Living in a busy world, we sometimes forget to slow down and appreciate the present moment. Instead, we feel like we must maintain a fast-paced lifestyle, which can make mental health suffer. This is where wellness practices like yoga, mindfulness, and meditation come into play, as they can all improve emotional and physical wellbeing. Having said that, what if we told you that it’s possible to heighten your experience during these practices with the addition of CBD? Keep reading to learn how CBD may benefit your mindfulness practices and help you cultivate your very own zen.
What Is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is defined as the quality or mental state of being conscious or aware of something. It's a psychological process used as a therapeutic technique and is achieved by focusing your awareness on the present moment while calmly acknowledging and accepting your feelings, thoughts, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment.
The act of being mindful can be referred to as a way of living. It allows us to be more conscious of everyday situations and how we react to them. Being especially aware of what you're doing and feeling can arouse a spectrum of emotions from happiness to sadness. Of course, you might still experience stress or anger at times, but implementing mindfulness practices helps you learn how to control your emotions and better deal with problems.
So, how can your mind and body benefit from mindfulness?
- Calms the brain, helping prevent both chronic and acute stress
- Improves attention and concentration because of a focus on breathwork
- Aids with mental health, especially when mixed with therapy.
- Reduces bias and increases compassion, allowing you to shift your perceptions, expand your emotions, and see the bigger picture
Mindfulness Practices: The Basics
Mindfulness practices can be carried out through meditation, yoga, mindful walking, thinking, and listening. Whichever practice you choose, all forms allow us to develop specific mindfulness skills to help calm thoughts and feelings. Out of these practices, meditation and yoga are particularly popular and beneficial.
The basis for learning mindfulness is meditation, which is a temporary and concentrated focus on the present. Practicing regular meditation over time allows mindfulness to become a daily habit with minimal effort.
Meditation can activate and deactivate areas in the brain, shifting brain waves from high to low-frequency. It can build new connections in the brain responsible for attention and decision-making skills.
Widely practiced for health and relaxation, yoga is a group of physical, mental, and spiritual disciplines that aim to control and still the mind. It includes the adoption of specific bodily postures, breath control, and simple meditation. The purpose of yoga is to find balance, which is possible through the unification of breathing and movement.
After being praised for years by practitioners for its mental and physical benefits, yoga is often a more holistic approach to help manage stress levels and center the mind. It can induce a relaxation response, which is valuable in reducing the body's response to stress. Fortunately, beginners can reap the benefits of yoga just as much as experienced yogis. Setting aside just 30 minutes a week for dedicated yoga practice can have noticeable benefits.
CBD for Mindfulness Practices
Adding cannabidiol (CBD) to your mindfulness practice may enhance the mental health benefits of the practices described above. CBD is a non-psychoactive compound derived from the cannabis plant and touted for its medicinal properties. It exerts its effects by interacting with the body's endocannabinoid system and potentially providing mental health benefits. CBD may help you slow down and be more attentive, which makes it a great complement for a successful mindfulness practice.
What Does Research Suggest?
CBD has shown encouraging results in initial studies for conditions like anxiety. These mental health concerns can affect all aspects of life, including physical health, social life, and work. They could be one of the reasons people resort to mindfulness practices as a way of managing their symptoms.
CBD has also been shown to reduce anxiety in animal models of depression. Researchers found that CBD reduces stress after both short and long-term use, working without directly activating the brain's endocannabinoid receptors.
Furthermore, in a 2017 review, one 300 mg dose of CBD was shown to reduce anxiety levels after a simulated public speaking test. In a similar situation for people with social anxiety, researchers found that 600 mg of CBD significantly reduced anxiety metrics.
CBD for Meditation
As previously established, meditation is the first significant step to mindfulness. Could pairing CBD with meditation make you more mindful? Potentially! Many people who are just starting out with this practice may find it quite challenging to focus. Unwanted thoughts may creep in during the process, or some people may not have the patience to sit in silence with their thoughts. With the addition of CBD, some of these challenges may be easier to overcome.
If you are trying to find ways to improve your attention, meditation can be helpful. Eventually, you may be able to sit for long periods with less distraction. Like every other skill, the more you practice, the better your meditation practice will likely become.
In addition, as discussed above, CBD can help to soothe symptoms of stress and anxiety. The ability to sit a 10-minute meditation will be primarily influenced by how much worry and stress fill your mind. Adding CBD to your mindfulness practices could help to lessen the spiral of anxiety and help you achieve peace of mind while meditating.
CBD for Yoga
The combination of CBD and yoga is one not to be underestimated: it has the potential to take relaxation to the next level. Highlighted below are some of the benefits this combination can provide.
Yoga is often used to destress from the chaos of every day. Like meditation, yoga can help you achieve greater mindfulness. Adding CBD into your yoga practice can help calm the mind, and consequently, allow you to strive towards increased mindfulness in your practice.
Several yoga poses are mood-boosting, including the camel pose, child's pose, and head-to-knee pose. CBD could further increase positive emotions and ease discomfort by helping maintain higher levels of anandamide, one of the most well-known naturally occurring cannabinoids in the body.
How to Use CBD
There are several ways to add CBD to your mindfulness practices. The main methods are highlighted below.
Take CBD orally
The easiest way to take CBD is orally before your practice. Using a dropper, you can place a CBD tincture under your tongue for roughly 60 seconds before swallowing.
Add CBD to morning drinks
Taking CBD first thing in the morning may set your body up for the day and help you complete morning tasks. Adding CBD to your morning smoothie or tea is ideal for helping relax and prepare your body before starting your mindfulness practice.
Infuse CBD into skincare
Introducing CBD oil into your skin or body care may moisturize the skin while providing therapeutic benefits. Applying your favorite CBD-infused cream can help you feel fresh and ready for peaceful yoga or meditation.
Recommended Daily Dose of CBD
CBD dosage varies depending on both its form and desired benefits. However, it's always advised to start with the lowest amount of CBD and then work your way up to your desired potential effect. This way, you can determine what works best for you. It is recommended to note any sensations you may feel during your mindfulness practice with the addition of CBD and adjust the dose accordingly.
Research suggests that the average CBD dosage is 20-40 mg per dose when it comes to CBD oil. You also shouldn't exceed a maximum daily intake of more than 70 mg of CBD oil. However, keep in mind that CBD affects everybody differently, and so do the doses. Although it's generally well-tolerated, you should consult with your physician before using CBD products, especially if you have any pre-existing conditions.
Whether it's yoga or meditation, all mindfulness practices can be intertwined and may benefit from the addition of CBD in one way or another. The goal of mindfulness is fostering awareness, which could improve wellbeing. Being able to control thoughts, emotions, and the body is an extremely worthwhile skill. It's a way of giving ourselves a mental break while enabling us to become less troubled with greater flexibility of the mind. Try it today and see the effects for yourself! You may appreciate relaxing fully into the present moment a whole lot more.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is CBD?
CBD stands for cannabidiol and is one of the main active ingredients extracted from the leaves and flowers of the Cannabis sativa plant, which people may refer to as marijuana or hemp. However, CBD isn't the same as marijuana. While CBD may contain small amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which contains psychoactive properties, CBD doesn't have the same ability to create a "high" or state of euphoria as marijuana. CBD is very desirable due to its potentially powerful pain-relieving properties. Many people use CBD to help themselves feel relaxed or less anxious.
Is CBD suitable for yoga, mindfulness, and meditation?
CBD may be a suitable, natural way to enhance your yoga, mindfulness, and meditation practices. It may have a powerful impact on the mind and body. For soothing any aches, pains, and local discomfort, topical CBD products are potentially great because the effects are more concentrated to the area it is applied rather than being absorbed into the bloodstream and spread throughout the entire body. Taking CBD orally may benefit you if you have anxiety issues or find it challenging to stay focused, both of which are enemies of mindfulness practices.
Is CBD safe?
CBD is safe for most people and has a non-addictive nature. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), CBD is generally well-tolerated with a good safety profile. However, there's currently limited data about the safeness of CBD. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is particularly looking into the science, safety, and quality of CBD products to provide reliable information for CBD users. The FDA will continue to update the public with new information.
Is CBD regulated?
There's a lack of regulation in the CBD industry, so some CBD products are unregulated. The only CBD product approved by the FDA is Epidiolex, an oil available with a prescription that addresses two rare and severe types of epilepsy. It's essential to do your research before buying CBD to ensure that products are safe and contain what the packaging advertises. Reputable sources will not mislabel products, so you should know precisely what you're getting. CBD products should also be marketed as food supplements, not medicines.
Can CBD get you high?
The only 'high' from a cannabis plant comes from marijuana or THC. CBD isolate, and broad-spectrum CBD oils differ from full-spectrum CBD oil as they don't contain THC, the psychoactive element of cannabis. Although there may still be traces of THC in CBD isolate and broad-spectrum, there must be 0.3% or less THC in full-spectrum CBD, which won't cause any mind-altering effects.
How quickly does CBD have an effect?
Feeling the potential effects of CBD depends on the serving size and method of consumption. For example, if you consume CBD oil sublingually (under the tongue) using a spray or tincture, it usually takes 15 to 45 minutes to feel the effects. In other cases, it could work within six to eight hours. It’s believed that you’re more likely to see maximum pain-relieving benefits if you take CBD regularly every day rather than sporadically. Consistency is key!
Are there any side effects of taking CBD?
Although often not severe, some minor side effects may occur when taking CBD. These include dry mouth, lightheadedness, diarrhea, reduced appetite, mood changes, drowsiness, and fatigue. CBD may also interact with various drugs, such as antibiotics, antidepressants, and blood thinners. Be extra careful if medications or supplements have a grapefruit warning, as CBD and grapefruit affect enzymes essential for drug metabolism. Not everyone experiences side effects but, if you're concerned, you should arrange a chat with your doctor to monitor for potential signs of toxicity, side effects, and efficacy.