Can CBD help with Yoga and Meditation?

A trend that we've noticed recently is combining mental and physical therapy routines (yoga, meditation - even massage) with the curative qualities of CBD. It's become such a craze that many yoga studios across the UK have started selling CBD oils in their studios. So what's the story behind the techniques and the extract? We take a closer look.


Point of note

Before we start namaste-ing on you, we practice yoga and meditation, but we're by no means experts in the field (we'd quiz anyone who thinks they are a master of the subject). This is written from our own experiences of encountering the various techniques. We know meditation is a personal method of discovery - there's no one way to meditate, just as there's no single way to take CBD.


What is Stress?

Biologically-speaking, stress isn't such a bad thing. It's used as the body's warning signal of potentially dangerous situations, making your heart race, your breath quicken, and prepping your muscles for action. In some cases, we even find stress helpful - such as keeping us awake to finish those late-night final projects.

It's really when stress is left unmanaged; it becomes more of a problem. Long-term elevated levels can cause headaches, depression, and even lead to severe complications such as heart trauma, diabetes and stroke.


What is Meditation?

Typically, meditation is defined as a method of slowing the mind down and entering a more peaceful, tranquil state. This typically takes the form of yoga, and many of the techniques today arise from Buddhist thought. Still, it's worth remembering that many other cultures have practised meditative techniques - the shamanic states of the Celts and many indigenous American/Canadian tribes both focused the mind by looking inward.

More recently (or the last several hundred years), meditation has become a popular stress relief technique and mental exercise for people crossing many religions and beliefs.

There's a vast collection of forms and practices, but the techniques typically require you to centre your attention or relax it entirely in a space without distraction. There are two primary forms of meditation:

Concentration Meditation – Suggests focusing continually on a single action, word or object - such as deep breathing or keeping your mind directed toward a flame.

Mindfulness meditation – Focuses on being in the present moment; absorbing your surroundings without judgement. This often involves considering, accepting and letting go of your current physical and mental states.

History of meditation and marijuana

When we talk about marijuana and meditation, this isn't a new subject - the conversation has its roots in many ancient cultures. In Mahākāla Tantra (a deity in Buddhism, Sikhism and Hinduism who protects its worshippers against illness), cannabis and other psychoactive plants are specifically prescribed for medicinal purposes.

In the Vedas, one of the sacred Hindu texts (written around 1500 BC), cannabis was one of five sacred plants. It was even thought a guardian angel lived in its aromatic leaves.

It’s also important to remember that CBD has no psychoactive properties. This makes the compound closer to relaxing with a green tea (traditionally used in many ancient Buddhist ceremonies) than those euphoric states derived from THC-heavy marijuana.


Can CBD help with meditation?

CBD shares many meditative techniques’ restorative effects. Namely, the potential to help centre the mind and create an overall “body calm” - particularly when it comes to eliminating potential distractions.

In addition to tranquillity, CBD can be used to aid muscle recovery and reduce any inflammation that might be caused by more rigorous physical yoga practices (check out our article on exercise for more on this). With these in mind, you can see how CBD might work in tandem with yoga and meditation.


Should I take CBD before a yoga class?

We should probably point out that dropping a couple of CBD tinctures before a meditation or yoga class might not be the best way to go about it. Typically, it takes around 15 minutes to feel the full effects of the compound, and it partly defeats the purpose of the practice - finding strength of mind and being able to return to the calmative state continually. However, if CBD helps you to clear your mind easier, you might think of it as similar to your yoga mat - a tool for helping you feel calm, comfortable and ready to meditate.

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