It’s a surprisingly age-old combination that is just now making a comeback and is one of this year’s hottest trends.
You have probably heard about it before. Maybe your grandmother claims this was her angel for providing quality of life in her final years. Your child may find it assists their concentration at school. Perhaps you feel calmer, at peace and less anxious when you take it.
Why this amazing health supplement won’t get you high, but may take your practice to a higher level of Om!
Stress. Anxiety. Issues sleeping. Inflammation in the body. A chaotic mind. Difficulty with concentration. Physical discomfort. Emotional rollercoasters. Mental health concerns.
One in four people world-wide will be affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives. An estimated 450 million people suffer from such conditions.
With the chaos and busy-ness of our day-to-day lives, most of us experience (at minimum) levels of low-grade anxiety as we move about our days. As we chase career goals, look after our partner, family or kids, tending to our personal relationships, juggling finances, and (if we possibly can!) squishing in a little time to pursue our hobbies and passions.
These ever-constant feelings of anxiety and pressure not only hinder our productivity, they steal our pure, unfiltered, in-the-moment joy. This is the very reason why so many people around the world have been turning to a yoga practice as a way to calm down, go inward, and let go. All eight limbs of yoga teach us the tools for checking in, rather than checking out. The allow an opportunity to address anxiety with a calm bravery.
But yoga isn’t the only tool in our ‘coping’ tool belts!!
Let’s explore the interaction between the ancient practice of yoga, and the most popular supplement of the year – CBD oil– Including some exciting new research that suggests a much deeper connection between the two than you’d expect!
Knowledge of combining yoga with CBD oil first spread by word of mouth through ascetics and yogis, and their sacred texts like The Vedas and the Yoga Sutra.
This time, however, CBD-fueled yoga has generated a lot more support and understanding through social media, google trends, newspaper articles such as the Washington Post and a veritable army of health enthusiasts. It surely seems they might be onto something!
Though the practice of yoga is nearly as old as society itself, the biological basis of the practice has remained pretty much unchanged. Yoga still promotes inner awareness, just as it did back then. But with modern scientific advancements, we’ve since discovered other tangible benefits yoga has to offer the body.
Did you know that both yoga and CBD oil each activate a natural system in the body called the Endocannabinoid System (aka ECS) which is responsible for good cellular communication?
Yoga has actually been shown to activate the endocannabinoid receptors in the muscles and fascia.
The ECS in involved in a wide variety of processes including pain, memory, mood, appetite, stress, sleep, metabolism, immune function and reproductive function. Endocannabinoids are arguably one of the most widespread and versatile signalling molecules known to man. Here is a great article on it!
It all comes down to CBD, a cannabinoid compound found in the cannabis plant. Although CBD shares some similarities with THC, hemp’s better-known cannabinoid, there is one big difference: CBD has no psychoactive effects and won’t get you high. What CBD oil does deliver on, however, is a calming, gently relaxing vibe that has truly been known to make a difference in anxiety sufferers.
Common Misconceptions: the difference between marijuana and hemp…
Most people think that CBD oil is illegal and contains high amounts of THC that gets you high. Both marijuana and hemp are from the cannabis sativa family, but they are not the same! Hemp is genetically different from marijuana on several key levels. First it has a very low THC content – generally less than 0.3% by dry weight. Hemp is also phenotypically distinct in the sense that it has a tough fibrous stalk and grows taller than marijuana with fewer flowering buds.
As far as where THC and CBD are found in various forms of cannabis, they actually both exist throughout the aerial parts of the plant, but are usually most concentrated in the flowers.
Comparing marijuana and hemp is like comparing a lemon to an orange – they are from the same family but different variety and health benefits!
It is key to point out here that for optimal benefits of CBD oil, ensure the product meets the following criteria:
1000mg CBD oil per 1ml serving (be careful, there are many under 10mg!)
At least 95% absorbability (again, many oils out there are under this, as low as 6% absorbability…so CHECK and make sure you’re not wasting your money!)
Bringing CBD Onto the Mat
As many yogis are discovering, there are actually many similarities between the effects of CBD oil and yoga… which makes the two a perfect match (a bit like bolsters and yoga straps; two great ideas that are wonderful alone, but totally dynamite together!) Because using CBD won’t get you high, it’s entirely safe and acceptable to use during a yoga practice or any other regular activities.
Below are just a few more of the ways that CBD oil could benefit yogis of all levels:
- Relief from anxiety and depression
- Chronic pain relief
- Deeper and better quality sleep
- Improved concentration and increased focus
- Reduced inflammation in the body
- Rapid muscle recovery as it enhances satellite cell differentiation
- Relaxes and curbs inflammation in the muscle tissue
- Better adaptation
- Improved mind-body connection
- Enhanced inner awareness
- Relief from overthinking
- Decreased inflammation
- Increased mood
- Supports protein synthesis through cortisol reduction
CBD is a natural fit for a yin yoga practice or gentle yoga class, but it can also enhance your experience in a more upbeat, quicker-paced flow-style or vinyasa class, especially if you’re prone to a wandering mind. How often have you been in a yoga class and thought, “I am supposed to be zen! I just wish I could silence these thoughts!” It’s hard to automatically turn off your overthinking brain simply because you’ve hit the mat. CBD oil helps.
It can also aid those with sore joints and muscles. Here’s how…
The different cannabinoids in hemp, such as CBD, work in different ways with the cannabinoid receptors in the body, located throughout the endocannabinoid system. This is the same system that triggers your brain when you’re experiencing pain. When taking CBD oil, it interacts with the ECS and encourages it to produce an increased number of natural cannabinoids, which help to balance the system and produce an anti-inflammatory response. Therefore, helping to relieve those post-asana sore muscles.
CBD oil can also help to prolong the savasana feelings of bliss after you leave the mat. When we are feeling good, our brain naturally produces and releases a neurotransmitter called ‘anandamide’. In Sanskrit, ‘ananda’ means ‘bliss’, which is why anandamide is aptly named the ‘bliss molecule’. Like all neurotransmitters, anandamide is fragile and breaks down quickly in the body, which is why it doesn’t produce a perpetual state of bliss. It’s been found that CBD oil suppresses the enzyme that breaks down anandamide. Thus creating longer lasting effects from the naturally occurring anandamide in our system. In other words, that blissful feeling you get from your flow session can be enhanced even more by incorporating CBD oil into the mix.
Jumping onboard the CBD oil train
CBD oil is simply ingested. Usually taken via a drop under the tongue. If you have quality 1000mg CBD oil, then 1ml under the tongue is perfect! Most take it at night to aid deep, quality and restful sleep as well, however you might also like to take it in the morning to start your day feeling more calm and relaxed! (Check out our ‘Morning Start Mocha’ recipe below!) You will start to feel the beautiful benefits within minutes!
It’s important to keep in mind, though, to not go in with expectations. Take the product consistently for a month and see if you feel any different. If you trial 1 – 3 months, you may start to experience benefits outside the usual sleep, relaxed, less stressed and more level-headed benefits most report. A little Google search on uses for CBD oil will open your eyes to even more than we mentioned here!
Consistency is key here; sporadically taking CBD when you feel like it, or remember, won’t yield the beneficial results of a regular regimen. (Again, noticing any parallels with your yoga practice?)
Here’s a delicious recipe to kick start your day with a smile!
MORNING START MOCHA
1 cup coffee brewed strong (or 1 or 2 espresso shots, as preferred)
1/4 cup of canned coconut milk
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1/4 tsp coconut oil
1/4 tsp reishi powder (optional)
1/4 tsp ashwaghanda (optional)
2 full droppers CBD oil
Agave, honey, or vanilla stevia to taste
** Reishi and Ashwagandha helps promote liver function, improved heart health, balanced hormones, better moods, and reduced cortisol levels**
Brew the coffee.
Simmer coconut milk over low heat. Add cocoa powder once the milk is hot. Whisk to combine.
Add one cup of coffee and warm chocolate coconut milk to an immersion or bullet-style blender. Add the coconut oil, reishi powder, ashwagandha, and CBD oil. Add sweetener to taste. Blend until frothy.
Reheat to the desired temperature back over the stovetop.
Top with shaved unsweetened chocolate or coconut whipped cream, if desired.