CBD for Muscle Recovery
You won’t feel the pain immediately after a workout, but it’ll come. The morning after your strenuous weightlifting session or extra-long run, that pain arrives with a vengeance. Aches, deep soreness, and pain that make it difficult to walk or lift your arms. Thanks, muscles.
Now, before you pop that ibuprofen, consider taking CBD for muscle pain. Unlike non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), CBD doesn’t potentially cause stomach ulcers, high blood pressure, or kidney damage.
And unlike opioids, CBD doesn’t cause physical dependence or deadly overdoses.
Keep reading to discover some of the research behind CBD for muscle recovery, then head over and browse our selection of CBD wellness products.
Exercise-Induced Muscle Damage
First, we need to understand how muscles are damaged. Engaging in particularly strenuous or unfamiliar movements (or, according to Johns Hopkins, activities as simple as walking) can cause damage to muscles at the cellular level.
Here’s how it works:
- Muscles are surrounded by outer sheaths that allow for free movement over
surrounding tissues when the muscle contracts.
- Inside the outer sheath are bundles of muscle fibers (fascicles), which are made up of myofibrils (Latin stems, anyone? Myo = muscle).
- Within the myofibrils (we know, we’re getting granular) are millions of microscopic sarcomeres, whose responsibility is to contract the muscle.
- When stimulated by nerves, myosins (muscle proteins) inside the sarcomere pull against thin ropes of protein called actin, causing the sarcomeres to shorten. This results in a muscle contraction. When the myosin proteins relax, the sarcomeres elongate back to their original position, as does the muscle.
- Strenuous exercise, especially “explosive” movements like pushing off for a sprint, can put the body under excessive loading since the muscle contracts while it’s elongating. This force can cause the surrounding tissues to tear and damage muscle fibers.
- This so-called exercise-induced muscle damage (EIMD) impairs muscle function and triggers an inflammatory response.
Now, some people advocate for EIMD as a way for the body to rebuild muscle faster and stronger. They claim that “just the right amount of damage” stimulates the body to rebuild and bulk up the muscle so it can tolerate future stress. If you want to learn more about this theory, check out CrossFit’s commentary. Now, it’s time to talk about CBD and muscle recovery.
Here’s How CBD Could Help With Muscle Recovery
Before you write off CBD for muscle recovery and return to your ice packs and NSAIDs, consider the evidence in support of CBD.
CBD Can Ease Muscle Inflammation
Let’s get one thing straight - inflammation isn’t necessarily the enemy (exception: arthritis). Some inflammation is necessary for healing injuries and preventing deadly infections.
The problem is when inflammation becomes excessive, causing prolonged muscle soreness and delayed recovery. For example, you don’t rest enough, you keep doing strenuous workouts while you’re in pain, you aren’t eating right - there are dozens of reasons why inflammation can drag on.
Enter CBD. This little cannabinoid has been shown to balance and even reduce the inflammatory process. In preclinical trials, CBD was shown to weaken immune cell buildup, stimulate the production of anti-inflammatory cytokines, and impede pro-inflammatory cytokines and reactive oxygen species.
Another preclinical study investigated specifically the effect of CBD on pro-inflammatory triggers in dystrophic MDX mice (the mouse model for Duchenne muscular dystrophy).
Researchers found that CBD delayed the production of inflammatory triggers (certain cytokines such as IL-6 and TNFα), and they observed improvements in muscle strength and coordination and reductions in tissue degeneration.
Of course, mice with dystrophy are not humans with EIMD, which means the mechanisms at play in the mice will not be exactly the same as those at play in a human trial.
Research is still developing on the subject, but these findings suggest that CBD could be a highly feasible method of treatment for muscle pain, inflammation, and degeneration.
For the best results, you can take an oral form of CBD every day and spread a topical cream on the area whenever you need instant relief. Try Medsana’s potent, 100% pure 1000mg CBD tincture or 3000mg CBD tincture. You’ll place one dropper full under your tongue and hold for 15-20 seconds before swallowing. Simple!
For topical relief, try our 500mg CBD lotion. It’s packed with skin-loving, moisture-boosting natural ingredients that will soothe muscle pain and keep your skin happy.
CBD Can Reduce Muscle Tension
The human body is so complex that even the simplest simple muscle contraction uses hundreds, if not thousands, of different mechanisms. One of the most important is a bodily system called the endocannabinoid system (ECS).
The ECS is made up of three components: endocannabinoids, cannabinoid receptors, and enzymes. Endocannabinoids are molecules that bind to cannabinoid receptors, activating them and influencing how they function.
Now, back to muscles. Muscle contraction is triggered by chemical messengers that are sent to the muscle from the central nervous system. Without a healthy supply of endocannabinoids, nothing stands in the way of the excess chemicals, which can build up and cause muscles to contract continuously.
CBD steps in by binding to receptors and slowing down the flow of chemical messengers telling muscles to contract. But it doesn’t just prevent excess chemicals. CBD also gives your body an endocannabinoid boost, which helps reduce muscle spasticity. Remember - you’ll benefit from CBD the most if you take it consistently, preferably once a day.
Medsana makes it easy to be consistent. Our CBD wellness products come in several forms, so you can choose which method and strength best fit your lifestyle.
CBD and Muscle Recovery
By now, you’ve probably heard all kinds of claims from other companies touting what their CBD can do. Some of those claims are far-fetched and some of them are downright false. CBD cannot cure or prevent any disease, but compelling research does suggest that it could help muscles recover from damage.
Researchers found that CBD can reduce immune cell buildup, stimulate the production of anti-inflammatory proteins, improve muscle strength and coordination, and reduce tissue degeneration. More research is needed, but these findings are extremely promising for people with muscle pain who have become dissatisfied with typical NSAID and opioid treatments and are looking for an alternative remedy.