Cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive compound of the cannabis plant, is taking the world by storm thanks to its many therapeutic and medicinal applications. Now practitioners of meditation and yoga are finding that the balance it provides is beneficial for cultivating mindfulness.
Using CBD for Mindfulness Boosts Focus
According to the renowned Indian Vipassana meditation teacher S.N. Goenka, there are two primary obstacles to successful meditation. The first is drowsiness.
It makes sense, right? When we’re tired, our minds wander more freely. Being mindful requires a special type of focus and this becomes more difficult the drowsier a person is. It is something that happens to everyone, but it’s not conducive to good meditation.
CBD has been shown to increase alertness and focus when taken in low doses. It isn’t a stimulant (caffeine is much more powerful and mind-altering than CBD), and you won’t get the jitters. It simply allows you to focus a little more, helping you keep your mind on your breath or your pose and not on what you are making for dinner that night.
Clears Worry and Doubt
Goenka’s second obstacle is worry.
Worry is expressed in multiple ways. We all know how intrusive worries can be when we’re trying to cultivate a mindful state. But there are other worries that are even more detrimental than those related to paying rent and arguing with your significant other.
We’re talking about doubt.
Thinking you’re doing it wrong, that everyone else is chatting with the Buddha on the plane of enlightenment, that you’re not feeling what you’re supposed to—all of these thoughts are poison to proper practice.
CBD can help to reduce the occurrence of worry and doubt, as it has been shown to help relieve anxiety. Worry and doubt are symptoms of anxiety that you don’t need to suffer from an anxiety disorder to display.
You also don’t need to have a disorder to find relief from them by using CBD.
Sometimes life is tough and our insecurities can invade our mindful space. Using CBD for mindfulness can help keep your practice free from doubt and worry.
Reduces Intrusive Thoughts
Some intrusive thoughts are worries, and others are just due to your mind wandering. We all know how it feels to have a song or a scene from a movie stuck in our heads. No matter how many times you go back to the breath, it just keeps popping up!
This lack of control can make trying to achieve mindfulness very frustrating, but CBD can help.
Studies have shown that CBD can calm overactivity in the brain that may contribute to intrusive thoughts.
This doesn’t mean that CBD is a magical mindfulness supplement that will allow you to clear your mind and wake up from the Matrix. It simply means that you’ll have more control over those pesky thoughts that won’t stop cropping up. When you push them away, they’ll stay away.
Soothes Joint and Muscle Pain
You may not have guessed that worry and drowsiness were the biggest obstacles to mindfulness practice, but there’s one issue that everyone complains about: pain!
Whether it’s leg cramps and joint pain from lengthy, motionless sittings or sore muscles from yoga, pain can keep you from finding clarity and act as a deterrent to further practice.
Many studies have suggested that CBD is an effective treatment for pain management.
Some use CBD for chronic pain, but it’s equally popular for localized pain in muscles and joints. If you have trouble with knee or lower back pain, apply a CBD topical cream before meditating. You’ll be able to sit more comfortably for longer.
If you suffer from pain post yoga practice, a CBD pain cream or balm can work wonders. Apply after your session to soothe your muscles and joints.
Gentle and Natural
CBD extracted from organic hemp is 100 percent natural and gentle on your system. It is not an intoxicant, but a natural, plant-based supplement, which makes it about as intoxicating as a cup of herbal tea. (Keep in mind, you should always consult with your doctor before taking any new supplement or vitamin, especially if you’re currently on medication.)
If you think that taking CBD for mindfulness may benefit your meditation or yoga practice, start by selecting a quality, responsibly-sourced CBD oil product.
Benjamin Gorman is a writer and editor who specializes in cannabis, health, and wellness. Currently based wherever he can find a bit of sunshine, he enjoys going to the beach and writing fiction in his free time.