The Ultimate Guide: Fitness, Athletes, and How CBD Can Impact Muscle Recovery

May 18, 2021

The Ultimate Guide: Fitness, Athletes, and How CBD Can Impact Muscle Recovery

Curious about how CBD can help support your workout? Read on in our guide from an expert:

Common questions regarding CBD and muscle recovery:


Can using CBD help with muscle recovery between workouts?

Can using CBD help with athletic performance? 

Can CBD speed up the recovering and healing process after an injury?

Does CBD help with sleep?


What happens during/after a workout?

Been working out? Sore for days afterward? Muscles throughout the body are composed of muscle fibers.  These muscle fibers are then composed of myofibrils, which are better known as the contractile units of the muscles.  In the act of performing a workout, these fibers naturally activate, and when the muscle repeatedly shortens and elongates movement will occur.  

When working out or being active, muscles are generally exposed to more direct impact, usually in the form of resistance.  Whether someone is lifting weights, doing pushups, or going for a run, some form of resistance is being placed on the specific area of muscle.  Since the resistance on muscles is greater when working out compared to one’s regular routine, the process of muscle hypertrophy (muscle building) is activated.  

When this process of muscle hypertrophy occurs, small, microscopic tears occur in the muscle tissue.  The size of the severity of the tear will depend on the intensity and strain of the workout.  In general, the greater the intensity or strain will ultimately mean the greater the tear and the better chance of having muscle inflammation and soreness after the workout.  

Soreness in the muscles typically means multiple tears have occurred and have disrupted the muscle cell organelles. This disruption in the muscle will activate satellite cells from outside of the muscle fibers which rush to the area of damage.  These satellite cells will then begin to replicate, mature into grown cells, and fuse to the muscle fibers.  This repeating process will then begin to form new muscle protein strands, which will overall increase the strength and size of the muscle to better withstand a similar physical activity in the near future.  Other satellite cells are used to heal previously damaged tissue in the area in which these muscle tears have occurred, and this healing will help relieve soreness and damage to the muscles from the exercise that took place.  

What CBD can potentially do for you in regard to working out and an active lifestyle:

  • CBD can relax the muscles and alleviate muscle tension, pain, and soreness.


When it comes to injuries or post-workout soreness and pain, the tension in the muscles can make the feeling much worse.  Because of this, muscle relaxants have become extremely popular for alleviating pain during recovery from intense exercising or injuries.  Common forms of prescription muscle relaxants that are used to treat muscle tension are benzodiazepine drugs such as valium and Xanax, and these types of drugs interact with GABA receptors in the body which regulate muscle relaxation.  Benzodiazepines are powerful drugs and can be very helpful in some cases, however, they come with a significant risk of serious side effects such as sedation, depression, and dizziness.  CBD, as well as other cannabinoids, have similar effects on the GABA receptors in the body but without the serious risk of severe side effects.  This makes CBD a very useful substitute for muscle relaxation and easing muscle tension and pain following an injury or rigorous workout. 

Along with aiding in muscle relaxation, CBD is also suggested to be a powerful pain killer. CBD oil for pain relief helps by interacting with various receptors that contribute to pain signaling and response throughout the body.  This effect allows the use of CBD to offer symptomatic support for muscle injuries and post-workout recovery.  When experiencing less pain in the body, it will be easier to get back into action and feel more comfortable between workouts.  Most people want to get back to working out and with these products, you can faster. 

  • CBD can help improve sleep patterns and increase sleep recovery. 


Some of the most important aspects of muscle recovery occur while we sleep.  During sleep, most of the body’s recovery processes become active such as protein restoration, lactic acid conversion, stimulation of new muscle fibers, and more.  After an injury or a rigorous workout, it’s essential that the body has time to rest and properly repair itself so that it can continue to be active.  Sleep deprivation can also pose negative effects on muscle recovery, most importantly being the reduction of protein synthesis.  Reducing protein synthesis during sleep will decrease the ability to restore damaged muscle and will ultimately aggravate the harmful effect of high-intensity exercise, limiting someone’s recovery time and being able to work out comfortably and at full strength.  

CBD oil, like our tinctures or for sleeping has been tested repeatedly and has shown that it can tremendously improve not only the quality of sleep but also sleep duration.  In some studies, it was found that CBD can aid in reaching a deeper sleep and improve the ability to fall asleep faster. Ultimately, CBD in many instances can increase the quality and time in which the body repairs itself, resulting in much greater and more effective muscle recovery.  

  • CBD can help mitigate muscle inflammation. 


Possibly the most important role that CBD plays in the process of muscle recovery is its part in reducing inflammation.  Inflammation in the body is designed to help damaged muscle fibers recover by bringing blood flow to the area, which then delivers essential nutrients and oxygen to the specified area.  Additionally, more blood flow to the area will also help to clear out any cellular debris, damaged proteins, or any other byproducts of muscle contraction which limit muscle recovery and growth.  Inflammation in many cases can also stimulate stem cells in the muscles to turn into new muscle fibers and to promote muscle growth.  Although inflammation can aid in some areas of recovery, it can also have negative impacts on the body.  Typically, when inflammation occurs in a particular area it will also result in symptoms such as pain, redness, loss of function, swelling, and heat.  These signs are not always present, and sometimes inflammation can be “silent” and show no symptoms. Since inflammation brings on many negative effects, the inflammatory response can cause collateral damage to the affected region of muscle and joints, ultimately leading to a slower recovery process.  Reducing inflammation limits this damage, and the most common way to limit inflammation is to apply ice to the region or to us an anti-inflammatory after a workout or injury.  

CBD oil for inflammation has been shown to inhibit a wide range of inflammatory molecules and is likely to be one of the safest medicines to provide such an effect.  CBD and other cannabinoids are potent anti-inflammatory agents, and they exert their effects through induction of apoptosis, inhibition of cell proliferation, and suppression of cytokine production and induction of T-regulatory cells; all processes with attribute greatly to inflammation in the body.  By suppressing the inflammatory process, CBD may alleviate damage in muscle tissue without compromising any recovery times, allowing one’s body to heal fast, naturally, and effectively.  


The takeaway:

Working out and exercising consistently is not easy. If not managed, it takes a serious toll on the body and can cause severe damage if proper rest and recovery is not taken.  Some of the more common effects of working out rigorously include muscle tension, pain, soreness, and inflammation; all of which can hold a person back from reaching their fitness goals and keep someone sidelined. Getting back to what helps you feel good helps keep that motivation going. However, these negative effects of working out can easily be alleviated and reduced by taking CBD. CBD can help speed up and amplify the recovery process by acting as a muscle relaxant, improving sleep patterns, and reducing body inflammation.  Quality sleep has such a huge impact on recovery and everyday wellness. To browse our products, go to our store here:


If taken properly, taking CBD can help shorten the rest period between working out and recovering, as well as helping muscles repair faster and more efficiently, allowing a person to work out to their full potential.

Written by:


I’m a New Jersey native now turned Coloradoan after attending the University of Colorado at Boulder and earning a degree in chemistry with a minor in biochemistry. I’ve completed several different types of projects and experiments during my schooling, but my favorite one was researching the concentrations of nicotine between different types of flavored pods used in Juul vaporizers. I’ve been working for H3L Labs now for almost two years, primarily carrying out lab processes such as extraction, rotary evaporation, liquid chromatography, and product formulation. Besides working in the lab, I enjoy staying active by hiking, running, skiing, lifting weights, and doing Crossfit. I also have been practicing the martial art of Muay Thai for over 4 years now, and I have one amateur fight under my belt. When I’m not pushing my body to its limit I like to relax in my free time by taking different forms of CBD and playing video games, watching sports, and trying my hand at new cooking recipes in the kitchen or on the grill!




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