CBD For Pain: A User’s Guide On How CBD Helps

Physical activities and exercise are the most commonly used terms when people discuss a healthy lifestyle or personal fitness. Whether you’re beginning to work out regularly or already pushing through a strenuous fitness regimen, soreness is primarily the consequence that causes pain

Several options are available to help treat or reduce soreness, such as: 

  • Packing on the carbs and protein, or 
  • Using sugary sports drinks for electrolytes. 

You probably can recall soaking in a tub, steaming in a shower, or lying on a heating pad to relieve body aches.

CBD for Pain

A natural alternative to relieve temporary soreness that is rapidly gaining attention is CBD for pain

Alleviating general pain in the joints and muscles was the second most common reason people used CBD for pain, according to a 2019 consumer-based study. Nearly 40 percent of those users stated their CBD experience was “extremely or very effective.”

But how and why is CBD for pain beneficial in soreness? This guide will discuss what soreness is and its effects, to how you can start integrating CBD for pain quickly.

What is Pain?

Muscle soreness is a temporary condition or side effect from the muscles’ strain caused by an unaccustomed or unusual exercise. However, not every muscle soreness affects you the same.

Some instances are uncomfortable and can disrupt your fitness routine, while other occurrences can become debilitating, which causes pain.

There are two main types of muscle soreness: 

  • Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness  
  • Acute Muscle Soreness.

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness

Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is the most typical pain felt after a fitness activity. 

It usually occurs within six to eight hours after trying a new exercise. It can last for a couple of days after you tried the new workout. 

You may experience delayed onset muscle soreness when you;

  • Add a new exercise or activity to your routine
  • Maintain the same workout routine without proper rest
  • Increase the intensity or time of your workout

If you’re experiencing delayed onset muscle soreness, you usually won’t require medical attention. 

There are several ways to help ease some DOMS symptoms, including a light exercise routine, a heating pad or a warm soak for heat, or applying ice on swollen muscles.

You can recover from DOMS by increasing your workout routine gradually instead of going beyond your body’s limit. Warming up or stretching could also prove beneficial, although there’s no concrete evidence of its effectiveness.

DOMS is a positive sign of your muscles adapting to a workout routine and strengthening. Consequently, when you repeat your routine next time, it causes lesser soreness and discomfort.

Acute Muscle Soreness

Acute muscle soreness (AMS) occurs immediately after or during a strenuous exercise. The discomfort is felt soon after the muscle contracts. 

A man's back muscles.

The AMS could last from a few minutes to a few hours. People often describe acute muscle soreness as a burning sensation, but it usually resolves itself quickly.

The causes of acute muscle soreness may include muscle fatigue and the accumulation of bio-chemicals within muscle cells. 

There are no absolute methods for treating AMS. However, similar to DOMS, stretching before and after a workout may provide little to moderate help.

AMS may last long enough to lead to normal DOMS, and it is quite possible to experience both from one fitness routine.

What Are the Causes of Pain?

Some workouts can have you sore for several days, which causes pain, depending on which muscle groups you’re targeting. 

According to the National Health Service, when you work your muscles harder than usual or in new ways, your body might suffer soreness from the microscopic damage inflicted upon the muscle fibers.

Those torn muscles swell, sending signals to the brain to react and repair. This process of rebuilding often leads to muscle stiffness or soreness.

In response, the inflammatory cells and proteins stimulate the pain receptors in the body. They repair the muscle’s functional unit and the surrounding tissue. This process causes soreness that ultimately induces pain. 

Other factors that can contribute to muscle soreness and temporary pain include dehydration and an imbalance in electrolytes. When the body is dehydrated, the muscles remain in contraction until the fluids reenter the muscle.

Another contributing factor is the lack of contractions, which can cause muscles to become overexerted.

This is where CBD for pain or other natural remedies can be a massive help to maintaining pain.

How Pain and Soreness Affect the Body?

Typically, DOMS only affects the muscles that you worked out. Those muscle groups could cause discomfort even during regular use while they are repairing.

Once repaired, the muscle fibers are more durable and more prominent than before. Moreover, they become better prepared for even more fatigue and resistance.

However, muscle soreness does not only indicate muscle improvement. Sometimes, complications are also associated with it. 

Mild and moderate pain from workouts isn’t detrimental and is quite a shared experience.

Still, severe soreness can have damaging and harmful effects. And you must understand the difference between rational muscle soreness from exercise and irrational pain.

Pain and Soreness – What’s The Difference?

As mentioned earlier, general muscle soreness is a regular occurrence that happens six to eight hours post-workout and usually lasts for up to 48 hours. 

However, If extreme discomfort in your body prevents you from performing everyday life activities, you may be experiencing generalized pain.

Another characteristic of pain is if your discomfort lasts beyond 72 hours. 

The pain starting during or soon after the workout is also different from typical muscle soreness.  It could mean there’s an issue with your current routine. Also, you should consider it as a stop sign before severe muscle, and joint damage happens.

In worst-case scenarios, attempting to push through this type of discomfort could cause your muscles to break down dangerously. Not only this, it might make you sick or inflict damage to your kidneys. 

You should speak with a doctor if you notice the following symptoms at any time after a workout:

  • Swollen limbs
  • Unbearable pain
  • Restricted motion due to swelling
  • Dark-colored urine or less urination

What is CBD?

There are several ways of dealing with normal muscle soreness, including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). 

However, CBD is becoming more popular and accepted for curing pain and soreness.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-intoxicating phytocannabinoid organically produced inside Cannabis sativa plants. Due to CBD’s practical applications in maintaining health and well-being, it is one of the most researched plant-based cannabinoids.

Another well-known phytocannabinoid in cannabis plants is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Unlike THC, CBD molecules don’t provide a “high” or any euphoric effects based on how they interact with the body.

How Does CBD Affect the Body and Soreness?

Both cannabinoids work with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in our bodies. ECS is an elaborate network of connectors made up of two different receptors – CB1 and CB2. 

This system maintains homeostasis, physical and cognitive stability, and balance in response to external or internal changes. Any change in them would typically disrupt our body’s healthy function or condition. 

CB1 receptors attach to our central nervous system, which includes our brain and spinal cord. THC cannabinoids bind to these receptors and affect the organs associated with them. It gives us a hint why THC links to psychoactive effects.

In contrast to CB1, the CB2 receptors connect to our peripheral nervous system (PNS). The PNS includes nerve fibers that originate from the central nervous system and extend to several parts, including the muscles, limbs, and skin.

After binding to CB2 receptors, CBD transmits signals to all organs and functions connected to our peripheral nervous system.

Sometimes, CBD may even attach to CB1 receptors to block synthetic or organic chemicals from affecting our central nervous system.

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The muscle groups and joints we usually work out are a part of the peripheral nervous system. Therefore, limited research or anecdotal evidence suggests that CBD is effective against pain.  

CBD for pain comes in many different packages, including CBD oil, CBD topicals, CBD vitamins, CBD gummies, CBD capsules, and more. It is a natural product that you can integrate into your daily routine to help manage pain.

Ways to Incorporate CBD In You

One of the advantages of CBD for pain is that you can approach your discomfort from outside and inside. There are several ways of getting CBD into your system to help with sore joints and muscles.

Through Skin Application

The most preferred method is using CBD-infused topicals for pain. They’re easy to use, and you can carry them in the gym bag for post-workout recovery.

Unlike other ways, topicals containing CBD as an active ingredient don’t have to enter your bloodstream to work effectively. It works by stimulating the CB2 receptors found in the skin.

So, CBD topicals may offer relief from temporary pain depending on the surface size you’re applying to and the severity of your discomfort.

Favorably, you can select many types of topicals – from creams to rollers and even bath bombs.

Through Under The Tongue

Another method of taking CBD for pain is through sublingual administration, also referred to as “under the tongue.” 

With a CBD oil tincture, you use a dropper to place a set amount of CBD underneath your tongue. Ideally, keep it there for 30 to 60 seconds, and then swallow.

The CBD absorbs through the capillaries directly into the bloodstream. It’s one of the fastest methods of taking CBD for pain. 

This method starts working within 30 minutes and lasts for a few hours. For maximum results, you may use it either before or after the workout.

Through Ingestion

This method involves the ingestion of CBD oil in the form of capsules, soft gels, or gummies. The most incredible thing about edibles is that you can avoid tasting CBD with them.

The results through ingestion are not immediate, like CBD topicals or oil tinctures, because the infusion of CBD in your system is slow. However, its effects may last the longest.

When ingested, CBD goes through the first-pass metabolism, which breaks down the CBD even further before it reaches the bloodstream.

This method may work best only when taken regularly to help reduce the onset of muscle and joint soreness.

Through Inhalation

Another smart way of taking CBD is through vaping. When you vape CBD, it goes directly to your bloodstream through the lungs. 

It provides swift relief from pain. However, this method isn’t suitable for everyone. You should avoid vaping if you have a history of pulmonary conditions. 

Which CBD Products to Use Regularly for Pain?

The best thing about CBD-infused products is that you have many options to choose from. You can utilize one or several items at a time for soreness, depending on what your recovery routine requires.

Typically, CBD for pain will build up in your system over time, so consistent use plays a significant role in getting the best results. 

Here are some of the CBD products that you may use for effective pain relief:


CBD oil tinctures come in a variety of tasty flavors and are convenient to use everywhere. You could take a serving at your discretion.

There is no set time; you may use CBD oil tinctures before starting your day, before bed, or soon after working out. 

You could also divide your servings by taking one during the daytime and the other one at nighttime.

Capsules/Soft gels

CBD capsules and soft gels are easy-to-swallow pills. Each pill contains a precise amount of CBD oil. 

You can take a serving or two with water in the morning or evening. Besides, you may also split the servings between the start and end of your day.


CBD gummies for pain.

CBD gummies are a tasty way of keeping CBD in your system. Each flavorful piece has an exact amount of CBD oil, so you know how much you’re getting with each serving. 

You can take one or two before your day begins and ends – or you could have a serving at the start of your workout or after you’ve completed it.

Sleep Aids

CBD-infused sleep aids contain melatonin and other essential ingredients that help with relaxation. A good night’s rest is a crucial factor when recovering from a workout. 

Ideally, you may take a serving or two at least 30 minutes before going to bed.


CBD topicals contain essential ingredients such as menthol and histamine dihydrochloride. These elements are vital for relieving minor aches, pains, and soreness associated with exercising. 

For best results, you should apply an ample amount to the affected area and massage it into your skin until it’s absorbed completely. You may use it up to four times a day. Moreover, it is safe to use on all types of skin.

Bath Bombs

CBD bath bombs provide the most relaxing way to enjoy the benefits of CBD. What else could be better than a satisfying soak after an intense workout session?

Each bath bomb contains 100 mg of CBD and a blend of essential oils and aromas made to melt away physical tension.

Drop one in a tub full of warm water, let it dissolve completely, and then enjoy. Most bath bombs use non-staining coloring and are safe for all skin types.

No matter how you choose to include CBD for pain into your daily or workout regimen, there are many high-quality CBD options.

CBD Benefits for Pain Management

Even today, there is still no consensus on the health advantages of CBD. However, research and clinical trials keep bringing positive aspects of CBD for pain relief and others.  

As shown by a 2020 review, CBD could be beneficial for curing chronic pain, improving sleep, and lessening inflammation.

Yet, more research is sought to clarify further the therapeutic properties of CBD and its safe dosages.

Here are some of the benefits of CBD, according to the current studies.

CBD for Neuropathic Pain

Nerve damage is commonly the cause of neuropathic pain. People suffering from diseases, including multiple sclerosis, and injuries such as herniated discs usually experience this pain.

The results of a 2017 review exhibited the effectiveness of CBD for chronic neuropathic pain in humans. Researchers in that review studied 11 random regulated trials with 1219 patients.

In 2018 a study conducted on animals successfully proved that CBD efficiently inhibits neuropathic, inflammatory, and cancer pains. The mice were chemically inflicted with pain to fulfill the required conditions.

CBD for Arthritis Pain

There have been encouraging results from the studies about the effects of CBD on arthritis pain.

A 2016 study from the European Journal of Pain tested CBD on rats with arthritis. After applying CBD on rats for four days, researchers noticed a significant reduction in inflammation and pain signs. Moreover, no additional side effects were recorded in that study.

Another review of numerous controlled trials in 2016 revealed that CBD is a safe way to cure chronic pain. According to this review, Cannabinoids effectively relieve chronic pain provoked by back pain, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and more.

Although many people vouch for the miraculous effects of CBD for arthritis pain, a lot of research is still needed to reach a conclusion.

CBD for Chronic Pain

Chronic pain sometimes drags people towards toxic medications and even opioids. CBD is a natural way to relieve chronic pains without harsh side effects.

People using CBD for debilitating chronic pains have claimed that it works for their pain. 

A study from the Journal of Experimental Medicine has shown that CBD alleviates chronic pain and inflammation by marking three glycine receptors. 

The same study also revealed that the tolerance of patients for CBD remained the same over time. Therefore they did not require to increase their dose with time.

CBD Dosage for Pain

After getting to know about several ways of taking CBD, you must now be thinking about how much CBD is apt for effective relief. 

No universally accepted amount of CBD will work best for everyone. The effectiveness of CBD for pain depends on various factors.

Some of the factors impacting CBD efficacy include:

  • Seriousness of pain
  • Patient’s age
  • Body mass
  • Gender 
  • Method of using CBD

The best way to take CBD for pain is to start with the suggested serving and increase as needed with each use. 

Once you’ve discovered the right amount, you should continue using it for at least 30 days to understand better how well your body responds to CBD.

You may also speak with your doctor about starting a CBD for pain regimen along with your daily routines. Through proper examination, your doctor can help determine how much CBD is right for you.

Bottom Line

It doesn’t matter if you’re a professional athlete, a world-class bodybuilder, or a fitness novice; anyone can experience muscle soreness. It’s a natural occurrence that happens when muscle fibers tear from heavy or irregular use.

There are several ways of relieving muscle and joint soreness, including CBD, which is rapidly gaining popularity. It’s a non-psychoactive cannabinoid extracted from hemp that binds to our CB2 receptors in our PNS.

Many options of regularly getting CBD into your system are available depending on your needs and recovery routine. Furthermore, you may even contact a doctor to help you determine the CBD dosage for pain.

Mild and moderate soreness generally means your muscles are becoming better and stronger. However, it is not only an indication of progress. 

If your discomfort level after or during a workout is unbearable or lasts more than three days, it would be best to seek medical assistance.

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