CBD not only became my new meditation partner, but it can become yours, too. When I was in college, I realized that my anxiety increased dramatically. The added stress of assignments, being worried about life after college, and becoming a functioning adult had a crippling impact. It constantly felt like I had 1,000 alarms going off in my head at the same time. Meditation had previously provided me with stress relief but I hit a wall. I found I was not about to meditate like I once did.
I was also into CBD at the time, it was really the main thing that allowed me to sleep without waking up worrying about an assignment that was due. It also was the one thing that allowed me to not feel my heart beating out of my chest at the mere thought of going to class the next day. One day I thought to myself, hmmm what if I use CBD during my meditation? The rest was history. Now, I often pair CBD with my meditation practices, and I realized that getting into a more calm state of mind is much easier, all of my missiles in my brain are not firing all at once. It is easier to become an observer of my thoughts. I would love for everyone to experience this combination and I want to explain how you can begin your journey and get to know CBD as your new mediation partner.
What is CBD?
CBD is short for Cannabidiol and is the second most known and prevalent active ingredient found in the cannabis plant. CBD contains less than 0.3% THC and is legal in all 50 states, so you are in luck! CBD does not interact with the body in the same way THC does as it relates to making you feel the effects of being “high”. A common misconception is that CBD is non-psychoactive which is not true because it still interacts with the brain, just in a slightly different way. To keep it simple and easy for our brains to digest, CBD works with our endocannabinoid system. CBD can help regulate the endocannabinoid system by easing pain as anti-inflammatory, helping you sleep, relieve anxiety, epilepsy, PTSD, and the list goes on.
What is the endocannabinoid system you ask? The endocannabinoid system helps regulate mood, appetite, sleep, immunity, memory, and pain sensations. It is the host of creating balance in our bodies and when this balance between our body and mind is disrupted it can result in several health-related issues. This is where CBD can come in. CBD interacts with our endocannabinoid system in its own way through what is known as the CB1 and CB2 receptors. These two little receptors are found in both our bodies and in cannabis compounds called endocannabinoids. The CB1 receptors are associated with mood regulation and found primarily in the brain. The CB2 receptors are associated with immune function and inflammation; these are primarily found in your immune system. Another interaction is with our adenosine receptors, found in the same area as CB1, our brains. CBD activates our adenosine receptors and results in lower levels of stress, and anxiety. CBD does something similar with our vanilloid receptors located near the CB2 receptors, by binding to them. Vanilloid receptors are there to control inflammation and temperature regulation producing an anti-inflammatory effect.
With all of this amazing information being said CBD has been shown to be relatively safe for everyday consumption but too much of it can produce undesired effects; it is important to know your dose by starting small and increasing as you go. It is also important to look for lab test results when purchasing CBD so that you know where your CBD is coming from and that it is safe for your body. Something that is still fairly new in research can be a bit overwhelming but if you are as fidgety and anxiety prone as me, you should give it a try it could be your new go to partner in meditation.
What is Meditation?
It is speculated that meditation has been around since 5000 to 3500 BCE it is an old and well established practice but if you never meditated before you may be wondering what exactly it is and how it improves your everyday lives. Meditation comes from the Latin word meditatum which means to ponder. Meditation is a practice for your mind and body to better understand and cope with your behavior and emotions. Meditation allows you to see how your emotions have a huge influence on your behavior. Many illnesses stem from the stress that we tend to cause our bodies. Meditation works to increase calmness, promote relaxation, improve your mind psychologically, pain regulation, improves focus and overall well-being.
There are several forms of meditation, here are three main forms of meditation that I enjoy, they are great for beginners as well:
- Mindfulness Meditation: This is the most common form of meditation and I would recommend this for beginners. The point of Mindfulness Meditation is to try to focus on the present moment, and to be fully aware of your thoughts and emotions becoming an observer of them, without zooming in.
- Guided Meditation: This form of meditation can also be called visualization, which is the main thing you do during practice. Typically, people find a guided instructor via the internet like YouTube or in person. The guided visualizations offer a deep relaxation and focus on using your senses, smell, touch, sound, sight, and hearing.
- Transcendental Meditation: This form of meditation uses Mantra. Mantras are words, sounds, or simple phrases that are repeated multiple times throughout your meditation. Phrases can begin with ” I am” for example repeating: ” I am at peace”, ” I am love”,” I will focus on myself in this moment” etc. The idea is to do this form of meditation at least twice a day. I would recommend it when you wake up and before bed.
If this is your first-time hearing about meditation, or you are looking for ways to improve your meditation practice while using CBD here are some super helpful tips:
- Find a quiet place where you can be alone.
- Place yourself in a comfortable position whether that be lying or sitting, you can even go for a walk.
- Set an intention for your meditation practice. Setting your intention means to focus your attention on a particular source, so that if your mind wonders you have somewhere to bring your attention back to. Your intention could be on your breath, a certain set of affirmations, or the reason that you wanted to start meditating in the first place.
- One misconception about meditation is that you must control every thought that pops in your head, this is impossible. Instead, focus on allowing thoughts to come and go with a visual. A great visual is to picture each thought like a train pulling up to a stop at a train station and then as it takes off, so does the thought. Do not feel upset with yourself for having a stream of thoughts. The point is to notice them and let them flow, without judgement.
- Also, start off with a 5-minute meditation and gradually increase your time at your own pace. It is your practice for a reason.
How Can CBD Contribute to Your Practice of Mediation?
Now that we discussed the benefits of CBD and had a glimpse into meditation let’s discuss how you can use them together. CBD and Meditation taken separately, both show similar benefits such as relief from anxiety, pain, stress, issues with sleep, and promote relaxation and over-all calmness so why not combine them? The combination would be helpful for those who have tried meditation and felt as though it was not for them because the mind was too busy racing. For example, A study carried out by Yale University showed that meditation was linked to a decrease in activity as it related to the default mode network which is responsible for mind-wandering. While on the other hand previous studies have shown that CBD shows anti-panic properties, reducing anxiety related symptoms. CBD can possibly aid in your meditation by being your assistant into that calm, cool and collected state that you desire.
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About the author
Jessica Christion is an aspiring Marriage and Family Therapist to serve youth and their families. Her goal and passion is to spread mental health awareness through casual conversation and comfortability. She also enjoys writing poetry and has authored a book of poetry called Aliens Blood.