Taking over our health food stores, beauty products, and even the treats we feed our dog. It’s official—CBD oil is everywhere. Cannabidiol, otherwise known as CBD, is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid extracted from the cannabis plant. While it shares family ties with marijuana, it’s noted as a legal product as long as it has under .3 percent THC (however, some states may still consider this an illegal substance, so check before purchasing). CBD oil is being used as a relief for individuals with anxiety and problems sleeping, to ignite immune system receptors, and even to monitor pain.
So, how can this magical substance be the quick fix to softening the harsh muscle aches that come with on-set muscle soreness? The answer has to do with the oil’s effect on the brain and nervous system. Read on as we talk to medical professionals about the possible advantages and disadvantages of taking CBD oil as it relates to curing on-set muscle soreness.
What causes on-set muscle soreness?
Otherwise known as delayed on-set muscle soreness (DOMS), this is a condition that occurs within the body’ muscles after trying out a new workout routine or spending a day at the gym after being absent for a prolonged period of time.
The excess or unique change to the muscle’s conditioning can stress the muscle in ways that it’s not necessarily used to. Scientifically, this can be broken down into eccentric or lengthening muscle movements that cause small tears in the muscle to form. Fortunately, not only does it mean that your body is getting stronger and creating more muscle, but it’s unlikely that repeating the same workout (within a timely fashion) will cause as severe (or if any) delayed on-set muscle soreness.
How can CBD oil help with on-set muscle soreness?
We spoke with founder of Our Sleep Guide, Crystal Roberts, on the logistics when it comes to easing the aches that are correlated with on-set muscle soreness. “The endocannabinoid system (the internal system that produces cannaboid-like chemicals within the human body and is responsible for receptors in the nervous system) is involved with the feeling of pain and soreness.” She believes that when introducing CBD oil, it interacts with the endocannabinoid system and can actually improve a variety of pain perception, from chronic pain to sporadic soreness or difficult-to-treat pain. “CBD allows your body to function and feel better from all angles, including better sleep and better moods,” says Roberts. The same reason an individual may take CBD oil to help chronic pain, is why someone may take (or use) CBD oil for on-set muscle soreness. CBD’s effect on pain reduction and muscle soreness improves overall well-being and aides in carrying out an active lifestyle.
“We know that pain and inflammation are the body’s response to tissue injury,” says Dr. Kelenne Tuitt, board-certified family medicine physician. During the initial phase, such as creating small tears in your muscles (leading to on-set muscle soreness), the body’s blood vessels expand to carry more blood-rich nutrients to the muscle, which produces inflammation. Unfortunately, it’s this inflammation that initiates the healing process (of building stronger muscles), but it’s also the inflammation that causes soreness in the muscle.
“There are preclinical trials that have shown the cannabinoid receptor, agonist (a chemical that binds to a receptor on a cell and activates it to produce a biological response), can actually block pain” says Tuitt. She believes that while CBD oil does not work directly on the body pain receptors (C1 and C2), CBD oil can indirectly control their response to pain. This means, that while the body is repairing and strengthening the muscles, the pain we may feel as a side effect may lessen or diminish. “Currently, there are studies evaluating the effectiveness of CBD oil on patients that have muscle spasms with multiple sclerosis. One small study showed that short-term use of CBD oil could reduce symptoms. However, more specific studies on CBD oil’s effect on muscle soreness are needed.”
Are there any drawbacks to using CBD oil?
Introducing any new product on or into our bodies can have its share of potential drawbacks. However, CBD oil can also present itself a whole new assortment of complications. First off (as we mentioned previously), make sure that CBD oil is legal in your state. Next, check to see if your employment follows the official World Anti-Doping Agency list which removed CBD oil as an intoxicating substance.
Once you’ve secured CBD oil’s logistical standing between the state and your career, it may be wise to check if you have any adverse effects to CBD before hitting the gym. For application oils, try a small patch testing before rubbing on a larger surface. If ingesting or taking orally, take a small amount first to see if you have any physical or behavioral reactions.
It’s safe to say that individuals should use their best judgement when it comes to using CBD oil to ease any on-set muscle soreness. While it’s wonderful to get in a new workout (try using Aaptiv’s fitness app with new classes added weekly), and build up your body’s muscles, make sure that you’re taking care of yourself in a way that makes sense for you.