CBD is a great complement to meditation. This non-psychoactive compound is shown to have an amazing effect on our ECS system; helping to clear negative thoughts and alleviate physical pain.
While CBD doesn’t get you ‘high’, it’s very effective at calming the mind. Combine that with regular meditation, and you’ve got a recipe for feeling really, really good.
In this post, we’ll break down the latest research behind CBD in order to see how it can benefit your mindfulness practice.
What is CBD?
CBD or Cannabidiol is a natural remedy that has become somewhat of a ‘buzz’ ingredient in the health and fitness industry.
If you haven’t heard of it yet, you may wonder what CBD is in the first place.
The answer: it’s one of many cannabinoids in the marijuana or cannabis plant. Yes, the same plant from which THC comes.
But unlike THC, CBD doesn’t make you high. Because it’s not psychoactive.
CBD is perfectly legal in many parts of the world. Athletes, professionals, and people from everywhere use it to reduce pain & inflammation, improve their sleep, and supercharge their recovery & performance.[alert type=”success” icon-size=”hide-icon”]Although there’s still a lot of research to be done on this compound, CBD’s qualities have made it an increasingly popular choice amongst people of all backgrounds. [/alert]
What’s most impressive about CBD, is that it doesn’t alter your mental state or cause unwanted side effects like some pharmaceutical drugs.
Methods of Taking CBD
Some people take CBD in capsules, ingest edibles, apply it topically, or inhale it. But the most popular form of CBD supplements is CBD oil. Which is taken sublingually.
How is CBD Made?
The process of making a CBD supplement begins with the extraction of CBD from the cannabis plant. After that, CBD is diluted with a carrier oil, which is most often either coconut oil or hemp seed oil. The process does involve some additional steps, but essentially, this is where we get CBD oil as we know it.
Does CBD Help With Meditation?
As you’ve seen in the intro, the answer to “does CBD help with meditation” is yes.
Of course, meditation alone has many benefits. It can promote positive headspace and help you tackle stress better. But mindfulness meditation works even better when you pair it with CBD.
Similar to meditation, CBD derived from hemp works to soothe your body and mind.
Benefits of Pairing CBD with Meditation
When you start taking CBD daily, you may notice the effects similar to those you’d gain after consistently meditating for a few months. These include:
- An increased sense of awareness, calm, and well-being
- Better sleep
- Decreased heart rate and blood pressure
- Improved resilience to stress
- Less anxiety & negative thoughts
These are just some of the reasons why some people like to enhance their meditation with a few drops of CBD oil. The compound also offers a lot of other, more subtle benefits that we might not notice, but that aid our health in the long-run.
How it Works
How exactly does CBD work in our body once we take it?
Essentially, it interacts with your endocannabinoid system which has built-in receptors. These include CB1 and CB2 receptors.
While CB2 receptors affect things like your immune system, CB1 receptors appear to influence our mood, stress, and brain chemicals.
By interacting with CB1 receptors, CBD naturally helps your mind to relax. Some studies even show that it is helpful for reducing symptoms of anxiety – stopping intrusive thoughts to help you focus on the present moment.
By its nature, CBD is an anti-inflammatory compound. This is great news, because inflammation is thought to be one of the root causes of modern disease. High inflammation and high cortisol (stress hormone) levels typically go hand in hand. When you’re stressed you can’t focus on meditation.
CBD Clears Worries
Worry is something we all do from time to time. It’s only natural and part of life.
However, many of us have a constant rumination issue. We can’t seem to stop thinking of the past, future, or other problems. This is like a poison to your mindfulness practice.
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Worry comes in many forms.
It might manifest as thinking about problems at work or an argument with a friend. It can also come in the form of self-doubt. Assuming you’re doing meditation wrong, that others do it better than you, and that you aren’t supposed to do it this or that way… these are all thoughts that can ruin the quality of your meditation.
Luckily, CBD can help here too. It’s shown to relieve anxious thoughts, as well as reduce feelings of worry and doubt. (3)
Calms the ‘Monkey Mind’
Sometimes, our intrusive thoughts are worries and problems.
But other times, they can be just your mind lost in the clouds.
Surely you’ve had a scene from a movie or a song stuck in your head at one point in your life. No matter how much you try to focus on your breath, those sounds and images just keep popping up.
Needless to say, this can make it hard to focus and be in the present moment.
Luckily, CBD comes to the rescue once again![alert type=”success” icon-size=”hide-icon”]Experts show that CBD calms the overactive brain by inhibiting glutamate. Glutamate is your neurotransmitter that increases firing between brain cells. People with anxiety often have too much glutamate in their brains. (1)[/alert]
Now, CBD won’t magically erase your negative thoughts. You’ll still have to do ‘the work’ in a sense that you’ll probably have to return to your breath here and there.
What CBD will do is simply help you have more control over your mind, and will make it easier to achieve deep states of presence. And it will help keep those thoughts from popping up again.
Pain is one of the biggest problems meditators face. Whether it’s because you’ve been sitting in the same position for the last 40 minutes or have strained your muscle at the gym, pain can severely reduce the quality of your meditation sessions.
Many studies show that CBD is a powerful and natural way of relieving pain. (2)
Some people use CBD to treat their chronic pain, but CBD is equally as good for treating local aches in your muscles and joints. In fact, athletes use it all the time to reduce inflammation and recover faster after training.
If you have suffered from back or knee pain, try massaging a CBD balm onto your skin. This should help you to sit comfortably for longer.
And if you have soreness from exercising, then you can simply apply some CBD topical cream to an area of your body that hurts. Or simply take some sublingual CBD oil which can soothe more chronic, persistent pain.
Drowsiness and lack of focus are meditation’s worst enemies.
When you can’t focus on the object of your attention, or simply stay alert and with the present moment, you can’t be mindful either.
It makes sense when you think about it. The more tired you are the more your mind will wander.[alert type=”success” icon-size=”hide-icon”]Being aware of the present moment requires a special kind of focus. One that becomes more difficult to maintain the drowsier you are. It happens to all of us, but it’s certainly not conducive to deep meditation.[/alert]
One of CBD’s biggest benefits is that it increases focus and alertness. It’s not a stimulant like caffeine and doesn’t make you twitchy. It’s a more stable kind of focus – similar to the one you achieve after a deep meditation session.
Anything Else to Consider?
CBD that comes from organic hemp is natural and gentle on your body. It’s not a drug, nor a toxic substance.
It’s a plant-based supplement – some will say medicine – that is about as psychoactive as a cup of herbal tea (a.k.a, it’s not psychoactive at all).
Still, it’s important that you talk with your doctor before trying any new supplement. Especially if you take medication or have any kind of medical condition.
If you would like to try CBD to enhance your meditation & mindfulness, you should get it from a reputable supplier. Much like with any other supplement, it’s easy to get your hands on something that doesn’t work – or worse yet, has an unaccounted amount of THC in it.
Wrapping Up – Does CBD Help With Meditation?
CBD not only helps with meditation but also offers other benefits to a person’s life.
If you’re looking to reduce inflammation, boost your immune system and energy levels, and enhance your sense of well-being, then this is a supplement worth giving a go.
Just make sure to buy it from a reputable vendor, as many CBD oils on the market are diluted and low-quality.
Further Reading: How to Meditate in Public? 5 Key Tips