We’ve written previously about individual cannabis compounds such as THC and CBD, and how each produces distinctive effects. In today’s post, we’re going to take a different approach: Starting with a symptom—in this case, muscular pain—and then discussing the ways you can harness cannabinoids to address it. Are you ready? Let’s dive in!
CBD (and THC) for Muscular Pain: Scientific Background
Cannabinoids such as THC and CBD have a partner in the body: The Endocannabinoid System, or ECS. Although the ECS wasn’t even identified until the ‘90s, many researchers now believe it’s one of the body’s most crucial networks. Thus far, we know it helps modulate memory and learning, sleep, and immune response, among other bodily functions.
One of the things that makes the ECS so remarkable is the way it interfaces with the cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. It’s no exaggeration to say that CBD, THC, and the many minor cannabinoids are so effective because they “speak the same language” as this crucial regulatory network. Whereas pharmaceuticals tend to numb or distract our natural pain-fighting and inflammatory responses, the cannabinoids impart a gentler and more synergetic partnership.
So, how can you treat muscular pain with cannabis? Let us count the ways!
THC for Muscular Pain: Smoked Cannabis
The principal cannabinoid in marijuana—and the one most responsible for its euphoric “high”—THC has a strong track record when it comes to managing pain. As research suggests, THC helps us work through soreness and strain both by reducing inflammation at injury sites and by modulating pain signals as they travel to the brain.
CBD for Muscular Pain: Tinctures
While tinctures can contain any desired ratio of THC to CBD, we find that high-CBD tinctures are especially popular. While CBD is non-intoxicating, that’s not to say it’s not exerting powerful pain-fighting effects, potentially addressing sore and strained muscles in different ways than THC.
THC Oil for Muscle Pain
Functionally similar to tinctures, cannabis oils are typically thicker and more viscous. Because they pack a high concentration of cannabinoids, they should be used sparingly for best effects.
THC for Muscular Pain: Edibles
Available in a stunning variety of flavors, formulations and doses, cannabis edibles are one of the most exciting sectors of the market. While they take longer to reach full effect—typically 1 to 2 hours—they’re long-lasting, discreet, and effective at addressing chronic muscle pain and soreness. Did we mention they’re delicious, too?
THC Cream for Muscle Pain
Otherwise known as cannabis topicals, these rich cannabinoid-infused creams and balms are designed to be applied directly to sore and aching muscles. Be sure to read the label carefully! Depending on their formulation, some THC topicals could impart psychoactive effects, while most will not.
CBD for Muscular Pain: Vaping
As with smoked cannabis, the effects of using a vape are extremely fast-acting. As with tinctures, vapes can be used to dispense high-THC cannabis, and many of us find that the mild psychoactivity of a high-CBD vaporizer is a gentle and effective way to address aches, strains, and muscular pain.