On a scale from 1 to 10, how stressed are you? Are you pretty good at managing stress? Or is it getting out of hand — to the point where it’s affecting your ability to function day-to-day?
Here’s the weird thing about stress: as much as we all hate it and wish it would just go away, we actually need it. Stress is our body’s natural response to potentially dangerous situations, and research shows that stress can actually improve our memory and boost our performance.
But we run into problems when we can’t turn our stress off. When our thoughts are racing and we’re in a constant state of freaking out, that’s the point where we need an escape hatch.
For many, that escape hatch comes in the form of meditation, which has numerous health benefits such as reducing stress and controlling anxiety.
And now there’s a new holistic health trend: people are starting to incorporate CBD into their meditation practice.
For some, this may seem like a novel, interesting idea. For others, this may run counter to their meditation philosophy. After all, isn’t it better to rely solely on the power of meditation alone without using any external substances to supplement it?
Is it really a good idea to incorporate CBD into your meditation practice?
What CBD Is and What Does It Do
Perhaps the largest objection to introducing CBD or anything cannabis-related into a meditation practice is the fear that you’ll be intoxicated.
So let’s address that first.
Cannabidiol, otherwise known as CBD, is a cannabinoid – a class of chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant — that has a wide range of therapeutic potential.
CBD is non-psychoactive, which means you won’t feel intoxicated when you consume it. This puts it in stark contrast to THC, the cannabinoid that is responsible for marijuana’s psychoactive effects.
That being said, CBD does has many health benefits: it relieves pain, anxiety, inflammation, and it can act as a muscle relaxant.
CBD Can Help You Get in the Right State of Mind For Meditation
People meditate for a variety of reasons: to de-stress, clear their minds, and exercise more control over their thoughts.
Additionally, many people turn to meditation as a spiritual practice, hoping to reach higher states of consciousness and attain spiritual enlightenment.
But getting into meditation practice for the first time isn’t easy. If you’re intimidated by the idea of meditating even 10 minutes a day, and the idea of sitting still for that long is enough to make your skin crawl, it can be hard to convince yourself to dive in and just try it out.
Even if you are an experienced practitioner, you may find it difficult on some days to settle yourself down and get engaged in the practice.
This is when CBD can become a powerful ally. If you consume the right dosage, you can lower some of that anxiety and nervousness and get yourself into a place where you’re calm and able to sit still and do the practice.
Using CBD to Treat Meditation-Related Pain
Traditional meditation requires that you maintain a sitting position that might become uncomfortable over time. For example, if you’re trying to meditate, but you have chronic back, knee, or hip pain, meditation might make that pain worse, discouraging you from continuing your practice.
CBD can help reduce pain and inflammation without the side effects of certain prescription and over-the-counter drugs, making it much easier for you to maintain those sitting positions without being uncomfortable.
2 Objections That People Have to Use CBD In Their Meditation Practice
1. “You Shouldn’t Use External Substances to Help You Meditate”
There’s a common belief in certain meditation traditions that students should not use “external substances” to help them meditate. That it’s a shortcut somehow, or that because something comes from outside of us, it’s not as trustworthy as the natural process of using our own physical and mental faculties to meditate.
This is a totally valid argument. One thing to consider, however, is that people have been combining cannabis and meditation for thousands of years – the practice goes all the way back to ancient India. Tantric practitioners would ingest a drink known as bhang — which was a type of cannabis-infused milk — to supplement their meditation practices, allowing them to reach mystical states of consciousness.
Of course, if you’re a beginning meditator, it’s probably not the best idea to drink bhang — which is psychoactive — and sit down for an hour-long meditation session. That type of beverage is recommended only for experienced meditators and cannabis users.
But CBD — which is non-psychoactive — shouldn’t catapult you into an overwhelming altered state of consciousness. When used appropriately, it should make the act of meditating much easier.
Which brings us to the second objection, which is really an extension of the first…
2. “Making Meditation Easier Defeats the Purpose of Meditation”
There’s also a school of thought that, when meditating, we shouldn’t take any substance that helps to calm us down or eliminate distracting thoughts. Rather, the benefit of meditation is learning how to bring our awareness back to the meditation after we get distracted. That’s what makes it a practice in the first place.
We get distracted all the time in real life; meditation teaches us how to return to our center when that happens. We learn to keep returning to our center in our meditation practice so that we’ll get better at doing that same thing in real life. So if we make our meditation practice easier by taking CBD, we’re defeating the whole purpose.
Again, this is a valid argument. But sometimes, both in meditation and in life, you need help. For some, that means drinking chamomile tea. For others, it’s anti-anxiety medication.
And for some people, it’s CBD.
If you’re able to meditate without needing CBD, and you actually feel that it hampers you from getting the most out of your meditation practice, then you obviously shouldn’t use it. But if you’re someone who struggles with chronic stress or anxiety, and you need “training wheels” to help you get to a place where you can begin to benefit from a meditation practice, CBD is a valid option.
How to Incorporate CBD Into Your Meditation Practice
There are four different ways we’d recommend incorporating CBD into your meditation practice: vaping, tinctures, edibles, and topicals.
A vape pen is a convenient way to consume CBD right before your mediation session. Vaporized CBD acts very quickly, so you won’t have to sit around and wait for it to take effect.
CBD tinctures are extremely popular and can be applied directly under the tongue, where they are absorbed sublingually. Tinctures act fairly quickly as well, though activation times may vary depending on how much of the liquid gets absorbed in the mouth and how much is swallowed.
CBD edibles allow you to consume higher doses of CBD so that you can treat severe chronic pain if necessary. But you may have to wait at least 30 minutes for them to take effect.
If you’re suffering from joint pain or muscle pain while meditating, a CBD lotion, salve, or balm can help alleviate the discomfort in that specific area.
Using THC and CBD
If you are an experienced meditator and cannabis user, and you’re interested in exploring altered states of consciousness with cannabis, you may want to consider a 1:1 THC-CBD product that contains equal parts THC and CBD.
So while you’re getting the relaxing, pain-relieving effects of CBD, you’re also getting the same benefits from the THC along with the psychoactive effects.
Interested in learning more about the CBD products we have in stock? Visit us at any of our three locations — Las Vegas Strip, Tropicana West, and Henderson — and one of our dispensary consultants will help you out. And if you already know what you want ahead of time, you can avoid waiting in line by placing an online order for either pickup or delivery!