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Mind & body

Mindfulness, Meditation, and CBD

Mindfulness, Meditation, and CBD

CBD isn’t the only ancient wellness tool enjoying a popular resurgence right now. As you’ve probably figured out if you’ve ever heard an ad for yet another meditation app while listening to your favorite podcasts, mindfulness is also making waves in the current health landscape. ,

Both comebacks are pretty exciting as far as we’re concerned, and when you bring CBD and mindfulness together, their combined potential only becomes even greater. Here’s how it works—and how this special combo could benefit you.  

 

CBD: Calming By Design?

“Within less than a minute, I felt a de-escalation, and after a few minutes, I felt noticeably, appreciably calmer.” 
- Stephanie Dolgoff, Good Housekeeping

What is mindfulness? Simply put, it is a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while also acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations. Easy enough to understand, but much harder to actually attain—maintaining this level of moment-to-moment awareness requires ongoing practice,  no matter how long you’ve been honing your skills.

For most people, the biggest barrier to mindfulness is the omnipresent cloud of unrest and anxiety that, whether subtly or loudly, casts a shadow over the daily motions and functions we all go through. Whether it’s the neverending minutiae of forgotten to-do list items or considerably less tangible feelings of dread about what the future holds, how can we truly sit, be still, and embrace the present moment when a thousand things are popping into our minds, fighting for our attention? 

CBD could help. Many users find it delivers a hefty dose of calmness, and this calmness sets the stage almost perfectly for your mindfulness practice. With CBD, the fight against your brain’s distractions doesn’t have to be such an uphill battle; the compound seems to get that part started on your behalf. 

CBD’s calming benefits have big implications in other areas, too. When you’re calmer you tend to sleep better, and when you sleep better, you wake up feeling more refreshed. And when you wake up more refreshed, you’re a lot more likely to ace your morning mindfulness routine and start your day on a high note. Talk about a positive feedback loop!

 

CBD & the Mind-Body Connection

The endocannabinoid system is pretty complex, to say the least. Despite that, one of the best descriptions of what it is actually is and how it works is, thankfully, a pretty simple one.

The system is “a literal bridge between body and mind,” as this study conducted by neuroscientist Bradley E. Alger puts it. By understanding what the ECS is and what it does, “we begin to see a mechanism that could connect brain activity and states of physical health and disease.” 

Sounds almost mystical, doesn’t it? Almost like a more scientific version of “where the mind goes, the body follows.” 

But meditate enough, and you’ll start to understand this concept to be true: mental health really does have a profound impact on physical health. Even small amounts of meditation have been correlated with a variety of health benefits. What’s more, these benefits can last long after the cessation of the practice. 

The Vedic science through which meditation came into being states something similar. According to Vedic texts, one’s inner Self activates their inner consciousness, which then activates their physical body. In other words, the benefits of mindfulness and meditation flow one way, from within outwards.

Might CBD synergize with one’s mindfulness routine by flowing in both directions, addressing both one’s mental state and the neurochemical balance that causes it? Maybe. It’s certainly worth exploring for ourselves if we reap additional benefits by incorporating CBD into our own mindfulness routine.

 

How to Incorporate CBD Into Your Mindfulness Routine

The ultimate goal of mindfulness is simple. Aiming to harness the power of your thoughts and intentions, with mindfulness comes the power to work with your brain—not against it—in order to live your life to the fullest and reach your goals. 

CBD’s role in all of this is, as we mentioned earlier, to help quiet all of the inner distractions holding us back. Many CBD users find the compound allows them to zone in and focus, and focus is central to virtually any mindfulness routine. 

Thankfully, accessing the qualities that make CBD such a useful supplement for mindfulness  is as straightforward as getting your timing right. Since CBD takes at least 15 minutes to kick in, you’ll want to take a low-to-moderate dose of CBD oil at least 15 minutes prior to beginning your mindfulness routine of choice. 

Short on time? You can always kick off your session with a smokeable CBD product instead. Even small doses of CBD should provide a calming, centering effect throughout the course of your mindfulness session. 

 

CBD & Gratitude

Once you feel comfortable in your routine of regular, focused meditation, you can start to move beyond only practicing mindfulness in short bursts here and there and begin working towards a level of mindfulness that is “always on.” While staying mindful throughout every part of daily life is certainly a sizable challenge, it is not an insurmountable one, and it’s precisely what ancient teachings ultimately advocated for.

If you’re feeling up for the task, you’ll need to have one key thing on your side: gratitude, and can really only be obtained by living out your thankfulness for each and every moment. 

“To live with gratitude is to enjoy every moment of this precious gift that we call ‘Life,’” explains spiritual leader Don Miguel Ruiz in his classic book, The Four Agreements.

 

CBD-Infused Yoga

Interestingly enough, the same Vedic texts that first introduced yoga to the world also introduced hemp—you know, the plant that produces CBD.  

Might there be some sort of underlying connection here?

It’s possible. If you’ve been reading up on the endocannabinoid system you may be familiar with anandamide, an endocannabinoid that serves as one of the ECS’s most important parts. Anandamide is essentially the Sanskrit term for “bliss,” while yoga, meanwhile, is the Sanskrit word for “knowing yourself.” 

Both CBD and yoga have been shown to raise endocannabinoid levels, and as many practicing yogis know well, yoga is a great entrypoint to increasing and maintaining mindfulness. Consider taking a dose of CBD before your next flow session to boost the positive effects of both.