Are you curious about how CBD can help with sore muscles and recovery? CBD is buzzing in alternative medical circles and beyond for its supposed therapeutic effects. Its purported health benefits include analgesic properties to tackle aches and pains, including muscle soreness.
Muscle soreness is a prevalent non-discriminate condition affecting people of all ages. Although it is superficial compared to muscle pain, muscle soreness can still disrupt your life.
However, anecdotal and clinical evidence points to CBD’s efficacy in alleviating muscle soreness. So, what mechanism of action do full-spectrum CBD oil and other CBD products employ in tackling muscle soreness? Find out below.
CBD Features Anti-inflammatory Properties
Physical exercise and intense workout sessions are the most common causes of muscle soreness. However, even the most seasoned fitness enthusiasts suffer muscle soreness from time to time, in delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).
Although it’s still unclear what causes DOMS, the prevailing theory is that microscopic muscle fiber tears occur during intense physical exercise. The damaged muscle fibers trigger an immune response that includes inflammation.
Inflammation is the immune system’s response to damaged cells, whereby inflammatory mediators attract nutrients and fluids to the target site to start repair. Although inflammation is a crucial part of the healing process, the fluids and nutrients cause muscle engorgement, manifesting as muscle pain.
CBD is a robust anti-inflammatory agent; it counters chronic inflammatory responses to reduce inflammation-related pain. CBD works by mediating with an extensive body communication network called the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS modulates various physiological and psychological functions, including the immune system.
CBD molecules attach to CB2 receptors in the ECS; CB2 receptors are signaling molecules present throughout the body. The cannabinoid modulates immune cell migration to the damaged muscle tissue, reducing the volume of pro-inflammatory cells (cytokines) on the muscle cells.
A less aggressive inflammatory response means reduced muscle swelling and pain. Therefore, CBD topical sprays, lotions, and edibles can improve muscle soreness.
CBD Is an Antioxidant
Besides DOMS, oxidative stress from oxidative reactions is also a probable cause of muscle soreness. Oxidation reactions are crucial for multiple life-sustaining physiological processes and produce reactive oxygen species (ROS) as byproducts. However, oxidation reactions can cause oxidative stress when they make more ROS than the body’s natural antioxidants can dissipate.
ROS are highly unstable and cause cell damage when they accumulate inside cells. Physical exercise is among the oxidation reactions that cause ROS accumulation because of the high oxygen consumption; 2%-5% of oxygen consumed turns to ROS. The elevated ROS levels cause muscle cell damage, manifesting as muscle soreness.
However, CBD antioxidant properties can counter muscle soreness arising from oxidative stress. CBD’s molecular structure enables it to bond to ROS, preventing them from binding to cells and causing oxidative damage. Therefore, it complements natural oxidants’ efforts and protects protein structures like muscles from oxidative stress damage.
CBD Is an Analgesic
The most apparent muscle soreness symptom is pain and discomfort limiting mobility. Although muscle soreness is superficial, 24-48hours of distress, as with DOMS, can be debilitating. Besides tackling the underlying muscle soreness causes, CBD also helps ease the pain sensation resulting from muscle soreness.
CBD has robust analgesic (pain-relieving) properties that help ease everything from muscle soreness to chronic pain. In addition, the ECS regulates multiple physiological functions, including processing pain signals.
CBD binds to CB2 receptors in the muscles and the brain to modulate pain signals processing. In addition, it prevents pain signals from reaching the brain, altering the brain’s perception of pain. Therefore, taking CBD edibles or topical CBD products like lotions, balms, and sprays before and after strenuous exercise helps reduce sore muscle pain.
CBD Has Stress-relieving Properties
Besides physical strain from intense workouts, mental tension resulting from elevated stress and anxiety can manifest as physical symptoms like muscle soreness. Also, this is because the body’s natural response to stressful stimuli starts muscle tension, causing the muscles and joints to stiffen; the muscles only relax after the stressful stimuli pass.
As with anxiety-related mental illnesses, chronic stress can cause perpetually tensed muscles, leading to muscle soreness and musculoskeletal disorders in extreme cases. Second, pressure also intensifies the brain’s pain perception, lowering individual pain threshold.
Thankfully, CBD can counter stress-related muscle soreness from two different angles.
- First, the cannabinoid’s analgesic properties help numb the pain sensation.
- Second, CBD also works with endocannabinoid receptors to block the pathway for muscle rigidity neurotransmitters, causing the muscle to relax.
- Finally, CBD also causes mental relaxation by modulating brain portions that regulate the fear response, alleviating mental stress.
CBD As a Sleeping Aid
Rest and physical exercise go hand-in-hand because of the growth hormones that facilitate muscle regeneration work during sleep. However, sleep deprivation may inhibit proper rest because of life’s demands and sleep disorders.
Poor sleep patterns and restlessness may trigger inflammation that manifests as muscle soreness. However, one research review on CBD and sleep shows that the cannabinoid tackles various sleep disorders and promotes restful sleep. Therefore, taking CBD can help improve cell regeneration by eliminating muscle soreness.
The Last Word on How CBD Can Help with Sore Muscles Recovery
Preliminary evidence shows CBD’s efficacy in tackling muscle soreness; it helps that the cannabinoid is well-tolerated, given there is no standard dosage yet. However, consult your doctor before taking CBD for muscle soreness, like with any compound.