As you inhale and exhale deeply in preparation for your next meditation session, consider doing it with CBD – because this little molecule goes together with meditative practice in a dreamy kind of way…
It’s commonly known that the cannabis plant has served as an enthogen (a substance used in religious or spiritual context) for an extremely long time. There’s evidence of its use as far back as 2000BC in Shamanic, Pagan, Aztec, Greek and Vedic cultures as a means to enhance the effects of a practice and aid in the focus and peace needed to achieve enlightenment. Even today, this ancient and revered botanical species is still held in high regard and used readily where legal, and now many of us have found a contemporary way to introduce this plant to our own meditations – CBD oil.
Not everyone wants the high feeling imparted by cannabis which doesn’t have the THC removed, not to mention the fact that it’s not legal to use in this country (unless prescribed as medical cannabis). However, what we now know about Cannabidiol (CBD) has enabled us to understand how (even without the psychoactive molecule) it might help you enter that calm, trance-like state we hope to achieve through deep, meditative practice.
Why are CBD and meditation a great combo?
The way CBD interacts with the body lends itself to maintaining perfect balance – something which any yogi will tell you is an essential part of finding your inner Om. As we attempt to connect our mind, body and soul, introducing CBD can help take care of physical and emotional alignment for a sense of relaxation, focus, and even energy if that’s what you need.
First and foremost, let’s take a look at our own endocannabinoid, Anandamide. Named after the Sanskrit word for ‘bliss’ it should be clear right off the bat that this is something that plays a vital role in meditation.
This neurotransmitter is released by the body as needed, which can be in times of exertion, pain, during intense exercise or intense focus like meditation. It then makes its way to the brain where it attaches itself to cannabinoid receptors to induce a sense of tranquillity.
Scientists believe that higher levels of Anandamide equate to increased happiness and reduced cortisol, as well as a fight or flight response that’s kept properly in check. This endocannabinoid is an essential part of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) which works constantly to bring a state of balance to the mind and body.
When you enjoy a meditation session, it’s quite normal to find yourself in a state where you have become so engrossed in the practice that time flies by. Your focus is entirely on the task at hand, you allow your mind to release any busy thought, you are still and content. Eventually parts of your frontal brain temporarily switch off, leaving you without a sense of self, will and self-criticism. This mindset has been dubbed ‘a state of flow’ by Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, who explained during his 2004 TED talk that becoming totally absorbed in a creative task is the ‘secret to happiness’.
Existence outside that activity becomes temporarily suspended and for a short while, anything feels possible. When you are in a state of flow, your body naturally begins to produces higher levels of Anandamide for a whoosh of bliss – just one of the reasons why meditation is so good for you!
But not all of us produce healthy levels of this endocannabinoid. In fact, cannabis expert Dr Ethan Russo coined the term ‘endocannabinoid deficiency’ which he believes can occur as a result of things like chronic stress, lack of quality sleep and poor diet. Meditation is one of things we can employ to naturally boost endocannabinoid levels – and so is CBD.
If you take a dose of your Kloris CBD oil half an hour or so before starting your meditation, you will give your body a head start on Anandamide production. The CBD molecule supports the release of Anandamide and inhibits the enzyme which breaks it down, meaning it lasts longer and builds up faster than it would without the help of Cannabidiol.
The meditation cocktail
Anandamide isn’t the only pleasure and performance enhancing neurotransmitter released during meditation – serotonin and dopamine come out too! All of these are responsible for blocking pain, feelings of happiness and satisfaction.
Incredibly, CBD also directly activates these receptors, meaning a dose of CBD works in synergy with your body’s natural response to meditation.
If you’re now keen to try mixing CBD and meditation, head on over to our shop where you’ll find a selection of dropper oils to take before your practice, and an on-the-go CBD balm to work out any physical tensions after.