CBD Oil as a Muscle Relaxant
Muscle spasms can happen for a variety of reasons. Spasms can occur while working out, resting or in the middle of the night (depending on the cause). They can last between a couple seconds and all the way up to 15 minutes or more. They can also recur several times before subsiding. Could CBD oil, as a muscle relaxant, help reduce or even prevent the pain associated with muscle spasms?
Even in our modern times, cannabidiol oil for muscle spasms has a degree of misconception associated with its role. The differences between cannabidiol oil for muscle spasms and prescription painkillers requires strict adherence to safety protocols to avoid addiction and overdose. Research has concluded that cannabidiol oil for muscle spasms can often be taken in high doses (up to 1,500 mg/day of cannabidiol oil for muscle spasms).
The CDC reports a continuing rise in synthetic-opioid-related overdoses and this is projected to continue growing. One potential alternative involves using cannabidiol oil for muscle spasms to begin lowering overdose rates and increase the level of relief experienced. Using CBD oil as a muscle relaxant might be a safer option.
One study says muscle spasms are quite common and estimates approximately 95% of people will have to deal with a muscle spasm in their lifetime. They’re more common in adults and have a tendency to increase in frequency with age. However, children can also have muscle spasms.
What are muscle spasms?
Muscle spasms, also commonly known as cramps, are unexpected (often violent) spontaneous contractions of a single muscle or a specific group of muscles. These involuntary contractions often happen instantly, and then leave just as fast. But muscle spasms are more than a simple “twitching” of a muscle and are usually very painful.
Humans have three different “types” of muscles in the body including:
Heart muscle (pumps blood).
Skeletal muscles (moves body parts; back, arms, legs, etc).
Smooth muscles (Throat and intestine muscles).
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What causes muscle spasms?
The causes of muscles spasms vary and each episode involves environmental factors and specific muscles.
Muscle spasms can arise due to injury, overuse, or simply because of tiredness. Overstretching or holding a muscle in one spot for too long can be a contributing factor. In essence, a muscle spasm is a result of the muscle cells running low on energy and fluids. Muscle cells need proper amounts of water (H2O), glucose (sugar), sodium (salt), potassium, calcium and magnesium to function.
Other causes of muscle spasms include
Intense physical activities (in hot climates).
Heat exposure (heat cramps).
Daily routine tasks.
Depletion of electrolytes.
Atherosclerosis (arteries narrowing).
What’s good for muscle spasms
Most muscle spasms will stop if you can “stretch” the muscle. Prevention is the key to reducing occurrences.
Muscle-spasm prevention involves:
Proper nutrition and hydration.
Exercising safely (proper stretching before activity).
Ergonomics (fixing your posture).
Natural remedies that can help muscle spasms include:
Essential oils (Peppermint & lemongrass).
CBD oil (Cannabidiol oil for muscle spasms).
Muscle spasms in the upper back
Upper-back muscle spasms involve the “rhomboid” muscle group that connects your spine to the inner edge of your shoulder blades. Rhomboid muscle spasms are most commonly a result of the overuse of your arm and shoulder.
Common activities causing upper-back muscle spasms include:
Arm and shoulder movement that goes over the head. (Overhead movements such as playing tennis or reaching up towards high shelves).
Holding a heavy backpack (on one shoulder).
Muscle spasms in the lower back
Muscle spasms in the lower back occur when the muscles tense up and contract involuntarily as a result of damage to tendons and ligaments.
Causes of muscle spasms in the lower back include:
Nerve compressions (pinched nerve).
Muscle spasms in the shoulder
Many factors contribute to muscle spasms in the shoulder areas; either the left, right or a combination. The most common causes of muscle spasms in the shoulder are strenuous activity in which the shoulder muscles are overworked.
The contributing factors to muscle spasms in the shoulder involve:
Cramped sleeping positions.
Bunched shoulders from too much desk sitting.
Overstretching towards things “just” out of reach.
Muscle spasms in the chest
Muscle spasms in the chest can occur for numerous reasons. Research suggests that there are several disorders causing chest pain. Making sure chest pain is not heart related must be ruled out first because it can be the most life threatening. The two other types of chest pain have muscular skeletal and lung causes.
Muscle spasms in the chest are most commonly due to muscular skeletal sources.
Muscle spasms in the arm
Isolated muscle spasms in the arm are very common and are caused by fatigue or over exerting certain muscles. Most causes are due to daily lifestyle activities (or a lack of activity).
Other minor causes of muscles spasms in the arm can include:
Lactic acid build up in the muscles during exercise.
Over consumption of caffeine or other stimulants.
Nutrient deficiencies (Vitamin D, Vitamin B and calcium).
A reaction to pharmaceuticals (corticosteroids, estrogen pills, etc.).
Stress and anxiety.
Muscle spasms in the leg
Research suggests that muscle spasms in the leg can happen to anyone at any time. Preventing muscle spasms in the leg could be as simple as proper eating (food with vitamins, magnesium and calcium), staying hydrated and thorough stretching before physical activities. Most leg cramps will stop within minutes and consulting the doctor is recommended if muscle spasms in the leg happen frequently.
Causes of muscle spasms in the leg include:
A lack of stretching before activities.
Nutrient deficiencies (magnesium and potassium).
Side effects of certain drugs.
What can I take for muscle spasms?
WebMD reveals a long list of common pharmaceutical medications that you could consider taking to treat muscle spasms. Each of the drugs listed includes user reviews.
Home remedies can be an excellent option if you are not ready for over-the-counter or prescription drugs.
Common home treatments for muscle spasms include:
Application of heat and cold.
Calcium and magnesium supplements.
Relaxing the affected muscle.
Soaking in hot or cold water.
Cannabidiol oil for muscle spasms is an effective treatment. Using Cannabidiol oil for muscle spasms has the primary function of restoring the balance to your body. Once your body is in proper homeostasis (balance), it is able to heal itself better. CBD (cannabidiol) is a cannabinoid (from plants) and stimulates the ECS (EndoCannabinoid System) to keep it robust and balanced.
Best cannabidiol oil for treating muscle spasms
Pharmahemp carries CBD products that are extracted from organic hemp. CBD extractions utilize an advanced (gentle) CO2technology that preserves the hemp’s raw purity. All Pharmahemp products are guaranteed high quality and are tested and analyzed by independent (third-party) labs.
The best recommended cannabidiol oil for muscle spasms is Pharmahemp’s (5%) CBD oil drops.
How much cannabidiol oil should I take for muscle spasms?
The recommended amount of cannabidiol oil for muscle spasms is to begin with 1-2 drops per day. If further relief is desired, increase the amount by adding 1-2 drops (every 1-2 weeks) until the results are achieved.
CBD Oil as a Muscle Relaxant Muscle spasms can happen for a variety of reasons. Spasms can occur while working out, resting or in the middle of the night (depending on the cause). They can last
CBD Oil As a Muscle Relaxant [Try this All-Natural Treatment]
There’s a lot of misconception about the difference between muscle relaxers and painkillers. There’s also confusion regarding the role CBD oil plays as an alternative treatment option for both.
First, painkillers function via the central nervous system (CNS). They work to “deceive” the mind into thinking there is no pain, when in reality there is.
Consider a serious bone fracture. A skateboarder shatters his tibia into 19 different pieces and rushes to the nearest emergency room. Once doctors shoot him up with dilaudid (or morphine, or whatever), pain receptor function ceases and he becomes none the wiser regarding the searing pain that’s coursing through his body. In fact, he’s probably happy as a clam.
Do muscle relaxers work the same?
Muscle relaxers (known in the clinical world as ‘neuromuscular blocking agents’) work differently. Instead of functioning through the CNS by blocking pain transmission at the brain, they function at the actual site of the muscle(s). This cuts off nerve transmission at the acute musculoskeletal level. Think of painkillers as affecting the brain, and muscle relaxers as affecting actual muscles.
Understandably, this brings about some confusion as to what cannabis’ exact role is in terms of pain management. We all know that CBD is an excellent pain modulator within the central nervous system, but does it function at the actual site of muscles as well? In other words, is CBD oil as a muscle relaxer an actual thing, or are people just getting the terms ‘muscle relaxers’ and ‘painkillers’ mixed up?
As it turns out, cannabis does function well as both a neurological “painkiller” and an acute neuromuscular blocking agent.
In this article, we’ll go over exactly how CBD as a muscle relaxant functions at the physiological level. Many people are switching over from their prescription relaxant medications to CBD oils. This is for a number of different reasons, which we’ll talk about below.
As is always the case with health, however, it pays to know what’s going on at the physiological level before you jump headlong into a new treatment option.
Muscle Relaxers: What are they, and why are they dangerous?
Liked we explained briefly, muscle relaxers work by severing neurological communications between the CNS (the brain) and the actual muscles themselves. In that regard, relaxants and painkillers are indeed similar. The only real difference is the specific location where the nerve transmission interruption takes place
Now bear in mind that is a broad, relative explanation. If a neurologist were to read that, they’d probably feel inclined to elaborate on several dozen different things to provide a more exacting definition. But for our purposes, it will suffice.
In terms of the different kinds of muscle relaxers out there, several different types are commonly prescribed to treat localized spasticity. More often than not they’re used as acute (temporary) treatments, but sometimes they can be used along with opioid painkillers for effective treatment of chronic pain as well.
Common Muscle Relaxers
Xanax and Valium are probably the two most well-known muscle relaxers. These drugs are called benzodiazepines. Though they’re often used as anti-anxiety or sleep medications, they have good muscle-relaxing properties as well. Valium especially is a frequently prescribed relaxant for mild-to-moderate acute musculoskeletal pain wherein full-strength opioid painkillers are unnecessary.
Drugs like Zanaflex (tizanidine) are also common and work to reduce spasticity in cases of spinal cord injury or multiple sclerosis (of which CBD is another great treatment option, by the way).
Prescription medications like Soma (carisoprodol), Flexeril (cyclobenzaprine), and Robaxin represent the strongest class of muscle relaxants. These are Schedule IV Controlled Substances (as are Xanax and Valium). They produce meprobamate as a byproduct of their chemical breakdown. Meprobamate is a powerful tranquilizer that produces a sensation of whole-body euphoria. It is dangerous because it can galvanize dependence, abuse, and full-on addiction.
While not statistically as dangerous as opioid painkillers , prescription muscle relaxants still present a dangerous array of potential side effects (such as depression, low blood pressure, and liver problems), and can even be fatal when combined with alcohol or over the counter sleep medications. (Sadly, many combine muscle relaxants with heavy alcohol use as a potential means for suicide).
What are Muscle Relaxants Used for?
Muscle relaxers are used for uncontrollable muscle spasms that originate via neurological impulses sent from the central nervous system. These spasms (which can be extremely painful) originate from several different things:
- Spinal cord injury or damage (the brain and spinal cord compose the CNS)
- Diseases like multiple sclerosis , cerebral palsy, and fibromyalgia
- Acute muscle strains and tears
Some use prescription pharmaceutical relaxants to treat these involuntary muscle contractions. The relaxants work by interrupting neurological communication at the site of the muscle. Spastic signals from the CNS come to a stop, and the muscles relax and shut down. (Surgical procedures also sometimes incorporate relaxants to provide temporary paralysis).
You can see then, the difference between the function of painkillers and muscle relaxants; in our aforementioned hypothetical situation of the skateboarder with the shattered tibia, a muscle relaxant would be an entirely insufficient treatment – he’s dealing with severe acute trauma, not spastic neurological signals between the CNS and various muscle groups.
CBD Oil as Muscle Relaxant: So how does it work?
With the fundamental understanding of muscle relaxants and what they do behind us, we can now look into the physiological roles of CBD (cannabidiol) oil, and how it functions as a neuromuscular blocker.
When muscle groups contract (whether voluntarily or involuntarily), it is in response to a nerve impulse that originates from within the central nervous system. Long neurons extend from the spinal cord and stretch outwards to various organs and muscle groups throughout the body. When these neurons reach the synapse of a particular group of muscle fibers, cell-to-cell communication takes place and the fibers contract. (That’s an elementary way to put it, but it will have to suffice in order to skip talking about action potentials, sarcomeres, and ion differentiation across cell membranes).
In any regard, in order for CBD to work as a muscle relaxant, cannabinoid receptors must be present at the site of muscular synapses. This is where the endocannabinoid system comes in.
If you haven’t heard of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) , you need to inform yourself now. In short, it is an innate network of cannabinoids and cannabinoid receptors that occur 100% naturally in the human body. Everyone has the receptors, whether they’ve smoked marijuana every day for 50 years or have never touched the drug in their life.
The ECS: A complex yet remarkable receptor network
Studies have shown the ECS to be present in virtually every single physiological system in the human body. In a nutshell, this explains the incredibly far-reaching medical potential of cannabis.
The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) has called the endocannabinoid system “… the most important physiologic system involved in establishing and maintaining human health.”
In terms of the ECS acting as a muscle contraction regulatory device, studies have found cannabinoid receptors in the signaling machinery of skeletal muscle. In other words, it appears cannabinoids (such as CBD) may play a significant role in the communication between muscle groups and the neurons that control them.
Remember research is still a long way off in regards to pinpointing how this works. Also, it is unclear how exactly the ECS functions regarding the chemical pathways of cell-to-cell communication. One thing is for certain, though — cannabinoids absolutely play a part in the alleviation of muscle spasticity .
In fact, cannabis has for years shown excellent results in multiple sclerosis patients that deal with chronic spasticity. It’s only been somewhat recently, though, that individuals started using the oil to treat spasms stemming from other conditions.
Why CBD Oil?
If you’re wondering why we keep talking about CBD, or if you’re wondering what the heck it even is, it’s essentially a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that comes from the marijuana plant.
The two primary cannabinoids in marijuana are THC and CBD. THC is the psychoactive component that’s responsible for getting us high. When you smoke a joint, for example, you inhale both CBD and THC. CBD oil is an all-natural extraction of the non-psychoactive cannabinoid. That is, a way to receive all the medical and therapeutic benefits of cannabis without having to get high.
CBD as a Muscle Relaxant: The Bottom Line
Alleviating muscle spasms at the molecular level is just one of the many potential uses of CBD . Thousands of people have switched over to it from prescription medications (like carisoprodol or benzodiazepines) due to the high costs and dangerous side effects of the latter.
Keep in mind though that CBD oil for muscle spasms will not work for everyone. If you’re considering using it for your own condition, do your research and select a reputable tincture.
The oils we’ve selected below have been some of the most reputable and proven brands in recent years. They have shown good results for a variety of muscle and pain-related conditions, including spasticity.
Ever thought about using CBD oil as a muscle relaxant? Keep on reading to explore the truth, because there's A LOT of difference between your options.