With so many topical medications claiming to be able to cure muscle soreness, it may be overwhelming to find a genuine product that does exactly as advertised.
For the most part, the alleged healing properties of some creams are simply advertising spiel spun by salespeople to push the products.
However, this does not mean there are no genuine products on the market. And if you’ve been touching base with developments in the natural supplements space, you may have heard of cannabidiol (CBD).
Research is ongoing to prove the legitimacy of CBD’s purported health benefits. But thus far, existing findings suggest CBD may just be the real deal.
Let’s take a deep dive into CBD to understand how its topical formulations can help with muscle soreness.
What are the different types of CBD?
CBD has three major types: broad spectrum, full spectrum, and isolate. Knowing the CBD composition of your product helps you understand why people respond differently to CBD.
Broad spectrum CBD
This is a cannabis extract containing all the naturally occurring cannabis compounds like cannabinoids (except THC), flavonoids, terpenes, fatty acids, vitamins, and essential oils.
In jurisdictions where marijuana is illegal, CBD products are primarily derived from hemp to ensure they have low THC concentrations. Ideally, broad spectrum CBD contains zero THC.
Full spectrum CBD
The key difference between broad spectrum and full spectrum CBD is THC content.
Full spectrum CBD contains pretty much everything that occurs naturally in cannabis plants, including THC. However, by law, the THC content cannot exceed 0.3%.
The explanation for such a low THC concentration is the psychoactivity of the products. In lower concentrations, THC does not induce undesired side effects such as the famous “high” or paranoia or anxiety.
This type of cannabis extract contains only pure CBD. The production of CBD isolate involves various processes through which all other cannabis compounds are extracted, leaving behind only pure CBD in crystal form.
Each of these types of CBD has its unique merits and demerits. Most CBD users contend that full spectrum CBD is usually more effective than CBD isolate due to the entourage effect.
This phenomenon hypothesizes that, under ideal conditions, all the naturally occurring cannabis compounds synergize to enhance the impact of each other. Therefore, people who use full spectrum CBD tend to experience more holistic effects than those who use CBD isolates.
Does CBD cream work for pain?
Pain is usually an indicator of an underlying problem. The pain may be severe or mild depending on the condition, but generally, pain causes discomfort that most people often want to do away with.
If you have constant pains, your search for a pain-relieving solution may have led you to CBD after hearing all the promise-laden reports from friends. You may still need proof that CBD works for pain, and you’re looking for information, which is why you’re here.
Well, here is what we know so far.
CBD cream for muscle pain
If the growing body of reports about CBD’s pain-relieving properties is anything to go by, it may be a great idea to try CBD to alleviate muscle pain.
Apart from these mostly anecdotal reports, studies support the idea that CBD may be an effective pain killer.
This all comes down to CBD’s interaction with the human endocannabinoid system – an intricate cell-signaling network comprising the endocannabinoids, enzymes, and endocannabinoid receptors.
The endocannabinoid system is believed to regulate several bodily functions, including appetite, sleep, mood, fertility and reproduction, and memory. Researchers contend the primary role of the endocannabinoid system is homeostasis, i.e., restoring body balance.
The endocannabinoid system produces its own cannabinoids known as endocannabinoids. These compounds bind themselves to various endocannabinoid receptors to stimulate wide-ranging body responses.
Cannabinoids, like THC and CBD, have been shown to have similar effects on the endocannabinoid system as your endocannabinoids.
For instance, THC has a strong affinity for CB receptors. It binds with them to bring about various effects on the mind and body, some desirable, others not so much. For example, while THC’s binding action to the receptors may stimulate appetite and reduce pain, it may also cause anxiety and paranoia.
Unlike THC, CBD does not bind to the CB receptors.
Though researchers are not clear on its exact action mechanism, they posit that CBD interacts differently with the CB receptors. It instead alters the binding process by stimulating the CB2 receptors in the peripheral nervous system.
The effects of this are equally wide-ranging – from reducing the psychoactivity of THC to pain and inflammation relief as well as stress and anxiety reduction.
CBD creams are, therefore, practical solutions for muscle pain if you can get your hands on genuine products.
How does CBD cream work?
CBD creams, like other topical formulations, are used externally on the skin. The principle behind how these creams work is essentially the same as far as stimulating the CB2 receptors goes.
The only difference is the route the CBD compounds take to get to these receptors.
We know that the skin is a living body organ that breathes (which is why we actually sweat). These pores through which the skin breathes play an essential role in enabling CBD creams to work.
CBD works with the skin in two ways – transdermally and topically.
Applying CBD cream on the skin does not penetrate deep enough to get into the bloodstream. This is because of the blood-brain barriers.
However, the CBD can get into the sebaceous glands through the hair follicles, interacting with CB2 receptors in the skin. It’s then able to activate the soothing abilities of the CBD, providing localized relief. This is ideal for mild soreness and discomfort in contained areas.
For instance, delayed onset muscle soreness is a common type of skin discomfort often experienced a few hours after strenuous physical activity. For such kinds of muscle soreness, CBD creams and lotions have typically eased the pain.
However, because topical CBD does not go deeper than the dermis (middle layer of the skin), you may need to apply it generously to achieve the desired effect.
But if you’re looking for the CBD to go much deeper, you can consider transdermal CBD. This type of CBD is specially formulated to penetrate the lower layers of the skin and reach the bloodstream.
Once it enters the bloodstream, the CBD activates more CB2 receptors besides those on the skin and brings about wide-ranging health benefits such as calmness and relaxation.
This means that transdermal CBD is more effective in dealing with severe, deep-lying pain as well as minor soreness and discomfort.
So, for localized mild pain and discomfort, CBD creams will do just fine. They may also contain other ingredients to help protect, repair, and nourish the skin. They are also formulated to remove blemishes.
But if you want CBD to enter your bloodstream, then a transdermal CBD cream or patch is your best bet.
Benefits of CBD cream for muscle pain
There are numerous benefits that you stand to gain from using CBD cream.
For starters, CBD has anti-inflammatory properties. These are useful in alleviating inflammation and helping the body recover much faster. Even though some inflammation is good for training adaptations from an athlete’s point of view, too much of it slows down your recovery.
Moreover, CBD creams are organic and all-natural. They do not bring about side effects associated with other pain killers.
For this reason, many people who use these creams have peace of mind from knowing that they don’t have to worry about insidious side effects.
When applied to the skin, CBD penetrates the upper layer and accesses the CB2 receptors on the skin. This interaction signals the endocannabinoid system to reduce pain and inflammation.
Besides helping alleviate symptoms of chronic and acute pain, sore joints, and muscles, CBD creams may help with many other issues such as sunburns. Indeed, many people use CBD creams to treat eczema, rashes, psoriasis, and other skin infections.
CBD is also a well-known antioxidant.
In fact, recent research indicates that CBD may be a more powerful antioxidant than most essential oils. This is one of the reasons why most people include cannabis-based creams in their skincare programs.
These creams offer wide-ranging medicinal benefits such as anti-aging and making the skin appear youthful and vibrant.
Another benefit of using CBD creams is relaxation. CBD promotes relaxation in the muscles, but the feeling is much better if extended to the mind. Nothing beats a well-relaxed mind and body!
So, if after a few days of applying CBD cream, you become conscious of your relaxed mood, it’s the CBD doing its thing.
Science hasn’t confirmed if CBD creams offer the pain relief they are touted to do. But an argument can be made that believing that CBD has something special may contribute to what scientists call the ‘placebo effect.’
In fact, researchers contend that this may be the case in 33% of cases where people profess that CBD works!
Whichever way you look at it, it’s a win-win situation – whether it’s your conviction that CBD treats pain and inflammation or some ‘placebo effect’ that heals you, the result is the same.
In any case, there’s minimal risk in trying out CBD (besides wasting your hard-earned cash, of course).
How long does CBD cream take to work?
There are certain factors to consider to figure out how long it would take before you feel the effects of a CBD cream.
The strength of the cream
The strength of a CBD cream is simply the amount of CBD it contains per given quantity. For instance, a cream with, say, 0.5gr of CBD per 1ml is weaker than another with 1.5gr of CBD in the same quantity. The truth is that their effects will more or less be identical.
However, you may experience the results much faster with the more potent CBD cream than with the weaker one, whose effects will be much more subtle.
Body type and gender
Studies show that women’s skin responds much faster to topical products than men’s. So a woman is likely to get relief from pain and inflammation faster than a man despite using the same CBD cream.
The explanation is simple really: generally, women have more fat than men, and since CBD’s absorption process starts with binding to fatty tissues, women typically have the upper hand.
In fact, if you carry more fat, CBD may actually work better on you.
How long you massage it in
CBD has to penetrate the skin in order to activate your endocannabinoid system for you to feel its effects. It does this by binding with receptors beneath the top layer of the skin. By massaging the cream on the skin, you help it penetrate the first layer of the skin.
There is a big difference between simply slathering cream on your skin and actually rubbing it in. But if you want to save yourself a few minutes of waiting, you’ll do better to massage your sore spot with the cream.
The type of topical CBD
Topical CBD comes in different forms, and this affects their acting times. For instance, gels and oils penetrate the skin much faster than balms and lotions.
The latter may have thick formulations due to the substances used to make them, e.g., beeswax. The increased denseness makes it harder for them to penetrate the skin.
So if you’re looking for fast relief, go with thinner CBD creams. But thicker formulations are your go-to if you prefer a slower but steady relief from pain over several hours.
Considering all these factors, most people who use CBD cream report feeling the effects somewhere between 10 and 15 minutes. Of course, the state of your skin also plays a vital role in speeding up the experience.
If your skin is dry, itchy, flaky, and irritated, you will likely feel relief immediately.
Surveys show that it’s much easier to feel the effects of CBD for pain or inflammation than when you’re going for youthful skin. This is because the latter takes time to achieve.
For example, your skin will first have to be restructured to make it more hydrated and elastic before it can achieve the youthful vibrancy you’re looking for.
Where to buy CBD cream
Before you rush to get a CBD product, here are a few things to ponder.
Research on the safety of CBD is underway; at this point, little is known. Nonetheless, no serious safety concerns have been linked to moderate use. That said, CBD has shown great potential in treating various health conditions such as pain and inflammation, among others.
With the influx of CBD products making all sorts of claims about their ‘healing powers,’ it is imperative to buy CBD products from certified CBD companies and vendors.
Many CBD products do not possess the amount of CBD advertised – it could be lower or higher. Even worse, some contain toxic compounds such as heavy metals, microbial contaminants, and pesticide residues that do more harm than good.
Think about this: a lab test analysis report showed that up to 25% of CBD brands are not tested.
So it’s prudent to be cautious to avoid regrets. CBD is unregulated, so safety and quality remain the responsibility of manufacturers. You can be sure some care more about profit than your welfare, so be vigilant.
That said, there are genuine CBD companies whose products are vouched for and approved by top regulatory agencies such as the FDA. FOCL is one of these companies. You don’t worry about safety and quality with FOCL CBD products.
So if you’re looking for high-quality CBD creams to relieve pain and inflammation, try our Relief Cream.
This product combines US-grown premium hemp CBD and seven potent soothing botanicals to eliminate pains and aches quickly. Apply it directly to the sore and achy muscles and experience how fast your sore muscles recover. It also nourishes the skin leaving it feeling cool and supple.
Remember how we talked about physical and mental relaxation? We believe in a holistic healing process that caters to the body and mind.
Couple the Relief Cream with our Premium CBD Drops to experience the true healing powers of CBD.
These drops are made from broad-spectrum hemp CBD infused in the highest quality organic MCT oil.
MCT oil also increases the bioavailability of this product, meaning you get more CBD into your systemic circulation.
For a relaxed mind, these Premium CBD Drops do the trick. Place a few under your tongue and wait for 45 seconds before swallowing.
For best results, CBD manufacturers advise using CBD products consistently and long-term.
Topical CBD has little potential for overdose compared to oral CBD, but still, there’s no point in slathering copious amounts of cream when ‘just enough’ would do the job.
Be more careful with oral CBD products because these are known to induce the biphasic effect. This is where consuming too much CBD has the opposite effect.
In fact, with CBD, more is not always better, so start with small doses and work your way up gradually until you hit your “sweet spot.”