Yoga’s roots trace back to India almost 5,000 years ago, where it began as a way to create a deep mind-body connection achieved through consistent and conscious practice.
Not surprisingly, the cannabis plant was a sacred part of India’s culture during yoga’s birth and integration.
Combining marijuana and yoga has been around long before it became popular in western culture. The recent legalization for medicinal and recreational use in several states has only added to the hype.
THC, the psychoactive cannabinoid in marijuana, has a number of health benefits and can make for a very interesting yoga experience.
But we will be saving that topic for another time…
Our focus will be on the other major cannabinoid, CBD, and how it can enhance your yoga practice.
What is CBD?
CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a cannabinoid that’s found in the hemp and marijuana plant. CBD can be found in other cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and kale, but the hemp plant is where it is most abundant.
CBD has been increasing in popularity because of its therapeutic benefits associated with cannabis but without any psychoactive effects.
CBD and THC are two of the many phytocannabinoids found in the cannabis plant and have significant therapeutic properties.
Both are being studied in the treatment of a wide variety of diseases like Alzheimer’s, Dementia, epilepsy, psoriasis, autoimmune diseases, Crohn’s disease, and many others. These studies have even reached clinical(human) trials and are showing some extremely promising results.
CBD, the non-psychoactive compound in cannabis, is a wonderful complement to yoga practice because of its soothing effects on our nervous system.
The Endocannabinoid System
If you’ve never heard of the endocannabinoid system, that’s because they do not teach about it in public schools.
You can thank the government for leaving it out of the educational curriculum due to cannabis prohibition in the 60s and 70s.
It wasn’t until the 90s and early 2000s that the stance on marijuana, hemp, and research on the endocannabinoid system shed new light on the amazing properties of this whole body system.
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a central regulatory system in the body that coordinates functions of the immune, nervous, and digestive systems to keep the body in balance.
What is the primary function of the endocannabinoid system?
Achieving homeostasis by connecting multiple body systems together symbiotically.
Receptors for the Endocannabinoid System are located throughout the body, which is why the ECS is responsible for regulating so many bodily functions. The two primary receptors are the CB1 and CB2 receptors.
CB1 receptors are primarily located in the brain and central nervous system.
THC, the other primary cannabinoid, binds to CB1 receptors in the brain which causes the psychoactive effect associated with smoking marijuana.
CB2 receptors are located in the immune system, cardiovascular system, and musculoskeletal system, and is also located throughout the layers of the skin. CBD binds primarily to CB2 receptors, which gives it powerful anti-inflammatory properties because of its effect on the immune system.
By bonding with our body’s CB1 and CB2 receptors, CBD not only helps to maintain vital health functions―it helps to restore balance within the body on a global scale.
How CBD can enhance your yoga practice
CBD, when applied topically, absorbs into your skin and activates your endocannabinoid system.
CBD combats inflammation at the cellular level by specifically targeting CB2 receptors located in the immune system, which controls our inflammatory response. It suppresses the inflammatory response and pathways, stimulating the production of regulatory cells, and managing our pain perception.
CBD also binds to CB1 receptors in the central nervous system. This helps your brain sense that you’re experiencing pain and inflammation.
CBD then coordinates with the endocannabinoid system to allow the nerves to relax and reduce the area that is having pain and inflammation.
When combined, CBD and yoga work in harmony together to relax the mind and make us more aware of our bodies. This allows us to deepen our yoga practice and the mind-body connection.
Our minds and bodies are put to the test on a daily basis, forcing apart the connection we are trying to maintain called homeostasis. Yoga helps us realign our center through breath work, poses, and sometimes meditation.
Both CBD and yoga calm our sympathetic nervous system, the “flight or fight” response, and allow the parasympathetic nervous system to take over. CBD may not get you high, but it can greatly enhance the relaxing effects of yoga.
The benefits of a topical CBD cream/salve are that it can bypass the digestive system and go to work directly at the application site. This is exactly what you want when choosing a product to enhance your yoga practice and target specific areas of tightness/inflammation.
Which CBD product is right for you
CBD has become a hundred million dollar industry, with everyone and their mother starting a CBD company. This is great for spreading the word about the many benefits of CBD but bad for someone looking to find a company that offers a reliable product at an affordable price.
So how do you determine which companies are legitimate, and which are just looking to make a quick buck and get out before the dust settles?
That question doesn’t have a clear answer, but one thing you should focus on is finding a company that has third-party lab results available on their website for consumers to compare.
Transparency is very important when it comes to taking something for your health.
We’ve partnered with a few companies that we trust and have personal experience using their products. They have great reviews, exceptional customer service and include third-party lab results on their websites.
Family-owned and operated, Joy Organics provides the highest-quality CBD products with customer service to match. They began out of necessity after the founder discovered that almost all of the big CBD companies were using less than desirable extraction methods. The team at Joy Organics works tirelessly to provide the purest, most bioavailable broad-spectrum hemp oil on the market. They are constantly launching new products in skin care, tinctures, salves, and CBD pet products.
We recommend their topical CBD salve for targeted pain relief and inflammation, or their oil tinctures that come in various flavors like mint, orange, and lemon. Not sure which CBD product is right for you? They have a short quiz available that will help you decide which CBD product can best benefit you. Click here to take their CBD product quiz. You can use our coupon code cbdyoga619 at checkout to receive 15% off your purchase!
If you’re looking for a company that only focuses on one thing and makes it better than all the others, CBDPure is where it’s at. They produce a potent CBD oil that comes in a variety of dosage levels for the beginner user, to people looking for a high therapeutic effect. Grown in Colorado, they provide quality full-spectrum hemp oil and perform extensive third-party testing, with a 90-day money back guarantee to back up their product. They have a whole section on their website showing test results for cannabinoid profiling, pesticide and microbial testing, and terpene analysis. They have CBD oil starting at 100mg per bottle for the new CBD-goer, all the way to 600mg bottles for the veteran user. You can use our coupon code SDYOGA at checkout to receive 15% off your purchase!
Specializing in skin care and anti-aging products, CBD BioCare is putting its focus on the powerful anti-inflammatory effects of CBD. They provide a full-spectrum hemp oil base combined with other pharmaceutical-grade skin care products like collagen, emu oil, and stem cells. Their apple stem cell rejuvenation cream helps stimulate the growth of skin stem cells to create new tissue. This reduces the aging effects of wrinkles and dark spots while improving skin elasticity and firmness.
They also have an anti-aging moisturizer designed to reduce wrinkles, as well as a collagen retinol cream that helps heal sun-damaged skin. Our favorite product they carry is designed for post-workout recovery, their CBD Pain Relief Roll-On Gel. It combines the power of cryotherapy and CBD to deliver the ultimate anti-inflammatory blend for sore muscles and joints.
The most important thing you need to understand is that CBD is not a cure-all…and neither is yoga.
The key to getting the most out of CBD along with your yoga practice is to be consistent. Try to implement a regular CBD regimen and keep track of how you feel each day while taking it.
Taking CBD sporadically will not get you the results you want, nor will practicing yoga once a week.
Consistency is the only thing that matters if you want to see a real positive change in your body and mind.