Whether you pushed yourself too hard at the gym or you grapple with chronic pain every day, muscle inflammation is painful. Worse, it can restrict your mobility, making even the simple things feel like hard work.
If traditional pain relief isn't working or you're looking for a natural alternative, then read on to find out more about the anti-inflammatory effects of CBD oil.
What causes inflammation?
Inflammation is your body's way of recognising that there is a problem. Inflammation of the skeletal muscles (the muscles that move your body) is caused by:
- Inflammatory conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis
- Viral infections like the common cold or flu
- Certain drugs, such as statins used to lower cholesterol
- Injury or over-use after vigorous exercise
Pushing yourself during exercise causes microscopic damage to the proteins that make up your muscles. This leads to inflammation, which causes post-workout aches, pains, and stiffness - also known as delayed onset muscle soreness or DOMS.
Muscle inflammation is also associated with redness, heat, and swelling.
Inflammation - is it good or bad?
If you work out regularly then you'll be familiar with the techniques that fitness gurus use to speed up their recovery time between workouts. This includes:
- Getting plenty of rest
- Using ice packs to reduce inflammation
- Massage and physiotherapy
- Taking anti-inflammatory medication
Though inflammation can be painful, it is necessary to repair the damaged muscles. So, is inflammation a good thing? In the sort term, yes. Increased blood flow delivers essential nutrients and oxygen to the area, and takes away the bad stuff, like lactic acid.
Inflammatory markers tell the body to repair the damaged muscle by turning stem cells into muscle fibres. In short, inflammation is responsible for stimulating new cells.
In addition to the injured area, the muscle groups surrounding it also swell up. To reduce inflammation and relieve pain, many turn to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen and aspirin, but this is not without its problems.
NSAIDs have unpleasant side effects, and increase the risk of stomach ulcers. What's more, these drugs cannot distinguish between good and bad inflammatory markers.
Some medical experts believe that cannabidiol (CBD) is able to reduce unhelpful inflammation and leave the good stuff to continue repairing the damaged muscle.
What is cannabidiol (CBD)?
Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, is an organic compound found in the hemp plant.
Unlike its close relation, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), it doesn't make you 'high', and it is not addictive. THC is found in the marijuana plant (a similar species to hemp).
CBD oil is available in tinctures (drops), gummies, tea, muscle rubs, sprays, vapes and e-liquids. For maximum effect to treat chronic inflammation, we recommend combining a topical CBD (applied directly to the area) with one that works internally.
Cannabidiol is proven to reduce inflammation, and studies have shown that in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients, it can also aid mobility.
But reducing inflammation isn't the only benefit of CBD oil. The supplement can also:
- Help you sleep better
- Relax muscles in the surrounding areas
- Relieve pain (analgesic)
- Restore calm
The restorative effects of CBD oil can help to aid your recovery. Sleep is important for healing the body, and experts agree that it is essential to repairing muscle damage.
Getting the most out of CBD
To get the most out of your CBD oil, we recommend that you:
- Prioritise sleep
- Drink plenty of water
- Stretch after your workout
- Eat a balanced diet
Eating the right foods is key to reducing inflammation. Avoid processed foods and opt for a Mediterranean diet rich in fruit and vegetables. In particular, fish high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon and mackerel, is essential to any anti-inflammatory diet.
You should also try to eat more tomatoes, olive oil, nuts, leafy green vegetables, and fruits that are known to boost your immune system, like blueberries and oranges.
When you are picking CBD products, look for quality, high-grade cannabidiol. At Origin40, we keep every product's certificate of analysis in store so we can authenticate its safety. It is really important to us that we can trace the origin of the CBD used, and we only stock products from manufacturers who can prove it has been grown organically.
So, does CBD oil help with muscle inflammation?
CBD works with the body's central nervous system to intercept messages to the brain - not only does this reduce inflammation but it's also pain relieving.
Topical solutions like CBD muscle rubs that are applied directly at the site of the pain get to work straight away for immediate relief. Combined with oils and sprays that work on your internal system (the bits you can't see), they are an effective anti-inflammatory.
If you're just starting out on your CBD journey, visit us in store or request an online consultation. We work with medical experts in neurology, who are at the forefront of research into CBD and we are working hard to bring you the latest industry thinking. Our staff are highly trained and ready to help you get started.
There are lots of helpful resources on our website - we bust some of the myths surrounding CBD with our frequently asked questions. You can also hear from our customers who explain why they started taking CBD and how it works for them.