CBD Gummies For Muscle Recovery


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Click here for the best CBD supplements to boost your overall health and performance with premium and high-quality CBD products. Research suggests CBD can help us recover faster between workouts & may prevent delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) pain after exercise.

Best CBD Supplements For Muscle & Recovery (Updated 2022)

See which CBD topicals and other post-workout products help alleviate unwanted muscle pain, support pain relief, and aid in recovery.

The CBD (Cannabidiol) industry is hot right now and products like CBD oil are popping up literally everywhere with great post-workout benefits towards muscle and recovery, especially for bodybuilding! This new craze has hit everyone by storm but athletes especially are thrilled with this new product. As a safe and effective way to handle all muscle pain, support muscle and pain relief, and aid in recovery after post-workout soreness, it is no wonder why athletes utilize CBD to boost performance . Without the fear of failing a test for competition or putting something harmful in their bodies, CBD has come to the rescue to ensure all of your health and wellness needs are taken care of to ensure a happy and healthier quality of life and better bodybuilding results post-workout .

CBD comes in many forms which include oils, salves, capsules, gummies, lollipops, vapes, and topicals. But, many are not real CBD and you must be very cautious. A lot of companies are capitalizing on the new market for CBD products and selling bad products for a profit. That’s why it is more than important to make sure each label is accurate and honest before trying any new product. Any good company will be open about the labels and seek not a profit, but the opportunity to better their consumers’ lives, pre, during, and post-workout.

We’ve put together a list of the Best CBD Supplements for 2022 so you can find the best products to help with your muscle pain, recovery and muscle soreness, muscle growth and maintenance, overall health, and wellness to promote bodybuilding goals post-workout. From tinctures, to topicals, gummies, and capsules, everything you want is right here and waiting for you try.

Best CBD Supplements For Muscle & Recovery 2022

  • Best Overall CBD Tincture:cbdMD 1,500mg CBD Oil Tincture
  • Best Overall CBD Topical:Level Select CBD Level 3 Sports Cream
  • Best Overall CBD Gummies:Level Select Focused Energy CBD Gummies
  • Best CBD Tincture For Sleep Recovery:Just Live 300mg Broad Spectrum Natural Drops
  • Best Overall CBD For Weight Loss:PFX Labs ShredCBD
  • Best CBD Topical For Recovery:Just Live CBD 750mg Pain Relief Cream

Best Overall CBD Tincture

For those who want to take their CBD supplement orally, a quality tincture is the way to go. With great flavors and the ability to work quickly, this is another great recovery option for those post-workout needs.

cbdMD 1,500mg CBD Oil Tincture

Type Of Application Tincture
CBD Dosage 1,500mg
Best Way To Take/Use Take 1 serving (1mL) and place it under your tongue. Let it sit for a moment before swallowing.

cbdMD 750mg CBD Oil Tincture delivers a Superior Broad Spectrum CBD formula with natural MCT carrier oil that works to boost your health and wellness every time you take it, especially for bodybuilding post-workout. Packed with supporting cannabinoids and terpenes, this tincture offers a host of benefits like supporting calmness, enhancing recovery, managing stress, and allowing you to function on a day to day basis at a high level with minimal to no muscle pain. Made from USA-grown industrial hemp, this is third party tested, gluten-free, and vegan, making this a trusted and honest supplement.

cbdMD 1,500mg CBD Oil Tincture

cbdMD 1,500mg CBD Oil Tincture

cbdMD 1,500mg CBD Oil Tincture is packed with supporting cannabinoids and terpenes to promote calmness, recovery, and stress relief. This delivers a superior broad spectrum CBD formula with natural MCT carrier oil for added support.

  • Superior Broad Spectrum CBD formula
  • Great benefits and supporting cannabinoids
  • USA-grown hemp and third party tested
  • Gluten-free and vegan
  • Premium priced option

Price: $89.99

Use the promo code GENIRON for 15% off! Also, check out our individual review here!

Best Overall CBD Topical

A great topical can provide awesome benefits for you can apply directly on the sore spots. Perfect for post-workout recovery, this will greatly enhance your recovery process.

Level Select CBD Level 3 Sports Cream

Type Of Application Topical
CBD Dosage 1,800mg
Best Way To Take/Use Massage into your skin until absorbed fully.

Level 3 Sports Cream is a new and improved formula with more CBD at a lower price, perfect for those seeking maximum strength relief when you need it most. With 1,800mg of CBD, and at Level Select’s highest concentration, you will get a non-greasy and fast absorbing formula that can soothe and soften skin while delivering high-quality CBD for soreness and overall relief. A cooling mint scent also accompanies this amazing sports cream.

Level Select CBD Level 3 Sports Cream

Level Select CBD Level 3 Sports Cream

Level Select CBD Level 3 Sports Cream is a higher concentration for maximum strength to tackle those muscle soreness goals.

  • High concentration and provides maximum strength
  • 1,800mg of CBD at an affordable price
  • Fast-absorbing formula for instant relief
  • From a reputable company in Level Select

Price: $49.99

Check out our individual review for Level Select CBD Level 3 Sports Cream here!

Best Overall CBD Gummies

Gummies are another great way to get all the benefits of CBD into your body quickly. Great flavors matched with different concentrations will ensure all those needs are met.

Level Select Focused Energy CBD Gummies

Type Of Application Edible
CBD Dosage 25mg
Best Way To Take/Use Take 2 gummies as a serving size.

Level Select Focused Energy CBD Gummies are designed to help you fight fatigue and stay more mentally sharp, while also helping you feel more awake. You will find that 20mg of caffeine works to keep you more alert and awake, while 100mg of ginseng works to fight fatigue and give you more mental clarity and sharpness. With no THC in these gummies and a natural Tropical flavor, this CBD supplement is exactly what you need to see the best when it comes to focused energy.

Level Select Focused Energy CBD Gummies

Level Select Focused Energy CBD Gummies

Level Select Focused Energy CBD Gummies are formulated to help you fight fatigue, stay more mentally sharp, and feel more awake.

  • Great ingredients for energy, alertness, and fighting fatigue
  • 25mg of CBD per serving
  • Designed for those who want more focus and energy
  • From a reputable company in Level Select
  • Premium priced CBD supplement

Price: $49.99

Check out our individual review for Level Select Focused Energy CBD Gummies here!

Best CBD Tincture For Sleep Recovery

Sleep is vital for growth and recovery and sometimes our busy schedules can keep us up at night. A great CBD supplement geared towards sleep recovery will ensure a quality sleep so you can maximize those gains.

Just Live 300mg Broad Spectrum Natural Drops

Type Of Application Tincture
CBD Dosage 300mg
Best Way To Take/Use Take 1 full dropper every six hours or as needed. Place under your tongue and swallow.

Just Live 300mg Broad Spectrum Natural Drops is an original strength Broad Spectrum blend of active cannabinoids in a concentrated, all-natural tincture. With many ways to take, this can help with fast acting muscle relief from exercise and other activities and works to promote the best sleep recovery around and is great for bodybuilding post-workout. Using MCT oil, it helps the body absorb everything better so you can effectively tackle all of your body’s needs. With great benefits to promoting calmness, enhancing physical and mental wellbeing, muscle relief from exercise, and increasing your chances for a better sleep, this is a great tincture to work for sleep and recovery for post-workout muscle soreness.

Just Live 300mg Broad Spectrum Natural Drops

Just Live 300mg Broad Spectrum Natural Drops

Just Live 300mg Broad Spectrum Natural Drops is an all-natural tincture for fast acting muscle relief. Along with MCT oil, this allows for better absorption to promote calmness, sleep, and post-workout soreness.

  • Original strength Broad Spectrum blend
  • Concentrated and all-natural
  • MCT oil works to absorb faster
  • Great price
  • Only available through their website

Price: $29.99

Use the promo code generationiron for 20% off!

Best Overall CBD For Weight Loss

As CBD is studied more and more, its benefits towards weight loss is interesting to explore. Paired with other great fat burning ingredients, CBD may be the key to your weight loss needs.

PFX Labs ShredCBD

Type Of Application Capsule
CBD Dosage 1,200mg
Best Way To Take/Use Take 1 capsule by mouth 1-3 times daily.

PFX Labs ShredCBD is a brand new design for CBD supplements used to help target body fat while also promoting energy, focus, sleep, performance, and overall wellbeing. With 20mg of premium pure CBD isolate in each capsule, this formula also includes 3 powerful fat burning ingredients to give you the best chance at weight loss. With zero unwanted side effects and a large number of benefits to more than just fat loss, ShredCBD is making waves as an innovative way to get rid of that unwanted fat to start seeing a shredded physique with that hard earned bodybuilding muscle pre, during, and post-workout.

PFX Labs ShredCBD

PFX Labs ShredCBD

PFX Labs ShredCBD is a brand new design to help target fat loss while also promoting things like focus, sleep, and overall performance. With three powerful fat burning ingredients, no unwanted side effects ensures a safe supplement.

  • CBD isolate and three powerful fat burning ingredients
  • Great benefits towards fat loss, inflammation, performance, and more
  • Made in the USA in a GMP certified facility
  • Research is still in its infancy
  • Only available in the USA

Price: $46.00

Best CBD Topical For Recovery

Recovery is key and with a good recovery routine you can be sure to bounce back faster and avoid those unwanted injuries that exercise can cause. With a topical ready to go, a quick application can alleviate all that soreness.

Just Live CBD 750mg Pain Relief Cream

Type Of Application Topical
CBD Dosage 750mg
Best Way To Take/Use Apply cream into affected areas and rub in.

Just Live CBD 750mg Pain Relief Cream is a carefully formulated and balanced combination of THC-free, high quality broad spectrum CBD and pain fighting, anti-inflammatory botanicals perfect for your bodybuilding goals post-workout. With advanced ingredients and a unique, richly moisturizing cream, you can start to tackle those unwanted muscle aches and joint pains. With great benefits towards relieving exercise muscle pain and muscle aches, everyday activity, physical and mental well-being, and total wellness, this topical is the right addition to your routine to alleviate muscle pain and aid in recovery and muscle relief.

See also  Keppra And CBD Oil Interaction

Just Live CBD 750mg Pain Relief Cream

Just Live CBD 750mg Pain Relief Cream

Just Live CBD 750mg Pain Relief Cream is a carefully formulated and balanced pain relief cream that is THC free. Great for tackling muscle pain and aches, as well as total well-being, this topical is perfect for you.

  • Balanced THC-free and high quality broad spectrum CBD
  • Anti-inflammatory botanical add advanced ingredients
  • Rich moisturizing cream
  • Great for relieving pain
  • Premium-priced option
  • Only available directly from their website

Price: $69.99

Use the promo code generationiron for 20% off!

What Is CBD?

CBD (Cannabidiol) is a phytocannabinoid derived from cannabis. It’s often the second most prevalent ingredient to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in which the latter causes the “high” effect. But, most CBD is extracted from industrial hemp which contains fewer amounts of THC, and therefore it won’t make you “high” (1).

There are also many other cannabinoids alongside CBD and THC but these two have the notable effects alongside other types of CBD.

What Makes Up CBD Supplements & Other Ingredients

Phytocannabinoids: Naturally occurring compounds found in the cannabis plant and can help with inflammation, muscle relief, and muscle soreness.

Terpenes: The natural essential oils found in plants and each has it’s own unique properties. They can bind to receptors in the brain and increase dopamine and promote other benefits.

Flavonoids: Compounds that give plants their color and can help with inflammation for muscle pain and pain relief.

MCT Oil: Derived from fat called medium-chain triglycerides sourced from coconut or palm kernel oil. It allows for better absorption so your body gets all the benefits faster.

Benefits Of CBD On Muscle, Recovery & More

CBD has many benefits towards our physical and mental health and are absolutely worth knowing when looking to buy the right CBD supplement for you. For bodybuilding, our bodies go through a lot and working with great supplements to tackle muscle pain and pain relief is more than important, especially post-workout.

  • Relieve muscle pain: Helps by regulating the endocannabinoid system in which pain is a function. It can impact receptors and reduce inflammation and chronic pain while promoting pain relief to enhance your bodybuilding goals post-workout (2).
  • Reduce anxiety and depression: A more natural approach to treating mental health, it can act on the brain’s receptors to transmit serotonin, which makes you feel good.
  • Promotes better sleep: Can help you sleep through the night and improve the overall quality of your sleep and work for pain relief post-workout (3).
  • Helps with skin issues: Since CBD acts an anti-inflammatory, skin issues like acne may be handled since different glands do not become as infected.
  • Support immune system: Keeps your immune system alert and allows antibodies to react effectively to anything foreign (4).

How Does CBD Work

The endocannabinoid (eCB) system is essential for bodily homeostasis and maintaining a healthy biological environment in response to internal and external factors (5).

Composed of cannabinoid signaling molecules, the eCB system plays a big role when it comes to mood, sleep, post-workout muscle pain, appetite, immune system functioning, and all functions at the cellular level and beyond. So, it acts as a bridge between the body and mind which helps to further explain neuro plasticity and external factors as an influence on our mental state of health (6).

CBD can bind to the endocannabinoid receptors to aid in the regulation of homeostasis and this is why many people use a supplement. But, its effects are pronounced in many cases, offering obvious positive changes.

Some Types Of CBD


Full-spectrum cannabidiol is extracted from the cannabis plant but the terpenes, cannabinoids, fatty acids, flavanoids, and other plant matter remain attached. Full spectrum CBD is a “full-spectrum” of compounds is what often causes the “entourage effect”. Cannabinoids have therapeutic and psychoactive effects and include both CBD and THC, while terpenes provide cannabis with its fragrance.

Flavonoids offer benefits like anti-inflammatory aids for your muscle and neuroprotective properties which are great for bodybuilding post-workout. The entourage effect is when all of these work together to maximize the benefits for you and make up full spectrum CBD and full spectrum hemp from CBD oil products and the effects of CBD on health benefits like alleviating chronic muscle pain.

Full-spectrum CBD does have 0.3% or less of THC but CBD isolate is purified through a process which makes it a THC-free substance (7).


CBD isolate requires a purification process before it makes it to shelves. But, when it’s extracted from the plant, all of the plant matter is still intact. But, when this full-spectrum CBD is purified through an additional process, you’re left with 99% pure CBD.

This process creates a flavorless, odorless, pure white power containing zero THC. The benefits of CBD isolate are that it is in fact THC free and is cheaper than other forms of CBD. It is easy to take, less messy than other oils, and can be used to make your own products making this a very versatile form of CBD for all things muscle and recovery related to alleviate that post workout muscle soreness.

Are There Side Effects?

It’s always a good idea to consult with your primary care physician before introducing any new substances into your dietary regimen. This is especially important if you suffer with any health issues. Although CBD can be relatively safe as a whole, it is important to remember that everyone is different and everyone reacts differently to any supplement. Always be sure to read the instructions and labels to know exactly what you are getting and exactly what you are taking to ensure a quality product leads to a higher quality of life.

If you experience any undesirable side effects while taking CBD, stop use and seek a doctor’s advice to ensure you don’t worsen any symptoms. Don’t rely on the Internet to self diagnose especially when it comes to your health. Trust the experts and work to benefit yourself.

Interactions with certain medications and some side effects from use are always a possibility. So, taking the necessary precautions beforehand is always advised for your safety. If you do take other medications, check before hand to see if there is a history of them interacting with CBD in a negative way so you know what you are getting into.

Some of the side effects possible with CBD use include:

  • Dry mouth
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Changes in appetite
  • Anxiety
  • Nausea
  • Mood changes

And that’s why it’s even more important to make sure you’re getting a pure product, which contains actual CBD. There’s no point in suffering through poor side effects because of a poorly made product. Top tier companies will work to give you the best chance at succeeding with all of your goals and offer products of nothing but the highest quality and test results.

How Much Are These CBD Supplements?

The right CBD supplements may seem expensive, but it is possible to find a great product at an affordable price. While those premium and top tier products may seem too out of your reach, knowing how much it is and how much it is per serving may make it seem more reasonable. We broke down each of the supplements on this list with the overall price and price per serving to give you a chance to compare and see what is feasible for your needs.

What To Consider Before Buying

There are a few things to consider before buying CBD supplements to give you a boost for better gains, but to also ensure the best for your overall health. Things to consider before buying include:

Strength Of The Supplement

Knowing the strength of your CBD supplement will help you to know just how it will affect you. Those stronger dosages may not work for you, and while you might not have crazy side effects, it is important for your health to know that a lower dose may be better for you.

Potential Side Effects

Any side effects that may arise when using CBD is important to consider before buying. Through research and hearing other peoples’ recommendations, you can better understand what side effects may strike and how best to handle them.

What Type Of Product

You should know what type of product you are looking for, whether that be a topical, tincture, gummy, or other potential sources, knowing exactly what you’re looking for will help your gains and overall health.

Price Per Serving

Knowing how much you are getting per serving will be a huge factor in what you buy. As these supplements can get expensive, it is important to be aware, so you don’t suffer any extra cost that just isn’t worth paying.

How We Choose

When looking at the best CBD supplements, especially for muscle and recovery, we wanted to offer a variety of different forms which is why this list contains tinctures, topicals, gummies, and capsules. Everyone has a preference on what they enjoy and this list reflects that. We looked at the reputation of each company to make sure each was high-quality and using top tier ingredients and CBD for each product. The effectiveness of each product was important to us as well, for you deserve to have the best supplements on your side. Price is always important because it is possible to get great supplements without totally breaking the bank.

FAQ Section

What is the best way to take CBD?

There isn’t one best way to take this supplement. It really is a personal preference which is why we included options for a variety of forms. From tinctures, to topicals, gummies, and capsules, you can decide which is the best form for you. Those with muscle pain, for example, may seek a topical to apply directly on the sore spot and this is a great approach for bodybuilding.

How do I properly dose CBD?

When it comes to dosing CBD, always look at the directions label on your product. The company will tell you amount and most likely the best time to take said supplement. If the recommended dose feels too low, then consider talking with an expert and find an appropriate amount that is over the serving size.

See also  CBD Oil And Adderall
Is there such thing as taking too much CBD?

Taking too much CBD can increase the possibility of negative effects occurring. While CBD has minimal side effects, if any at all, taking too high of a dose only puts you in a position to spur some of those on and you just don’t need that.

How long does it take for CBD to kick in?

This all depends on the form you take it in and the potency of the product. Typically, smoking or vape form is the fastest approach with topicals occurring rather quickly as well. Oral ingestion tends to be the slowest but longest lasting. For bodybuilding, you should choose which one will work best for you.

Wrap Up

CBD is a promising health aid and as research continues, we’ll have even more information about its potential healing power and real potential to aid with muscle and recovery needs for your bodybuilding goals and pain relief. The use of CBD is increasing in popularity at lightning speed but it has helped so many people deal with their ailments and can help you with whatever you may be suffering from. Work to stop pain and alleviate stress with these great products to give yourself a better, more healthier quality of life and even greater bodybuilding results.

Let us know what you think in the comments below. Also, be sure to follow Generation Iron on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

CBD for Muscle Soreness Recovery: Benefits of Hemp Oil After a Work Out

Can CBD be used to support the recovery process between workouts?

What about to speed healing after an injury?

Here’s what the research says about it.

Article By

Why are high-level athletes in the NFL, NHL, NBA, and UFC using cannabidiol (CBD) supplements?

Athletes use CBD to help them recover faster between workouts and after an event. Faster recovery means they’re back into the gym sooner to continue training.

In this article, we explore what makes CBD popular for post-workout recovery, as well as recuperation after an injury. We’ll cover what the research says about the anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and muscle relaxant effects of the compound in more detail.

Here’s everything you need to know about using CBD to support muscle recovery.


Updated on March 04, 2022

Table of Contents
  • How Can CBD Help With Muscle Recovery After A Workout?
  • What Makes Your Muscles Sore After a Workout?
Recommended products
$49 – $229
Royal CBD
Royal CBD Oil 30 mL

5 / 5

Total CBD: 500 – 2500 mg
Potency: 16.6 – 83.3 mg/mL
Cost per mg CBD: $0.12 – $0.18
Extract Type: Full-spectrum
THC Content:

How Can CBD Help With Muscle Recovery After A Workout?

  • CBD relaxes the muscles
  • CBD prevents delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS)
  • CBD alleviates inflammation
  • CBD improves sleep quality & recovery
  • CBD may enhance satellite cell differentiation in the muscles
  • CBD may support protein synthesis in the muscles

1. Alleviates Muscle Tension

One of the characteristic symptoms of DOMS is muscle tension.

When it comes to injuries, tension in the muscles surrounding the affected area can make the pain much worse — which is why muscle relaxants are so popular for alleviating pain during recovery from exercise or injuries.

Some forms of prescription muscle relaxants used for treatment-resistant muscle tension are benzodiazepine drugs like Valium. These medications work through the GABA receptors — which are a key regulator of muscle relaxation [5,18].

Benzodiazepines are powerful drugs and come with a significant risk of side-effects like sedation, depression, confusion, dizziness, and trembling — all of which are not conducive to optimal athletic function.

CBD and other cannabinoids have similar effects on GABA as benzodiazepines — only without the risk of severe side-effects [6,7].

Some research even suggests the use of cannabis as a supportive agent for benzodiazepine addiction due to the overlap of effects between the two [8]. This is dangerous and requires monitoring by a doctor, of course. You should never attempt this on your own.

Therefore, CBD may be a useful muscle relaxant for easing muscle tension and pain following an injury or rigorous workout.

2. Alleviates Muscle Pain

CBD is suggested to be a powerful pain-killer — as evidenced by both anecdotal and scientific research. This effect may allow CBD to offer symptomatic support for muscle injuries or post-exercise recovery. With less pain, you’ll find it easier to get yourself back into action faster, and feel more comfortable between exercise.

3. Reduces Inflammation

Perhaps the most important role CBD plays in the process of muscle recovery is in reducing inflammation. The most common method of reducing inflammation after an injury or post-workout is to apply ice to the area.

There’s some debate around whether or not putting icing is helpful for muscle recovery or not, and research is inconclusive — some studies suggest icing the muscles improves recovery times [1], while other studies have found that icing offers no benefit for shortening recovery time [2].

The controversy revolves around what role inflammation plays during the recovery process.

The inflammation process is designed to help damaged muscle fibers recover — it brings in blood flow to the area and delivers essential nutrients and oxygen along with it.

Additionally, the increased blood flow helps to clear out cellular debris, damaged proteins, and byproducts of muscle contraction like lactic acid from the area.

Inflammation also stimulates stem cells (called satellite cells) in the muscle to turn into new muscle fibers.

Inflammatory markers like IL-10, TGF-β, TNF-α, and NF-κB are all thought to stimulate the satellite cells of the muscles after an injury [3] — leading to faster recovery and a return of strength to the muscles.

On the other hand, post-workout muscle damage, or injuries to the muscles often involve specific regions of muscle — yet the inflammatory process affects larger groups of muscles and joints that haven’t been affected. The inflammatory response can cause collateral damage to these regions of muscle and joints — leading to a slower recovery process.

This is the main reason athletes use anti-inflammatories or ice after a workout or injury. Reducing inflammation limits the damage caused to nearby muscle and joint tissue.

Athletes often use ice immediately following a workout, and NSAID medications like Aspirin or Ibuprofen to limit inflammation for the remainder of delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS symptoms for the next few days.

CBD offers something even better — and may be able to reduce most of the unhelpful inflammation without compromising its benefits towards the recovery process.

CBD has been shown to inhibit a wide range of inflammatory molecules but has little effect on reducing TGF-β and IL-10. In some studies, CBD even caused an increase in IL-10 [4].

This could explain how CBD may alleviate inflammation in the muscle tissue without compromising recovery times. The important role of IL-10 in the activation of new muscle cell differentiation could have a big impact on our ability to recover from muscle damage.

4. Improves The Quality & Duration of Sleep

A few of the most important aspects of muscle recovery happen while we sleep. This is when most of our recovery processes become active [12].

Some of the important processes that take place while we sleep include:

  • Restoring damaged proteins like troponin, actin, and myosin
  • Removing cellular debris from damaged areas
  • Converting lactic acid to glucose in the liver
  • Stimulating the differentiation of stem cells into new muscle fibers

Sleep deprivation can pose negative effects on recovery in a few key areas [12]:

  1. May lead to a reduction in insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) — which we already pointed out as being one of the main triggers for differentiation of the muscle stem cells (satellite cells).
  2. May increase cortisol levels — which has a negative impact on protein synthesis.
  3. May cause a reduction in testosterone — which is heavily involved in the process of muscle recovery for both men and women.

A combination of CBD and THC in a pharmaceutical preparation of 1 part CBD to 1 part THC known as Sativex® has been tested repeatedly on its effect on sleep. Research has consistently shown Sativex® offers improvements on the quality of sleep, as well as the duration [13].

Other studies have found similar results using only CBD on rats [14]. Researchers in this study found that CBD was able to increase the total sleep time, as well as improve the ability of rats to fall asleep.

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the active ingredients in the cannabis plant. It’s a close relative to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — which is what makes marijuana psychoactive.

CBD and THC are both cannabinoids — organic compounds found alongside over a hundred other cannabinoids in the cannabis plant.

Don’t worry, CBD is completely non-psychoactive — meaning it won’t make you high.

Most companies selling CBD will source it from a specific form of selectively-bred cannabis called hemp — which is the same species as marijuana (Cannabis sativa) but won’t produce more than trace amounts (>0.3%) of the psychoactive ingredient, THC.

CBD supplements made from hemp are completely non-psychoactive due to the lack of THC. As a result, government regulators around the world don’t consider CBD a drug in the same way as marijuana. Most countries regulate CBD as a nutritional supplement instead — however, laws governing cannabis products change frequently, so be sure to check your local laws before placing an order.

CBD has a lot of suggested benefits — many of which have been backed up by scientific and anecdotal evidence. Supplements and pharmaceutical preparations containing CBD are being used by cancer patients to reduce side-effects of chemotherapy (such as nausea), by children with rare forms of epilepsy (such as Lennox-Gastaut and Dravet syndrome), and by millions of people around the world for symptoms like anxiety, pain, inflammation, and insomnia.

How can CBD have so many suggested benefits?

CBD achieves all of this because of its ability to interact with a regulatory system — rather than one specific organ. This allows CBD to affect many different organs around the body directly and indirectly — including the muscular system.

How Does CBD Work?

CBD works through a subsystem in the body found in all mammals called the endocannabinoid system.

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) involves a collection of special G-protein-coupled receptors (called endocannabinoid receptors), and hormones designed to interact with these receptors (called endocannabinoids).

The ECS is used to help regulate homeostasis throughout the body — which basically means internal balance.

Everything from temperature regulation to hormone levels needs to remain within a specific range. Homeostasis is the process of keeping these metrics within the ideal ranges. If we fall too far outside these ranges, we become sick and die.

CBD is a modulator of the endocannabinoid receptors. It attaches to them in a unique way and modifies their structure slightly to allow our naturally-produced endocannabinoids to bind to them more effectively. It also inhibits an enzyme designed to break down our endocannabinoids (called FAAH). This essentially primes the ECS — giving it a boost to do its job more effectively.

CBD doesn’t stimulate the endocannabinoid system directly, rather it helps upregulate the system we already have in place.

Conversely, the psychoactive cannabinoid, THC, activates the endocannabinoid receptors directly (rather than modifying them). Some of the receptors THC activates result in a release of serotonin in the brain — which produces the characteristic high from marijuana plants.

CBD also activates other receptors in the body, including:

  • 5HT1A receptors (serotonin receptors) [15]
  • Vanilloid pain receptors [16]
  • PPARγ nuclear receptors [17]

Muscle Recovery 101: What Happens After Excercise?

There are three kinds of muscle in the human body — but the most relevant for the purpose of this discussion is the skeletal muscle.

The other two are smooth muscle (found in the internal organs and lining of the arteries), and cardiac muscle (a specific type of muscle only found in the heart).

The cells that make up skeletal muscle are uniquely suited to their job. They have more mitochondria (the powerhouse of the cell) than most other cells in the body. This is meant to help them meet the high energy demands of the muscles.

Muscle cells are also long and cylindrical, helping them form long fibers.

Each muscle cell contains functional units called sarcomeres — which are the part of the muscle that contracts and expands to allow for movement. Proteins called actin and myosin contained in the cells are responsible for expanding and contracting the muscle tissue to achieve movement using calcium and adenosine triphosphate (ATP).

When a nerve stimulates muscle cells with acetylcholine, (i.e. when you tell your arm to move) calcium is pumped into the cell, which allows actin and myosin to interact, causing the cell to contract (shorten). This step requires a lot of energy — in the form of ATP, produced in the mitochondria of the cell.

When the nerve stops activating the muscle cells, calcium is pumped back out of the muscle cell and phosphate (a form of transferable energy) dislodged, causing the muscle to expand again (lengthen).

What Makes Your Muscles Sore After a Workout?

By now, you’re probably familiar with the aches and pains that come along with exercising. These sensations are present no matter how often you work out — so what causes them?

Every time you exert your muscles, you cause microscopic damage to millions of tiny proteins that make up your muscle cells. This damage leads to inflammation of the muscle — which causes the characteristic aches, pains, and stiffness experienced after a workout.

The pain after a workout usually begins the following day.

This is referred to in the medical community as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).

DOMS is a healthy part of the adaptation process. It only happens when we push our muscles harder than they have before, or in a different way than we’re used to. Over time, repeating these activities will produce less DOMS as the muscles recover and become stronger and more resistant to the same level of exertion.

How is DOMS Usually Treated?

DOMS will go away on its own — usually after about 3–5 days. Many athletes can’t wait this long to get back into the gym or on the pitch, so they’ll take measures to reduce the downtime.

Here are some of the most common treatments for DOMS:

  1. Rest — This is the simplest treatment, but takes the longest amount of time.
  2. Massage therapy — Physically massaging the muscles helps to stimulate the area, remove lactic acid buildup that may be causing more inflammation to the area, and force fresh blood into the affected area.
  3. Painkillers — Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) like Ibuprofen and Aspirin are often used to reduce inflammation and stop the pain. Unfortunately, these medications also come with negative side-effects.
  4. Ice packs — Cooling the area slows blood flow and reduces inflammation. This only works if applied directly after an injury or following a workout.

Can Athletes Use CBD? Is CBD Legal in Competitive Sports?

You may be skimming through this article and wondering — “is CBD legal in sports? Won’t cannabis make athletes fail a drug test if they use it?”

While cannabis is technically illegal, CBD is a clear exception.

In 2018, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) removed CBD from its banned substances list. This essentially means the organization recognizes that CBD is not comparable to performance-enhancing drugs like amphetamines, hormones, or illegal drugs. This is how professional athletes like Nate Diaz from the UFC are able to use CBD without being banned from events.

With that said, make sure to check your local laws and regulations. Just because WADA allows CBD doesn’t mean your individual country or regulatory agency allows it too.

Drug tests used in professional sports can’t identify chemicals in the blood or urine unless you specifically go looking for them. They don’t provide a full list of compounds contained in the fluid.

Most drug tests for marijuana use synthetic antibodies to look for THC — or the metabolites our body creates after breaking down THC. Therefore, you’ll only fail a drug test for these substances if you’ve used a supplement that included THC. For this reason, if you’re competing in professional sporting events and are interested in using CBD, you should opt for a product made from third-party tested CBD isolate, rather than full-spectrum hemp — which may contain trace amounts of THC.

Here are some of the most common ways people are adding CBD to their supplement regimen:

  1. Add CBD oils to your protein or nutritional shakes
  2. Take CBD capsules or gummies
  3. Use CBD oils sublingually after a workout and on recovery days
  4. Use a vaporizer pen
  5. Apply CBD topicals directly over the affected muscles

How To Get The Most From CBD For Muscle Recovery

The recovery process is complex, and shortening the amount of time needed between recoveries relies on many different factors. Taking several different measures at the same time will go a long way in shortening the recovery time beyond what CBD has to offer on its own.

Some simple advice for getting more out of CBD for muscle recovery:

1. Drink Plenty of Water

The recovery process releases a lot of metabolic waste into the bloodstream that needs to be filtered out by the kidneys. Aim for at least 3 L of water per day.

2. Spend Time Stretching After A Workout

This helps to remove harmful lactic acid after a workout and improve blood flow to the affected muscles.

3. Visit A Physiotherapist

It’s ideal to seek professional help to monitor your recovery and provide specific advice.

4. Listen To Your Body

Sometimes the pain experienced after a workout is more than DOMS. If you feel a sharp or excruciating pain, or the pain is accompanied by a fever, visit a doctor immediately.

5. Combine Internal & Topical CBD

This is going to provide the best chance for CBD to exert its effects on the muscles.

6. Prioritize Sleep

As mentioned, sleep is a critical component of the recovery process. Take the time to rest so you can get back into the gym faster.

7. Seek High-Grade CBD Products Only

There’s a lot of poor-quality CBD products floating around, many of which lack the potency advertised on the bottle, and may even have contaminants like heavy metals which could negatively affect your recovery.

8. Combine Other Health Supplements With CBD

Some of the best supplements for promoting recovery are branched-chain amino acids (BCAA’s), magnesium, B vitamins, and vitamin C.

9. Eat A Balanced Diet With Plenty of Fruits & Vegetables

In order to recover the body needs access to the raw materials. These raw materials come from our food. We need proteins (and their amino acid components) to build the structures of muscle tissue, along with trace nutrients and vitamins.

Key Takeaways: CBD & Muscle Recovery

CBD is a popular supplement for a lot of reasons. The active ingredient (CBD) interacts with the endocannabinoid system to regulate homeostasis throughout the body — including the muscles.

After a tough workout, the tiny microfilaments in the muscle fibers become damaged — leading to inflammation, pain, and a loss of strength in the muscle. Over the next 3-5 days, the body needs to repair this damage and strengthen the fibers. During this time, it can be difficult to keep exercising that muscle group, which can ultimately slow down your gains.

Injuries are even worse, sometimes keeping you out of the gym for months on end.

CBD offers several unique benefits to aid the recovery process:

  • It reduces inflammation to prevent unnecessary damage to surrounding muscles
  • It improves our quality of sleep to support the regeneration process
  • It relaxes the muscles to stop spasms and tension
  • It blocks the transmission of pain

These effects help explain why so many athletes report improvement in recovery times after using CBD.

In order to get the most out of CBD, we recommend you take a multifaceted approach, incorporating other measures into the recovery as well — such as massage, healthy dietary habits, taking other supplements, drinking water, and ensuring you get plenty of rest.

The field of CBD and muscle recovery is still young, and there are dozens of interesting research studies on this subject either in progress or planned for the near future. Be sure to stay tuned by signing up for our newsletter below to receive news and updates on cutting-edge research as it’s published.

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