It’s no secret that more and more people are hopping on board with CBD to reap its wide range, but what happens when you meditate with CBD? Can a dose of CBD help improve meditation practices with a smoother transition to a deeper and more peaceful meditative state?
Before we delve into how CBD can improve meditation, it’s helpful to have a basic understanding of what, exactly, CBD is as well as common misconceptions about it.
In a nutshell, CBD is a naturally-occurring compound called a cannabinoid that’s derived from the cannabis plant, but it won’t get you high.
Cannabis contains over 100 cannabinoids that have different effects on the body. The stoned feeling commonly associated with cannabis comes from a cannabinoid called THC, which has psychoactive properties. CBD, however, is completely non-psychoactive. Both types of cannabis (marijuana and hemp) contain CBD. The presence of THC in hemp-derived CBD is so low that you will not feel any psychoactive effects. You can opt for a zero-THC CBD product if you’re worried about failing a drug test or just want to skip THC altogether.
Your body’s nervous system contains special receptors that are specifically activated by cannabinoids. This is one of the reasons CBD and the human body work so well together. The receptors that CBD targets include serotonin receptors, which control anxiety, calmness, and mood; adenosine receptors, which manage our quality of sleep; and vanilloid receptors, which deal with pain management.
Knowing that CBD targets the areas in our body responsible for stress, anxiety, and mood makes it easier to understand why it pairs so well with meditation.
Why CBD and Meditation Go Hand-in-Hand
One of the most difficult parts about meditation is fielding all of the mental chatter that often arises as soon as we sit down to do it. That mental chatter tends to be particularly loud for those who are brand new to meditation. This can make a regular practice seem too difficult and aversive to continue.
CBD’s aforementioned impact on our mood and anxiety is thought to counteract that chatter by lifting your mood and instilling you with a greater sense of calm and well-being. The softer feeling that many report experiencing after taking it makes it easier to fall into a deeper meditative state more quickly.
Another thing that CBD and meditation both have in common is their ability to promote the growth of new brain cells in the hippocampus, which is the area of the brain associated with learning and memory, emotional stability and perspective. Scientists also suggest that CBD potentially increases the body’s own cannabis-like neurotransmitter called anandamide (often called the ‘bliss molecule’), which is a mood booster.
Moreover, CBD’s reported anti-inflammatory properties might also play a role in its meditative benefits. Studies suggest that mindfulness and meditation might dampen gene activity associated with inflammation and therefore reverse the molecular damage that stress causes our bodies. Given that CBD might reduce inflammation as well, joining the two is thought to increase your body’s anti-inflammatory benefits even more.
How to Meditate With CBD
Sitting down to meditate can be kind of intimidating, especially for those who are brand new to it. But it doesn’t have to be that way! A meditation practice is really as simple as sitting quietly and focusing on your breath. If you’re new to it, start with just five minutes at a time. Once you become more comfortable, increase that time gradually, aiming for 20 minutes a day as your comfort-levels increase.
If you’re new to CBD, it’s a good idea to start with a low dose and work your way up.
When you meditate with CBD, the method of ingestion matters. All forms work, but the time it takes to impact your body may vary. If you typically take it in the form of tinctures or capsules, then it’s a good rule of thumb to consume it 30-60 minutes before you plan to meditate so that your body has time to absorb it. If, on the other hand, you take it via a vaporizer, then the effects are close to immediate so you can start meditating right away.
A Quick Guide to Your First Meditation Session
There are a million and one ways to meditate, which can make starting a little overwhelming. If you’re new to meditation, here’s a quick guide to help you start:
- Take your CBD. If it’s in drops or capsules, take it 30-60 minutes before you begin; if it’s vapor, you can begin right away.
- Sit in a comfortable position (any comfortable position). You can lie down and meditate; just don’t fall asleep.
- Set a timer on your phone for five minutes.
- Close your eyes and focus on your breath. Whenever thoughts arise, don’t judge them, just observe them and redirect your focus to your breath. You might find yourself constantly redirecting, especially in the beginning, and that’s perfectly normal! It’s part of the process.
- Once your timer goes off, open your eyes, and smile! You just meditated. Well done.
The purpose of meditation is emotional processing and achieving a state of calm, but often it can feel tiresome because one is too anxious to meditate, which then means that they aren’t able to alleviate the anxiety. It’s worth a shot to try to break the cycle with CBD. Who knows, you might just discover your inner yogi!
Have you meditated with CBD? Tell us your story.