The Therapeutic Synergy Of Cannabidiol (CBD) and Yoga
Posted on April 28th, 2020 to Education
Hemp plants are among the most valuable resources on earth. The plant is so versatile that it can be used for over 25,000 different applications. That’s why it’s no surprise that hemp and CBD pair well with so many different things. While some pairings involve a little more chemistry such as adding terpenes to CBD, others are more spiritual and energetic in nature.
One of the most healing CBD experiences we’ve discovered is CBD yoga. This practice is especially near and dear to our heart because yoga is associated with the ancient language Sanskrit—the same language our company name “RopaNa” (to heal one’s self) comes from.
We’ve found using CBD before yoga can have a tremendous positive impact on your experience. Curious to learn how? Read on for more!
Benefits of Yoga
Holistic wellness takes the health of all body systems into consideration including body, mind and soul. This is why we consider yoga to be an essential element in our approach to wellness.
Practicing yoga has many therapeutic benefits. Some of those benefits can help alleviate feelings of anxiety or depression. A systematic review of the effectiveness of yoga for the treatment of anxiety and anxiety disorders published in 2004 found that yoga did, in fact, reduce many of these symptoms. The yoga group showed significant improvement for OCD subjects—a 38.4% reduction in symptoms, to be precise. Research subjects with anxiety also reported clinically significant improvements.
A 2013 meta analysis also found that, “…yoga could be considered an ancillary treatment option for patients with depressive disorders and individuals with elevated levels of depression.”
The benefits of yoga extend to the body as well. Evidence suggests yoga “…may improve quality of life for diabetes patients, reduce cardiovascular disease risk factors, and even help people manage high blood pressure” according to a 2015 Vox meta analysis. The same Vox article also cites several research papers that associate the efficacy of yoga in managing body awareness and improving body satisfaction.
CBD and yoga are truly a divine match. After all, since CBD produces potent anti-inflammatory and anti-psychotic effects it is logical this compound could help you become more comfortable with your body.
Part of the reason why these two go so well together is yoga can help activate messengers within our endocannabinoid systems (ECS).
Stretching, for instance, has been shown to activate ECS receptors in muscles. Activating these receptors could theoretically allow for greater cannabinoid engagement.
CBD also helps yogis maintain mindfulness and joy. This is because CBD is shown to help prevent the breakdown of Anandamide in the body. Anandamide is known as the “bliss molecule”, so preventing its breakdown in the body can result in a surge of positive feeling. Many yogis report this helps them reside more peacefully in their bodies, promoting mindfulness and relaxation.
How Can I Add CBD to My Yoga Practice?
The most common thing we hear from the participants in our class is that CBD helps quiet the mind and allows you to enter a deeper state of meditation. Students also experience an enhanced mind-body connection when using CBD that allows you to be more present in your practice.
We suggest yogis looking to use CBD try our CBD oils (tinctures). The minor cannabinoids found in the full spectrum line may also have additional benefits. CBG (Cannabigerol), for instance, has been shown to boost anandamide concentrations in the body.
Our CBD Nectar THC-FREE tincture is also a great option for discreet, on-the-go use as it’s odorless and tasteless. That means you can use it freely wherever you are without having to worry about a tell-tale hemp smell. Some of our customers also find that using the isolate is preferable to full spectrum oils as a full spectrum oil can make them feel sleepy. This sleepy feeling is likely due to a reaction to the small amount of THC in the full spectrum oils.
Tinctures have been great for helping us become centered in the practice mentally, melting away any anxiety. Rachael often needs to take the tincture before practice if she’s having tingling sensations in her limbs from her fibromyalgia. I find myself able to be more mindful and present in the moment.
Because tinctures typically take 20-30 minutes to activate we recommend making it a ritual to take CBD before your yoga practice. Try this by having an intention in mind of how you want the CBD to work for you and aid you in your practice. Meditate and focus on your intention while waiting for the CBD to take effect.
Transdermal/Topical CBD Applications
Transdermal CBD applications have also been shown to help with localized muscle/joint pain and swelling. Our topical CBD salve are customer favorite for these purposes and many find they become more comfortable in their bodies. Topicals can also be a powerful ally in post-workout recovery. Professional athletes are using CBD more and more as they recognize its healing potential.
Each large salve contains 200 mg of CBD as well as cocoa and shea butters, beeswax, vitamin E and jojoba oils. Salves come in three great scents, as well as an unscented option for those sensitive to smell:
Pingala Warming (with added clove and cinnamon)
Ida Cooling (peppermint, lavender, patchouli)
Seasonal (frankincense, lavender)
The Goddess Rub is another CBD salve we offer specifically formulated with women’s menstrual cramps in mind. It contains a special in-house blend of botanical essential oils that have been used to fight pain and inflammation throughout generations. The three oils that come together in this synergistic blend are Geranium Rose, Clary Sage and Coriander.
We suggest you apply a generous amount of salve to the affected area. Take some time to slowly work the salve into skin, massaging gently as you go. Users report our salve takes 10-20 minutes to kick in, with reports of relief lasting up to four hours. You can apply topicals before a practice if you’re feeling a little stiff, or apply directly after your practice to help your body soothe and recover.
CBD Yoga: Best Practices
We’ve helped several yoga practitioners incorporate CBD into their practice.
One of our yoga studio retail partners, The Local Yoga Joint, offers CBD yoga classes. They have a restorative yoga class where the instructor Jocelyn guides her students into gentle yoga poses, then comes around with CBD salve samples students can apply. (edit: Unfortunately this studio has closed due to COVID-19)
We worked with another yoga teacher, Amanda of Inner Lift Yoga, who had never tried CBD before. We began the lesson with a quick informative session about CBD and yoga, placing emphasis on how CBD aids in mental relaxation, cellular repair for aged/damaged muscles and reduces pain/inflammation.
Amanda then urges the class to check in with themselves and see how the CBD has shifted the awareness within their bodies. We always provide a selection of every salve scent we offer to pick from when sampling, although we suggest the Ida Cooling salve because peppermint and lavender work together to treat sore muscles. The Goddess Rub can also be applied to the lower stomach for anyone suffering from menstrual cramps so that nothing holds them back from their practice.
The more mindful and intentional you are with your yoga practice while incorporating CBD, the more benefits you will receive. Our tip for people is to keep a CBD salve near your yoga mat so that if any pains arise, you can reach for some relief without getting completely pulled from your peaceful state of mind to go retrieve your jar.
We offer three options for making RopaNa part of your yoga class. Intrigued? Head to our page here for more information.
Have you tried using CBD and yoga before? What was your experience like?
Love and blessings,
Andrew and Rachael