The practice of meditation and CBD have very similar reactions in our bodies, and even more, in our endocannabinoid system. They are more related than you think.
Meditation and cannabis are as ancient as civilization itself. And coincidentally, both were and are used, among other things, to achieve mental clearness and relieve stress. It’s only logical that people’s curiosity have driven them to try both at the same time.
Yes, this sounds very 1967. However, there is much more to this combination than a Summer of Love version. Taking a closer look, not all cannabinoids are compatible with what meditation is set to achieve to mind and body. It’s CBD the one that triggers similar medical reactions in our bodies. And even more, CBD and meditation activate the endocannabinoid system.
Why CBD and not THC for meditation?
The cannabis plants has hundreds of chemical compounds known as cannabinoids. Even though there are hundreds of cannabinoids, the best studied are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Although they both have medicinal benefits, they have very different effects in our body.
THC is the cannabinoid with the psychoactive effect. In other words, THC is the one that gets high as a kite. It does have medicinal properties such as analgesic, anti-inflammatory and muscle relaxant, among others. But for meditation purposes, some have experienced that strains with high THC levels may induce anxiety or drive such a psychoactive effect that you easily lose concentration. Not good for meditation.
On the other hand, CBD doesn’t have a psychoactive effect. Strains with high CBD levels are good for relaxation, anti-stress and concentration. Sound familiar? These are some of the benefits of meditation. As you can see, CBD and meditation have similar reactions in our bodies. We’ll have a closer look on the reactions CBD and meditation have in common.
5 things CBD and meditation have in common?
● Anti stress & Relaxation
People often use meditation as a stress-relief activity. There is a state in meditation called “restful alertness”. Even though the body is in rest, the mind is in a fully alert and active state. When this happens, your blood pressure normalizes, your heart rate decreases, and you block production of stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline.
As well as meditation, CBD has very similar effects. There is compelling evidence relating CBD and stress relief. This cannabinoid tonifies The Endocannabinoid System and improves the ability for our bodies to manage stress. Research also suggests that CBD counteracts with the psychoactive effect of THC. In some cases, doctors even treat drug addictions with CBD.
As well as meditation, CBD also lowers blood pressure. A recent study proved that even a single dose of CBD reduces resting blood pressure and blood pressure associated with increased heart rate. The paper concluded that with more research CBD can even be a treatment for cardiovascular disorders.
● Treatment for Anxiety
Meditation stimulates the release of some neurotransmitters in the brain that are help to deal with anxiety. Some of these are serotonin, which helps you feel more relaxed and avoid anxiety. GABA (gamma aminobutyric acid) is also produced when meditating, and has powerful anti-anxiety properties. Finally, meditation also releases endorphins, which helps reduce stress.
Likewise, CBD has become popular in the medical community as a treatment for anxiety. Studies have proved that consuming CBD significantly lowers anxiety symptoms. When consuming CBD, the brain show patterns that are consistent with anti-anxiety.
● Helps you have a better sleep
Because meditation helps your with stress and keeps you more relaxed, this means that when it’s time to go to bed, you won’t have anything in your mind other than just falling asleep. A study published in 2015 in JAMA Internal Medicine concluded that “mindfulness meditation may be introduced to older adults as a short-term solution to remediate their moderate sleep disturbances”.
And CBD also helps with sleep. What a coincidence! Although THC has a more sedative effect, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you will have a better sleep. CBD can help you stabilize your sleeping patterns. This means that you will be more alert during day and have a better and uninterrupted sleep at night. This cannabinoid interacts with REM, which is the period of most profound sleep.
● Concentration and focus
Previously we talked about how serotonin helps with anxiety and stress. But it also has a direct relation when it comes to focus and concentration. Both meditation and CBD stimulate the production of this chemical, and some experimental studies have proved the link between CBD, memory, learning and concentration.
There is an increasing tendency to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) with CBD. Although there is no clinical evidence to prove it, high CBD strains are the most popular for focus and concentration.
● The Endocannabinoid System
All of the benefits above work in our bodies because of The Endocannabinoid System (ECS). The ECS, in the more general concept, helps the body stay in balance. It regulates sensation, thermoregulation, muscle control, energy balance, sleep, stress, and mood among others. Through a series of chemical reactions, cannabinoids such as CBD set the ECS into motion. But this is not the only way to activate the ECS.
Yoga, running and, of course, meditation, produce a reaction that scientist have named “cannabimimetic effects”. It’s a tough concept, but what it basically means is that these activities generate a similar reaction to our bodies to the one that we experience when consuming cannabinoids. Meditation and CBD are two different roads to the same destination.
CBD and meditation: should you try them together?
By this point, you probably are eager to try CBD and meditation together. If you do, do it with caution. Even though CBD and meditation do have very similar effects, it’s always better to play it safe. Start with small doses and see how it goes. Depending on how you feel and how your body reacts, you can lower or increase the dose. And if you try them, please let us know how it goes!