Cbd for inflammation, muscle pain, and spasms

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Disclaimer: This content is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider for questions regarding a medical condition.

Inflammation is one of the “first responders” of the immune system, so it is not surprising that it is associated with almost every chronic condition, injury or other illness that triggers an immune response. In fact, inflammation is often one of the main symptoms of concern for people with arthritis, cardiovascular disease, allergies, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and more.

Inflammation is also a major concern at the other end of the wellness spectrum, those who regularly hit the gym and put their muscles to the stress test. Muscles swell after exertion, and excessive inflammation can slow recovery time and reduce results.

Contents
  1. How CBD helps with inflammation and muscle pain
  2. What is the right CBD dosage to help treat inflammation and muscle pain?
  3. Topical CBD For Muscle Pain: Relieving Pain and Spasms with CBD
  4. The Science of Topical CBD and Pain Management
  5. Temperature and Pain Perception
  6. Topical CBD carrier ingredients for muscle pain
  7. Topical CBD Supporting Ingredients for Muscle Pain
  8. Clinical Studies: Research on the many health benefits of CBD is still in its infancy, but experts have identified and reported on the anti-inflammatory effects of cannabidiol in a number of applications. Most of the research on the effect of CBD on inflammation looks at specific cases, such as the use of CBD against pancreatitis, a condition that causes inflammation of the pancreas. However, some research efforts are trying to paint a broader picture. Research into the role of the endocannabinoid transmission system in sending and receiving inflammation signals is helping to clarify the role of CBD in this phenomenon. Research is now available that explains the precise mechanisms by which CBD interacts in the body, including direct interaction with a3 glycine receptors, which play a key role in the initiation of inflammation. Research on MCBD is advancing rapidly as its legislation evolves, giving experts more options to identify the many potential uses of CBD as an anti-inflammatory drug. Research efforts are expected to continue to increase, but for now we have the following studies to help us understand the relationship between CBD and inflammation: 1. Cannabidiol as an emerging therapeutic strategy to reduce the impact of inflammation on oxidative stress. 2011 article. “Recent studies suggesting that cannabidiol may be beneficial in the treatment of a number of human diseases and disorders known to involve activation of the immune system and associated oxidative stress as a contributing factor to their etiology and progression validate the many anti-inflammatory uses of cannabidiol. These include rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 and 2 diabetes, atherosclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, hypertension, metabolic syndrome, ischemia-reperfusion injury, depression and neuropathic pain.” For more information: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21238581 2. Endocannabinoid system: a key emerging player in inflammation. A 2015 study confirms this, stating: “The complexity of what might be termed ‘endocannabinoid’ requires approaches that take into account its dynamics and interrelationships with other regulatory systems. This endocannabinoid continues to offer opportunities for prevention and intervention, but multifaceted approaches will likely provide the only key to success.” For more information: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=The%20endocannabinoid%20system%3A%20an%20emerging%20key%20player%20in%20inflammation 3. Cannabinoids, inflammation and fibrosis. This 2016 study examined the effects of CBD on inflammation in fibrosis, another chronic disease. “The review concludes by offering a possible mechanism for the anti-inflammatory and anti-fibrotic effects of these substances. Therefore, several cannabinoids could be considered as candidates for development as anti-inflammatory and anti-fibrotic agents.” For more information: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27435265 4. Anti-inflammatory role of cannabidiol and O-1602 in cerulein-induced acute pancreatitis in mice. A 2013 paper reported that “cannabidiol significantly ameliorated pathological changes in AP mice and reduced enzyme activities, IL-6 and tumor necrosis factor α levels, and myeloperoxidase activity in plasma and organ tissues”. In conclusion, the study concluded that “cannabidiol AP mice exhibited anti-inflammatory effects and also improved GPR55 expression in pancreatic tissue”. For more information: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22850623 5. Cannabinoids suppress inflammatory and neuropathic pain by targeting α3 glycine receptors A 2012 study explains that cannabidiol suppresses inflammation and pain by targeting specific neuroreceptors. In conclusion, “Our findings suggest that α3 glycerol receptors mediate glycerol cannabinoid-induced suppression of chronic pain. These cannabinoids may represent a new class of therapeutic agents for the treatment of chronic pain and other diseases involving GlyR dysfunction.” For more information: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22585736 6. Cannabinoids, endocannabinoids and related analogs in inflammation. This article from 2009. “covers reports published in the last 5 years on the anti-inflammatory effects of all classes of cannabinoids, including phytocannabinoids such as tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol, synthetic analogs such as aiulemic acid and nabilone, the endogenous cannabinoids anandamide and related compounds, i.e. amyric acids, and finally, the non-cannabinoid components of cannabis that show anti-inflammatory effects.” For more information: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19199042 CBD products for inflammation and muscle pain When creating a CBD regimen to address inflammation, muscle pain or other inflammatory symptoms, you should keep in mind that CBD works best when used regularly as a preventive measure. This means that CBD should be taken regularly for maximum relief. Once you have established a basic dose, you can also create a regimen for dealing with acute flare-ups and using CBD. The market is constantly expanding and there are so many options. To manage inflammation and muscle pain, we recommend taking full-spectrum CBD oil daily in the form of tinctures or gel capsules. Each product contains a potent version of cannabidiol – full spectrum CBD oil. Although they are similar in composition, they offer unique dosing routes. One is taken orally like other tablets, while the other is dripped under the tongue for sublingual absorption. Make sure that any full-spectrum product you choose contains high-quality MCT oil, an ingredient critical to your body’s ability to break down and absorb CBD. After establishing a regular dosing regimen for preventative protection, you may find that you need a safe way to deal with sudden attacks. Again, the options are endless, but some options provide faster relief than others. Whether due to injury, chronic illness or strained muscles – we recommend CBD isolate vaporization to combat these acute pain attacks. Vaporization provides relief that can be felt in as little as ten minutes. CBD isolate is 99% pure cannabidiol, which provides powerful anti-inflammatory effects for the whole body. Some topical CBD medicines can also provide rapid relief from flare-ups. Topicals such as CBD ointments and creams penetrate the skin and help control inflammation in muscles, joints, tendons and on the skin surface. Often the best way to manage moderate to severe inflammation is to develop a regimen that includes several CBD products. By combining the right products together, you can easily achieve the lasting anti-inflammatory effect you need to get through the day. We have tested many CBD products and listed below are the ones we recommend for inflammation. The best topical cream without THC: We love this sports cream from Joy Organics to soothe and maintain healthy muscles. We recommend using the cream anytime – before, during or after exercise. We love this vegan cream, packed with 400 mg of Premium CBD to help you feel calm and cool on the go and enriched with the benefits of menthol and camphor as a topical analgesic. 20% Discount Code. The main ingredient is cold-pressed hemp seed oil, but other beneficial anti-inflammatories and healthy trace minerals like arnica and magnesium support the pain-relieving effects of CBD. We love the aroma of this salve and the powerful relief it provides for aching muscles. 20% Discount Code: K2C20 Best for Sore Muscles: Aspen Green Cooling Cream Aspen Green produces a great super cooling cream for those times when you feel exhausted. Their products provide a full spectrum of phytonutrient-rich extracts from whole cannabis plants, including pure CBD without the psychoactive effects of THC. This cream combines deeply penetrating and moisturizing Evening Primrose and Jojoba oils to create a luxurious, soothing and gentle massage cream for key areas of tension. Be careful to avoid sensitive areas due to its cooling ingredients such as tea tree oil and menthol. They also make pain relief for deeper issues. SHOP NOW Best for Cold Therapy: For Cold Therapy: Populum Cold Therapy Rub We love Populum for their high quality products and transparent ingredient lists. Cold Therapy Hemp Rub is an arctic cold cooling CBD topical cream that helps soothe and relax muscles and joints. This amazing cream is vegan and paraben-free and uses CBD, arnica, chamomile and aloe to deliver fast penetrating cooling to your body post-workout. But don’t stop there, Populum offers a great full-spectrum athlete’s package that you can find here. The Advanced Wellness Set includes CBD capsules for travel, a dropper for more precise dosing and even the aforementioned Cold Rub to soothe aching muscles and joints. SHOP NOW Best topical menthol cream for muscle pain: mintedLeaf Menthol Cream We love this menthol cream from mintedLeaf for daily pain management. Apply it to temporarily reduce pain associated with aching muscles, joints, arthritis, back pain, sprains, strains and bruises. This cream harnesses the power of 10% menthol for fast relief, as well as 150 mg of broad-spectrum CBD without THC and other moisturizing oils. Keep this menthol cream with you for quick pain relief on the go! 20% Discount Code: KEY20 Best topical inflammation remedy: cbdMD Recover Anti-Inflammatory Cream High-quality CBD alone already has great anti-inflammatory effects, but with cbdMD anti-inflammatory cream it goes above and beyond again. Designed specifically for healing, this product contains 750 mg of organically grown, THC-free hemp, as well as arnica, vitamin B6 and MSM for a complete anti-inflammatory and muscle support profile. Each ingredient has a specific purpose in this cream: arnica increases white blood cell stimulation, vitamin B6 repairs inflammatory and arthritic damage, and MSM increases elasticity and absorption into cell walls. We love this cream for staying active and recovering quickly for optimal training results. 15% discount code: KEY15 The best topical cream with Arnica support: SERENE CBD Arnica Pain Cream SERENE CBD Arnica Pain Cream combines the pain-relieving power of CBD with arnica, MSM and other natural botanicals to calm pain signals in the brain, stimulate circulation to soothe aching joints and revitalize tired and aching muscles. We absolutely love the sweet, minty and light blueberry scent of this cream and the instant warming sensation it creates on the skin as a gentle but fast and effective pain reliever. Even better for the neck and shoulders, with a scent that leaves no greasy residue and dissipates after application, you can safely go out without smelling like a “pain relief balm” We also really appreciate that SERENE is free of potentially irritating camphor – so it can be used externally almost anywhere on the body! 10% Discount Code: K2C10 The best remedy for soothing aching muscles and joints: This wonderful cream from Canna Comforts is a fast-acting cream that comes in 3 flavors with different terpene profiles to enhance the effects of transdermal relief with CBD! Only the best CBD pain relief cream! Infused with terpenes to achieve an anturating effect. Choose from 3 scents for your use: Blueberry Yum Yum, Paris OG and the tried and true menthol. Its proprietary all-organic herbal blend is infused with extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, shea butter, beeswax and 250 mg CBD derived from hemp. Soothe aching joints and healing muscles anytime with this unique pain relief cream that focuses on terpenes. 10% Discount Code: K2C10 The best synergistic pack for muscle discomfort: Specktra Pain Relief Pack Specktra offers proven products that provide the best combination for natural and long-lasting relief for CBD users. The Specktra Pain Relief Pack includes a CBD vape for fast and effective direct CBD effects, an oral tincture for specific and high dose when you need it, and the incredible Relief transdermal CBD patches that can be worn for up to 4 days to provide pain relief. Not only that, all Specktra products are additive-free, pesticide-free, free of harmful fillers, formulated with only organic essential oils and harness the power of full-spectrum, phytocannabinoid-rich CBD. YouTube video: CBD for Inflammation, Muscle Pain, and Spasms
  9. 1. Cannabidiol as an emerging therapeutic strategy to reduce the impact of inflammation on oxidative stress.
  10. 2. Endocannabinoid system: a key emerging player in inflammation.
  11. 3. Cannabinoids, inflammation and fibrosis.
  12. 4. Anti-inflammatory role of cannabidiol and O-1602 in cerulein-induced acute pancreatitis in mice.
  13. 5. Cannabinoids suppress inflammatory and neuropathic pain by targeting α3 glycine receptors
  14. 6. Cannabinoids, endocannabinoids and related analogs in inflammation.
  15. CBD products for inflammation and muscle pain
  16. The best topical cream without THC: We love this sports cream from Joy Organics to soothe and maintain healthy muscles. We recommend using the cream anytime – before, during or after exercise. We love this vegan cream, packed with 400 mg of Premium CBD to help you feel calm and cool on the go and enriched with the benefits of menthol and camphor as a topical analgesic.
  17. Best for Sore Muscles: Aspen Green Cooling Cream
  18. Best for Cold Therapy: For Cold Therapy: Populum Cold Therapy Rub
  19. Best topical menthol cream for muscle pain: mintedLeaf Menthol Cream
  20. Best topical inflammation remedy: cbdMD Recover Anti-Inflammatory Cream
  21. The best topical cream with Arnica support: SERENE CBD Arnica Pain Cream
  22. The best remedy for soothing aching muscles and joints: This wonderful cream from Canna Comforts is a fast-acting cream that comes in 3 flavors with different terpene profiles to enhance the effects of transdermal relief with CBD! Only the best CBD pain relief cream! Infused with terpenes to achieve an anturating effect. Choose from 3 scents for your use: Blueberry Yum Yum, Paris OG and the tried and true menthol. Its proprietary all-organic herbal blend is infused with extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, shea butter, beeswax and 250 mg CBD derived from hemp. Soothe aching joints and healing muscles anytime with this unique pain relief cream that focuses on terpenes. 10% Discount Code: K2C10 The best synergistic pack for muscle discomfort: Specktra Pain Relief Pack Specktra offers proven products that provide the best combination for natural and long-lasting relief for CBD users. The Specktra Pain Relief Pack includes a CBD vape for fast and effective direct CBD effects, an oral tincture for specific and high dose when you need it, and the incredible Relief transdermal CBD patches that can be worn for up to 4 days to provide pain relief. Not only that, all Specktra products are additive-free, pesticide-free, free of harmful fillers, formulated with only organic essential oils and harness the power of full-spectrum, phytocannabinoid-rich CBD. YouTube video: CBD for Inflammation, Muscle Pain, and Spasms
  23. The best synergistic pack for muscle discomfort: Specktra Pain Relief Pack
  24. YouTube video: CBD for Inflammation, Muscle Pain, and Spasms

How CBD helps with inflammation and muscle pain

It’s no surprise that so many people pay attention to the symptoms of inflammation. In fact, inflammation is often the primary cause of the discomfort associated with these conditions, is a precursor to pain, and can cause permanent or irreversible damage to muscle and nerve tissue.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), available over-the-counter or by prescription, are commonly used to combat inflammation, but these drugs also have a number of potential side effects, such as stomach pain or ulcers, headaches, liver damage, high blood pressure and more. What’s more, these drugs are often taken in high doses on a regular basis – significantly increasing the risk of heart attacks, strokes, stomach bleeding, and permanent kidney and liver damage.

Fortunately, there is another option rapidly emerging in the wellness industry to replace many of these harmful drugs. Cannabidiol (CBD), naturally derived from hemp, has shown promising anti-inflammatory effects that could be beneficial for most people, such as those experiencing inflammatory conditions or injuries.

CBD is also gaining popularity among athletes as a post-workout anti-inflammatory. Based on the strong evidence we have, it could be really useful for anyone who wants to keep a powerful anti-inflammatory on hand – just in case!”

What is the right CBD dosage to help treat inflammation and muscle pain?

Dosage is a personal experience for each CBD user and the amount of CBD needed to relieve symptoms depends on a number of factors, including weight, cannabinoid tolerance, condition and severity of symptoms. We generally recommend the “start low and go slow” technique to find the best dose for you.

We recommend that those suffering from inflammation of any kind start with 15 mg of CBD per day. If this dose does not completely relieve symptoms, we recommend increasing by 5-10 mg until you feel relief. CBD tincture can help with this dosing approach as you can easily measure each dose in small increments.

Gel capsules provide a different experience. They offer pre-measured doses that are suitable for those who take frequent doses on the go or need larger doses of CBD. You can start with whatever dosage is offered by your preferred brand and there is no harm in starting higher than 15 mg as you cannot overdose on CBD and there are no significant side effects.

From there, slowly increase your dose as needed, but make sure you allow enough time to monitor the effects. Keep in mind that ingested products such as capsules and tinctures can take some time to take effect – it can take up to 90 minutes for the full effect to be felt.

The dosage of CBD for topical application is slightly different and you should use enough for the affected area. Topical products are usually fast-acting, providing relief in less than 20 minutes. Apply CBD topical products as needed throughout the day to manage inflammation.

Vaping is very different, as it can be difficult to keep track of the amount of CBD you consume with each puff. Here, it’s even easier to take the “low and slow” approach, as the effects of vaped CBD usually peak after just 10 minutes. When vaping, start with one or two small puffs, wait ten minutes to monitor the effects, and then repeat the process until you experience complete relief.

Topical CBD For Muscle Pain: Relieving Pain and Spasms with CBD

Muscle pain and discomfort is a fact of life for everyone at some point, and topical products are often the first line of defense against them. Whether caused by strain, injury, intense exercise or chronic illness, many people find relief from muscle pain by using topical pain relief products. However, when occasional pain becomes chronic, it often becomes more difficult to treat. For some patients, topical CBD can help treat chronic pain even more effectively than opioids.

Chronic muscle pain (and frankly chronic pain in general) is particularly difficult to manage effectively, and many people feel compelled to turn to opioid painkillers (transdermal or otherwise) and other medications for relief. Not only are these interventions often ineffective at managing chronic pain, they also carry a high risk of addiction and a host of unpleasant side effects.

A growing number of chronic pain patients are looking for a way to manage their symptoms without resorting to opioids and are turning to CBD instead. CBD, the common name for the cannabidiol molecule, has been shown to be an effective treatment for chronic pain – more effective than opioid painkillers.

Although CBD is usually taken orally in the form of tincture or soft gel, its medicinal properties extend to topical application. This allows CBD to be used to treat pain more directly, at the site of pain or tension, and to relieve symptoms faster than oral delivery systems. When used topically, it can also help soothe muscle spasms and cramps.

Topical CBD products, especially when combined with a systemic dose of CBD, offer many different options for people to safely and effectively manage (and even eliminate) chronic muscle pain, tension and spasms. However, topical products often contain many more supporting ingredients than oral formulas. As such, they are more likely to be made with potentially inflammatory or allergenic ingredients that can reduce the effectiveness of the CBD they contain – not to mention damage your skin.

Here, we’ll go over everything you need to know about the most effective supporting ingredients for topical CBD pain relief. We will discuss the science of topical CBD and its role in pain management before explaining how to use temperature therapies to manipulate the perception of pain.

Then we will move on to a detailed discussion of topical CBD support ingredients, from carrier oils to botanicals and supplements. We will look at the benefits offered by the various ingredients as well as the risks associated with their use. Finally, we will conclude with a note on sustainable ingredients and the environmental impact of topical CBD products.

The Science of Topical CBD and Pain Management

Although more research is needed, CBD has been shown to have potent anti-inflammatory, analgesic and antispasmodic effects in humans. These benefits are not limited to oral consumption or inhalation – CBD acts on many of the same pathways in the skin when applied topically. This can help relieve pain, reduce spasms and cramps, and relieve tension in aching or overworked muscles.

Current research shows that CBD is a promising ingredient in topical pain relief products, and while many of the exact mechanisms are still unclear, the results are quite convincing. What we know so far suggests that CBD interacts with endocannabinoid receptors in the skin, helping to promote circulation, relieve inflammation, reduce spasms and relieve muscle pain.

Because they are applied to the site of pain, topical CBD products provide faster relief than an oral dose of CBD. Therefore, they can be particularly useful for people who want to deal with symptoms that occur suddenly or rapidly increase in severity, such as cramps or muscle spasms. Topical application of CBD can also help with muscle relaxation and soothe tension, making it a good complement to massage oils and salt baths.

Due to the wide variety of product types that can incorporate the benefits of MCBD into their formulas, there are many ways to customize your CBD experience to get the most pain relief from your dose. The formula of the product plays an important role in this (we will discuss this in a moment), but there is one more important factor that can have a dramatic effect on pain relief: the sensation of warmth.

Temperature and Pain Perception

There is a reason why temperature therapy is so common in pain management. Ice packs, hot water bottles, warm salt baths – even bags of frozen vegetables – can help manage pain and inflammation. If you have been injured before, you have probably been given the RICE protocol (rest, ice, compression and elevation) to manage your pain and minimize the severity of your injury.

These principles are often applied to pain management, and for good reason. It turns out that temperature affects not only the way our body processes and responds to pain, but also the way we perceive it. This means that we can manipulate temperature to help our bodies in the healing process, but it also means that we can use compounds that create the sensation of temperature change without exposing our cells to extreme temperatures for prolonged periods of time.

Unlike actual temperature fluctuations, these compounds can act on cells to reduce pain without the side effects caused by extreme temperatures. These compounds can also help increase the anti-inflammatory effects of CBD by helping to relax and reduce tension by relieving inflammation in muscles. Cold sensations can help reduce pain and discomfort, while warm sensations can help facilitate muscle relaxation and relieve cramps or spasms.

Bengay, IcyHot, Tiger Balm… each of these standard pharmacy products uses ingredients that manipulate your sense of warmth to reduce the perception of pain. Ingredients such as menthol, capsaicin, cinnamon oil, ginger and others can be combined in various ratios and can produce sensations ranging from warmth to tenderness, tingling to ice (and many places in between). When used correctly, these sensations can help relieve pain while addressing some of the factors that contribute to it (such as tension, inflammation, and swelling).

While these products usually work well for some, they can also be quite intense – everyone knows someone who has a horrible IcyHot story after the product gets into a sensitive area. For some people, especially those with sensitive skin or sensory processing issues, these products can be too harsh for regular use. However, many people find that their perception of pain is blunted when they use products that manipulate the sensation of warmth, and that this effect can often be achieved without causing discomfort.

Topical CBD carrier ingredients for muscle pain

Since the sensation of warmth is such an important factor in pain relief, it will also be an important feature in our discussion of carrier ingredients. There are several reasons for this. Firstly, the carrier components from which a product is made can help prolong or reduce the effects of any heating or cooling components it contains. Secondly, the carrier oil(s) chosen can affect the effectiveness of the product by changing how the product feels on the skin.

Finally, carrier ingredients have the potential to cause skin problems in some people, especially those who are prone to breakouts or have allergies. If your skin is sensitive or prone to conditions such as dryness, itching or breakouts, it is especially important to be careful about what you put on your skin. Remember, the goal of all of this is to find what works best for you.

Topical hemp products are often subject to more individual variation than oral CBD because of these supporting ingredients. Even the best topical CBD can work terribly if it’s made with things that don’t suit you, and using the wrong products can actually negate the benefits inherent in CBD. For more information on the role of skin health in overall well-being (and how to use CBD to support your goals), check out our dedicated article here.

Cooling ingredients like menthol and arnica have been shown to help reduce the strength and intensity of pain sensations in many people. If this applies to you, we recommend reaching for products formulated with ingredients such as aloe vera gel, cetyl alcohol, mango butter or vegetable glycerin (propylene glycol also falls into this category, and while not our favorite, it is a safe choice for topical application for many people).

These ingredients help to enhance the effect of cooling ingredients as they evaporate from the skin. The mode of action is similar to the way sweat cools your body; as the product evaporates, heat energy is released, creating a cooling sensation on the skin. While this is not the same mechanism as how cooling ingredients like menthol work (more on that in a moment), it contributes by enhancing and prolonging the overall cooling effect.

Whenever possible, we like to reach for aloe vera gel (this one in particular) as it is great for the skin and has anti-inflammatory and healing properties in its own right. Vegetable glycerin (also called glycerol) is also well tolerated by most people and will help you get the most out of your CBD experience. Although we generally recommend avoiding most alcohols (they tend to break down the bonds between skin cells and lead to dryness in some people), cetyl alcohol is a possible exception. This is a fatty alcohol derived from coconut that contains emollient compounds that can help reduce the damage done by its more astringent ingredients.

Mango oil is another good choice as it has its own cooling properties that can help to enhance the effects of other cooling ingredients (and is gentler on the skin). Mango butter is an excellent choice for people who want a cooling effect without the potential drying that is often caused by alcohol and other compounds.

On the other hand, warming ingredients like capsaicin and cinnamon are typically enhanced with oil-based formulas. If you’ve ever cooked with cayenne pepper or used a hot spray during your runs, you can intuitively understand how this works. Oils retain their effectiveness on the skin by making the heating ingredients more absorbable at the molecular level, just as they help increase CBD bioavailability. These soothing effects will be more pronounced as your skin is more able to absorb and metabolize the warming ingredient when it is bound to fat molecules.

Good carrier ingredients for warming ingredients can include coconut oil, beeswax, shea or cocoa butter, carnauba wax, and oils derived from plants such as olive, safflower, jojoba, argan, and grapeseed. With the exception of beeswax, each of these compounds is vegan and most have their own mild anti-inflammatory properties. They are also more moisturizing, making them a better choice for people with dry skin.

We prefer to stay away from petroleum-based products, partly because of their environmental impact (more on that later) and partly because of the link that has been established between the use of products like mineral oil and cancer. To protect your long-term health, we strongly recommend avoiding petroleum-based products whenever possible, especially for the skin.

If you prefer to avoid products that affect skin sensation altogether in favor of more neutral topical products, there are still options for you. We recommend choosing milder formulas made without ingredients that cause sensory discomfort in you. These are likely to include compounds such as capsaicin, cinnamon, menthol and ginger, but may also include cloves, arnica and lavender. Listen to your body in this case – it may take some trial and error to find your balance, but you will find it anyway.

If traditional topical formulas don’t work for you (due to severe allergies, restrictions or other reasons), you can try applying an unscented CBD tincture (like this one) to your skin instead. Since the CBD is bound to the oil in the tincture, you’ll reap the benefits without worrying about the effects of the supporting ingredients.

Topical CBD Supporting Ingredients for Muscle Pain

    • Arnica – Also known as mountain chamomile, arnica flowers are traditionally used to relieve pain and reduce inflammation. Although the exact mechanism is still unclear, there are studies showing that arnica may have anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties when applied topically. Arnica extract may help the effect of CBD by increasing the intensity and duration of relief. However, as a member of the (beautiful and often problematic) Asteraceae family, arnica can be cross-reactive in people allergic to ragweed and related plants.
    • Basil – A staple of both spice cabinets and herb gardens, basil is thought to have anti-inflammatory properties when applied to the skin. It reduces inflammation and soothes spasms, acting as an antispasmodic and analgesic. These properties make it a good choice for people recovering from injury or overexertion, as well as those suffering from cramping and severe muscle tension, and it can help relieve pain after intense physical activity or a medical event such as a seizure.
    • Capsaicin – A fiery compound that causes severe inflammation in high doses, capsaicin is interesting in that it behaves very differently in small amounts. Capsaicin is responsible for both the tingling in chili peppers and the debilitating burn of pepper gas, but in very low concentrations it actually helps reduce inflammation by opening blood vessels and improving circulation while saturating tissues with oxygen. These properties can help relieve muscle tension, distribute pain and relax cramps and spasms. Most topical preparations containing capsaicin use very small amounts, but even this small amount can cause an adverse reaction in a small minority of people. Be careful if your skin is sensitive.
    • Chamomile – A small yellow flower favored for use in relaxing teas and dietary supplements, chamomile exhibits anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving and antimicrobial properties when applied to the skin. The extract of the plant is used to reduce pain, and suppress inflammation while relieving cramps and spasms. In this way, it can help boost the anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects of CBD, but there is a potential caveat to consider. Chamomile belongs to the same family (Asteraceae) as ragweed, a common allergen, and often cross-reacts in people with ragweed allergies. It may not be a good option for those allergic to ragweed, but for those who can use it, it may offer an additional benefit: chamomile has been shown to help reduce the perception of pain when used for aromatherapy. Like lavender, it has a calming effect and those studied reported that it helped them reduce their pain after use.
    • Clove – The unsung hero of pumpkin spice season, clove has a surprisingly powerful pain-relieving effect. In one study, clove oil was found to be as effective as benzocaine in relieving pain during a dental procedure – a type of acute pain that is more intense and harder to soothe. This discovery suggests that clove oil could be an extremely useful addition to CBD topical pain management products, especially for acute, burning or stinging sensations that often occur acutely (and can be very distressing).
    • Lavender – Lavender flowers and the extract produced from them (and used in lavender essential oils) are perennial favorites in fields ranging from culinary to gardening, beverages to essential oil lovers. It is an extremely popular scent for both the body and home, and has attracted the attention of medical professionals for its ability to relieve stress and reduce pain. Studies have shown that lavender oil has anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving, antimicrobial and anxiolytic properties when applied topically, and these effects perfectly match the properties of CBD. Lavender can help relieve aches and pains by promoting muscle relaxation and can also relieve the anxiety often associated with chronic pain. Although people with lavender allergies should avoid it, we believe it is very useful in relieving chronic pain when used in combination with CBD on the skin.
    • Lemongrass – A powerful herb (and essential oil) with a delicious citrus aroma, lemongrass is rich in phytochemicals and bioactive compounds that can help increase the effectiveness of CBD against muscle pain. The plant itself has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties; these effects may aid the pain-relieving effects of CBD. New research shows that lemongrass may be beneficial for injured muscles, aiding athletic recovery and post-injury recovery.
    • Magnesium – Don’t let the name fool you – transdermal magnesium is not some weird synthetic compound. It has been used in the form of a British bolus for many years to treat muscle pain, aches and cramps, and there is a reason for this. Magnesium is a compound that is critical for the coordination and regulation of muscle contractions (both voluntary and involuntary). When dissolved in water it is absorbed through the skin, so the best way to use it is in an epsom salt bath or bath bomb. Try to soak for at least fifteen minutes, but you can rest for as long as you need to relax.
    • Marjoram – For us, marjoram doesn’t get the credit it deserves. Often placed in a dusty, untouched bottle at the back of the spice rack, marjoram is a pleasant herb full of bioactive compounds that can enrich the effectiveness of your topical CBD dose. Research reveals that marjoram itself has antispasmodic and analgesic properties; these actions can help provide relief and pain relief, especially when combined with CBD. As a fun and unnecessary bonus, the herb also smells great and nicely complements other common herbal ingredients such as lavender and lemon balm.
    • Peppermint – The mother of menthol, peppermint (and other members of the mint genus such as spearmint) produces antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects when applied to the skin. The extract also sensitizes receptors in the skin to cold signals, creating a cooling sensation. This action, in turn, causes the nerves to transmit the message “it’s cold here!” to the brain. The body then reacts to reduce swelling and slow down activity in the area, just like when you expose it to real cold temperatures. Therefore, we strongly advise against using peppermint near mucous membranes or adding it to the bath, as the potential for overstimulation of the skin is very high. Less is definitely more with peppermint.
    • Cherry – Although research is still in its infancy, there is some evidence to support the use of cherry extract to treat muscle pain. One study found that cherry juice helped relieve pain and muscle fatigue after an intense workout, and another found that compounds in cherry extract can help soothe inflammation and relax muscle tension, which in turn reduces pain. Because it is a stone fruit, people allergic to peaches, nectarines, plums and other stone fruits should avoid cherries.
    • Willow bark – Willow bark (and maritime pine bark), the plant precursor to aspirin, contains compounds that reduce inflammation, pain, swelling and muscle tension in humans. These benefits extend to both oral and transdermal dosing, making willow bark a natural complement to the analgesic and anti-inflammatory actions of CBD. While relatively rare, an allergy or sensitivity to aspirin can cause an adverse reaction to topical willow bark use, so pay attention to the labeling if your body does not respond well to aspirin.

    We recommend getting a kit of 100% pure essential oils, like the one that comes with many of the oils listed above and others, so you can try adding them to your favorite topicals.

    Clinical Studies:

    Research on the many health benefits of CBD is still in its infancy, but experts have identified and reported on the anti-inflammatory effects of cannabidiol in a number of applications. Most of the research on the effect of CBD on inflammation looks at specific cases, such as the use of CBD against pancreatitis, a condition that causes inflammation of the pancreas.

    However, some research efforts are trying to paint a broader picture. Research into the role of the endocannabinoid transmission system in sending and receiving inflammation signals is helping to clarify the role of CBD in this phenomenon. Research is now available that explains the precise mechanisms by which CBD interacts in the body, including direct interaction with a3 glycine receptors, which play a key role in the initiation of inflammation.

    Research on MCBD is advancing rapidly as its legislation evolves, giving experts more options to identify the many potential uses of CBD as an anti-inflammatory drug. Research efforts are expected to continue to increase, but for now we have the following studies to help us understand the relationship between CBD and inflammation:

    1. Cannabidiol as an emerging therapeutic strategy to reduce the impact of inflammation on oxidative stress.

    2011 article. “Recent studies suggesting that cannabidiol may be beneficial in the treatment of a number of human diseases and disorders known to involve activation of the immune system and associated oxidative stress as a contributing factor to their etiology and progression validate the many anti-inflammatory uses of cannabidiol. These include rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 and 2 diabetes, atherosclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, hypertension, metabolic syndrome, ischemia-reperfusion injury, depression and neuropathic pain.”

    For more information: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21238581

    2. Endocannabinoid system: a key emerging player in inflammation.

    A 2015 study confirms this, stating: “The complexity of what might be termed ‘endocannabinoid’ requires approaches that take into account its dynamics and interrelationships with other regulatory systems. This endocannabinoid continues to offer opportunities for prevention and intervention, but multifaceted approaches will likely provide the only key to success.”

    For more information: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=The%20endocannabinoid%20system%3A%20an%20emerging%20key%20player%20in%20inflammation

    3. Cannabinoids, inflammation and fibrosis.

    This 2016 study examined the effects of CBD on inflammation in fibrosis, another chronic disease. “The review concludes by offering a possible mechanism for the anti-inflammatory and anti-fibrotic effects of these substances. Therefore, several cannabinoids could be considered as candidates for development as anti-inflammatory and anti-fibrotic agents.”

    For more information: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27435265

    4. Anti-inflammatory role of cannabidiol and O-1602 in cerulein-induced acute pancreatitis in mice.

    A 2013 paper reported that “cannabidiol significantly ameliorated pathological changes in AP mice and reduced enzyme activities, IL-6 and tumor necrosis factor α levels, and myeloperoxidase activity in plasma and organ tissues”. In conclusion, the study concluded that “cannabidiol AP mice exhibited anti-inflammatory effects and also improved GPR55 expression in pancreatic tissue”.

    For more information: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22850623

    5. Cannabinoids suppress inflammatory and neuropathic pain by targeting α3 glycine receptors

    A 2012 study explains that cannabidiol suppresses inflammation and pain by targeting specific neuroreceptors. In conclusion, “Our findings suggest that α3 glycerol receptors mediate glycerol cannabinoid-induced suppression of chronic pain. These cannabinoids may represent a new class of therapeutic agents for the treatment of chronic pain and other diseases involving GlyR dysfunction.”

    For more information: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22585736

    This article from 2009. “covers reports published in the last 5 years on the anti-inflammatory effects of all classes of cannabinoids, including phytocannabinoids such as tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol, synthetic analogs such as aiulemic acid and nabilone, the endogenous cannabinoids anandamide and related compounds, i.e. amyric acids, and finally, the non-cannabinoid components of cannabis that show anti-inflammatory effects.”

    For more information: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19199042

    CBD products for inflammation and muscle pain

    When creating a CBD regimen to address inflammation, muscle pain or other inflammatory symptoms, you should keep in mind that CBD works best when used regularly as a preventive measure. This means that CBD should be taken regularly for maximum relief. Once you have established a basic dose, you can also create a regimen for dealing with acute flare-ups and using CBD.

    The market is constantly expanding and there are so many options. To manage inflammation and muscle pain, we recommend taking full-spectrum CBD oil daily in the form of tinctures or gel capsules.

    Each product contains a potent version of cannabidiol – full spectrum CBD oil. Although they are similar in composition, they offer unique dosing routes. One is taken orally like other tablets, while the other is dripped under the tongue for sublingual absorption. Make sure that any full-spectrum product you choose contains high-quality MCT oil, an ingredient critical to your body’s ability to break down and absorb CBD.

    After establishing a regular dosing regimen for preventative protection, you may find that you need a safe way to deal with sudden attacks. Again, the options are endless, but some options provide faster relief than others.

    Whether due to injury, chronic illness or strained muscles – we recommend CBD isolate vaporization to combat these acute pain attacks. Vaporization provides relief that can be felt in as little as ten minutes. CBD isolate is 99% pure cannabidiol, which provides powerful anti-inflammatory effects for the whole body.

    Some topical CBD medicines can also provide rapid relief from flare-ups. Topicals such as CBD ointments and creams penetrate the skin and help control inflammation in muscles, joints, tendons and on the skin surface.

    Often the best way to manage moderate to severe inflammation is to develop a regimen that includes several CBD products. By combining the right products together, you can easily achieve the lasting anti-inflammatory effect you need to get through the day. We have tested many CBD products and listed below are the ones we recommend for inflammation.

    The best topical cream without THC: We love this sports cream from Joy Organics to soothe and maintain healthy muscles. We recommend using the cream anytime – before, during or after exercise. We love this vegan cream, packed with 400 mg of Premium CBD to help you feel calm and cool on the go and enriched with the benefits of menthol and camphor as a topical analgesic.

    20% Discount Code. The main ingredient is cold-pressed hemp seed oil, but other beneficial anti-inflammatories and healthy trace minerals like arnica and magnesium support the pain-relieving effects of CBD. We love the aroma of this salve and the powerful relief it provides for aching muscles.

    20% Discount Code: K2C20

    Best for Sore Muscles: Aspen Green Cooling Cream

    Aspen Green produces a great super cooling cream for those times when you feel exhausted. Their products provide a full spectrum of phytonutrient-rich extracts from whole cannabis plants, including pure CBD without the psychoactive effects of THC. This cream combines deeply penetrating and moisturizing Evening Primrose and Jojoba oils to create a luxurious, soothing and gentle massage cream for key areas of tension. Be careful to avoid sensitive areas due to its cooling ingredients such as tea tree oil and menthol. They also make pain relief for deeper issues.

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    Best for Cold Therapy: For Cold Therapy: Populum Cold Therapy Rub

    We love Populum for their high quality products and transparent ingredient lists. Cold Therapy Hemp Rub is an arctic cold cooling CBD topical cream that helps soothe and relax muscles and joints. This amazing cream is vegan and paraben-free and uses CBD, arnica, chamomile and aloe to deliver fast penetrating cooling to your body post-workout. But don’t stop there, Populum offers a great full-spectrum athlete’s package that you can find here. The Advanced Wellness Set includes CBD capsules for travel, a dropper for more precise dosing and even the aforementioned Cold Rub to soothe aching muscles and joints.

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    Best topical menthol cream for muscle pain: mintedLeaf Menthol Cream

    We love this menthol cream from mintedLeaf for daily pain management. Apply it to temporarily reduce pain associated with aching muscles, joints, arthritis, back pain, sprains, strains and bruises. This cream harnesses the power of 10% menthol for fast relief, as well as 150 mg of broad-spectrum CBD without THC and other moisturizing oils. Keep this menthol cream with you for quick pain relief on the go!

    20% Discount Code: KEY20

    Best topical inflammation remedy: cbdMD Recover Anti-Inflammatory Cream

    High-quality CBD alone already has great anti-inflammatory effects, but with cbdMD anti-inflammatory cream it goes above and beyond again. Designed specifically for healing, this product contains 750 mg of organically grown, THC-free hemp, as well as arnica, vitamin B6 and MSM for a complete anti-inflammatory and muscle support profile. Each ingredient has a specific purpose in this cream: arnica increases white blood cell stimulation, vitamin B6 repairs inflammatory and arthritic damage, and MSM increases elasticity and absorption into cell walls. We love this cream for staying active and recovering quickly for optimal training results.

    15% discount code: KEY15

    The best topical cream with Arnica support: SERENE CBD Arnica Pain Cream

    SERENE CBD Arnica Pain Cream combines the pain-relieving power of CBD with arnica, MSM and other natural botanicals to calm pain signals in the brain, stimulate circulation to soothe aching joints and revitalize tired and aching muscles. We absolutely love the sweet, minty and light blueberry scent of this cream and the instant warming sensation it creates on the skin as a gentle but fast and effective pain reliever. Even better for the neck and shoulders, with a scent that leaves no greasy residue and dissipates after application, you can safely go out without smelling like a “pain relief balm” We also really appreciate that SERENE is free of potentially irritating camphor – so it can be used externally almost anywhere on the body!

    10% Discount Code: K2C10

    The best remedy for soothing aching muscles and joints: This wonderful cream from Canna Comforts is a fast-acting cream that comes in 3 flavors with different terpene profiles to enhance the effects of transdermal relief with CBD! Only the best CBD pain relief cream! Infused with terpenes to achieve an anturating effect. Choose from 3 scents for your use: Blueberry Yum Yum, Paris OG and the tried and true menthol. Its proprietary all-organic herbal blend is infused with extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, shea butter, beeswax and 250 mg CBD derived from hemp. Soothe aching joints and healing muscles anytime with this unique pain relief cream that focuses on terpenes.

    10% Discount Code: K2C10

    The best synergistic pack for muscle discomfort: Specktra Pain Relief Pack

    Specktra offers proven products that provide the best combination for natural and long-lasting relief for CBD users. The Specktra Pain Relief Pack includes a CBD vape for fast and effective direct CBD effects, an oral tincture for specific and high dose when you need it, and the incredible Relief transdermal CBD patches that can be worn for up to 4 days to provide pain relief. Not only that, all Specktra products are additive-free, pesticide-free, free of harmful fillers, formulated with only organic essential oils and harness the power of full-spectrum, phytocannabinoid-rich CBD.

    YouTube video: CBD for Inflammation, Muscle Pain, and Spasms


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