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CBD and Yoga

CBD and Yoga

Modified Date: November 8, 2019

We often move through our daily lives with an underlying current of stress and tension that becomes normal after a while. This type of low-grade anxiety is almost a societal rite of passage as we move into adulthood. Our individual cares and concerns and the responsibilities of family, work, children, and more see us in an ongoing marathon of achievement that appears to have no end. We often forget about taking time out to de-stress.

A lot of people have turned to Yoga to counteract the business of our culture and to tune out the outside world for a while. Yoga allows us to be mindful and remember to breathe as we walk a path where peace and calm are possible. The benefits of restorative Yoga go beyond physical and mental. There are significant spiritual aspects of the practice as well.

For many people, the increased legalization of Cannabis has delivered another stress-combatting tool. Medical marijuana is still federally illegal although it can be accessed in individual states and specific situations. But CBD, a non-psychoactive chemical sourced from the hemp species of Cannabis is legal in all 50 US states. Removed from the schedule 1 drug list, the Farm Bill of 2018 made industrial hemp an agricultural crop instead of a narcotic. This means that for the first time, residents of the US can legally access a form of Cannabis that is known for its numerous therapeutic benefits.

How is CBD Different Than THC?

There are over 100 different natural chemicals present in Cannabis. Cannabidiol (CBD) and Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are the two most common.  In the marijuana species of Cannabis, there is a large concentration of THC and a small quantity of CBD. In the hemp subspecies, CBD is more prevalent, and THC is only present in trace amounts.  For a hemp plant to be considered hemp and not marijuana, it must contain less than 0.3% THC.

While there are over 100 natural compounds found in the Cannabis Sativa plant, the most well-known are Cannabidiol (CBD) and Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The latter is found mainly in the marijuana species of the plant and is responsible for the mind-altering effects users get when they smoke or ingest it. Pot has held a lowly reputation for decades, but many medical professionals are waking up to what stoners have known all along; it’s good for what ails you. A host of conditions can be treated with the use of marijuana.

The trouble is, marijuana is still illegal at the federal level, although that is bound to change soon. The other problem is that not everyone wants to get high or experience the sensations and feelings that smoking weed can induce.  This is where CBD comes in.

Sourced from Industrial hemp, CBD is non-psychoactive and contains less than 0.3% THC. It is easily accessed online and in specialty shops and has been shown to have many of the same beneficial properties as THC but without the high.

CBD With a Side of Yoga

The wellness industry is growing, and more and more people are turning to alternatives when it comes to staying healthy.  Consumers who participate in Yoga are also likely to invest in other activities to increase their well-being. Using CBD as another tool towards overall vitality integrates naturally with the restorative practices of Yoga.

Consumer demand has risen sharply for CBD, with some experts saying the industry will reach a point where it is generating 1.8 billion dollars before the year 2020. Like Yoga, CBD can contribute to mindfulness, calm, and overall physical and mental health.

Research is still ongoing, but that hasn’t stopped yoga enthusiasts from using the potent cannabinoid. Many claim that it not only decreases anxiety, but it also helps them to focus on the more spiritual and meditative aspects of Yoga as well.

Others find it helps them combat muscle soreness and joint stiffness before and after a yoga session. This is likely due to both CBD’s documented pain-relieving properties, and how it interacts with the human endocannabinoid system.

Endo What???

The human endocannabinoid system (ECS) is present in all mammals and has been since antiquity. The fact that we didn’t know about it until a few decades ago hardly matters. This vast network of receptors outnumbers every other receptor system in the body including neurotransmitters. It plays a role in regulating mood, sleep, appetite, pain, reproduction, temperature, and more. In fact, these receptor sites are located in over 50 known parts of the body, and they help maintain homeostasis. They are vital to sustaining life.

The ECS interacts on a cellular level with cannabinoids like CBD and THC to keep everything functioning with regularity and maintain health. If it is not working the way it should, illness is the result. Some researchers propose that an endocannabinoid deficiency may be at the root of many common physical conditions and chronic pain states.

Introducing cannabinoids from plants (phytocannabinoids) can help bring the endocannabinoid system back to regular functioning and restore health from the sub-cellular level on up. CBD interacts in such a way that it encourages our own natural cannabinoids to populate as well as helps the ones we already have to do their job better.

An excellent example of how cannabinoids induce well-being is by looking at what is commonly called “runners high.” Most people are familiar with this release of endorphins that takes place after vigorous exercise. It is described as a feeling of calm and well-being of the mind and body. It turns out that the endocannabinoid system may be the cause of this pleasant sensation rather than endorphins.

Anandamide is a natural transmitter in the body that was named after the Sanskrit word for bliss. And this “bliss molecule” can be suppressed. CBD breaks down the enzyme that suppresses the production of anandamide, allowing the good feelings from a workout (or any time, really) to last longer and be more intense. 

I'm All in. How do I Begin?

Fortunately, there are numerous options when it comes to CBD so finding one that is right for you will be the easy part.  The most popular CBD product is CBD oil. Often referred to as tincture or extract, it is taken sublingually and begins to work its magic within 15 minutes to an hour. Taking it before and after a Yoga workout can make a difference in the effectiveness and recovery time of your session.

CBD capsules are available as well. These are usually formulated as soft gels, and they are a convenient and portable way of taking CBD. They will fit right into your workout bag for a discreet dose of CBD any time.

CBD topical products are also plentiful. These include creams, lotions, salves, balms, and any product intended to be applied directly to the skin. These products don’t pass into the bloodstreams, but they do penetrate the layers of skin to provide relief and comfort to sore and aching muscles and joints.

Final Thoughts

There is a lot of hype surrounding this marvelous and beneficial plant medicine, and with good reason.  New studies are being published all the time that look at CBD as a viable alternative remedy for different conditions that don’t respond well to other treatments.

New research is coming out every day about the efficacy of CBD and the many disorders and conditions it may potentially treat. This research is quite promising. The FDA recently approved the use of a pharmaceutical called Epidiolex. Made of CBD, this remarkable drug has improved the lives of children with intractable seizure disorders with outstanding results.

Before you choose the best CBD product to compliment your yoga routine, you will want to make sure that it is of the highest purity and potency and that it is third-party tested for the presence of any contaminants or solvents.  Choosing the best CBD is easy, as we have taken much of the guesswork out of it for you. On this site, you will find many options to help you take your Yoga practice to the next level.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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