and T-regulatory cell production, all of which delay the process of muscle recovery. By limiting these inflammatory responses after a hard workout, CBD topicals may allow the muscles to recover sooner.
The Potential Side Effects of CBD
Though CBD has numerous joint pain relief benefits, there are a few side effects to consider. Cannabidiol may affect the metabolism of other kinds of drugs, as it inhibits the production of certain liver enzymes. Those taking drugs metabolized by these enzymes should use CBD oils with caution, as should those who take drugs to treat heart arrhythmias.
New CBD users should start with low doses and monitor their responses before increasing consumption. It may be wise to start with a top CBD cream containing an isolate rather than a full-spectrum product, as these contain no THC. While drug interactions are less of a concern with topicals than with the best CBD oil for pain relief, it’s a good idea to discuss their use with your healthcare provider.
CBD creams, ointments, and salves aren’t the only things that help with muscle pain and recovery. Many consumers buy CBD tinctures, vapes, and edibles to achieve relief, though their results depend on product dosage and quality. The best products contain pure CBD oil.
Cannabidiol-based topical treatments also help with conditions other than pain and muscle soreness. Many of today’s beauty products use hemp oil to improve skin conditions and to improve the skin’s appearance. Whether you want to look better or feel better, the best CBD cream can help.