What Can CBD Do to Heal Muscle and Bones

Have you overextended yourself at the gym or at sport and now are suffering from muscular soreness? While over-the-counter pain relievers can alleviate some of the ache, you also might want to reach for cannabidiol (CBD). It can heal muscle pain and spasms naturally through its anti-inflammatory properties. As an anti-inflammatory, CBD promotes better recovery and limits the wear and tear that can occur during a workout session.[1]  CBD also is a powerful vascular relaxant. It dilates the blood vessels, thereby increasing the flow of blood to the affected area to bring about an analgesic effect to reduce pain and muscle spasms. [2] 

Impact of ECS on the Body

CBD’s ability to help control muscular soreness stems from its action on the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is a vital molecular system that plays a particularly important role in maintaining homeostasis, which is the body’s efforts to maintain stable functionality and operate optimally regardless of any changes in its environment.  For example, homeostasis comes into play when we want our cells to maintain optimum performance so that our body temperature is not too hot or cold. There is increasing evidence that the ECS helps to regulate stress, pain, immune system, and other functions of the body.

The ECS is made up of three components: endocannabinoids; cannabinoid receptors, which function as neurotransmitters (neurotransmitters send and receive messages over small gaps between neurons, which are called synapses) and enzymes.  CBD stimulates the endocannabinoid system to produce more of its own cannabinoids, and it and slows their breakdown.[3]

CBD Affects Sleep to Aid Muscle Recovery

Rest and sleep also contribute to muscle recovery. During sleep muscle replication and regeneration occur. REM sleep phase leads to the recovery of the muscles that might suffer injuries during the workout sessions.[4]

Researchers are exploring the benefits CBD for a good night’s sleep. Some research indicates that CBD may interact with specific receptors in the endocannabinoid system to potentially affect the sleep/wake cycle. Furthermore, by reducing pain symptoms, CBD may also contribute to a more restful sleep.

CBD Aids Bone Regeneration

In addition to its help with muscle soreness, recent studies suggest that CBD also may play a significant role in the regulation of bone regeneration. Bone regeneration occurs both in physiological (bone turnover) and pathological (e.g., fractures) situations being performed by osteoblast, which is the creation of new bone, and osteoclast, the breakdown and restructuring of bone tissue, which is needed in maintaining repairing and remodeling bones.

The cannabinoid system has been shown to have positive effects on bone metabolism. Cannabinoids at bone level act on the CB-1 and CB-2 receptors, but other receptors may be involved. Endocannabinoids can stimulate osteoblast formation, bone formation and osteoclast activity.[5]

Another study looked at the interaction between bone fractures and CBD as well as THC, the mind- altering cannabinoid found in marijuana. Two groups of rats received either CBD or CBD and THC. The results found that CBD only enhanced the biomechanical properties of the rats’ fractures. They also were less likely to suffer a future break in the same area because the repaired bone was stronger. [6]

More research will help determine the effects of CBD on muscle and bone recovery.


[1] “5 Ways Cannabis Ca Help in Muscle Recovery,” Drug Times, September 29, 2021. https://www.drugtimes.org/medical-marijuana-laws/5-ways-cannabis-can-help-in-muscle-recovery.html
[2] Patel, F., “3 Reasons Why CBD Works as Great Muscle & Vascular Relaxant,” CBD Hemp, Accessed December 4, 2021. https://cbdnhemp.com/cbd/benefits/benefits-cbd-oilmuscle-vascular-relaxant/
[3] Ashton, Livvy, “How Does CBD Affect the Brain? Impact of Cannabidiol on Brain Function,” CFAH, Last updated November 1, 2021. https://cfah.org/cbd-effects-on-brain/
[4] “5 Ways Cannabis Ca Help in Muscle Recovery,” Drug Times, September 29, 2021.
[5] Dragos Apostu, Ondine Lucaciu, Alexandru Mester, Horea Benea, Daniel Oltean-Dan, Florin Onisor, Mihaela Baciut & Simion Bran (2019) Cannabinoids and bone regeneration, Drug Metabolism Reviews, 51:1, 65-75, DOI: 10.1080/03602532.2019.1574303  https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/03602532.2019.1574303
[6] Kogan, N.M., Melamed, E., Wasserman, E., Raphael, B., Breuer, A., Stok, K.S., Sondergaard, R., Escudero, A.V., Baraghithy, S., Attar-Namdar, M., Friedlander-Barenboim, S., Mathavan, N., Isaksson, H., Mechoulam, R., Müller, R., Bajayo, A., Gabet, Y. and Bab, I. (2015), Cannabidiol, a Major Non-Psychotropic Cannabis Constituent Enhances Fracture Healing and Stimulates Lysyl Hydroxylase Activity in Osteoblasts. J Bone Miner Res, 30: 1905-1913. https://doi.org/10.1002/jbmr.2513