CBD For Muscle Recovery and Everything You Should Know

With an increasing amount of people using cannabidiol (CBD) products, it’s no surprise why. CBD provides a variety of positives for mental and physical health, such as aiding in restoring calmness, sleeping better, and may help with pain relief and muscle fatigue.

Recent research is beginning to show the potential benefits of CBD oil for pain related to muscle recovery after exercise. But before we examine the evidence surrounding CBD and recovery, let’s briefly discuss what happens to your body after you work out.

Why is post-workout recovery so painful?

Most of us are familiar with the aches associated with workout recovery and may have made peace with the phrase “no pain, no gain”. What you may not realize however, is that there is a medical name for this phenomenon- delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or a fitness novice, you can experience DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness). Here’s why this occurs.

If we work our muscles more intensely, for a longer time or in a different way than they are used to, it can cause microscopic damage to the proteins that make up individual muscle fibers. As the body damages muscles during a workout, we feel pain and stiffness afterwards as the immune system creates inflammation to repair it. The pain from muscle fatigue usually starts the day after a workout and can last for up to five days.

Although it’s not fun, muscle soreness after a workout is actually a sign that your muscles are adapting and getting stronger. With time and continued exercise, your muscles will become more resistant to fatigue and you’ll experience less DOMS.

The issue comes up when we can’t take the luxury of ‘waiting out’ the pain, postponing our next workout or, in some cases like professional athletes, delaying a game. It might be tough to keep going with the pain, and for many people this can become a big barrier from unlocking their full physical potential.

What is CBD?

CBD is one of many cannabinoids (chemicals derived from cannabis plants) that exist naturally. Some people may be hesitant to use CBD products because they are confused about the legalities surrounding cannabis or ‘marijuana’.

While other cannabinoids, such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), are known to cause psychotropic effects or the euphoric ‘highs,’ CBD lacks these side-effects while still being powerful medicinally. Cannabis and hemp plants both can produce CBD, but naturally, hemp-derived CBD contains less than 0.3% THC (in opposition to up to 30%, which is found in marijuana cannabis plants.) Consequently, it is legal in many countries. Our conspicuously broad selection of CBD products use only the purest form of CBD isolate so that there is never any trace of THC during or after consumption. To take a deeper dive, check out our Intro to CBD article.

CBD for muscle recovery

A CBD Cream Clinical Trial is one study that looked at 52 participants in a controlled clinical environment. For 14 days, they were asked to work out at least three times a week and use the CBD cream afterwards. In two different studies, CBD has been shown to be an effective treatment for post-workout muscle stiffness and tension. Not only that, but it was also proven to improve the rate of muscle recovery in comparison to no intervention at all.

These trials are just the beginning of research on how CBD’s anti-inflammatory benefits can help people who regularly work out or play sports. Even though research into the use of this natural product for muscle recovery is still in its early stages, several professional athletes have come forward to advocate its benefits.

How does CBD oil work?

The human body is made of an innumerable amount of cells that need to cooperate. They are able to communicate with one another by using electrical charges and chemical substances, which send messages all over the body. The process of inflammation is one that depends on chemical messengers traveling through the blood to alert our immune system to react at the site of damage.

CBD affects the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in the body, which is responsible for producing and translating cannabinoids. The endocannabinoid system (ECS), which you can read more about in our recent blog post, is a regulatory network throughout the human body that oversees functions like pain and muscle fatigue to uphold balance or homeostasis.

When we reduce muscle fatigue, we are essentially blocking the ability of cells to communicate with one another. This is what CBD does. It works with our body’s ECS to regulate a number of processes, resulting in an anti-inflammatory effect that also relieves pain.

CBD positives 

Many people choose CBD for muscle recovery and relief because it regulates pain signals through the ECS. Here are some more amazing benefits:

Alleviates muscle tension

Helps to reduce muscle fatigue

May help with sleep

Reduces or eliminates the soreness often felt after a strenuous workout

How to use CBD

The most effective CBD oil will provide you with tangible benefits for your body and specific needs.


CBD comes in lots of different forms, like creams, gels, drops, vapors, edibles, and bath salts. The choice is up to you, but for post-workout recovery, topical CBD works best in providing targeted relief as the effects are more focused on the swollen local tissue.

CBD oil drops that are taken orally will go to work on your ECS quickly, providing relief for deep tissue muscles and help with sleep quality issues. For the best results, use a CBD recovery cream topically along with taking oral CBD drops.


The effects of CBD depend on the method of administration and the individual. Finding the right dose is largely a matter of trial and error. If you want to feel the maximum effect, depending on how severe your pain is and where it’s located, you may need to increase or decrease your dose. The amount of CBD you need depends on the individual, but it is typically recommended to start with a low dose and increase until you find the amount that works best for you.

Combining CBD products with other medications

Using CBD as a complementary treatment to other therapies will enhance its effectiveness. CBD is not a pain-relief cure-all, but it can help when used in combination with other measures such as stretching, eating well, resting, and icing sore muscles.

Be patient and consistent while you’re finding the perfect amount of CBD that works for your body. If you establish and maintain a set routine for a few weeks, going to the gym may become second nature.

If you have any doubts about whether CBD is suitable for you, please speak to your doctor. This is especially important if you are currently taking medication. Start today, and feel the benefits of CBD!