Research studies on CBD are underpinned by a growing interest in learning more about how it works in the body. It's barely a decade since CBD-based medicines were approved to treat serious disease symptoms.
For example, Sativex—a CBD-based drug—is now a vital component of treatment plans for Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in many countries.
In June 2018, Epidiolex became the first CBD-based drug to receive FDA approval for use in managing rare types of epilepsy in children. The European Union followed suit in April of 2021, endorsing the use of Epidiolex in treating seizures linked to Tuberous Sclerosis Complex.
Such promising developments explain why CBD's popularity has skyrocketed in recent years.
Today, roughly 68% of CBD users confess that it's effective. There's also growing evidence that this cannabis compound may have the potential to treat symptoms associated with wide-ranging health conditions, including chronic pain, insomnia, stress, and anxiety in pets and people.
CBD's multiple therapeutic properties may be its strongest selling point. So, the limits are constantly being pushed, with questions arising about whether it can help relax muscles.
Let's take a look at how CBD can help promote muscle relaxation.
Does CBD oil relax muscles?
CBD is a cannabinoid derived from cannabis and hemp plants. It's one of the many cannabinoids with beneficial properties. But because the CBD industry is just emerging, research is still scarce.
However, early findings do show promising results.
There is evidence that CBD may help relax stiff and sore muscles. But to understand how it does this, we have to talk about the endocannabinoid system (ECS) because CBD would probably be useless to humans without it.
A recent discovery, researchers widely regard the ECS as a hugely critical system in mammals. Even though its footprints are found in various functions throughout the body (immune function, mood regulation, body temperature, sleep cycle, pain perception, and muscle function), its primary role is regulatory.
The ECS is made up of endocannabinoid receptors, endocannabinoids, and enzymes.
Endocannabinoids are chemical messengers that mediate numerous functions in the brain and body. They are made by the ECS and facilitate communication between the pre-synaptic and post-synaptic cells. This activates a flow-control mechanism that signals the pre-synaptic cells when a particular neurotransmitter is needed or not.
Muscle function is influenced by communication between endocannabinoids in the central nervous system, triggering contraction. Without endocannabinoids, the influx of chemical messengers that cause muscle contraction could cause continuous contractions.
CBD interacts with the ECS via its hormones and enzymes and changes how cannabinoid receptors operate, leading to higher concentrations of certain neurotransmitters (2-AG and anandamide). This improves endocannabinoid signaling and reduces muscle tension.
Scientists believe CBD may promote post-workout muscle recovery, especially after an intense session. This 2020 study showed that taking CBD post-workout could help reduce creatine kinase levels in your blood. This chemical compound is produced when muscle tissues are damaged.
The researchers concluded that reducing creatine kinase levels attenuated muscle damage, thereby spurring muscle regeneration. Great news for gym rats and fitness enthusiasts!
CBD oil for muscle relaxer
CBD oil is mostly administered sublingually. Take a dropper, measure out the required quantity of oil, and press it under your tongue. Hold for roughly 60 seconds before swallowing.
Sublingual administration has several merits.
One, it ensures the effects kick in much faster because the CBD is absorbed directly into the bloodstream. Two, it leads to higher bioavailability because CBD oil bypasses the first-pass metabolism.
So, you not only experience the effects faster, but you also get more CBD into your systemic circulation.
CBD as a muscle relaxant
CBD is believed to promote relaxation in the muscles. Unlike painkillers, it works by resolving the root causes of the problem.
ƒHowever, given the myriad of issues that can cause tension, another plausible explanation for CBD's relaxing effects on muscles is linked to its influence on serotonin activity.
The cannabinoid is thought to affect serotonin activity by inhibiting its uptake in the brain, leading to higher concentrations in the body. The ripple effects of increased serotonin levels in the body include better digestion, sleep, mood, and sexual desire!
Moreover, CBD has minimal side effects, primarily because it works with the body's natural systems instead of against them. So, it's much better than spasmolytic muscle relaxants that have wide-ranging adverse side effects, especially for older people.
For instance, neuromuscular blockers and spasmolytic muscle relaxants are noted to increase blood pressure and heart rate in addition to being addictive. CBD has no such side effects and has been described by the World Health Organization as having a low potential for dependency or abuse.
CBD for muscle relaxation
One way CBD relaxes muscles is by hindering the release of neurotransmitters that induce muscle spasms and rigidity.
Whichever way you look at it, CBD's ability to relax tense muscles is one area where research studies and anecdotal evidence converge seamlessly. Many athletes and fitness enthusiasts use CBD to speed up the recovery process.
Although CBD is a powerful natural relaxant, a 2019 study published in the Journal of Palliative Medicine showed that THC and CBD formulations are much more effective than CBD alone.
This is attributed to a phenomenon known as the "entourage effect,” where all the cannabis compounds synergize to magnify their therapeutic effects. It also entails mitigating the unwanted effects of some cannabinoids (THC) by others (CBD).
CBD for muscle tension
Muscle tension is not only a consequence of low endocannabinoid levels in your system (which, by the way, is a medical condition called Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency). It can also be the result of chronic stress.
CBD is being studied for its potential to help reduce symptoms associated with anxiety. This is a significant health benefit for people who use CBD to relax their muscles.
This is supported by a 2015 study that concluded CBD could potentially help treat various symptoms associated with anxiety disorders. A calmer state of mind is no doubt vital in lessening muscle tension.
But more importantly, there is a reason CBD is such a big thing among elite athletes. Even though exercising has many health benefits, it can also have undesirable effects such as muscle soreness, tension, and pain.
CBD has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties that could ease some symptoms associated with muscle tension.
Can CBD help muscle tension?
More evidence is needed to answer this. However, scientists believe that CBD may promote reduced muscle tension.
A 2018 study established that CBD might reduce muscle spasticity in people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). This research also found that CBD may work at the cellular level to reduce muscle tension.
Benefits of using CBD oil as a muscle relaxer
Muscle stiffness does not occur alone. It is often accompanied by pain, inflammation, and soreness. So, if you're looking for an effective muscle relaxant, you should focus on something that addresses all these issues.
CBD oil stands out because it does precisely that—it addresses problems at their root. As a result, you get extra benefits such as:
Cannabis has been used as a pain reliever as far back as 2900 BC! While early "doctors" may not have known the science behind it, it's now evident that cannabis contains compounds, like CBD, that have analgesic properties.
In collaboration with the ECS, research has shown that CBD may help reduce pain by influencing endocannabinoid receptor activity and neurotransmitters. Even though CBD has shown potential efficacy in reducing various types of pain, it's believed to be more effective when combined with THC.
CBD's neuroprotective properties are essential in helping deal with symptoms linked to muscle spasticity. This condition is characterized by an abnormal increase in muscle tone or stiffness, thus interfering with critical functions like speech and movement.
Spasticity is caused by disruptions in nerve pathways in the spinal cord or brain that control muscle function. CBD-based medications like Sativex have demonstrated the capability to reduce muscle spasticity in patients.
Research also shows that CBD oil may reduce seizure activity in children with Dravet syndrome – a severe type of childhood epilepsy. Furthermore, in recent years, CBD-based medicines have received FDA approval for use in treating epilepsy-related symptoms.
This property enhances CBD's ability to act as a muscle relaxant.
Reduced muscle soreness
High-quality CBD oil could help reduce muscle soreness after intense workouts.
A study found that CBD oil may reduce muscle soreness when taken immediately after workouts. CBD topicals are also effective on this front, but their effects are localized.
For a more profound impact, people combine oral CBD with topicals.
Effectiveness of using CBD oil as muscle relaxer
Generally, CBD's effectiveness depends on various factors, including extraction method, the type of strain, the user's body weight, and the mode of administration.
For example, research shows that CBD molecules have an affinity for fat and attach to fatty tissues.
So, a person with high fat content is likely to feel the effects of CBD for longer than another will less fat content. In fact, a fatty meal before taking CBD is thought to increase CBD absorption.
Similarly, the extraction method determines the concentration of CBD oil. Out of the methods currently used to get CBD from plant material, CO2 extraction is considered the safest and most efficient. This is attributed to the non-volatility of CO2, which results in pure CBD.
With other methods like solvent extraction, for instance, the final product often gets contaminated with solvent residue. This creates less pure, low-quality CBD extract.
Still, CBD may not work for some people, whether orally or topically. So it may take some experimenting before you find a CBD product that works for you.
How to use CBD oil as a muscle relaxer
It's advisable to start with low doses of CBD if you're thinking of using it as a muscle relaxer. You may gradually increase the amount until you feel the effects.
Of course, this should be determined by earlier assessments showing that your body can tolerate CBD without experiencing any negative side effects like drowsiness or digestive problems.
The simplest approach to determine the amount of CBD to reduce muscle spasms is by using CBD oil. You may change the dose by adjusting the number of oil drops you take.
Sublingual administration is the preferred method for taking CBD oil due to its inherent advantages, i.e., higher bioavailability and shorter impact times.
Best CBD oil for muscle relaxer
You've read this far because you're seriously considering joining the CBD community. Here are two great CBD oils that will help you relax your muscles.
If you want something effective, discreet, and easy to take to help soothe your muscles, then we highly recommend our Premium CBD Drops. These drops, available in full spectrum and broad spectrum formulations to help you stay focused, calm, and pain-free throughout your day.Our Sleep Drops are the quintessential CBD oil product for sleep. They are formulated with organic broad spectrum CBD, the highly relaxing cannabinoid CBN, organic MCT oil, and extracts of organic herbals like lavender to deliver the ultimate all-natural relaxing experience. This product not only works on your muscles but also improves brain function and sleep quality.