CBD Oil And Yoga

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CBD is one of 2020’s hottest trends. And it could transform your yoga routine. Learn how you can use CBD to improve your practice. COULD THIS BE THE BEST IDEA EVER?

CBD and Yoga: Rediscover the Benefits of This Ancient Duo

CBD is one of this year’s hottest trends. And it could transform your yoga routine — for reasons you’ll soon understand.

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CBD and yoga — it’s a surprisingly age-old combination that’s just now making a comeback.

The first time around, news of the practice 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 the full backing of social media, google trends, and a veritable army of health enthusiasts. It 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.

One such area of benefit overlaps with the effects of CBD and the system it works through — called the endocannabinoid system (ECS).

When you stop to think about it, there’s a lot of overlap between the effects of CBD and yoga — which makes the two a perfect pair.

Table of Contents

Below are just a few more of the ways that CBD could benefit yogis of all levels:

  1. Better adaptation
  2. Improved mind-body connection
  3. Increased focus
  4. Reduced inflammation
  5. Enhanced inner awareness
  6. Faster muscle recovery

Yoga Adaptation Using CBD

While the practice of yoga teaches us to say no! to external distractions and demands — yogic exercises themselves can be physically demanding. They put a strain on tendons and ligaments, especially if done incorrectly.

Even the gentlest transition into yoga requires the body to respond with increased flexibility, fluidity, and suppleness. Yoga also requires good balance, which in turn demands strong proprioception (awareness of body positioning).

Then there’s the stretching inherent to yoga, of course… which can be intense as well. It seems mentally transcending one’s environment may require a dose of physical transcendence too!

Yet stretching has actually been shown to activate endocannabinoid receptors in the muscles and fascia. More receptor activation may allow for more cannabinoid engagement [1].

We’ve covered the benefits of CBD for muscle recovery in another article, here’s a summary of the benefits:

  • Relaxes the muscle tissue
  • May relieve muscle pain
  • Curbs inflammation in the muscle tissue
  • Enhances satellite cell differentiation (leading to faster recovery)
  • Supports protein synthesis through cortisol reduction

Improve The Mind-Body Connection

CBD may allow you to better adapt to yoga by improving the mind-body connection, too.

After all, CBD strengthens what researchers call “a literal bridge between body and mind”.

Although the idea that CBD can better bridge the gap between consciousness and movement may seem more mystical than scientific — there’s some truth to the statement.

One study conducted by the Intercontinental Neuroscience Research Group theorized that the endocannabinoid system (ECS) has a role in human consciousness itself. This is evidenced by the involvement of the ECS in abstract cognitive processes like post-traumatic stress, mood, and dream states [4].

Such is the depth of endocannabinoid function — even the world’s leading researchers sometimes describe it with broad concepts like consciousness and emotional fluidity.

Part of the mind-body connection goes back to one of the central tenets of yoga — clearing the mind. A study from way back in 1979 agrees: “Hatha yoga calms the mind to the point that the individual is aware only of the ‘here and now’ […which] includes an awareness of subtle bodily conditions.” [5]

CBD may play an equally important role in this area. Many users report feeling more focused and intuitive when they take the plant compound.

Perhaps best of all, it doesn’t usually take much CBD to see enhancements in focus and mood. Dr. Dustin Sulak and many other cannabinoid experts have reported that their patients improve on just a few milligrams of cannabinoids per day!

That equates to about half a dropper’s worth of your average CBD oil.

From a homeopathic perspective, it’s thought that “microdosing” herbal compounds stimulate much larger changes in our physiology. That definitely seems to be the case with the nootropic-like CBD.

Enhance Focus & Concentration

Of course, yoga isn’t just about becoming more in tune with your body. That’s only half the equation because enhancing your inner awareness depends on the silencing of external distractions and falsehoods.

In a very real sense, yoga requires its practitioners to fully reclaim their minds. Today’s phone bill, tomorrow’s work deadline? Forget them, become free from them — if only for the next 10 minutes.

But this type of forgetfulness is harder than ever. It seems as though all of us have fallen into the gravitational pull of Social Media, a planet on which narcissism and hyperstimulation are the norms. A pull that was once confined to one or two hours a day (just think about the once-daily daily news) now has us in its grasp at all times.

Indeed, the average American checks their phone nearly a hundred times a day; if forced to go without the device they often experience anxiety, unrest, and other “drug-seeking” behavior.

It’s not crazy to think about this as a real addiction, “withdrawal” from which may negatively impact all sorts of other things. That includes our ability to focus at work, nourish real relationships… and clear the mind during yoga.

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Here’s another seemingly cryptic concept — could CBD help our culture better live in the now? Maybe shift our brain chemistry, even, so we can focus more on the present moment?

Initial research has shown this cannabidiol is intimately involved with the function of key neurotransmitters like serotonin [11] and dopamine [12] — both of which play a key role in our ability to remain focused. This could explain why some users report CBD can improve learning and concentration.

Cannabis experts are also backing this idea up. Molecular biologist Dr. Bob Melamede says cannabinoids expand the periodicity of each moment — that’s the amount of perceptual ‘snapshots’ our brains can process in any given unit of time.

More frequent snapshots mean each moment lasts longer, from a relative perspective. If a person can take in more of their life, might each of its moments be more greatly enjoyed?

Once again, cryptic… but theorized by one of the brightest minds in the endocannabinoid-research world. If you’re ready to slow down, fully experience life, and enjoy each and every moment, consider yoga! If you find combating daily distraction challenging and would like a little help with your yogic practice, consider CBD!

Reduce Inflammation with CBD

Inflammation… we all know how bad it is, how we’re all chronically inflamed, and how that’s not good for our general health or our pain levels, etc. It’s an epidemic!

Actually, it’s not that simple.

A little bit of inflammation is a good thing. Especially when it’s used to signal to the immune system that a little extra assistance is needed. Inflammation initiates a cascade of hormonal responses that, when everything works properly, allows inflamed areas to properly recover and heal.

Inflammation, like anything else the body does naturally, can be a beautiful thing.

Yet our culture’s inflammatory epidemic is anything but natural. Inflammation is meant to help us rebound after occasional injuries — not act as a buffer against the health risks of processed foods.

Worse yet, many people combat this unnatural state with unnaturally strong solutions like NSAIDS or even opioids. Not good!

That’s true from an evolutionary perspective, at least. The mismatch between our body’s natural state and its unnatural environment requires a holistic solution. Thankfully, practicing yoga has been shown to lower levels of chronic inflammation [13], especially if done regularly.

As Harvard’s health blog reports: “an exploratory study published in Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity [found] that 12 weeks of yoga slowed cellular aging”. Faster cellular aging is believed to be a consequence of chronic inflammation — as reported but the National Institute of Ageing.

Another insightful study titled Yoga, Meditation and Mind-Body Health found yoga correlated with improved brain function (it increased something called brain-derived neurotrophic factor) and better morning mood [6]. Subjects also seemed to deal with the daily stressors of their lives better, as revealed by lower levels of stress hormones like cortisol.

Finally, yoga also reduced the subject’s inflammatory markers, like their cytokine levels, that are known to lead to pain. No wonder Yogis can truthfully claim the following:

“Yoga is the process of eliminating pain – pain from the body, mind and the society.”

But if you’re experiencing a level of inflammation or pain that dissuades you from practicing yoga in the first place, your body might need a little extra help. That’s where CBD comes in.

CBD is a broad-spectrum anti-inflammatory. It’s been shown again and again and again to reduce inflammation in areas where relief is needed most:

Yet CBD doesn’t eliminate inflammation entirely. Like we said, inflammatory responses are helpful — for muscle recovery, injury prevention, even for yoga itself.

In the short term, inflammation speeds healing by removing metabolic waste and bringing fresh, nutrient-rich blood flow to the area. It’s only when the inflammatory process continues for extended periods of time that it starts to have a negative impact on local tissue.

Enhance Body Perception

Many people love yoga for its ability to support the perception of the body.

But we’ve already touched on that, so let’s now turn our attention to CBD and how it could enhance self-awareness further. You’ll find some theoretical stuff in this section, which we feel is warranted.

You might already know that exercise boosts our body’s levels of endocannabinoids like anandamide — which is thought to contribute to sensations like the “runner’s high” [14] and plays a key role in the mood-regulating benefits of the endocannabinoid system [15].

CBD has been shown to increase anandamide levels by inhibiting the enzyme designed to break it down — known commonly as FAAH [16].

The effects of CBD on mood go much deeper as well. This phytocannabinoid is also considered an endovanilloid, modulating the vanilloid receptors throughout the body [8,9].

The role of this system is pretty abstract, but what does this mean in terms of perception in the body?

The vanilloid receptors sense pain, regulate body temperature [17] — two critical elements of the human experience. Our body uses pain to assess the risk to the body — it tells us when we’re at risk of damaging our joints or muscles from overstretching or positioning ourselves poorly during our yoga practice. Temperature is also important, as it plays a role in our metabolic rate and critical aspects of homeostasis (internal balance).

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In theory, applying said topical to potential ‘problem areas’ prior to your next yoga session could be helpful for improving your body’s perception to internal changes in the muscle tissue. Oral CBD may provide similar benefits as well.

Final Thoughts

Improving health is often the ideal goal of a daily yoga practice. Whether you’re a yoga beginner or a true master of the ancient art, taking CBD may help you take your practice to another level.

CBD isn’t a cure-all, and there are a lot of other factors you need to employ to really get the most out of your yoga practice as well — but it could be a useful tool for helping you get just a little more out of a dialed-in practice.

The effects of CBD are many, but the most relevant when it comes to yoga include enhancing the mind-body connection through the ECS, improved yoga adaptation through local activation of the ECS in muscle tissue, reduced inflammation, and enhanced focus and concentration during your practice.

Have you incorporated CBD with your yoga practice? Share your experiences in the comments below.

Yoga and CBD Oil

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!

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MARIJUANA

  • THC Oil
  • Marijuana Oil
  • Cannabis Oil
  • Contains 15-20% THC (tetrahydrocannabinoid)
  • Psychoactive properties

HEMP

  • CBD Oil
  • Hemp Oil
  • Full Spectrum Hemp Oil
  • Contains 0.3% or less of THC (tetrahydrocannabinoid)
  • No psychoactive properties

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:

  1. Relief from anxiety and depression
  2. Chronic pain relief
  3. Deeper and better quality sleep
  4. Improved concentration and increased focus
  5. Reduced inflammation in the body
  6. Rapid muscle recovery as it enhances satellite cell differentiation
  7. Relaxes and curbs inflammation in the muscle tissue
  8. Better adaptation
  9. Improved mind-body connection
  10. Enhanced inner awareness
  11. Relief from overthinking
  12. Decreased inflammation
  13. Increased mood
  14. 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**


METHOD:

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.

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