Understanding how a CBD muscle relaxant could work for your patients first requires some knowledge of the body’s endocannabinoid system. When your muscles are tight and stiff, you want immediate relief. But prescription medications don’t magically know which muscles to target, and easing a neck or shoulder spasm should not necessitate impairing your entire central nervous system with sedating pain medications or muscle relaxers. Thankfully CBD is a natu Learn about the current research and benefits of using CBD oil to reduce muscle spasms and spasticity so you can decide if it’s the right treatment plan for you.
Is CBD an effective muscle relaxant?
At the end of a long workday, when our bodies hurt, we often turn to popular prescription medications.
Medications such as Flexeril or Valium offer a quick fix to muscle spasm, pain, soreness, and tension.
Unfortunately, these medications come with a laundry list of troubling side effects and can be highly habit-forming, leading to problems more severe than muscle pain down the road.
Cannabidiol—CBD, a substance derived from the industrial hemp plant—is showing massive promise as an alternative to prescriptions as a safe, effective muscle relaxant.
Understanding how CBD may work as a muscle relaxant first requires some knowledge of the body’s endocannabinoid system.
The human endocannabinoid system
The importance of the body’s endocannabinoid system is increasingly being recognized in the scientific and medical communities; the endocannabinoid system affects virtually every other physiological system in the body, a fact which may explain the far-reaching medicinal benefits associated with CBD and other cannabinoids.
Chemical messengers moderate all sorts of functions in our brains and bodies. For example, neurotransmitters such as serotonin release from a presynaptic cell, travel across the synapse (the space between neurons) and attach to a postsynaptic cell.
Endocannabinoids—cannabinoids made inside our bodies, such as anandamide and 2-AG—work oppositely. They release from the post-synaptic cell, flow across the synapse, and land on the presynaptic cell. This process allows the postsynaptic cell a flow-control mechanism, telling the presynaptic cell when it’s had enough or needs more of a particular chemical messenger.
CBD as a muscle relaxant
When a muscle contracts, it is due to these chemical messengers originating from the central nervous system, going to a muscle, and forcing it to contract. Without a proper supply of endocannabinoids, there is nothing to slow down these excessive chemicals, causing muscles to contract continuously. An insufficient supply of endocannabinoids is a medical condition called Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency, or CECD.
CBD directly aids in slowing down this flow of chemical messengers, and it also boosts the body’s supply of endocannabinoids, resulting in a two-fold effect: assisting with muscle relaxation and reducing spasticity.
CBD and chronic stress
Additionally, muscle rigidity, tension, and spasticity can be the result of chronic stress or overwork. CBD shows great promise in helping reduce high anxiety levels, which in and of itself creates a huge health bonus to the body and quality of life in general.
A 2015 study in Neurotherapeutics notes: “Overall, current evidence indicates CBD has considerable potential as a treatment for multiple anxiety disorders, with need for further study of chronic and therapeutic effects in relevant clinical populations.”
If you feel less anxious and stressed after taking CBD, you may be more inclined to hit the gym or a yoga class after work, instead of vegging out in front of the TV or computer.
CBD or THC: Which is better for muscle relaxation?
While CBD alone works well for aiding muscle relaxation, studies in mice, including 2010 research published in Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, have demonstrated that an equal combination of THC and CBD is even more effective. (We aren’t recommending you run out and smoke marijuana, but merely stating what the research shows.) For muscle relaxation, CBD creams and topicals are the most recommended form of consumption.
As with any natural product, always consult your health care provider before embarking on any natural products regimen.
Have Muscle Tightness or Spasms? Why CBD is an Effective Muscle Relaxant
When your muscles are tight and stiff, you want immediate relief. But prescription medications don’t magically know which muscles to target, and easing a neck or shoulder spasm should not necessitate impairing your entire central nervous system with sedating pain medications or muscle relaxers. Thankfully CBD is a natural anti-inflammatory and muscle relaxant that works topically through the body’s own endocannabinoid system to inhibit the release of the neurotransmitters that cause muscle rigidity and spasms to occur.
LEARN MORE ABOUT CBD PAIN RELIEF PRODUCTS
YES, CBD HELPS RELAX MUSCLES TO RELIEVE SPASMS AND TIGHTNESS
More and more, people are turning to full-spectrum CBD pain relief products to alleviate muscle strain and spasms. CBD offers a natural, safe, and non-invasive way to alleviate pain and relax the muscles. More importantly, it does so without any alarming side effects.
To understand how CBD works, it’s important to first introduce you to the endocannabinoid system. As one of the primary regulatory systems in the human body, it helps maintain homeostasis by communicating with the other regulatory systems. Endocannabinoids and their receptors are found everywhere, including the brain, organs, glands, and tissues, as well as in the skin cells. It is through the endocannabinoid receptors in the skin that topical CBD, also known as transdermal CBD, enters the system.
When your muscles are in spasm it means your body is out of balance, and this causes your endocannabinoid system to work harder to help your body return to its homeostatic state. The introduction of CBD from an external source, such as a topical CBD anti-inflammatory, can immediately help the body achieve the pain-free level of homeostasis it desires. This happens because:
RECOMMENDED CBD PRODUCTS FOR RELAXING MUSCLES
Depending on your desired outcome, CBD can be taken orally or topically. As a muscle relaxant, we recommend taking CBD topically so it can penetrate and interact with the muscle directly. When applied directly to the affected areas, CBD effectively calms localized muscle spasms, tension, and inflammation.
Full-spectrum CBD is a powerful muscle relaxer and pain reliever, but it is even more potent when it is blended with other active ingredients, such as lidocaine, menthol, and arnica. That is why Botanika Life offers a full line of CBD products blended with soothing botanicals to calm and relax your muscles while helping eliminate the stress that contributes to muscle tension.
- Ultra-Relief Muscle Pain Rub with CBD. This muscle-focused salve contains over 1500 mg of full-spectrum CBD. This concentrated formula delivers immediate and significant relief for muscle spasms from the moment it is absorbed by your skin. It comes with our signature chrome spatula, so you can spoon the formula right onto your hands. Once you warm it by rubbing your palms together, it can be massaged directly into the strained muscle area for instant relaxation and relief.
- Pain Relief Roller with CBD, Lidocaine, and Menthol. This is a portable and powerful pain relief roll-on that provides a clean, easy, and hands-free way to help immediately alleviate muscle pain and spasms. With anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, this blend of CBD, lidocaine, and menthol is a mess-free and convenient way to relax the specific muscles that are hurting.
VIEW ALL CBD PAIN RELIEF PRODUCTS
OTHER PRODUCTS WHICH WILL HELP RELIEVE MUSCLES SPASMS AND TENSION
- Cryo Massage Roller . You can use this tool by itself or accompanied by one of the above CBD treatments for the ultimate relief for muscle spasms or tension. Place the cryo massage roller in the freezer, let it reach chilly temperatures, and then roll it on top of the troubled area.
- CBD Bath Bombs . We’d be remiss not to mention the soothing properties of a nice warm bath enriched with a luxury CBD bath bomb. Not only can the hot water encourage healthy circulation and full-body relaxation, but the plant-based bath bombs will invite the pain-relieving properties of CBD to enter the body through inhalation and the skin.
“Botanika products are a superior product that my clients and I are using to help expedite the healing process. As a Chiropractor and Strength Coach that works with a variety of athletes, these products have been super helpful for clients to provide a boost in their recovery process both in and outside of the clinic!” — Jeremy Scott Dinkin, Owner/Chiropractor at RSM Sports Medicine & Rehab
WHAT TO CONSIDER WHEN FINDING CBD PRODUCTS FOR RELAXING MUSCLE SPASMS
CBD stands for cannabidiol, and it is one of the many compounds that come from the cannabis plant. Unlike THC, which is the compound that makes people feel high, CBD does not have an impairing effect. Therefore, it can be taken orally or topically to increase overall health and wellness, decrease anxiety, improve sleep, relax muscles, and decrease inflammation and pain.
As is true for all plant-based ingredients, many factors contribute to the quality of CBD.
The first thing we suggest you seek out is a muscle relaxant that uses full-spectrum CBD . After the leaves and flowers of cannabis plants are harvested and dried, they undergo processing to extract CBD. An oil that only includes cannabidiol is a CBD isolate. But a CBD oil that also includes all the terpenes, cannabinoids, chemical compounds, and phytocannabinoids including Cannabigerol (CBG) and Cannabinol (CBN). It also contains a minuscule amount of THC (a concentration of 0.3% or less), an amount so little that it’s legal in the United States and won’t produce a psychoactive effect.
The chemical compounds found in full-spectrum CBD work together to produce what’s called the entourage effect, which means they work more effectively together than when a single cannabinoid is isolated. Full-spectrum CBD oil also requires less processing, because all the compounds are kept together, rather than pulling out just the CBD extract.
While CBD is not harmful, the degree of benefit that you derive from it depends on the quality of the hemp, as well as the way the product is harvested and formulated. Do not purchase any CBD muscle relaxant and pain relief products without first investigating the source of the plants, the extraction process, and the formula. More specifically, consider:
- Is this muscle relief product made with full-spectrum CBD?
- Is the CBD sourced from organically grown hemp? Is it free of pesticides and grown in the USA?
- Does the company utilize third-party lab testing? Can I see those results?
- Are the products organic, vegan, and never tested on animals?
For an example of a CBD company that prioritizes transparency and quality, look no further than Botanika Life. All our muscle relaxants and pain relief products are gluten-free, sustainable, natural, cruelty-free, clean, safe, 3 rd party lab-tested, and made in the USA.
WHY CONSIDER CBD INSTEAD OF IBUPROFEN AND ASPIRIN FOR MUSCLE SPASMS & PAIN
We can’t talk about relief for muscle spasms without talking about the elephant in the room, NSAIDs like ibuprofen and aspirin. While many of us are conditioned to reach for the bottle when we experience an ache, do we even know what we’re putting in our bodies?
Understand that NSAIDs are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. When an injury impairs your cells, they release prostaglandins to alert the system through pain. When you take an NSAID, it works by preventing injured cells from making prostaglandins, which in turn makes the pain less severe. However, these NSAIDs can be extremely harmful to the digestive system . Frequent use can affect the digestive tract, causing ulcers, stomach irritation, and/or reflux.
HOW CAN I PREVENT MUSCLE PAIN FROM HAPPENING IN THE FIRST PLACE?
CBD is not the only way to keep muscle pain at bay. To keep your muscles strong and spasm-free, also consider the following:
- Engaging with a personal trainer to learn proper form for exercising
- Stretching before intense workouts
- Drinking plenty of water to prevent muscle spasms associated with dehydration.
- Giving your body time to recover by working out different muscles when working out back-to-back
- Choosing foods that help combat inflammation. These include:
- Cherry juice
- Foods rich in Vitamin D such as eggs and fish
- Foods rich in Magnesium, such as bananas and almonds
WHY TRUST BOTANIKA LIFE FOR MUSCLE-RELAXING CBD PRODUCTS
Botanika Life is committed to seeing you live your best life – and you cannot do that when you are living with pain. If you are suffering from occasional or chronic muscle spasms, tension, or pain, CBD can help.
We employ only the best ingredients (verified through public-facing third-party lab testing results ) and proudly create formulas that use only all-natural, plant-based ingredients. What’s more, we’re a company built on passion, experience, and a commitment to our customers. In fact, if our products don’t provide the desired muscle pain relief and relaxing properties, we’ll reimburse you within 30 days of your purchase.
BY STACEY SHABTAI, CO-FOUNDER OF BOTANIKA LIFE
Model, entrepeneur, and certified nutritionist Stacey Shabtai has made wellness education and accessibility her life’s mission. A leading proponent of CBD health benefits, she has appeared in DuJour, Haute Living, and Elevate Magazine.
Muscle Spasms and CBD Oil: Relief from Cramps and Pain
CBD oil has hit the headlines recently for its use in the treatment of Parkinson’s Disease, but how far-reaching are its benefits for muscle spasms? Is it only for the most severe cases, or can it help with mild spasticity too?
Whether due to a medical condition that involves symptomatic muscle spasticity, long days sitting at an office desk, or strenuous exercise, muscle spasms can affect anyone. Ranging from a mild twitch to acute and chronic pain, the severity of muscle spasms can vary greatly: while mild spasms can often be stretched or rubbed away, some can be debilitating.
Luckily, CBD oil may be able to help, offering a gentler and potentially more effective alternative to traditional muscle spasm treatments.
Benefits of Using CBD Oil to Treat Muscle Spasms
If you suffer from chronic or acute muscle spasms, you’ve probably found yourself reaching toward the medicine cabinet to find a Valium, Flexeril, or another drug that offers the possibility of relief. While muscle relaxants like these may provide a temporary solution, they don’t address the actual cause of your muscle spasms. And some of them have side effects, such as drowsiness, that decrease your ability to function.
What’s more, certain muscle relaxant medications can be highly addictive and leave you at an increased risk for misuse or abuse.
CBD oil offers relief from spasticity without the habit-forming properties or side effects of pharmaceutical medical relaxants.
To fully understand how CBD oil treats muscle spasms, you need to first have an understanding of the endocannabinoid system (ECS). Located predominantly in the brain and central nervous system, the endocannabinoid system affects many other areas and functions in the body through a network of cannabinoid receptors.
Endocannabinoids are compounds naturally produced by your body that regulate this system by acting on CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors; phytocannabinoids, which are present in plants like cannabis and hemp, can also work seamlessly within your endocannabinoid system because they mirror the chemical structure of your body’s own endocannabinoids.
CBD oil’s main ingredient, cannabidiol (CBD) is one of over 100 phytochemicals found in the hemp plant and is able to act on your endocannabinoid system in a way that is natural and familiar to your body. By acting on your endocannabinoid system, cannabinoids like CBD may be able to reduce the pain and frequency of your muscle spasms.
Effectiveness of Using CBD Oil to Treat Muscle Spasms
If you’re considering using CBD oil instead of pharmaceuticals to stop your muscle spasms, you want to be sure that it’s going to work. With that in mind, here’s what the science has to say about using CBD oil to treat muscle spasms.
CBD Oil for Stopping Muscle Spasms
Through its work in the endocannabinoid system, CBD oil can reduce muscle spasms by altering the way the central nervous system communicates with your muscles; this is what makes it so effective in treating multiple sclerosis.
In 2004, a placebo-controlled crossover study examining cannabis’ effect on multiple sclerosis was undertaken in Switzerland. Researchers tested two groups of patients with multiple sclerosis and found that cannabis provided beneficial results for the test subjects. The researchers concluded that “a standardized Cannabis sativa plant extract might lower spasm frequency and increase mobility with tolerable side effects in MS patients with persistent spasticity not responding to other drugs.”
The University of California conducted a similar study in 2010. The randomized, placebo-controlled crossover trial examined the use of cannabinoids on patients with multiple sclerosis and spasticity. A total of 30 people completed the trial, and the results showed an average reduction of 2.74 points on the Modified Ashworth scale (used to measure spasticity in multiple sclerosis patients) compared to the placebo.
CBD Oil for Relieving Pain from Cramps
Within the endocannabinoid system is CB2, the cannabinoid receptor responsible for pain. CB2 can reduce the experience of sudden or chronic pain caused by muscle cramps and is impacted by cannabinoids like cannabidiol (CBD).
A 2005 study examining the effects of cannabinoids in MS patients who suffer from spasm-related pain yielded promising results. After four weeks of testing, the group that received a cannabis-based medicine containing both THC and CBD reported reductions in pain. The study even concludes, “Cannabis-based medicine is effective in reducing pain and sleep disturbance in patients with multiple sclerosis related central neuropathic pain and is mostly well tolerated.”
CBD Oil as a Muscle Relaxant
The cannabis plant contains two anti-inflammatory substances that have been shown to act as muscle relaxants. Delta-limonene and Beta-myrcene both exhibit properties that reduce anxiety, promote sleep, and display motor relaxant effects. Limonene and myrcene are two of many naturally occurring compounds in the hemp plant called terpenes, which give many fruits and plants their unique flavor and aroma.
An additional way CBD can help relax muscles is through its ability to reduce anxiety and promote relaxation by increasing levels of mood-enhancing neurotransmitters like serotonin and anandamide in the brain. CBD oil is also able to reduce cortisol levels, turning down tension and protecting your body from the negative effects this “stress hormone” can have on your physical and mental capacities.
How to Use CBD Oil for Muscle Spasms
Whether you suffer from occasional cramps or from chronic muscle spasms, you want fast and effective relief that is available the moment you need it.
Because vaped CBD oil goes directly into the bloodstream via the lungs, the effects come on instantly. Because of their fast-acting nature, CBD vapes are perfect for on-the-spot relief from muscle spasms. When vaping CBD, the benefits typically only last for 30 minute to an hour, so if you’re looking for a more long-term solution, you might want to consider taking CBD drops, capsules, or edibles as well.
CBD topicals like lotions, gels, and salves, may also be a great option for addressing muscle soreness or spasticity. While not as quick to act as CBD vapes or drops, CBD topicals combined with massaging the area can provide targeted relief that normally lasts 4-6 hours. There are some companies that even sell CBD-infused massage oil!
In terms of dosage, the amount needed can vary depending on your weight, metabolism, tolerance, and a variety of other factors. It is always best to start with the lowest suggested serving on your CBD product and adjust up from there if need be. For general CBD dosage information, check out our dosing guide; for personalized advice and guidance, consider speaking with a cannabis doctor who can analyze your condition and provide you with specific recommendations.
Most importantly though, speak to your primary physician before taking CBD oil for muscle spasms. Even though CBD oil is largely free of side effects, it can interact negatively with some prescription medications.
Best CBD Oil for Muscle Spasms
In order to find the best CBD oil for muscle spasms, there are a number of considerations that you should take into account.
Before purchasing CBD oil, find the cannabis and CBD laws specific to your state so you can be sure you are acting within the law. CBD oil is widely available in a majority of U.S. states, with CBD-THC blends also accessible in states which have legalized marijuana for recreational or medicinal purposes. (Some of the studies on muscle spasms, multiple sclerosis, and spasticity mentioned above used a CBD-THC blend.)
Regardless of the method you choose for taking your CBD oil —vape, topical, drops, or all of the above—it’s of the utmost importance that you purchase a high-quality product if you want to see results.
- Buy organic. Buying a CBD oil that has been extracted from organic hemp ensures your product is free of any nasty pesticides or herbicides.
- Check for a Certificate of Analysis (COA). Any reputable CBD company should have a Certificate of Analysis dated within 6 months for the product you are thinking about buying. A COA is a lab report, ideally provided by an independent, third-party laboratory, that provides a chemical analysis of your CBD oil product. A COA will tell you how much CBD is in your product, and whether there are harmful chemicals or heavy metals present.
- Read the ingredients. Avoid products that contain artificial or chemical additives. Also, check for the THC content if this is an ingredient you wish to avoid. Most quality CBD oils will contain a small list of ingredients and use naturally derived terpenes and flavorings.
As a starting point in your search for the brands producing the best, safest, and most effective CBD products out there, check out our top-rated brands.
If you are unhappy with the way you’ve been treating your muscle spasms or cramps, CBD oil may provide a great alternative option.
- C Vaney et al. Efficacy, safety and tolerability of an orally administered cannabis extract in the treatment of spasticity in patients with multiple sclerosis: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study – National Library of Medicine https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15327040/
- Jody Corey-Bloom et al. Smoked cannabis for spasticity in multiple sclerosis: a randomized, placebo-controlled trial – National Center for Biotechnology Information https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3394820/
- David J Rog et al. Randomized, controlled trial of cannabis-based medicine in central pain in multiple sclerosis – National Library of Medicine https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16186518/
- Eric P. Baron et al. (2018) Patterns of medicinal cannabis use, strain analysis, and substitution effect among patients with migraine, headache, arthritis, and chronic pain in a medicinal cannabis cohort – National Center for Biotechnology Information https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5968020/
- T Gurgel do Vale et al. Central effects of citral, myrcene and limonene, constituents of essential oil chemotypes from Lippia alba (Mill.) n.e. Brown – National Library of Medicine https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12587690/
- Raquel Linge et al. (2015) Cannabidiol induces rapid-acting antidepressant-like effects and enhances cortical 5-HT/glutamate neurotransmission: role of 5-HT1A receptors – National Library of Medicine https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26711860/
- Dale G Deutsch A Personal Retrospective: Elevating Anandamide (AEA) by Targeting Fatty Acid Amide Hydrolase (FAAH) and the Fatty Acid Binding Proteins (FABPs) – National Library of Medicine https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27790143/
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