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CBD for Muscle Recovery: A Comprehensive Guide

Written By Ellese Symons Apr 8th 2024
Table Of Contents
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 Post-workout discomfort can disrupt your sleep, limit your mobility, and impair your range of motion. Although tender muscles and aching joints are often viewed as an unavoidable consequence of improving physical fitness, participating in similarly strenuous activity before your muscles, tendons, and joints recover can stall your progress while increasing your risk of recurring injury, widespread inflammation, or even permanent damage.1

In a report published in a 2020 issue of Sports Medicine – Open, CBD is credited with multiple physiological and biochemical effects identified as potentially beneficial for muscle repair.2 Whether you're feeling the strain of topping your personal best in the gym, tackling an ambitious home improvement project, or tending your garden, you may want to consider how CBD could help support your recovery. 

Understanding the Internal Mechanisms of Post-Activity Muscle Soreness  

Your body can withstand a considerable amount of stress and strain, but when you push past your physical comfort zone, you'll know. The discomfort you feel is caused by the microscopic damage your muscle fibers need to grow stronger. That damage initiates an immune system response that sends specialized white blood cells to injured tissues to help remove cellular debris and initiate repairs. 

The resulting inflammation contributes to the release of free radicals that cause secondary damage to surrounding tissues. Researchers believe that secondary damage is the primary cause of delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).3 Most often, the symptoms start setting in within 12-24 hours of exceeding your limits and resolve within 1-3 days.

An Overview of What CBD Is and How It Works in the Body  

CBD (cannabidiol) is the most abundant (and well-known) of more than 113 cannabinoids in hemp flower extract. Although CBD interacts with multiple molecular targets, including the receptors of the dopamine, serotonin, and GABA systems, cannabis researchers most often credit CBD's influence on the endocannabinoid system receptors for its considerable health and wellness potential.5 

As the largest regulatory system in the human body, ECS signaling is involved in nearly every aspect of physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Cannabis researchers believe CBD's influence on ECS receptors supports the processes of homeostasis.6 

The cannabinoid's reported benefits for activity-induced discomfort and inflammation, however, are probably best explained by its impact on the metabolic enzyme responsible for the breakdown of the "bliss molecule" anandamide (FAAH)7 and its interaction with TRPV receptors, the vanilloid subtype pathways involved in sensory perception and pain modulation.8  

Exploring CBD's Possible Benefits for Muscle Recovery  

Muscle recovery is essential for people of all fitness levels, not just professional athletes. With so many health-conscious consumers striving to reduce their use of pharmaceutical solutions, adults of all ages are taking a more natural approach to muscle recovery by paying close attention to nutrition and hydration, managing inflammation with ice or compression, and investing in plant oils and extracts to ease their discomfort. 

Adults of all ages are trying CBD for the first time after reading reports suggesting the cannabinoid has a positive impact on muscle pain, stiffness, and inflammation after physical activity. In a fascinating study published in the International Journal of Physical Education, Sports, and Health, for example, participants taking CBD after working out reported significantly less discomfort after physical activity at 24-hour, 48-hour, 72-hour, and 96-hour marks. 

Although investigators admit CBD's exact mechanisms influencing DOMS and exercise-induced muscle damage (EIMD) are not entirely understood, their report suggests CBD shows considerable potential for "aiding recovery" and helping study participants return to pre-EIMD soreness levels faster.9  

CBD Product Types: Incorporating Cannabidiol Into Your Recovery Routine  

Anyone browsing the anecdotal evidence will also find an impressive number of product reviews and user testimonials suggesting similarly favorable outcomes. Take our survey results, for example. Based on a 2019 CBDistillery® survey of 1,900 customers, 84% of CBD users reported relief from pain after physical activity, an impressive 88% prefer CBD over turmeric for inflammation, and 89% reported better sleep. Although side effects that can include dry mouth, fatigue, nausea, or changes in appetite are possible,10 93% of our participants reported experiencing no adverse effects. 

One of the cannabinoid's most appealing attributes is its remarkable versatility. Once the cannabinoid-rich oil is extracted and distilled, it's used as an ingredient in a wide range of products. That makes it easy to find just the right fit for your needs, preferences, and lifestyle. Since you know your body best, the following descriptions could help you decide which of our most popular products could be the best fit for your routine. 

CBDistillery® CBD Oil Tinctures 

CBDistillery® CBD Oil Tinctures are made with a blend of full spectrum hemp flower extract, broad spectrum extract, or CBD isolate powder and a carrier oil. Full spectrum CBD oil gives you hemp's many cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and other phytonutrients in the same ratios found in nature. 

If you prefer avoiding THC, broad spectrum CBD oil or a CBD isolate tincture are the better options. Their THC content is reduced to non-detectable levels during extraction and processing. We recommend you hold a serving beneath your tongue for 45-60 seconds, then swallow. 

CBDistillery® CBD Softgels & Gummies  

Available in full spectrum and broad spectrum, CBDistillery® CBD Softgels and gummies are a lot more portable than CBD oil tinctures. Every serving delivers a precise, premeasured amount of CBD. That makes gummies and softgels ideal for home use or travel. CBDistillery® ahhh distilled CBD Softgels give you 30mg of CBD per serving and are available in 30-count and 60-count bottles. 

CBDistillery® ahhh distilled Broad Spectrum Anytime Gummies have a delicious tropical-fruit flavor. Our berry-flavored CBDistillery® shhh distilled Broad Spectrum CBD Sleep Gummies have 2mg of melatonin in every hemp supplement. But you may want to plan ahead. It can take up to two hours for the effects of gummies, softgels, and other edibles to peak because the cannabinoids are processed through your digestive system before they begin circulating through your bloodstream.   

 CBDistillery® Relief Sticks & Balms  

When you want fast-acting, targeted relief, consider applying CBD topically. CBDistillery® ooh distilled CBD Balm gives you 500mg of full spectrum CBD oil in every jar enhanced with a blend of eucalyptus, arnica, lavender, wintergreen, peppermint, and other muscle-soothing ingredients selected by our expert botanists. 

CBDistillery® ohhh distilled Relief Stick is made with pure CBD isolate, so there's 0% THC. It's a product that's non-greasy, 1000mg strong, infused with cooling menthol, and ideal for packing in your travel kit or gym bag. For best results, apply your CBD topicals liberally to clean, dry skin. They can be used on their own or to complement the effects of your favorite CBD oil tinctures, softgels, or gummies. 

Discover What CBD Could Do for Your Post-Activity Muscle Recovery  

When pain, stiffness, or discomfort after physical activity disrupts your day or keep you from getting the rest you need to recover, try CBD. Hemp-derived CBD products are generally well-tolerated, safe for most adults, and can be used before, during, or after your workout. 

 In a 2020 publication by WHO (World Health Organization), the agency reported finding "no evidence of public health-related problems.11 However, CBD and other hemp-derived cannabinoids can interact with several medications and over-the-counter treatments. They're not advisable for people with certain health conditions. If you have questions or concerns, consult your physician. 

If you're ready to try CBD for muscle recovery but not quite sure where to begin, consider scheduling a personal consultation or taking our CBD Quiz. When you choose CBDistillery® CBD products, you can shop with confidence. Our high-quality CBD oil tinctures, topicals, softgels, and gummies are rigorously tested, quality assured, made with 100% clean ingredients, and backed by a no-stress, hassle-free 60-day guarantee. 


  1. Fitzgerald M. (2013) Is Inflammation Holding You Back? Active.com 

  1. McCartney D, Benson M, et al. (2020) Cannabidiol and Sports Performance: A Narrative Review of Relevant Evidence and Recommendations for Future Research. 6(1) Sports Med Open 27. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7338332/ 

  1. Ames H. (2023) What Is Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS)? 

  1. Healthline. G Olson. (2019 June 25_ What Is Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) and What Can You Do About It? 

  1. Ligresti A, Petrocellis L. (2016) From Phytocannabinoids to Cannabinoid Receptors and Endocannabinoids: Pleiotropic Physiological and Pathological Roles Through Complex Pharmacology. 96(4) Physiol Rev 1593-659. doi: 10.1152/physrev.00002.2016. PMID: 27630175. 

  1. Sallaberry C, Astern L. (2018) The Endocannabinoid System, Our Universal Regulator. 34(6) JYI 48-55. https://www.jyi.org/2018-june/2018/6/1/the-endocannabinoid-system-our-universal-regulator 

  1. Devitt-Lee A. (2019) Natural High: CBD Augments Anandamide. Project CBD. 

  1. Liu L, Guo M (2021) Role of Transient Receptor Potential Vanilloid 4 in Vascular Function. Front Mol Biosci. doi: 10.3389/fmolb.2021.677661. PMID: 33981725; PMCID: PMC8107436. 

  1. Hatchet A, Armstrong K, et al. (2020) The Influence of Cannabidiol on Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. 7(2) Int J Phys Ed, Sports and Health 89-94. https://www.kheljournal.com/archives/2020/vol7issue2/PartB/7-2-4-412.pdf 

  1. Bergamaschi M, Mateus R, et al. (2011) Safety and Side Effect of Cannabidiol, a Cannabis Sativa Constituent. 6(4) Curr Drug Saf 237-49. https://doi.org/10.2174/157488611798280924 

  1. World Health Organization. (2020) Cannabidiol (CBD) Critical Review Report. PDF https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/controlled-substances/whocbdreportmay2018-2.pdf?sfvrsn=f78db177_2