Cannabis & the Muscular System

Our posture, balance, and all voluntary movement can be attributed to specific parts of the musculoskeletal system.


Our posture, balance, and all voluntary movement can be attributed to specific parts of the musculoskeletal system. Muscles with the skeleton and connective tissues to provide us a means of getting around and manipulating the environment around us. When we think of cannabis’s effects on the muscular system, our first thought might be of its use for pain or in patients who have muscle spasticity. Along with a great deal of anecdotal evidence, a few studies have helped us understand the plant’s effects on our muscles.

We can divide our muscles into three different types. The first is striated muscle, or skeletal muscle, which is responsible for all voluntary movement. Smooth muscle is integrated into blood vessels, the bladder, intestines, stomach, and other involuntary components of the body. Cardiac muscle makes up the mass of the heart and engages in its rhythmic contractions. When we investigate how cannabis works on one type of muscle, we should be prepared to see changes in the others until we can pinpoint the impact of specific cannabinoids as well as their synergistic qualities when combined with other cannabinoids.

What we experience when we consume cannabis depends upon the strain or oil’s cannabinoid percentages. This is especially so when considering the muscles and how the plant affects them. Anecdotal evidence suggests cannabis can reduce pain in the body, which has subsequently led to studies investigating its potential as an analgesic. What was found was that strains containing higher CBD ratios help to reduce pain, especially pain associated with inflammation. While inflammation is a natural reaction the body produces in response to damage or some other harmful stimuli, it can often negatively influence a person’s quality of life. This is especially true when the pain involves a chronically inflamed muscle, even cartilage, or ligament, the type of pain as those found in degenerative joint diseases and arthritis.

One of the biggest discoveries about cannabis has been its ability to calm seizures. While seizures are a result of excess or erratic neural activity, they cause a chain of events to occur throughout the body that involves muscle contractions. We’ve seen plenty of videos with both adults and children using CBD oil to help control their seizures, and studies have confirmed that CBD oil results in not only easing the associated muscle spasms and contractions, but by helping patients sleep better since the pain associated with uncontrolled muscle activity is reduced. Plus, CBD has been generally known to promote relaxation and drowsiness anyway.

This could make cannabis useful for multiple sclerosis patients too as it relaxes stiff muscles and keeps pain at bay.

Many diseases found in other body systems can negatively affect the muscular system, making it harder to confirm whether cannabis helps the muscles directly or by altering the root cause that leads to the muscle disorder. There’s debate over whether cannabis inhibits muscle growth for concerned bodybuilders or athletes, but its effects thus far fail to significantly impact a person’s ability to grow muscle.

Topical cannabis preparations may work for joint or muscle pain effectively as new CBD infused products are discovered by those searching for an alternative in managing their pain.