Written by Liz Gold
We live in a complex and ever-changing world. Anxiety and depression run rampant, mental illness continues to go untreated for many people and we spend a great deal of time with digital devices in our hands or on our ears. How is it possible, with so many demands and information coming our way, to relax? To truly allow ourselves space to recover and ultimately, heal, even if it’s only for a small period of time?
Self-care is the answer.
Certainly, there are many ways one can choose to do this – exercise, creating art, talking to a friend, taking a nap, going for a walk – the options are endless. Any of these activities can be paired with cannabis to enhance the experience and set the scene for relaxation.
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) – aside from being identified as the two most well-known cannabinoids in cannabis – have a plethora of healing properties, including aiding in minimizing depression, anxiety, chronic pain and insomnia and serving as anti-inflammatory agents that can help heal any muscle soreness yoga may bring to the surface. The big difference, between CBD and THC, however, is that CBD won’t get you high.
Products with THC can be immensely helpful for those who practice yoga regularly. With the right strain and proper dose, cannabis can help a yogi relax into poses that may have previously brought up resistance and set the mind at ease. One vape, a dab or even an edible can help someone practicing yoga become more present and grounded while providing an altered state of awareness. Cannabis can also help a beginning yogi be more comfortable with trying something new, get more grounded into their body and focus on what’s important – movement and breathing.
For those who want to take advantage of the wellness aspects without the intoxicating effect, CBD is the way to go. It’s this reason that CBD is attracting consumers who have never dabbled in cannabis before, as well as an older demographic who want the therapeutic benefits without the intoxicating high. Considered a super vitamin, CBD works through multiple pathways in our bodies, while enhancing and optimizing wellness. As a result, CBD-infused products are becoming increasingly popular, especially among those who prefer to microdose.
CBD’s anti-anxiety effects are a perfect pairing for yoga. People come to yoga for a variety of reasons; to get centered in their busy lives, stretch, let go and find mindfulness. CBD is becoming even more popular in dealing with stress because of its ability to react directly with cell receptors, including serotonin and dopamine receptors in the central and peripheral nervous systems. Because of how CBD interacts with these particular receptors, more of these neurotransmitters can flow through the body, resulting in wellbeing. In other words, combining CBD and yoga ease our nervous systems helping us to move out of a “flight or fight” stress response to a more relaxing state. The relationship is symbiotic; once we are able to be calmer, our practice deepens. It also helps us to focus and enhance mental clarity, which will strengthen any yoga session.
That said, it can be hard to slow down. If yoga is difficult or challenging, consuming CBD before a yoga class will heighten the physical sensations in the body as well as enhance a mind-body connection. More body awareness paired with the calming effects of CBD can transform a mood, bring on a more relaxed state and promote more intention – both in movement and in breath. CBD also can help increase sleep quality – which for any yogi is important as one builds a regular and sustainable practice.
There are many ways to consume CBD, including inhaling or vaping, ingesting, using drops or extracts, or applying topicals. Here are a few hemp-derived CBD products that are available to non-card holders at any one of our locations. Pair one of these favorites with your next yoga class:
Oleo CBD Beverage Powders – Oleo’s Instant Coconut mix is naturally loaded with electrolytes, vitamins, minerals and made from 100 percent real coconut water. It’s been known to help with chronic pain, muscle spasm, and PMS.
Mary’s Muscle Freeze – An award-winning topical cream, Mary’s Muscle Freeze combines natural plant extracts for a soothing, cooling effect. Takes approximately 30 minutes to take effect.
CBD Lavender Geranium Soaking Salts – Made by Crow Point Herbal Apothecary in Boothbay Harbor, these soaking salts are handmade with pure ingredients and herbs. Enjoy a medicated bath that is non-psychoactive and provides relief for aches, pains, insomnia, depression, and anxiety.
CBD Bath/Body Massage Oil – With its fresh, clean mint aroma, this medicated body oil provides rejuvenation and relief for tension while promoting relaxation. Made by Crow Point Herbal Apothecary.