So many of us experience (at minimum) a steady hum of low-grade anxiety as we move about our days. I know I do on the daily!! And who could blame us, right? Our schedules are jam-packed, we’re chasing career goals, tending to our personal relationships, juggling finances, dealing with all things COVID and (if we’re lucky) squeezing in a little time to pursue our hobbies and passions.
These ever-constant feelings of anxiety not only hinder our productivity, they steal our pure, unfiltered, in-the-moment joy. It can be a challenging beast to tame, which is why so many people have been turning to a yoga practice as a way to calm down, go inward, and let go.
But yoga isn’t the only tool in our coping tool belts. With the increasing legalization of marijuana and hemp-derived products across the country (Thanks 2018 Farm Bill), the stressed-out among us are exploring new ways to cope with anxiety. If the word “cannabis” brings to mind terrible-tasting brownies, it’s time to take another look at a now-booming industry. Although bakeries are now whipping up marijuana-infused cookies, gummies, drinks, and even baklava, there are also companies working to spread the gospel of hemp-related products without the high.
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 does deliver on, however, is a calming, gently relaxing vibe that has truly been known to make a difference in anxiety sufferers.
If the words “calming and gently relaxing” are sounding a lot like your favorite yoga practice, that’s no coincidence—as many yogis are discovering, CBD products and yoga go together like bolsters and yoga blankets: 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. Benefits of using CBD include:
- Pain relief
- Relief from anxiety and depression
- Relief from overthinking
- Decreased inflammation
- Increased mood
CBD is a natural fit for a yoga class. It can help to enhance your experience and tame that wandering mind. 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, it interacts with the ECS aka endocannabinoid system 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-yoga sore muscles.
CBD 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 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 into the mix
** PS: On the above, I had to do some further research on this info as I am definitely not a yoga master and not familiar with these terms and practices; however, I love learning and sharing all things CBD! **
How to Get Started
To nip any assumptions in the bud (see what I did there, ha)—no, it doesn’t need to be smoked. CBD products can be applied to the body as a lotion, salve or oil… or ingested via tinctures. The rule of thumb with CBD is to start low and go slow, so I would suggest starting with a 10-15mg dose and increasing with comfort level and familiarity.
Remember, tinctures begin acting faster —about 15 minutes, on average. The lotions, oils and salves can be a beautiful part of a self-care routine, and are particularly nice when applied after a shower, before or after yoga, or just before bed. I like to use it all… all day long 🙂
Always remember and keep in mind that CBD isn’t a miracle “cure” for anxiety. (And BTW — neither is yoga!)
I always tell customers to not go in with expectations. Take the product(s) consistently for a week+ and see if you feel any different.
Consistency is key here; sporadically taking CBD when you feel like it, or remember, won’t yield the beneficial results of a regular regimen.