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- Sore muscles can be the result of a variety of things; it’s important to know what’s causing your achy muscles before seeking a solution.
- Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is commonly experienced after difficult or strenuous physical activity.
- CBD, specifically, is often used for this type of muscles soreness.
- Not all CBD is created equal. We recommend consumers only purchase CBD products made with high-quality ingredients and efficacious concentrations that are third party tested.
Sore muscles can occur after exercise, when we use our muscles in ways they are not used to, or we push our body past its comfort zone. Sore muscles can also be the unwanted result of aging or physical labor, repeating the same motions for too many years on end. Although these discomforts are localized and temporary, they can make daily tasks much more difficult. CBD oil, particularly in the form of cream or salve, is a great way to help your body manage exercised-induced muscle soreness so that you can comfortably get on with your life.
CBD cream is absorbed into the body directly through the skin, meaning the body gains the beneficial properties of CBD without ingestion. This type of absorption makes CBD creams and other topicals an excellent way to directly ease sore muscles and relax specific parts of the body.
Muscle soreness can come in many forms and can be caused by countless factors. Here, we’ll discuss how CBD oil can be used with the various types of muscle soreness. We’ll also explain how CBD creams work and why CBD could be the right choice for you.
Common Muscle Soreness vs. Systemic Muscle Issues
Physical discomfort is just a part of life, but it is important to understand the difference between everyday discomfort and something more. Systemic muscle issues are often felt throughout the body and is likely a chronic ailment. It is often caused by an infection, illness, or may even arise as a side effect of medication. These types of issues are rooted in deeper medical problems and should be addressed by a medical professional.
In contrast, common muscle soreness comes from living everyday life. We may feel soreness in various muscles from everyday activities like sitting, standing, running, or typing. These discomforts come from the strains and stressors that are put on the body and are not a result of more serious issues. They are usually localized to a certain muscle group or part of the body and are temporary rather than chronic. This type of discomfort can affect the young, the old, the athlete, and the average Joe, but it is also the type of discomfort that can be eased through the natural agents found in hemp plants.
Causes of Muscle Soreness
The Mayo Clinic has found four common causes for muscle soreness:
- Minor injuries
Muscle soreness can occur throughout the activities of an average day and can affect any of us. Although usually nothing of great concern, the resulting soreness can be limiting to our physical abilities.
Side Effects of Everyday Stress
Stress is a natural part of life, but one that can take a toll on our bodies and minds in countless ways. In nature, it is a natural response to a threatening situation that is meant to help ensure our safety. However, our modern world regularly presents us with situations that can create stress even when no immediate physical danger is present. Even aspects of our work or home lives can be frequent sources of excessive and prolonged periods of stress.
Stress is a response, meaning it triggers reactions that can lead to side effects such as muscle soreness. For example, a common physical reaction to stress is muscle tension. When a threat is presented to us, our body’s stress response prepares to protect itself, and part of that preparation is bracing itself by tensing. However, when our body responds in this way to daily stresses, we may begin to feel soreness in our muscles.
Not only does stress trigger physical responses, but it can also bring about negative psychological side effects. Stress may make us irritable and will often lead to sleep problems. The National Center for Biotechnology Information has found that a lack of regular and sufficient sleep can cause muscle soreness and discomfort in the body.
The theory behind the link between a lack of sleep and muscle soreness revolves around the hypothalamus, a region of the brain that is partly responsible for regulating the body’s homeostasis (balance), including sleeping patterns. The hypothalamus serves as the connection between the endocrine and the nervous system by receiving and sending signals throughout the body.
When the body doesn’t receive the sleep it requires, the hypothalamus may not correctly send and receive signals, including discomfort signals. This has shown to increase the body’s sensitivity to discomfort, which can cause and exacerbate muscle soreness.
Extended Muscle Contraction Leading to Uncomfortable Tension
Muscles operate by contracting at the time and to the extent that the brain signals them to. When functioning properly, the muscles would then release the contraction and relax until they are again signaled, but sometimes muscles decide to remain contracted. This extended contraction leads to muscle tension, also referred to as muscle rigidity, rigor, or stiffness.
When muscles are not able to relax as they should, they can become sore and difficult to move properly. This soreness can potentially last for days at a time, particularly if the tension causing muscle soreness is due to stress. This prolonged muscle soreness can also extend beyond physical discomfort to mental frustration and additional daily stress.
In addition to stress, tension can be brought about by excessive activity or a lack thereof. Exercising and performing strenuous physical activities can leave your muscles tense, while sitting or laying down for too long can also leave them feeling stiff and sore.
Overuse of Muscle Groups through Repetitive Movements
Muscle soreness often develops over long periods of time in which we repetitively perform the same physical movements. This is often referred to as a Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) or work-related upper limb injury. The type and intensity of the movement may play some role in how quickly muscle soreness develops, but overuse to any degree can eventually lead to similar results.
Baseball players may develop muscle soreness from years of swinging a bat, while a computer technician may similarly develop muscle soreness from years of typing on a computer. The body parts most commonly affected by overuse are the following:
- Hands and fingers
Muscle soreness due to overuse usually begins slowly and gradually increases with time. Furthermore, it is often initially only felt in performing the particular motion at fault.
Although not usually thought of as a repeated motion, muscle soreness from bad posture also falls into this category. Bad posture while sitting and standing can cause strain, and habitual bad posture can lead to weakened muscles and a harder time adopting proper posture.
Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness
Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness or DOMS is the term for when your muscles feel sore and your body aches a day or two after trying that new kickboxing class at your gym or after spending the day chopping and stacking wood as the air begins to acquire a crisp chill. It can occur any time we perform strenuous physical activities that our bodies are not used to; some of the most common situations include the following:
- Beginning a new workout program
- Adding a new exercise to your workout that targets muscles in ways they are not used to
- Increasing the intensity or duration of your workout
Unlike muscle soreness from muscle strains in which a small portion of fibers actually tears to create “micro-injuries,” DOMS is brought about by an unusual amount of stress being put on the muscle fibers. Similar to muscle strains, though, DOMS usually occurs from eccentric muscle contractions rather than concentric contractions.
DOMS is a natural phenomenon that can happen to anyone, even the most seasoned athletes. Someone who is new to regular exercise will generally experience DOMS after their first workout regardless of what it entailed just because their body is not used to performing such activities. Athletes who are physically fit and probably exercise daily will likely also experience DOMS in a similar fashion as they train to increase the amount of weight they can lift or the distance they run beyond what their bodies are used to.
DOMS will generally set in approximately six to eight hours after performing the physical activity and can last for a day or two thereafter. The muscle soreness experienced in DOMS stems from the body’s natural response from an increased amount of stress put on muscle fibers rather than actual tearing such as in muscle strains. This makes it even less of a concern and really more of an inconvenience that can leave you feeling unmotivated and uncomfortable.
Dealing With DOMS
With no actual damage done to muscle tissue, it is perfectly safe to continue exercising while experiencing DOMS. However, the soreness can be discouraging and sometimes even inhibiting until the muscles are warmed up enough for the resulting soreness to subside. Although there is no cure or fix for DOMS, CBD oils and creams may help reduce the feeling exercise-induced soreness in specific muscle groups with the use of natural compounds found in hemp plants
While not entirely unavoidable, measures can also be taken to prevent DOMS. One of the most important things to remember while performing any physical exercise or activity is to always listen to your body. If it doesn’t feel like you can move a certain way or carry a certain weight, it is best not to attempt it as you run the risk of more serious injury.
Stretching is also a great way to help prevent DOMS. Stress and strains usually happen when muscles are tight and unable to move as they are needed to. Stretching before physical activity lengthens muscles and warms them up, allowing you to move more freely with less risk of over-exertion.
While stretching is a great way to prepare for physical activity, a post-workout cool-down can be equally important. Just as in the method of active recovery, performing low-impact movement immediately after exercise will keep blood flowing evenly throughout the body and can help prevent the onset of DOMS thereafter.
Lastly, it is important to gradually increase your exercise routine. This allows the muscles to build over time and to better support and perform the increased stress of each movement. Athletes commonly use the 10 Percent Rule. By this rule, you increase your workout by no more than 10% weekly, regardless of weight, distance, repetition or duration.
How CBD Helps with Muscle Soreness
Although muscle soreness from tension, stress, overuse, strain, or DOMS is completely normal, there is no reason we have to accept and live with the discomfort. CBD has shown to have some amazing benefits for muscle and joint support. Some of these benefits include the following:
- Relaxation and muscle comfort support
- Post-workout muscle recovery
- Healthy sleep patterns
- Improved overall homeostasis of the body
Our bodies have something called an endocannabinoid system which regulates homeostasis, the body’s natural ability to balance and maintain the function of its individual systems. In the 1990s, it was discovered that the cannabinoids found in hemp plants are similar to what our body naturally produces. CBD works with the endocannabinoid receptors located throughout our body to soothe and rejuvenate sore muscles all over the body.
CBD has the ability to ease muscle soreness in the short-term, but it has also been shown to help with long-term muscle and joint support. By easing soreness caused by stress or lack of sleep, for example, your body has an increased opportunity to recover. Sleep is one of the best natural ways to promote health, and a reduced amount of stress can prevent countless additional benefits.
CBD is quickly also becoming a top choice for dealing with delayed onset muscle soreness. While DOMS can often make a new workout routine difficult to stick with, relieving this soreness can help us feel good in our bodies and stay motivated until our muscles become used to the new form of physical activity.
Is CBD Safe?
CBD is derived from hemp plants, a type of cannabis plant and thus often directly associated with marijuana. This makes many wonder if CBD is safe and legal for them to use. However, there is an important distinction between the two.
Although they are close cousins, the main difference between hemp and marijuana is the amount of the chemical compound THC.
Full-spectrum CBD will extract and contain all of the chemical compounds found in hemp plants including THC, which may not be suitable for all people and situations.
Other forms of CBD which do not include detectable amounts of THC include broad-spectrum CBD which includes all cannabinoids aside from THC as well as CBD isolates which contain strictly cannabidiol without any additional chemical compounds.
Tips for Choosing the Best CBD for Muscle Soreness
Not all topical CBD products are created equal. To best promote overall health of the skin, muscles, and joints, we recommend choosing a product with high-quality ingredients and efficacious amounts of CBD. To ensure both potency and purity, we also recommend you only buy from companies that test every batch through independent laboratories.
CBD creams such as Joy Organics CBD Sports Cream are an excellent choice for relieving muscle soreness brought about by any of the above circumstances and are safe for anyone to use. Made with menthol, camphor, and 400mg of premium CBD, our Sports Cream is formulated with efficacy and quality in mind. Because all of our products are third-party tested, you can know exactly what you’re putting on or in your body.
As a topical form of CBD, it is absorbed directly through the skin and into the muscle fibers, providing nearly instant support directly where you need it. As a broad-spectrum form of CBD oil, it also offers all of the beneficial properties of the hemp plant without the euphoria-inducing THC compound. Use it before, during, or after your workout to ease muscle soreness and keep your body limber.
CBD is still a relatively new product on the market and there is thus still a lot of question and concern revolving around it, but it has finally been researched enough and gained the necessary credibility to be accepted in the professional athletic realm. The World Anti-Doping Agency, also known as WADA, regulates drug use of athletes around the world and the WADA Code they have set in place has been followed by the USADA since 2003. In 2018, WADA officially declared that “Cannabidiol is no longer prohibited” in its modified list of prohibited substances.
Key Takeaways: Best CBD for Muscle Soreness
Although the soreness that arises from any of these causes is natural and of no real concern in itself, it can become an uncomfortable nuisance. This discomfort may lead to increased problems caused by added stress or lack of sleep and can reduce our motivation for further physical activity. CBD oil has rapidly grown in popularity as research and studies become available and increasingly conclusive of the many benefits that cannabidiol and the other beneficial chemical compounds found in hemp plants can offer. Products such as Joy Organics CBD Oil use premium ingredients to offer you the greatest benefits that the hemp plant has to offer. Through the latest scientific research and findings, Joy Organics products provide a broad spectrum of benefits with the best bioavailability found on the market. Say goodbye to unwanted muscle soreness and say hello to wellness through the use of Joy Organics CBD Oils.
Hannah Smith is Joy Organics Director of Communications. She is driven by her passion for providing clear and accessible wellness and CBD education. In 2015, she received her BA in Media, Culture and the Arts from The King’s College in New York City and before Joy Organics, worked as writer and photographer in the Middle East and North Africa. Her work has been featured on Forbes, Vice, Vox, Denver Post, and the Coloradoan.