CBD Muscle Balms: How They Work & Best Uses

CBD muscle balms work to reduce centralized pain, curb inflammation, and aid in recovery. Because CBD is 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 results, creating an overall well-rounded muscle balm solution. 


Botanika Life Muscle Rub


Common Uses for CBD Muscle Rubs

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

How to Use CBD Muscle Rub

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 it into the troubled area. For deeper penetration, consider pairing the balm with a cryo massage ball or similar device. 

The Science Behind How CBD Muscle Rubs Work 

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 anywhere else 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 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. The outcome, named the “entourage effect,” means that CBD is at its fullest efficacy and potency when a full spectrum. 

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. 

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.

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

Muscle Rub Test Results

Full Transparency: This is incredibly important. 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 Muscle Balm Uses

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 use a balm with CBD?


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.


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