Bruising is an extremely common reaction to injury or physical trauma of some sort. Everyone has experienced bruising at some point in their lives, but what actually happens within the body when a bruise is formed? Can we use CBD for bruises to help the healing process?
When we injure ourselves, whether we’re hit by a football, or we miss the last rung on the ladder, the body forms a bruise as a result. This is because the force of impact damages the skin, along with underlying capillaries.
These capillaries, or blood vessels, often rupture and release blood. This blood becomes trapped under the surface of the skin, creating the trademark “black and blue” discolouration of the skin that we’re all so familiar with.
In addition to ruptured capillaries, the damaged area may also swell up or become quite tender. This is because the body sends fluids to the area to help protect it against further injury, as well as aiding in the healing process.
Table of Contents
What causes bruising?
To truly investigate whether we can use CBD for bruises, we first need to look at what causes bruising to form.
As we know, bruising can occur when we fall, bump ourselves on sharp corners, or when we come into contact with falling objects. But bruising is also extremely common for those of us who play sports or frequent the gym. High impact sports, as well as strenuous exercise, can cause bruising.
Lifting heavy weights can put the skin and muscles under pressure, often leading to burst blood vessels. Similarly, overworked bodies can become bruised. This is often a result of a strain or torn muscles, ligaments or tendons.
Bruising can also be caused by other traumas such as cuts or burns. That’s why you may notice bruising and inflammation of the skin post-surgery. Bruises can also be telltale signs of other, more serious injuries such as broken bones, fractures, sprains, or dislocations.
As we age, our skin becomes thinner. This means that capillaries are closer to the surface of the skin and are more prone to bursting should you fall or hurt yourself. Additionally, some medications can make you more vulnerable to bruising as they thin the blood. Some health supplements, like cod liver oil, have similar blood-thinning properties and so, can have similar effects.
Some people can also be more prone to bruising if they have more delicate skin or blood vessels. Equally, some people are more clumsy than others, thus creating more bruises as they bump into things unexpectedly. Interestingly, women are more statistically likely to bruise than men.
Now that we understand what bruises are and what causes them, we can delve into using CBD for bruises.
How CBD may help with the healing process?
Bruising is a completely natural part of the body’s healing process. But is there something that we can do to speed things along — can we use CBD for bruises?
Can you use CBD for bruises?
As we know, bruises can often become swollen and uncomfortable. The best way to alleviate this is by cooling the area. This will help reduce swelling as well as reducing circulation in the area.
The reduction in blood flow to the area will minimise the amount of blood leaking from damaged blood vessels, and into the surrounding area. This not only helps reduce discomfort but can help improve the appearance of the bruise.
So, where does using CBD for bruises come into play? Many CBD-infused balms are specifically designed to cool down sore muscles. For example, Poko’s Recovery Cooling Balm contains menthol extracts along with CBD.
Menthol has long been used to help soothe inflamed muscles and joints as it has anaesthetic properties. It also interacts with the skin to create a cooling sensation, which can help ease discomfort and swelling.
Using CBD for bruises and inflammation
Inflammation is a natural part of the healing process, however, it can cause us pain and discomfort. One can simply take over-the-counter medication to help relieve swelling, but did you know that you can also use CBD for bruises and inflammation?
In recent years, experts have been conducting experiments to investigate the potential benefits and uses of CBD. One of the main benefits that these studies have revealed, is the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD.
In a 2015 review by Biorganic and Medicinal Chemistry, researchers found that CBD can reduce swelling and inflammation in several different ways. According to this study, CBD may potentially be used to treat a number of illnesses and conditions that are caused by, or cause, inflammation. However, we need more clinical trials before we can start to develop medications using CBD.
Another 2016 study, also supports this claim. Experts found that CBD, when topically applied, can help reduce inflammation of the joints. The CBD-infused gel was applied to the joints of rats, and researchers saw that it reduced inflammation and swelling, which in turn, reduced discomfort.
By using a topical CBD lotion, like Poko’s Recovery Balm, the CBD is absorbed into the skin, where it interacts with local cannabinoid receptors. Experts believe this can help reduce swelling, redness, and discomfort. Thus, using CBD for bruises can help ease soreness, as well as aid in the recovery process.
Can CBD offer some pain relief?
Some severe bruising can be quite painful, especially when pressure is applied to the injured area. Whilst it’s recommended to elevate the affected area, and rest, this isn’t always possible. Therefore, we may need some pain relief during the healing process.
Some experts believe that CBD can provide a natural pain relief option. They believe that the cannabinoid receptors in our bodies are closely linked to our nervous systems. Therefore, they’re linked to our pain and sensory perception.
A 2018 study found that CBD can actually desensitise some of our pain receptors, which dull our perception of pain. This particular study also found that the compound can affect inflammation, triggered by our bodies sensing pain, as well as body temperature. Therefore, using CBD for bruises can be beneficial in easing pain experienced during recovery.
Learn more about how CBD Oil can help with pain relief
Applying heat to boost circulation
Cooling down the injured area and applying a topical CBD cream can help reduce the risk of forming a bruise. But can you use CBD for bruises, if one has already formed? Absolutely.
Heat boosts circulation and by applying heat to the affected area, you can help encourage blood flow. This means you can help disperse trapped blood, thus reducing the appearance of the bruise. Gentle heat can also help to reduce inflammation, soothe tense and stiff muscles, and relieve pain.
Using a CBD-infused warming balm, like Poko’s Recovery Warming Balm, gives you the best of both worlds. This particular balm uses CBD to help soothe the muscles, whilst reducing pain and swelling. Natural plant extracts such as comfrey oil and Capsicum Oleoresin also help to gently warm the affected area, thus boosting circulation.
Massaging a CBD topical balm or cream into the affected area may also help. Gently rubbing the product into the skin, in circular motions, helps boost circulation too. This will help to loosen muscles and trapped blood, encouraging healing and reducing the appearance of the bruise.
When you should see your doctor?
Bruising can often be caused by more serious underlying conditions or injuries. Many of which can not be improved by using CBD for bruises. So, when should you see a doctor?
If you have noticed any unexpected, yet severe bruising, you should contact a healthcare professional. You should also do so if you have noticed that bruising has increased whilst taking aspirin or blood-thinning medicines.
One can use CBD for bruises, following a mild fall or blow to the skin. However, if you suspect a broken bone or a possible concussion, you should always seek medical care.
Severe bruising on the legs can be a result of more serious conditions. For example, persistent black bruising on the legs can be a sign of Deep Vein Thrombosis. Blue bruising, however, can be a sign of varicose veins. If you think you may have either of which, you should consult your doctor.
If you’re considering taking CBD for bruises, you should also note that CBD can interfere with medications, making them less effective. This is particularly important if you’re taking blood-thinning medication.
As your blood is thinner, you may notice that you bruise more easily. This is because the blood doesn’t clot as easily. However, if you’re hoping to take CBD to help with this, you will need to consult your doctor first. CBD is known to make blood-thinning medications less effective.
Bruises are a completely natural part of the healing process, and they will naturally fade in time. However, if the injury is causing discomfort or pain, you may want to speed up the healing process. But, can you use CBD for bruises?
According to studies so far, CBD may have anti-inflammatory properties, as well as offering some pain relief, particularly when applied directly to the affected area. Therefore, you can use CBD to help aid recovery.
You can also opt for CBD-infused cooling or warming balms to boost the healing process and relieve discomfort.
You may also like to read: Best CBD Creams for Pain Relief in 2021