CBD topicals for joint and muscle pain

If you experience joint and muscle pain, would CBD topicals help? CBD’s track record in relieving pain is promising. Plus, using a topical cream gives you the added benefit of hydrating and nourishing your skin. But for purposes of this blog, let’s just focus on its benefits for joint and muscle pain.

CBD for pain

What causes joint and muscle pain? It’s a long list; however, I’ll just give you the short version. Pain, and inflammation, can be the result of overexertion, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, bursitis, gout, strains, sprains and other injuries. For instance, the most common areas that experience joint pain are knees, shoulders and hips, in that order. But, pain can affect almost any joint or muscle from your feet right to the hands and neck. Aging is often another culprit in increasing joint and muscle pain.

CBD, a known anti-inflammatory, is a cannabinoid found in hemp. It interacts with your endocannabinoid system (ECS) of CB receptors. These CB receptors patrol the body, balancing all  systems. Two main CB receptors have been identified: CB-1 and CB-2. CB-1 is found throughout the central nervous system, including your brain and spinal cord. CB-2 mostly balances the immune system. Both receptors are located throughout our largest organ, the skin.

So, when your knees ache, your back hurts or your feet throb, CBD topicals may help ease pain. CBD for pain graphic

Should you use CBD for pain?

I have two things to say. First, don’t just reach for the first CBD topical that you encounter. There are a lot of imposters out there. Second, side effects of CBD topicals are almost nonexistence, so if it doesn’t work for you, maybe you’ll just have softer skin. If it does work, however, it’s not habit-forming like opiates. In addition, you won’t suffer stomach issues that often accompany anti-inflammatory medication.

Now, let’s get to how it works. There are several ways to use CBD, which involves it traveling through the blood stream. Topicals, on the other hand, penetrate the skin without going through the digestive tract, liver and ultimately the blood stream. As a result, pain relief happens fairly quickly. But even more important, it does so without masking the pain and without side effects.

“Reliable topical CBD products don’t just mask pain or inflammation as some over-the-counter topical pain relief creams do. They actually can make the pain go away for a certain time period,” says Matthew Halpert, an instructor of immunology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. “This is because of the high concentration of cannabinoid receptors on the skin.”

A 2017 study published in the journal Pain found that CBD not only stopped pain, it deterred the development of more pain in rats with osteoarthritis.

CBD for acute joint and muscle pain

Acute pain comes on suddenly, is sharp and caused by something specific. So, let’s say you overexerted in your workout. Or maybe that new pile of snow had you exerting effort you haven’t in many months. As a result, your muscles start to ache, and movement may be inhibited. Joint and Muscle Relief is on the way with CBD topicals. It goes to work instantly to reduce inflammation and pain.

The CB receptors located throughout your body and skin are associated with sensation of pain, appetite, immune function, mood and more. CBD blocks pain signals, working directly with anandamide and 2-AG, ECS agents involved in regulating neuronal, immune, metabolic, vascular and reproductive functions. As a result, CBD can relieve the pain without getting you high.

CBD for chronic pain

Chronic pain has gone on for a period of time. It could be due to an old injury or a condition such as neuropathy, arthritis, fibromyalgia, nerve pain, multiple sclerosis or inflammatory/autoimmune conditions.

Although prescription medications are often recommended for chronic pain, they tend to come with side effects that people would rather avoid. Enter CBD, which research has shown to reduce inflammation. Also, people who use it don’t build up a tolerance that requires larger and larger doses to relieve their symptoms, as is often the case with prescription or over-the-counter medications.

What to look for in CBD topicals

I’ve said it once and will say it again. Choose your topicals wisely. Look at:


How does the company extract the CBD from the cannabis plant? If toxic chemicals are present in extraction—propane, hexane, pentane and butane, which are flammable hydrocarbon gases found in petroleum—walk away. Fast. Two healthful extraction methods are done with organic, pharmaceutical-grade ethanol or a process called supercritical CO2 extraction.


Find out where the cannabis or hemp originated. How it was grown, and the species; sativa, ruderalis or indica. Hemp absorbs toxins in the soil. If the soil isn’t clean, your CBD isn’t either. One of the best sources of CBD is organic-certified, hemp-grown farms in pristine regions of Europe. U.S.-grown hemp can be a good source, too. U.S. farmers are required to be certified by state departments of agriculture. Check a company’s website or inquire with its customer service for that information.


Is the CBD made from the whole plant? Look for a label that says whole plant or full spectrum. Using the whole plant ensures that the oil contains CBD and a full range of primary and secondary parts of the hemp plant, including terpenes, flavonoids and other cannabinoids. They enhance the CBD, making the benefits exponentially higher than with CBD alone.

Lab results

Seek products tested by a third-party lab to ensure that the CBD is what its label claims. A company willing to undergo scrutiny by an independent lab has nothing to hide. Look for high levels of CBD, with trace levels of other cannabinoids such as CBD, CBG and CBN to name a few. Ask about test results for potential impurities such as solvents, pesticides and heavy metals to ensure a safe product. Reputable companies will disclose their lab results if you ask or may even put it right on the products.











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