CBD for Muscle Tension and Sleep Bruxism

Are you sometimes waking up with a headache? Grinding your teeth all night? It’s called sleep bruxism - an often overlooked but very common condition that can significantly impact the quality of life of those that it affects. There are plenty of treatments, but most of them are not very effective and don’t provide long lasting relief without side effects. That’s why scientists and doctors are researching alternatives. One of them is CBD, a natural extract from the hemp plant. Today, we’re looking at a recently conducted study that sheds some light on how this compound might help with sleep bruxism and the muscle tension that often accompanies it. 

The Sleep Bruxism Study at a Glance

The researchers wanted to know whether using CBD could relieve muscle tension and reduce the intensity of nightly teeth grinding. This would also lead to a decrease in jaw pain, headaches and other issues that come with this condition. They formulated special intra-oral gels containing CBD isolate that patients were instructed to apply at the back of their mouths before going to bed.

The Study Setup

All participants were adults that had previously been diagnosed with so-called muscle-related temporomandibular disorders (TMDs) - this is a group of conditions that affects the function of the jaw and jaw muscles. A total of 60 patients joined the study and were divided into three groups:

  • Group 1 received CBD gel at a concentration of 5% and applied 10mg per side daily
  • Group 2 received CBD at a concentration of 10% and applied 20mg per side daily
  • Group 3 received a placebo without CBD to be applied daily

The Researchers assessed the participant’s condition at the start of the trial, at two weeks, and again after 4 weeks. The points they were looking at in particular were:

  • Muscle activity, measured by surface electromyography (sEMG) 
  • The level of pain, measured by the visual analogue scale (VAS) 
  • The intensity of their teeth grinding, measured by Bruxoff examinations

CBD against Teeth Grinding: Key Findings

The results of the study were highly encouraging. Patients treated with CBD showed significant improvements in all points that were measured:

  • There was a 57.4% reduction in pain and a 42.1% decrease in muscle activity in the 10% CBD group.
  • The 5% CBD group also saw a 40.8% reduction in pain.
  • The highest reduction in nightly teeth grinding intensity was observed in the 10% CBD group - an impressive 51% decrease.

The placebo group, on the other hand, didn’t see significant improvements in their symptoms - underscoring the effectiveness of the CBD treatment. Here, there seems to be a clear advantage of a slightly higher concentration (10%). Notably, there were no side effects observed in any of the groups.

Implications and Future Directions

This study further supports well-known benefits of CBD - the relaxation of muscle tension and pain-relieving properties. But it also opens up a new area of application in the treatment of sleep bruxism. Here, the results were nothing short of impressive, as CBD didn’t only address the symptoms (pain and muscle tension) but also the underlying causes (the actual tooth grinding) of the condition. 

The scientists point out that further studies should be done to assess if even higher concentrations of CBD, or the combination of CBD with other treatment methods would lead to even better results.

Concluding Thoughts

The results of this study suggest that orally applied CBD could be an effective and safe alternative for those struggling with nightly teeth grinding. It’s a natural approach to managing causes and symptoms that could provide long-lasting relief - and, most importantly, increase the quality of life of those affected.

We hope to see more research on this interesting topic in the future! 

Portrait of Anna Falk

written by

anna falk - head of product

As the Head of Product at Harmony, Dr Anna Falk leads the development of our products and provides expert tips for your wellness. With over 10 years of experience in the research and development of natural products, her work is based on rigorous scientific studies.

Anna is an award-winning, internationally published researcher with a PhD in Organic Chemistry. She applies her expertise to develop Harmony's certified products that support your overall well-being. From research to development, she ensures that our products are of the highest quality and meet the highest standards.