As the health industry grows in the United Kingdom, CBD muscle balms are increasing rapidly in popularity. However, although the research on the effectiveness of CBD muscle rubs remains limited, there’s evidence suggesting possible anti-inflammatory properties. As a result, CBD muscle rubs could be excellent for muscle recovery.¹
In this article, we’ll delve into the world of CBD muscle rubs, exploring their benefits, working mechanisms, and proper usage.
What is a CBD Muscle Rub?
A CBD muscle rub is a topical product infused with cannabidiol (CBD) extract coming from the hemp plant.
Unlike oral CBD supplements or oils—muscle rubs are developed for external application, targeting specific parts of the body. Consequently, they can be an excellent option for muscle strains in a specific area. CBD muscle balms often come in creams, balms, or lotions, making them suitable to spread directly onto the skin.
Benefits of CBD Muscle Rubs
One of the main reasons people switch to CBD muscle rubs is their potential for pain relief and anti-inflammatory effects. When applied topically, CBD may help to alleviate discomfort associated with sore muscles and joint pain.
In most cases, people use CBD muscle rubs after an intense workout or a long day at the office. The CBD works by permeating the skin before connecting with the cannabinoid receptors in underlying muscle tissues. In turn, this may promote relief from tension and soreness.
Furthermore, CBD muscle rub could also be a great option if you’re battling any skin conditions. CBD balm products often include ingredients like aloe vera, shea butter, and essential oils to moisturise the skin while complementing the potential benefits of CBD.
How CBD Muscle Rubs Work
The skin—the body’s largest organ—has a web of pores and hair follicles promoting the absorption of substances applied topically. As such, CBD molecules in the muscle balm interact with these openings, encouraging them to saturate the skin barrier and reach the underlying muscles and tissues.
In addition, muscles have cannabinoid receptors that are part of the endocannabinoid system. When you apply CBD to the skin, it can potentially tie in with these receptors, thus influencing the signalling paths that control muscle relaxation, inflammation, and pain.
However, CBD muscle rubs are somewhat different to traditional topical products. For example, they offer a multifaceted approach to relief, unlike method-based creams which offer a cooling sensation.
Choosing the Right CBD Muscle Rub
There are many things to consider when choosing the most suitable CBD muscle rub. You should consider the product’s intended use; for instance, are you looking for everyday muscle relief or post-workout relief?
Here are the most common uses:
– Post-Workout Recovery: Athletes and fitness enthusiasts often use CBD muscle rubs to help ease muscle soreness and promote quicker recovery.
– Muscle Tension Relief: Everyday activities and stress can lead to muscle tension, but CBD muscle rubs may help relax tight muscles.
– Joint Discomfort: CBD’s potential anti-inflammatory properties maybe beneficial for individuals experiencing joint discomfort.
– Localised Pain Relief: Applying CBD muscle rubs directly to the affected area allows for targeted relief from localised pain, such as in the back, neck, or shoulders.=
– Injury Recovery: Individuals recovering from minor injuries, strains, or sprains may find CBD muscle rubs helpful.
– Enhanced Relaxation: The act of massaging a CBD muscle rub into the skin can provide a soothing sensory experience.
However, you should always check the CBD potency of the product. Typically, the manufacturer indicates milligrams on the packaging.
Examine the list of ingredients to ensure they align with your preferences and any possible skin sensitivities. Research suggests CBD has possible benefits for various skin conditions.²
Likewise, different CBD muscle rubs have differing recommended applications. In some cases, the manufacturer designs the product for the target application; in other cases, the manufacturer creates it so you use it more liberally.
How to Use CBD Muscle Rubs
To reach the highest effectiveness, begin by cleansing the skin in the target area and ensuring it’s dry.
After that, take a small amount of the CBD muscle rub and gently massage it into the skin using circular motions. This movement helps the product absorb better and facilitates blood flow to the area.
Remember, the dosing guidelines are different for each CBD muscle rub. Ensure you read the manufacturer’s guidelines to gauge the dosage.
It’s also a wise idea to combine the CBD muscle rub with other treatments, such as physical therapy. You can also use heat or ice packs and stretching routines, alongside your CBD balm, to enhance your overall results.
CBD Muscle Rubs vs. Other Muscle Relief Products
In contrast to conventional pain relief products, CBD muscle rubs provide a distinctive edge in their capacity to engage with the endocannabinoid system.
While certain traditional remedies offer fleeting solace through numbing or cooling sensations, CBD muscle rubs tackle discomfort at its root.
In addition, many people love CBD muscle rubs because they avoid the use of harsh chemicals and opioids found in some pain relief products. That’s why it’s becoming a popular holistic option.
Potential Side Effects and Precautions
Although CBD is commonly well-tolerated, some people may witness mild side effects when using CBD muscle balms. These can include skin irritation, redness, or dryness at the application site. As a result, it’s advisable to perform a patch test before widespread use.
If you have any underlying health or skin conditions, it’s always a smart idea to chat with your GP before using CBD muscle rubs. If you receive advice from a dermatologist, that’s even better.
Understanding CBD Product Labels
When considering CBD muscle rubs, understanding the CBD concentration and strength indicated on labels is paramount. This data—often expressed in milligrams (mg)—signifies the amount of CBD present in the product.
Higher concentrations generally indicate more potent formulations, which might be preferable for those seeking stronger effects. For instance, if you have a muscular injury that’s caused more profound swelling, more potent CBD muscle rubs could be a better choice.
You should also scope the ingredient list for other helpful ingredients, such as arnica, menthol, eucalyptus, or essential oils known for their potential to soothe muscles and promote relaxation.
Furthermore, if you’re purchasing from a reputable manufacturer, you should see data indicating that the CBD is free from contaminants like heavy metals, pesticides, and solvents. Additionally, look for a QR code or batch number on the label that allows you to access the lab results through the internet.
CBD Muscle Rubs and Sports/Workout Recovery
Athletes and fitness enthusiasts regularly subject their bodies to strenuous activities, making recovery essential to high performance. CBD muscle rubs’ potential to soothe muscle soreness and promote relaxation can be particularly advantageous in post-exercise recovery.
Therefore, incorporating CBD muscle rubs into post-workout routines can become a valuable ritual. You should apply the rub to targeted areas that may help reduce inflammation, muscle tension, and soreness.
Will CBD Muscle Rubs Make Me High?
No, CBD muscle rubs will not make you high. CBD is non-psychoactive, meaning it does not induce the euphoric sensation associated with THC. CBD muscle rubs are created to provide the potential benefits of CBD without switching your mental state. So don’t worry about getting ‘high’.
How Long Does it Take for CBD Muscle Rubs to Work?
The beginning of the effects varies from person to person. Some people may encounter relief within minutes, while others might take longer to feel the effects. Various factors—such as the CBD concentration, your body’s response, and the specific concern being addressed—can influence the timeframe.
Are CBD Muscle Rubs Legal?
In the UK, CBD products derived from industrial hemp with THC levels below 0.2% are legal.³ It’s essential to purchase from reputable sellers who provide products that comply with these regulations.
How Long Does a CBD Muscle Rub’s Effects Last?
The time of CBD muscle rub effects changes based on various factors—such as the product’s potency, the amount used, and your body’s metabolism. Some individuals may experience relief for several hours, while others might find the side effects staying longer.
Can I Use CBD Muscle Rubs on Sensitive Skin?
Yes, many CBD muscle rubs are formulated with natural ingredients to be gentle on the skin. However, if you have sensitive skin or a history of skin reactions, it’s recommended to perform a patch test beforehand.
CBD muscle balms could be an excellent option if you’re looking to reduce muscle pain and speed up your recovery. However, there still needs to be a lot of scientific research into CBD before we understand the full benefits and disadvantages.
As individuals seek ways to address muscle discomfort and promote overall well-being, CBD muscle rubs will continue to gain immense popularity.
1. Cannabidiol and Sports Performance: a Narrative Review of Relevant Evidence and Recommendations for Future Research. (2020, July 6). NCBI. Retrieved August 24, 2023, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7338332/
2. A therapeutic effect of CBD-enriched ointment in inflammatory skin diseases and cutaneous scars Clinical trial. (n.d.). La Clinica Terapeutica. Retrieved August 24, 2023, from http://www.clinicaterapeutica.it/2019/170/2/05_PALMIERI-VADALA.pdf
3. Consumer cannabidiol (CBD) products report (accessible version). (2021, December 20). GOV.UK. Retrieved August 24, 2023, from https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/acmd-advice-on-consumer-cannabidiol-cbd-products/consumer-cannabidiol-cbd-products-report-accessible-version