Can CBD Help with Muscle Recovery? Let’s Find Out

Main image courtesy of Men's Journal.

Have sore muscles? CBD could be the answer you’re looking for to ease the pain of muscle recovery

Exercise and staying active are important parts of a healthy lifestyle. Along with diet and a good sleep routine, it’s the cornerstone of helping your body stay at its best each and every day. It’s a good idea to keep pushing yourself to reach your fitness goals, that way you’re always striving to be better and stronger. However, sometimes this results in sore muscles, which prevent us from continuing on our fitness path. Especially sore or stiff muscles can take you off your workout routine for days, and nobody wants that! Not only do you have to deal with the pain, but you might find yourself set back due to your time away. If only there was a way to ease the pain of muscle repair and recovery, so you can get right back at it. Well, CBD might be the answer you’re looking for when it comes to muscle recovery. Keep reading because we’re going to discuss:

  • Why our muscles get sore and how they repair 
  • How can CBD help with muscle recovery?
  • Ways to use CBD for muscle recovery


Why Do Our Muscles Get Sore?

Sometimes your fitness session results in sore muscles

In order to stay fit and reach your fitness goals, you have to keep changing up your workout routine. Doing the same intensity and the same exercises over and over isn’t going to keep your body fit, you’ve got to change it up and challenge yourself. That means working and stretching different muscle groups and doing different cardio exercises--ensuring your body doesn’t become complacent with the exercise workload. Whenever we switch up a routine or add additional weight or intensity, our muscles have to adapt. 

While we might not feel it at the time, chances are after an intense workout you’re going to feel it later! This muscle soreness after the fact is known as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). This soreness happens because as your muscles are tested, microscopic damage occurs, and your muscles must recover from this. The tears in the muscle fiber don’t cause the pain, but the recovery does, which is why it can take hours or days to feel any pain. 

Although it may be painful at the time, you’re working to strengthen your muscles by pushing them to do more for longer periods of time. The next time your muscles get sore, not to worry, this means that you’re propeling yourself to new heights. 

How Do Muscles Repair and Recover?

Your muscles may be sore as they repair themselves

A man holding his right leg as if he has a sudden muscle cramp or pain.
Sore muscles can be a pain after a workout. Image courtesy of Stretch 22.

Although DOMS can be painful at times, it’s comforting to know that this soreness is really a result of your muscles repairing themselves and slowly recovering. After your workout and the tears to your muscles have occured, inflammation immediately ensues, setting off your immune system to take care of the problem. Immediately post-workout you might feel great, but DOMS typically sets in 24 to 48 hours after an intense session--the time it takes for your muscles to recover and cause you pain. 

Muscle soreness like this is going to happen any time you push your limits, and it’s typically not something to worry about. Almost everyone experiences this type of post-exercise pain, and there aren’t really a lot of options to help you deal with it besides rest, ice, light stretching, or heat. But, what about if there was a way to get the relief you need directly to your muscles to help them repair faster, meaning less pain for you? Well, CBD might be able to help ease your muscle’s recovery so you can get back out there and continue to stay active.

How Can CBD Help with Muscle Recovery?

CBD and muscle recovery - does it work?

Anytime we push our limits physically we may be in store for muscle pain afterwards. This is good for your muscles, and builds strength and stamina. But beyond dealing with the pain, consider adding CBD to your muscle recovery routine. How can CBD help with muscle recovery?

  • Reduces inflammation. CBD has anti-inflammatory properties, making it a great way to send relief to your inflamed and irritated muscles. CBD works with the body to target the areas that need relief the most--including your sore muscles. After an intense workout session, those muscles are going to work repairing themselves.  Try heading off the pain that is sure to come later with CBD.
  • Could decrease muscle tension. Since CBD has anti-inflammatory properties, it may be able to also decrease muscle tension and soothe any muscle spasms. Both muscle tension and muscle spasms are common occurrences when dealing with post-workout muscle recovery.
  • Limit pain. In addition to its anti-inflammatory aspects, CBD is also known to be an analgesic because it works with the body’s receptors in the endocannabinoid system to reduce the transmission of pain signals to the brain. Since pain is the result of your muscles going through the recovery process, CBD would be ideal to use in order to reduce the amount of pain you feel after your exercise session.
  • Help with sleep. Our muscles do a significant amount of repair while we’re asleep. But it’s hard to get good rest when your muscles are in pain, possibly keeping you awake. CBD can help you deal with the pain you’re having due to its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, allowing you to get the rest you need to properly repair and recover. 

It seems that including CBD into your workout and recovery routine might be a good idea in order to decrease the inflammation and pain associated with this process. But what’s the best way to get CBD to your sore muscles? 

How Do You Use CBD for Muscle Recovery?

What kind of CBD is best, and should it be used pre or post-workout?

A bottle of Seventh Sense CBD intensive deep relief cream in Eucalyptus Spearmint scent.
A CBD topical is a great way to apply the CBD to the muscle exactly where it’s sore. Image courtesy of Seventh Sense.

If you want to include CBD into your exercise and muscle recovery routine, there are two main ways in which you can--with topicals or orally. Let’s take a look at each a little closer.


Topicals

Topicals such as balms, creams, and lotions infused with CBD are a great way to target the muscle that needs relief. You can apply the topical exactly where the problem is, allowing the CBD and other helpful ingredients to go to work right at the source. Seventh Sense’s Intensive Muscle Balm uses 1,000mg of hemp-derived CBD along with arnica, methol, and wintergreen to bring soothing relief right where you need it most. Just apply to the muscle that’s sore and allow it to absorb. If you find that you’re not getting the relief you need, simply reapply. 

In addition to balms, creams, and lotions, you can also get a relieving dose of CBD through a bath bomb or salts. Taking a relaxing bath along with one of these CBD topicals is a great way to get relief and a little self-care at the same time.

Orals

You can also take CBD orally, with capsules, drops, or edibles. You can choose to make these a part of your daily health routine, or, take them only as you need them. When you take CBD via drops, it will enter your bloodstream almost immediately, giving you some relief from sore muscles. If you choose an edible or a capsule, it will first need to go through your digestive system, but you may feel the soothing effects longer. 

Choose a method that’s right for your lifestyle and that you find convenient, whether that’s a CBD balm or lotion, a capsule or edible. Another thing to consider is whether you should take CBD before or after your workout in order to get the full effects. Since gummies or capsules take longer to reach the bloodstream, you might want to consider taking those before your workout, in order to get the pain-relieving benefits afterwards. Applying a topical to a sore muscle pre-workout could also make your workout a little less uncomfortable, allowing you to keep challenging yourself. Both topical and oral CBD can be taken post-workout, when your muscles are recovering. It’s really up to you!

If you’re interested in reducing inflammation and pain from your muscles as they recover, CBD could be a great addition to your workout routine. Building strength and stamina in your muscles is important, so don’t let pain get in your way.

Read more about CBD

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