THC & CBD for Muscle Relaxation: Does Weed Relax Muscles?
Do you toss and turn at night due to stiff, tight muscles? Have you tried stretching and over-the-counter pain medication, only for the pain to return a short time later? Are you interested in finding a natural option that is both safe and effective?
It’s estimated that up to 40 percent of Americans are living with chronic pain, with as much as 24 percent being attributed to musculoskeletal pain. Many chronic pain patients become curious about marijuana as a form of pain management after months or even years of discomfort. But it all comes down to one important question: Does weed relax muscles enough to relieve pain?
If you are one of the millions of Americans who are living with chronic muscle pain, you’ve likely found yourself wondering: “Is weed a muscle relaxant that could work for me?”
Well, here’s the good news — marijuana does relax muscles and has been proven to aid in chronic pain management. But in order to maximize the medicinal benefits of marijuana, it’s important to educate yourself about the various types of strains and products available to you.
Here’s what you need to know about cannabis and its ability to relieve chronic muscle pain.
Marijuana for Muscle Relaxation: Which is the Best Solution for You?
Is marijuana a muscle relaxant? The short answer is yes, but there are different products that may be better suited for your needs. Chances are you’ve heard about the differences between THC and CBD, which are both found in the marijuana plant. But which one is right for you and your symptoms? Let’s look at each in more detail.
Cannabidiol (more commonly known as CBD) is one of 113 different cannabinoids found in the marijuana plant. CBD doesn’t produce psychoactive effects, but it is proven to be anxiety-reducing due to its ability to activate serotonin receptors and other parts of the brain responsible for sleep and relaxation. But does CBD relax muscles? Studies show it does. There are topical products, vapes, and even edibles designed to relax the body.
CBD is ideal for people with chronic muscle pain who…
-Have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder (some strains of THC can result in a state of paranoia, panic, or heightened anxiety)
-Prefer to avoid the psychoactive “high” sensation of THC
-Don’t want to experience an increased appetite
-Have been diagnosed with epilepsy (the FDA recently approved a medication containing CBD for the treatment of seizures)
-Have a family history of psychiatric disorders, particularly schizophrenia (frequent use of THC has been linked with an increased risk of psychosis amongst these individuals)
Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is the primary cannabinoid found in marijuana. It is the compound responsible for producing the “high” sensation most people associate with smoking or ingesting weed. Its effects include euphoria, laughter, an altered perception of time, relaxation, and increased hunger. But is THC a muscle relaxer? Scientific studies have proven that relief from aches and pains is another of the positive effects associated with THC.
THC is ideal for people with chronic muscle pain who…
-Enjoy the “high” sensation provided by THC
-Struggle to maintain a healthy appetite
-Frequently experience nausea or vomiting due to cancer chemotherapy, migraines, etc.
-Are experienced cannabis users
How to Use THC and CBD for Muscle Health
So does weed relax muscles? You bet! But before you visit a dispensary to purchase cannabis there are still a few details you’ll need to know — like how to use cannabis products safely and properly.
Here are some best practices to follow when using THC and CBD for muscle pain.
THC Muscle Relaxant Tips
- RESEARCH THE SIDE EFFECTS
We know that the answer to “does THC relax muscles” is yes, but what about other side effects? There are several known side effects associated with THC that should be considered prior to smoking or ingesting cannabis products, including dry eyes, drowsiness, impaired body movement, changes in mood, and increased heart rate.
- CHOOSE YOUR STRAIN CAREFULLY
When looking for a THC-infused marijuana muscle relaxer, always refer to a strain database for more information about a particular product. These databases can tell you the most common effects associated with a specific strain, as well as the percentage of THC it contains and the conditions it's best suited for.
- FOLLOW RECOMMENDED DOSING GUIDELINES
This tip is especially important for consumers who are new to smoking or ingesting cannabis. The percentage of THC in a particular product has a significant impact on the severity of the effects you’ll experience. It’s always best to start off with a low-THC-content product before experimenting with higher dosages. If you tolerate it well, you can always increase it next time!
CBD Muscle Relaxant Tips
- PICK THE RIGHT PRODUCT TYPE
There are a wide variety of CBD muscle relaxers. From topical creams that can be applied to the skin, to cannabis flower, oils and tinctures, edibles, and vaping cartridges. The best product for you will depend on your unique preferences and pain management needs.
- START LOW AND GO SLOW
Many people seek out CBD and make the mistake of assuming they need the highest dose based on their level of pain. The reality is that everyone’s body responds differently to CBD, so two people can require two totally different doses to achieve the same effect. When in doubt, start off at a low dose and slowly increase over time. You can always go higher if you’re not experiencing the desired muscle relief.
- CHOOSE QUALITY PRODUCTS
It’s always wise to research the manufacturer of a particular CBD product, or to speak to your dispensary representative to gather more information. You want to ensure you’re purchasing from a licensed producer (any product found in a dispensary has to be provided by a licensed producer by law). Additionally, you want to ensure you’re buying from a producer that practices ethical cultivation. And last but not least, you want to ask to see the Certificate of Analysis from a particular brand of cannabis, as this will tell you the cannabinoids contained within a specific strain.
If you’re unsure about how a particular product will affect you, it’s always best to consult with your physician. And remember, never take prescribed or over-the-counter muscle relaxers while high on cannabis (unless otherwise instructed by a doctor).
The Best Strains for Muscle Relaxation
You now understand the options available to you and the effects of each — but you’re still not sure how to find the best product for your specific needs. It’s no secret that the world of THC and CBD strains can be overwhelming.
Don’t worry— we’ve got you covered. Here are our top 5 strain recommendations for muscle pain:
- Northern Lights
This indica-based THC strain is ideal for those seeking both pain relief and a natural sleep aid. It induces a deep state of relaxation, loosening muscles and alleviating anxiety. An ideal cannabis flower for night-time use.
- Suzy Q
This CBD strain isn’t overly powerful at just 10% and contains very minimal THC (less than 1%), making it a great introductory strain for new cannabis users. You’ll get a nice mellow body sensation without any of the psychoactive effects of THC strains.
- High Society
A newer strain that’s gaining popularity, High Society is a potent THC strain with high amounts of limonene, which is known to elevate mood and alleviate stress. Many users describe it as calming without being overly sedating.
- GMO Cookies
Coming in at 20-30% THC, this indica strain is not for new users. It has an almost tranquilizing effect that leaves you locked on the couch for hours and provides deep muscle relaxation. Ideal for those living with extreme discomfort or for seasoned smokers with a built-up tolerance for cannabis.
Need a CBD strain that will leave you feeling light as a feather? This is the strain for you. It’s commonly used by chronic pain sufferers for its pleasant bodily effects. And the best part? No grogginess!
Apply for Your Medical Marijuana Card Today
So, does weed relax muscles? The short answer is yes — cannabis products are a great way to ease muscle tension and relieve symptoms of chronic pain. At Cannabis RX, we believe that everyone should have access to the care they need. Our team of licensed and state-registered providers can help you determine whether a medical marijuana card is right for you and make personalized recommendations on strain, dosage and more.
Apply for your medical marijuana card with Cannabis RX today.