Is CBD a muscle relaxant?
This article will look at how CBD works to help the body deal with muscle pain and how it works as a muscle relaxant by interfacing with the Endocannabinoid System.
What is the difference between muscle relaxers and painkillers?
When the body experiences pain, nerve receptors called nociceptors transmit signals to the brain to tell it that damage has been caused to a part of the body. This is partly a warning system, similar to when you touch something hot and the pain causes you to move your hand away.
There are several types of pain that can help isolate the cause of the damage to the body, although the individual’s perception and description of pain sometimes make it hard to analyze. When the body detects damage, chemicals called prostaglandins are released causing the nerve receptors to start sending the pain message to the brain.
A painkiller functions through the central nervous system. It prevents these chemicals from being produced, thus blocking the pain receptors in the brain. In reality, the pain is still there, however, the brain is “tricked” into thinking it is not.
If, however, the damage is muscular in origin it can be more effective to use muscle relaxers as these function at the actual site of the muscle and help to reduce stiffness and tension in the muscle and, therefore, reduce the pain. Traditional medications are not natural muscle relaxers.
None of these two ailments are in fact natural. Therefore, when looking for a natural muscle relaxer, you should consider CBD oil, as it has also shown evidence of effectively relieving muscle pain.
CBD and the Endocannabinoid System
CBD affects the body by interacting with chemical receptors in the nervous system. The brain has receptors that respond to neurotransmitters called endocannabinoids. Endocannabinoids are produced naturally in the body and are transmitted through the peripheral and central nervous system to the brain. Although this nervous system is not completely understood it is able to regulate some psychological, cognitive, and physical processes such as appetite, mood, and pain.
Since Cannabis has cannabinoids that are remarkably like those produced naturally by the body it is felt that it is also able to influence the receptors. There are therapeutic benefits associated with the ability to control or at least influence the endocannabinoid system by duplication the actions of these neurotransmitters. If this system is involved in creating a sensation of euphoria locomotor activity and pain, then CBD will have the effect of creating a feeling of wellbeing and allow a reduction in pain from movement.
Is using CBD oil as muscle relaxant effective?
Muscles can become painful for several reasons. At times, it is purely mechanical, they are strained due to excessive use or are pushed to their extreme. However, a muscle is also susceptible to psychological disorders such as stress. Traditional muscle relaxants fall into two categories neuromuscular blockers and spasmolytic, and they both work in slightly different but exceedingly complicated ways and do not necessarily relieve the muscle tension. Traditional painkillers are not natural muscle relaxers and can have harmful side effects such as liver damage. More common side effects are drowsiness weakness and fatigue.
Spasmolytic types of relaxants are particularly dangerous, for they are used as an anesthetic for operations and can have damaging effects for older people, as they also affect the heart rate. There is also the danger of addiction since this medication is a part of the opioid group. CBD oil has not shown any documented 1 cases of addiction. In fact, research has concluded that CBD Oil can actually help fight it 2
As already mentioned the strong connection between the Endocannabinoid System and CBD is the secret behind its efficacy when treating muscle pain. The way to naturally calm excessively contracting muscles is through a sufficient supply of endocannabinoids 3 .
CBD Oil has the ability to directly influence the speed of chemical messengers released when pain occurs. It also significantly boosts the body’s supply of endocannabinoids. Therefore, CBD oil treats muscle pain in two ways by assisting with muscle relaxation and reducing spasticity.
How to use CBD to relieve muscle pains?
Coping with stiff, aching, cramping muscles is a daily problem for millions of people. These can be as simple as a cramp in the leg that suddenly wakes you from a deep sleep or as complex as Tourette’s or multiple sclerosis. CBD can be prepared into various formats that prove useful for treating different problems by using different methods of application.
- Oils and tinctures
CBD for other types of pain
CBD and CBD products have a wide application in treating other types of pain. Chronic pain can often be one of the most exhausting types of pain to treat. As the name hints, it is present for longer periods of time, affecting a person’s overall quality of life. Research by the British Pharmacological Society 4 suggests that cannabidiol is indeed an effective and safe way of treating different types of chronic pain.
CBD has also shown to be effective when treating arthritis, osteoporosis and multiple sclerosis, which are also often associated with high levels of pain.
CBD oil for muscle pain – the bottom line
CBD oil can be used for various conditions, including muscle pain. Research suggests, that CBD may be an effective muscle relaxer. Due to its interaction with the endocannabinoid system, minimum side effects, and effectiveness as a stress reliever, CBD (Cannabis compound) may hold the key to great natural muscle relaxers.
As we patiently wait for more studies on humans to be conducted, we can rely on the countless testimonies people leave online every day.
CBD: Frequently Asked Questions
CBD and THC are the two active compounds found in cannabis plants (marijuana and hemp). To simplify it, CBD has many potential medical applications, specifically in “relaxation” related effects: calming, anxiety support, muscle relaxation. It has been studied to help in pain management and epilepsy with promise. THC is more fun since it has more of the psychoactive effects, causing the “high.” THC also is known to stimulate appetite.
What’s the difference between hemp and marijuana?
Hemp and marijuana are cousins. One could say they have a ‘strained’ relationship. Hemp has more CBD than THC. Marijuana has more THC than CBD. Marijuana is more illegal than hemp, but all of it is in this weird legal place because of federal law, state law, and all of that fun.
What’s the difference between hemp oil and CBD?
Here’s one of my awesome analogies:
A hemp plant is like an orange. Hemp oil is like orange juice. CBD is like Vitamin C.
CBD is a single active constituent of a hemp plant. Hemp oil is the, well, oil squeezed from or extracted from the hemp plant. You leave all of the fibrous plant stuff and squeeze out all the nutritional/beneficial compounds.
And this is where you have to be careful. When your CBD product says “40mg”, we have to ensure it is 40mg of CBD and not hemp oil. Hemp oil contains CBD, and it will be a small part of the total hemp oil.
Are there different “strains” of CBD?
The strain of cannabis plants dictates, among other things, how much THC and how much CBD are present. Different strains will have different amounts of THC to CBD.
When it comes to CBD supplements, those variables are removed. CBD is taken out of the plants or strains and concentrated. They are 100% CBD with no legal amount of THC, so the strains are irrelevant when discussing CBD. So, no, there aren’t any cool named CBD strains like “Purple Kush.”
Why is CBD so popular?
Grandmas, potheads, business people, soccer moms all love CBD. There are lots of variables of why it is so popular, but it has to do with promising research, a change in the cannabis legal landscape, a booming marijuana industry, and more awareness and acceptance.
Dr. Neal Smoller is your personal authority on all things CBD – give him a call to learn more!
Can CBD be used in children?
Research around CBD in children for specific illnesses such as epilepsy looks promising. It’s important to speak with a pediatrician before starting on CBD in children.
Can CBD be used in animals?
Veterinarians are recommending it in dogs and cats for anxiety-related conditions and in some cases for pain management. Don’t start using CBD in your animal without talking to your vet or an expert in veterinary medicine. Dogs and cats are very different from humans (of course) and handle medicines, and more importantly, inactive ingredients, differently.
What dose should I use?
Great question. “Who the heck knows” is actually a good response.
There aren’t really established dosing guidelines yet. In humans, we recommend starting low and increasing every few days until it gives you the result you are looking for OR it just isn’t doing anything for you. Starting doses for humans can be anywhere between 5-20mg. For cats and dogs, doses of 1-5 mg for every 10 pounds are common recommendations by veterinarians. Always start low and go slow.
How fast does it work?
CBD dissolved under the tongue can work in as fast as 30 minutes to an hour. Orally absorbed CBD would work a bit slower, taking 1-1.5 hours. Vaporized CBD (inhaled/smoked) would work sooner – 10-30 minutes.
The other side to the “how fast does it work” question is “how long till I get the benefit?” The effect doesn’t really accumulate like some medicines, so we would want to escalate the dose as tolerated as soon as possible. What I mean is, if 10mg isn’t doing anything for you, taking 10mg for 2 weeks won’t do anything either. Try to increase every 3-7 days slowly – as you tolerate.
What kind of side effects or problems can happen from CBD use?
Because of the lack of research, we are only familiar with anecdotes from generations of cannabis consumption and small bits of data we have. The biggest side effect of CBD is sedation and muscle relaxation, so it should not be consumed before doing important things like driving or using a meat slicer
We don’t know of long-term problems as of yet, but based on historical knowledge, it seems there aren’t many risks if consumed moderately.
How does CBD come? What dosage form is the best?
CBD can come in vaporized forms (in legal states), liquids that are dissolved under the tongue, oral dosage forms like capsules, tablets, or gummies even, or in topical preparations which are usually ointments.
Our preference: Liquids > vaporized >>> oral >> topical.
We think the best bet is under the tongue oils. Oral capsules, tablets, or chewables like gummies will require higher amounts to get the same effect in most people, plus they end up costing more per mg of CBD.
Topical CBD could work in theory, but it is expensive and many topical CBD products aren’t really formulated to “push” the CBD into the blood. Until we know more about how CBD is absorbed through the skin, it’s best to use oral instead. Remember, our skins are all different, so effects will be more different person to person than using an oral product. Technically an oral oil COULD be used topically – just put the dose on the area and massage in – if you wanted a local effect.
How do I learn more?
We speak about quality in our CBD rant. We give lots of good tips in our recent video on buying CBD. We have a downloadable tool to help you do the math around CBD. If you read up here, you’ll be a CBD expert in no time!