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CBD for Muscle Relaxation: Understanding Its Potential

Written By Ellese Symons May 15th 2024
Table Of Contents
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Your joints, tendons, ligaments, and muscles can withstand considerable stress and strain. The discomfort you feel after testing your physical limits is a clear sign that you've developed the type of microscopic damage essential to building strength and endurance. Most often, the pain, stiffness, and inflammation associated with strenuous activity gradually worsen before improving over several days.1 That's just how delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) works. 

The activity-related discomfort you feel after logging several hours on your computer, long-distance travel, prolonged standing, or repetitive motion, on the other hand, is most often caused by stress and strain. If you're looking for a natural way to ease mild or temporary discomfort, maybe it's time to explore the possible benefits of adding CBD to your daily routine. After delving into several potential causes of muscle tension, we'll explain what CBD is, how it works in your body, and explore what the research shows about its possible benefits. 

Understanding the Possible Causes of Your Discomfort 

There are numerous possible causes of muscle tension and rigidity. Unexplained pain and stiffness could be linked to an underlying medical condition, medication side effects, or cramping due to restricted blood flow. Regardless of the cause, the discomfort you feel suggests the tissues have been in a semi-contracted state for an extended period of time. Persistent muscle tension accompanied by redness, pain, swelling, weakness, or fever should be evaluated by a medical professional.2 

With that said, some causes of muscle tension are easily identified, the discomfort you feel after working in front of a computer screen or binge scrolling, for example. The pain and stiffness commonly felt in the neck, shoulders, and upper back are most often caused by rounding the shoulders or straining the neck forward.3 Tension of the lower back, on the other hand, could be a sign that the muscles in the affected area are overcompensating for a muscular imbalance.4 Tight, tender muscles unexplained by a significant increase in physical activity can also be a sign of unresolved stress. 

How Stress Responses Contribute to Muscle Tension  

When stress levels rise, your autonomic nervous system triggers the instantaneous release of cortisol and adrenalin as your entire system slips into fight or flight mode. Your heart rate increases, breathing patterns change, and your muscles tense. Your body remains in this state of high alert until receiving signals from your brain that the threat has passed,5 unresolved stress can cause the muscles to stay in a near-constant state of guardedness. Muscles that remain tense and taut can cause tension headaches, discomfort in your neck and shoulders, and pain in your lower back and upper extremities.6 

If your muscle tension is causing significant discomfort or limiting your mobility, your healthcare provider may suggest further testing to determine the cause of your distress. Depending on their diagnosis, they may suggest anti-spasmodic medication, an analgesic topical, or physical therapy. After ruling out illness or injury, your physician could recommend any combination of rest, gentle stretching, heat or cold therapy, osteopathic manipulation, or chiropractic treatment.14   

CBD Science: Exploring the Cannabinoid's Possible Benefits for Muscle Relaxation  

CBD (cannabidiol) is the most abundant of the more than 113 cannabinoids in hemp flower extract. The active plant element interacts with at least 65 molecular targets, including the receptors of the serotonin, GABA, and dopamine systems.7 Dopamine plays an essential role in muscle movement and the perception of pleasure and pain.8  

Although CBD's influence on serotonin, GABA, and dopamine receptors alone could go a long way toward easing muscle tension and balancing stress responses, most sources credit the cannabinoid's interaction with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) for its diverse range of possible benefits. As the largest regulatory system in the human body, ECS signaling influences nearly every essential function, from sleep cycle regulation and emotional equilibrium to immune system function, stress responses, and muscle movement.9 Most experts believe supporting ECS function with CBD promotes homeostasis.10 

CBD Insights: Overview of the Anecdotal Evidence & Data-Driven Research  

Based on a 2019 CBDistillery® survey of 1,900 customers, most CBD users report positive results using our hemp-derived products for better sleep, mild or temporary anxiety, pain, stiffness, and inflammation after physical activity, and relaxation. While there's been little (if any) research investigating the cannabinoid's impact on muscle tension specifically, support for CBD use is often drawn from research investigating other causes of activity-induced discomfort and stress responses. 

In a review published in 2016 detailing the possible benefits for muscle spasticity, for example, the hemp-derived cannabinoid appears to have contributed (alongside THC) to a positive outcome via endocannabinoid system pathways.11 In other muscle-related studies, the cannabinoid is credited with multiple biochemical effects researchers identified as potentially beneficial for athletic recovery,12 and data published in 2021 detailed CBD's "promising" impact on factors relevant to repetitive motion.13

Exploring Product Options: Choosing the Best Fit for Your Needs  

The cannabinoid-rich oil extracted from hemp flower can be used to make an impressive number of CBD products that work in different ways. The best hemp-derived products are made with oil extracted from non-GMO, naturally farmed US crops and made with 100% clean ingredients. When you choose CBDistillery® CBD, you can shop with confidence. Our products are rigorously tested for purity and potency, quality assured, and backed by our hassle-free satisfaction guarantee. 

Before using any CBD product for the first time, it's important to understand that the serving sizes printed on product labels are simply suggestions. Since every CBD user is unique, your ideal serving size could be more – or might be less. That's why we recommend starting with a partial serving. If you don't get the results you're hoping for, increase your serving sizes gradually in small increments. Most of our 1,900 survey respondents report achieving their best results within 7-14 days of consistent use. We've included the following descriptions to help you find the best fit for your needs, preferences, and lifestyle. 

CBDistillery® CBD Oil Tinctures 

CBDistillery® CBD Oil Tinctures are made with a blend of our premium 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, and phytonutrients in the same ratio's nature intended, including a small amount of THC. If you want to avoid THC, choose broad spectrum CBD oil or a CBD isolate tincture. Simply hold a serving directly beneath your tongue for 45-60 seconds, then swallow. 

CBDistillery® CBD Softgels & Gummies  

CBDistillery® ahhh distilled CBD Softgels deliver a precise 30mg serving of CBD encased in an easy-to-swallow gelatin shell. They're available in 30-count and 60-count bottles. Our ahhh distilled Full Spectrum Gummies have a natural strawberry flavor. For relaxation and a mellow, uplifting buzz, try CBDistillery® ommm+ distilled THC + CBD Gummies. Each vegan, berry-flavored gummy has 25mg of CBD and 5mg of naturally occurring delta 9 THC to help calm your mind and ease your tension. 

CBDistillery® CBD Topicals  

For targeted relief where you need it most, try a  CBDistillery® oooh distilled Relief Stick. You get 1000mg of CBD delivered in a sleek no-mess applicator. We think you'll appreciate the soothing 0% THC mentholated formula. Every jar of full spectrum CBDistillery® oooh distilled CBD Balm is made with a soothing blend of expertly selected botanicals. CBD topicals can be used on their own or alongside your favorite CBD oil tinctures, softgels, or gummies. 

Could CBD Be the Key to Relaxing Your Tense Muscles?  

Tired, aching, tense muscles can drain your energy, take the joy out of your favorite activities, and keep you from getting the sleep you need to wake feeling refreshed. Could CBD be the key to easing your discomfort? It's possible. Should you try it? That depends. 

Although CBD is generally well-tolerated and safe for most adults, it's not the best choice for people with certain medical conditions. The cannabinoid can also interact with over-the-counter treatments and several medications. For questions or concerns, contact your healthcare provider. If you're ready to try CBD to ease mild or temporary muscle tension but aren't quite sure where to start, consider taking our 3-minute CBD Product Quiz or scheduling a consultation


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  1. Cirino E. (2019) What Causes Muscle Rigidity? Healthline. 39 J Bodywork and Movement Ther 97-108. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbmt.2024.02.041 

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