A trend that’s been growing in popularity in recent years is combining physical therapy activities such as massage, yoga, and meditation with the therapeutic properties of CBD. Naturally, people unfamiliar with CBD may be skeptical. However, with so many people reaping the benefits of CBD paired with physical activity, it’s easy to see why this trend is staying.
CBD’s potential homeopathic stress-relieving effects make it the perfect complement to different types of therapies like meditation. Below, we’ll discuss why that is and then prescribe our best practices for combining CBD with your meditation so that you can find your Zen.
CBD and Meditation | Find Your Zen
Before we can dive into the benefits of combining CBD hemp oil with meditation, it’s critical to first explain what CBD is and why it’s the perfect complement.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is but one of the 120 cannabinoid compounds that can be found in the complex cannabis plant. When people think of cannabis, most think of the cannabinoid THC, which is the primary psychoactive ingredient that is known to cause the “high” effect and a host of other symptoms, such as:
- Spatial and verbal impairment
- Short-term memory impairment
- Impaired reaction
- Increased appetite
Both compounds interact with your endocannabinoid system, which helps regulate several bodily functions, including appetite, immune system response, pain and sleep. That said, their effects are quite different. Various studies have shown that CBD has little to no impact on locomotor activity, memory, or body temperature.
But what is it?
What is CBD?
In the early 60s, scientists discovered that the CBD compound could be isolated, extracted, and then diluted with oil—typically, hemp seed or coconut. Studies found that it was a THC agonist, that actually counteracted the psychoactive effects of THC.
CBD comes in two variations:
- Full spectrum CBD – Contains all of the compounds that naturally occur in the plant, including terpenes, essential oils, and other cannabinoids—namely, THC. Today, to be considered legal Hemp CBD—which is available in some form in more than 40 states—it may not contain any more than .3% THC.
- Broad spectrum CBD – Contains many of the compounds found within the plant, but is completely free of THC.
- Isolate CBD – The most basic form of CBD. Contains no other cannabinoids, terpenes, or flavonoids.
Either of these CBD hemp extracts can be administered in a variety of ways, including:
- Sublingual tinctures
- Protein and drink mixes
- Creams and balms
And what are its benefits?
Why CBD – The Potential Benefits
Over the past decade, the CBD market has burgeoned into a massive billion-dollar industry, making its impact on a wide array of industries including food, beverage, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals. There’s genuine market-wide interest in its medicinal properties. Despite the fact that medical consensus remains unclear, studies suggest that CBD is most effective at helping with the following three issues:
- Pain – More than 16,000,000 Americans suffer from neuropathic pain. Several studies have indicated that CBD can impact the endocannabinoid receptor activity, which results in pain relief and reduced inflammation. When used correctly, CBD can help reduce muscle pain and speed up recovery.
- Anti-seizure – For many families with a loved one suffering from regular epileptic seizures, CBD oil has been a miracle plant, modulating brain electrical activity and thus effectively reducing seizures. A 2017 study found that adults with Dravet Syndrome who took CBD had their frequency of seizures reduced by 39%.
- Anxiety – One of the biggest issues a wide swath of Americans deal with on a regular basis. For years, the vast majority of people sought to treat it through anti-anxiety meds, but it appears that CBD is a safer and less addictive alternative. Luckily now, many people are beginning to help their anxiety with CBD oils and extracts. According to Healthline:
CBD is thought to interact with CB1 and CB2 receptors. These receptors are mostly found in the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system, respectively. The exact way CBD affects CB1 receptors in the brain isn’t fully understood. However, it may alter serotonin signals. Serotonin, a neurotransmitter, plays an important role in your mental health. Low serotonin levels are commonly associated with people who have depression. In some cases, not having enough serotonin may also cause anxiety.
The final benefit mentioned above is one of the primary reasons why CBD and meditation are such a potent combination.
Yoga, Meditation, CBD, and Stress Relief
CBD has only recently become a popular method for dealing with stress, whereas meditation has been practiced across the world for millennia. The series of stretches, poses, and breathing techniques provide a host of tangible benefits for people from all walks of life, including:
- Increasing flexibility
- Increasing awareness and concentration
- Promoting mind-body connection
- Gaining stamina and strength
- Improved posture
- Improved balance
- Increased body awareness
- Reducing stress
Available reviews of a wide range of yoga practices suggest they can reduce the impact of exaggerated stress responses and may be helpful for both anxiety and depression. In this respect, yoga functions like other self-soothing techniques, such as meditation, relaxation, exercise, or even socializing with friends. By reducing perceived stress and anxiety, yoga appears to modulate stress response systems.
As mentioned, meditation is one of the primary aspects of most traditional forms of yoga and is also commonly associated with the Buddhist religious practice; however, meditation has also become a popular stress relief technique and mental exercise for people spanning all religions and beliefs.
Derived from Latin, meditation simply means to contemplate something deeply. At its essence, meditation is a collection of mental practices meant to create a sense of mindfulness and introspection. It often combines mental exercises with physical movements. And, it typically requires that you center your attention on a single object or thought without allowing yourself to become distracted. There are two primary forms of meditation:
- Concentration-based meditation – Continued focus on a single action object like breathing or keeping your mind centered on a flickering flame.
- Mindfulness meditation – Focus on living in the present moment, both considering and accepting your current physical, mental, and emotional states.
- Reduced stress
- Reduced anxiety
- Improved focus and attention
- Increased emotional well-being
- Lowered heart rate
- Better sleep
- Increased self-awareness
Because so many people in the country struggle with daily stress, a growing number of people are turning to meditation to help them combat that stress. Per the CDC:
- Among adults aged 18 and over, this age group has seen an increase from 2012 to 2017 in the use of yoga, meditation, and chiropractors.
- Yoga was the most commonly used complementary health approach among U.S. adults in 2012 (9.5%) and 2017 (14.3%).
- In 2017, women were more likely to use yoga, meditation, and chiropractors in the past 12 months compared to men.
In truth, there has been practically no research that conclusively studied the combination of CBD and meditation and whether they are more effective on their own or when combined. And, in all likelihood, anecdotal evidence is all you’ll have to go on, at least for now. That said, we do know this—by themselves, CBD, yoga, and meditation are all capable of helping a person not only manage their stress, but to also reduce its frequency and intensity.
CBD’s ability to help center the mind and create an overall body calm is incredibly helpful, particularly when it comes to eliminating possible distractions. In addition to creating a body calm, CBD can be effectively used to aid recovery, decrease tension, and reduce inflammation that might be caused by more rigorous physical yoga practices.
The best thing you can do is to give this combination a try and experience it for yourself. Meditation is a personal practice to help improve your overall health and well-being; there’s no right or wrong way. So, if you do suffer from high stress levels, chronic pain, or inflammation, why not give CBD a try today?
It could be just the thing you need to find your Zen.
NCBI. Cannabis, a complex plant: different compounds and different effects on individuals. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3736954/
BDS Analytics. U.S. CBD Market Anticipated to Reach $20 Billion in Sales by 2024. https://bdsanalytics.com/u-s-cbd-market-anticipated-to-reach-20-billion-in-sales-by-2024/
Forbes. CBD Market Could Reach $20 Billion By 2024, Says New Study.
NCBI. The prevalence of neuropathic pain: Clinical evaluation compared with screening tools in a community population. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2964880/
NCBI. Cannabidiol Is a Potential Therapeutic for the Affective-Motivational Dimension of Incision Pain in Rats. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5478794/
NCBI. Anticonvulsant Effects of Cannabidiol in Dravet Syndrome. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5716495/
Healthline. Using CBD Oil for Anxiety: Does It Work? https://www.healthline.com/health/cbd-for-anxiety
Harvard Health Publishing. Yoga for anxiety and depression. https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/yoga-for-anxiety-and-depression
CDC. Use of Yoga, Meditation, and Chiropractors Among U.S. Adults Aged 18 and Over. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db325.htm