CBD Muscle Balms: How They Work & Best Uses

What is a CBD muscle balm? Well, first and foremost, it isn't your typical cream. It's wax-like consistency makes it ideal for massaging into muscles, delivering CBD and other ingredients to the areas that need relief the most. 

So, what can they do for the body? CBD muscle balms work to reduce centralized pain, curb inflammation, and aid in recovery. Because CBD is topically absorbed through the skin, it delivers relief to the muscles and joints beneath, as well as the body on the whole. Better yet, muscle balms (like those from Botanika Life) combine CBD with other pain-relieving ingredients like lidocaine and menthol. This blends instant relief with prolonged benefits, creating an overall well-rounded CBD muscle balm solution. 


Botanika Life Muscle Rub


Common Uses for CBD Muscle Balms

CBD muscle rubs are surprisingly diverse in their possible applications and benefits. Examples include:

While CBD muscle balms won't outright fix many of the aches mentioned above, they can lessen acute pain and potentially prevent additional strain.

How to Use CBD Muscle Balm

Using a spoon or similar device, place a dollop of the CBD muscle rub into your hands, using friction and your body heat to warm it up. Then massage the balm into the troubled joints and muscles. For deeper penetration and augmented benefits, consider pairing the balm with a cryo massage ball or similar device. 

Always wash your hands after using the CBD muscle balm to prevent it from accidentally making contact with your eyes. 

The Science Behind How CBD Muscle Balms Rubs Work 

To truly appreciate the effectiveness of CBD balms, it's valable to understand how they work with your strained musces and joints to provide pain relief. The muscle rub’s CBD accesses the CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors located within the skin. When a bond is made, CBD helps to either antagonize or mute responses from the immune system. Because of this, CBD acts fast and at its fullest efficacy (because it doesn’t have to be digested like oral products) when it interacts with the receptors.

CB1 and CB2 receptors are throughout the body, so CBD has no trouble bonding, whether the CBD is applied on the hands, back, legs, or any msucles and joint in between. 

Muscle Rub

Important Aspects to Look for in a CBD Muscle Balm

Not all pain relief products offer the same potency levels or are equally healthy for your body. To ensure your CBD muscle balm provides maximum benefits and is working hard for you, make sure to look for the following: 

Full Spectrum CBD: Full spectrum CBD is different from isolate CBD, because it includes terpenes and other nutrients from the plant when harvested. These various components magnify their individual benefits (a phenomenon nicknamed the “entourage effect"), making the CBD noticeably more effective than if delivered by itself. For this reason, muscle balms enriched with full-spectrum CBD is more powerful than its non-full-spectrum counterparts, enabling a little to go a long way. 

Comparatively, isolate CBD does not include these other elements. While this still means the CBD muscle rub will work, it may not be as effective and you'll need to apply more per usage to receive the same benefits.

Plant-Based Ingredients: CBD is always plant-based, but muscle balms could include other ingredients that aren’t. Look for words like “vegan” and “organically grown” when vetting different muscle balm options, as this lessens the likelihood of entering unnatural chemicals into your body.

Additional elements to look for in the cbd muscle balm you chose to use: gluten-free, cruelty-free, and sustainable. 

Other beneficial muscle balm ingredients can include lidocaine, menthol, and arnica, as well as essential oils like eucalyptus and lavender that provide both uplifting scents and pain-combatting properties. 

When assessing muscle balms, keep a keen eye out for "junk" ingredients like synthetic scents, coloring and cannabinoids, as well as parabens. 

Muscle Rub Test Results

Full Transparency: This is incredibly beneficial for muscle balms and wellness products, in general. A company that doesn’t do third-party testing and publish results for consumers may not be doing their due diligence to ensure their products are safe. For example, you can check out the third-party lab results for our muscle rub and other CBD products at this link

Another check you may want to make, is whether the manufacturer and third-party lab are using cruelty-free methods. Additionally, be sure the products don’t have any ingredients or additives you are allergic to, or have contraindications with any medications you depend upon taking on a daily basis. Look to Botanika Life for all-natural, vegan, non-GMO, and sustainable products for your CBD and CBD muscle balm needs.

FAQ About CBD Muscle Balm Uses & How They Work

What is the difference between a lotion, cream, and a balm?

Let’s start at the top. 

A lotion has a light consistency that can moisturize or hydrate the skin for a limited time. Lotions will usually have water as a main ingredient, but can also include drying elements, like alcohol, in order to provide anti-microbial content. Lotions are externally applied, and are often fragranced and meant to combat dryness, flakiness, or scaling of the outer skin surface from regular environmental factors; unless otherwise formulated, do not often solve more serious skin conditions and problems.

A cream will have a higher oil content than lotion, but still include water as an important ingredient. Because of the higher oil content, a cream will have a thicker consistency than a lotion, and often do more than surface hydration. Creams are used frequently as skincare and beauty products that may soothe and moisturize the skin, while also promoting better production of collagen or elastin, which help eliminate the signs of aging.

A balm has the thickest consistency of the three, as balms are made from oil and wax-based parts, and rarely contain water. Though balms are also applied externally, the richer concentration of active ingredients means they will be chock-full of antioxidants and other benefits that can help the body.


Why is it more beneficial to use a balm with CBD than one without?

The short answer is, CBD interacts with the body in ways that can target more than one of our regulatory systems to inhibit or antagonize a reaction. CBD balms are good for engaging with the immune system when it provokes inflammatory and/or pain responses.

If you already use a balm that has ingredients for pain relief, anti-inflammation, wound healing, antiseptic, or antibiotic purposes, the inclusion of CBD can only increase the efficacy and effectiveness of these elements.


Does the CBD in a muscle balm enter the bloodstream?

No. The ability for a product to enter the bloodstream is called bioavailability. CBD in any externally applied product does not have bioavailability, and therefore does not enter the bloodstream. Instead, CBD uses the cannabinoid receptors in the skin (and other places all over the body) that are part of the endocannabinoid system to target problem areas.


How often can I use CBD muscle balm?

Always, always follow the instructions on the package. Specific recommendations for usage frequency may vary from one product to the next (and depend on its potency). However, Botanika Life recommends using our CBD muscle balm three to four times a day as needed. 


Can a CBD muscle balm be used in conjunction with other massage tools? 

Yes. As we explore in Benefits of Using CBD Oil for Massages, balms are particularly well-suited for the task. For the optimal experience, combine it with the cryo massage ball


Is a CBD muscle rub the same thing as a hemp muscle rub? 

Though CBD oil and hemp seed oil come from the same plant, they offer dramatically different benefits. Most importantly, hemp seed does not have any pain-combatting elements, making it a near-useless ingredient in a muscle balm. To learn more about crucial distinctions between the two, read CBD vs. Hemp Seed Oil: Not the Same Thing


Is it safe to use a CBD muscle rub in conjunction with Ibuprofen?

There are no known interactions between using CBD alongside Ibuprofen (such as Motrin or Advil). However, if confronting chronic pain, we suggest consulting with a trusted medical professional that knows your personal health history and needs.


Do I need a prescription to purchase a CBD muscle balm?

The good news is that you can buy CBD muscle balms and other products in the USA without a doctor's prescription. However, this policy doesn't extend to all other countries. For instance, countries like Australia, Germany, France, Italy, and Brazil do require a prescription to use CBD. What's more, places like Singapore, Iceland, Japan, and Turkey have yet to make CBD legal.

For this reason, if you plan on flying internationally with your CBD muscle balm, we suggest first checking with the local laws of the country you're visiting. To explore the rules for specific countries, check out our article Where CBD Is and Isn't Legal - France, Italy, Aruba & More.