Meditation is the ancient art of letting your mind relax to find clarity within the world around you. While Japanese and Indian meditation practices have become the most common in the West, practically every culture has its own form of meditation, and the basic principles behind this practice have remained the same for millennia.
CBD is a relatively new phenomenon, but already, meditation experts and novices alike are embracing the unique power this cannabinoid brings to the meditative experience. In this guide, learn why so many people are using CBD for meditation, and decide for yourself if CBD is something you want to use while meditating.
CBD, meditation, and the endocannabinoid system
Unlike THC, which primarily stimulates your CB1 and CB2 receptors, CBD mainly exerts its effects via your TRPV1 and 5-HT1A receptors. The CB1 and CB2 receptors are the primary biochemical components of the endocannabinoid system (ECS), and stimulating these receptors causes this complex biological system to operate on overdrive.
By stimulating your TRPV1 and 5-HT1A receptors, on the other hand, CBD appears to gently activate your endocannabinoid system without making you feel intoxicated or high. Recent scientific research indicates that the ECS is a vital regulatory system that has effects throughout the entire body, and it appears that one of the main functions of the endocannabinoid system is to help your body become balanced and relaxed.
In this way, it appears that CBD and meditation play similar roles. By gently stimulating and boosting the endocannabinoid system, CBD appears to help the cannabinoids your body produces (endocannabinoids) in their task of keeping you balanced and healthy. Similarly, meditation is often conceived as the process of bringing your body and mind into balance to achieve higher states of physical and mental well-being.
CBD for anxiety: the meditation connection
There are lots of factors that might prevent us from meditating effectively. Our minds are imprinted with programs that constantly tell us that we need to eat, drink, preserve our social standing, and perform all sorts of other tasks that don’t comport well with meditation. In some cases, these worldly voices can become so intense that they cause anxiety, which makes it hard to sit, reflect, and find that center of peace inside ourselves.
Aspiring meditators who suffer from anxiety might be pleased to know that the potential anxiolytic (anxiety-reducing) effects of CBD have been studied in considerable detail. Cannabidiol has been researched for its effects on general forms of anxiety, and the effects of CBD on social anxiety have also been investigated.
Perhaps most importantly, CBD has also been studied for its benefits for anxiety in the context of sleep. Like meditating, going to sleep often entails clearing your mind, overcoming the stresses of the day, and finding a calm center within yourself.
Unfortunately, no research has yet been conducted to determine the benefits of CBD for meditation specifically. Based on this cannabinoid’s theorized impact on the endocannabinoid system and anxiety, however, it’s understandable that so many meditators have decided to try CBD in their contemplative practices.
CBD isn’t habit-forming, and it won’t get you high
Over the years, a variety of substances have been used in conjunction with meditation. In the 1960s, hippie culture popularized both meditation and LSD, and in some cases, these methods of inner exploration were enjoyed simultaneously. More recently, some meditators have advocated the use of marijuana during navel-gazing sessions, and this trend has only picked up speed as THC-rich Cannabis sativa has become more widely available across the nation.
In the end, however, meditation and intoxicating drugs don’t mix well. Even though it’s considered to be non-addictive, LSD is nothing to be trifled with, and this hallucinogen can cause mental health issues when used habitually. THC, on the other hand, is highly addictive, and if you use this substance to meditate, it might become hard to draw the line between the effects THC causes and the legitimate fruits of your meditative practice.
CBD is nothing like THC, LSD, or any other addictive or mind-altering drug. This cannabinoid is non-intoxicating, so it won’t get you high, and it also doesn’t appear to have any addictive properties. Therefore, there’s no reason to expect that using CBD might disrupt your meditative practice via dependence or line-blurring intoxication.
Should meditation be easier?
Even if CBD helps with meditation by reducing anxiety and bringing your body and mind into balance, is it desirable to make getting into a meditative state easier? That all depends on who you ask and the school of meditation you’re pursuing.
Some forms of meditation, for instance, are all about experiencing the soothing, blissful state of deep meditation. When you’re pursuing this sort of spiritual exercise, it doesn’t especially matter how you get into the meditative state or how difficult it is to start meditating. The experiences and realizations that occur while you’re meditating are the most important.
Other meditative schools, however, place greater importance on the process of meditating itself. While the fascinating, uplifting experiences you enjoy during deep states of meditation are all well and good, practitioners or more ascetic forms of meditation teach that training yourself to recapture the meditate state even in adverse circumstances is most important.
If you’re training yourself to be able to meditate regardless of the state of your body and mind, taking CBD for meditation might not be the right option. If you’re new to meditation, however, or the meditative experience is more important than the path you took to get there, you might find that CBD is the exact kind of non-intoxicating, relaxing cannabinoid to help you find your inner zen.
Smoking or vaping CBD might offer the fastest effects
Regardless of why you’re using CBD to meditate, you might find that inhaling this cannabinoid provides the most beneficial effects. If you’re having trouble getting into the meditative zone, for instance, but you’re worried about CBD impacting your meditation experience, the fact that inhaling CBD offers quick, potent effects before dissipating just as rapidly may make this ingestion method the best solution.
Even if you don’t especially care how long the effects of CBD persist into your meditative experience, the potent effects offered by CBD inhalation deliver this cannabinoid’s benefits more quickly than any other ingestive mechanism. If you’re meditating in a group, sharing a CBD pre-roll or a vape pen with your fellow contemplators might be the perfect way to set the mood for your session and help everybody find their personal bliss.
CBD for overall health and well-being
After learning about the benefits of CBD for meditation, you might want to use this cannabinoid in conjunction with your meditative practice, or you might not. Whether you use CBD while you meditate or not, however, it can’t be denied that this non-intoxicating cannabinoid is the perfect companion to the ardent meditator’s lifestyle.
Like meditation, the primary purpose of CBD is to balance your body and bring your mind into a greater state of harmony. Also like meditation, CBD doesn’t appear to have any serious side effects, and you can’t overdose on either CBD or finding your zen.You might want to use CBD right before you meditate, or you might want to enjoy the benefits of this cannabinoid after you come back down to Earth to savor your calm mindset a little while longer. Either way, it’s clear that the benefits of CBD and the benefits of meditation go hand in hand. Learn more about CBD at the Secret Nature blog, and drop us a line if you have any questions.