Yoga has long been known as an effective means of increasing mental and physical well-being. The focus on breathing and poses help increase one’s mindfulness and focus. Yoga has seen a recent surge of popularity in the West due to these mental and physical benefits.
However, some are saying CBD can increase the benefits you can get from yoga. CBD yoga has become increasingly popular in recent years and combines the therapeutic effects of yoga with the therapeutic effects of CBD. Several anecdotal stories from users recount how CBD dosing has made their yoga experience more effective and beneficial.
However, there is still a lack of clinical scientific evidence on the matter, so it's very important to educate yourself to understand if trying this combination is right for you. In this article, we will talk about how CBD and yoga can work together to relax the mind and body, precautions, and what CBD is.
First off, what is CBD?
CBD (also known as cannabidiol) is a cannabinoid compound that is found in the cannabis plant. CBD, along with THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) are the two main active ingredients in marijuana and industrial hemp. Unlike THC, the chemical that makes you feel high from smoking marijuana, CBD is not known to produce any psychoactive effects.
CBD merely stimulates the activity of cannabinoid receptors in the body and brain, instead of fully bonding to them like THC, so it is associated with a different profile of physiological effects. There is a growing body of evidence that suggests CBD plays an integral role in regulating many important processes in the body, including hormone production, fertility, pain signaling, and sleep.
Also, unlike THC, the manufacture and the use of CBD compounds are generally not regulated and CBD is more or less legal in all 50 states, under certain restrictions. This means that you can legally buy and use CBD without fear of legal repercussions. CBD can be administered by several methods; smoking, vaping, ingestion of tinctures and edibles, as well as topical lotions and salves. Lastly, CBD has not been shown to create any physiological dependencies, so it is safe to use.
How Are Yoga and CBD Similar?
Although yoga is a practice and CBD is a drug, the two are more similar than one may think. Specifically, yoga and CBD are similar insofar as the effects they produce on the body. Both yoga and CBD have been independently shown as an effective means of reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression and for managing nociceptive and neuropathic pain from injury or neurological conditions.
Moreover, CBD consumption has been shown to increase brain activity in areas associated with emotions, goal-setting, self-control, and motivation, while the practice of yoga has been shown to have similar effects on cognition and emotional awareness.
So it should come as no surprise that many people claim the combination of yoga and CBD have a reciprocal effect and can increase the benefits of both.
How do CBD and Yoga Work Together?
In short, CBD helps the practice of yoga by making it easier to get into the mindset necessary for effective yoga practice. On the flip side, yoga can help get acclimated to CBD by teaching one to be more in touch with their body and mind.
Let’s give a simple example of this positive feedback loop. It is well known that CBD is an effective anti-inflammatory agent. CBD interacts with the T-cells in the body’s immune system to reduce the production of lymphocytes, the things that cause swelling and redness surrounding the site of an injury. Likewise, the physical exercise of yoga is effective at working out kinks in the body and reducing pain. So the cycle works like this: CBD reduces pain, which makes it easier to get deeper into yoga poses. Similarly, yoga itself is effective at managing pain, and CBD makes it easier to reap these yoga benefits.
This positive feedback loop applies to the mental benefits of yoga and CBD. CBD can reduce anxiety, which in turn makes it easier to cultivate the qualitative state of awareness necessary for effective yoga practice. Yoga itself can also reduce symptoms of anxiety, which compounds the anxiolytic effects of CBD.
In other words, yoga and CBD usage can feed into each other as the physical and mental effects symbiotically influence each other. While each method is effective on its own, the combination of the two can increase the benefits of each.
What Does Combining CBD & Yoga Look Like?
A CBD yoga practice can begin by each participant taking some CBD drops and initiating meditation for a few minutes.
We recommend you try gentler classes when trying to combine CBD and yoga at first. If it feels good you can move into more physically intensive yoga styles.
CBD yoga is not necessarily focused on physical fitness, but physical and mental unity. There is a strong focus on relaxation and becoming attuned to the body’s senses, emotions, and thoughts. You can also use CBD salves and lotions to treat strained muscles after your yoga practice.
Are There Any Downsides to CBD & Yoga?
Despite its professed benefits, CBD is not for everyone. First of all, there is not enough evidence to show that CBD is safe for pregnant or breastfeeding women. Second, taking CBD can cause a drug test to come back positive, so people who are drug tested for work should probably abstain.
Additionally, CBD does have a mild blood-thinning effect, which can affect physical performance, especially in people who have blood pressure issues. As with any new medication, make sure to consult your primary care physician before taking CBD.
Is CBD Yoga Right for You?
The combination of CBD and yoga can be an excellent way to augment the benefits of both. To be clear, CBD is not a cure for anything and is best used to manage symptoms of conditions. However, a consistent regiment of CBD and yoga can go along way towards promoting mental and physical well-being if it is a good combination for your unique body and mind.
By Kimberly Torres
Kim Torres is one of the voices behind SundayScaries blog. At the same time, she handles content partnerships. She wants to inspire people to be actively fit and be the best version of themselves. Her tip is to avoid stress and anxiety, and only focus on life’s wonders.
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