Check out our beginner’s meditation guide to learn how to practice mindfulness, and see how CBD can benefit your next meditation session. Can CBD help boost your meditation routine? This article breaks down the benefits of using CBD for meditation. If you have struggled with a meditation practice due to anxiety, restlessness, or pain, then CBD can be a great help. If you felt unsure or intimidated about using hemp oils, this guide will provide an overview of what CBD is and how to use it for mindfulness practices.
CBD Oil For Meditation
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How to Meditate with CBD: A Beginner’s Guide to Ultimate Mindfulness Anywhere
Oprah does it. Lady Gaga does it. Lebron James does it. In March 2020, Lizzo even did it on Instagram Live! You probably even have a couple of friends or family members that swear by it. What do all of these amazing people have in common? They all rely on meditation to keep them grounded.
Oprah, unsurprisingly, explained it best , “ Meditation is about getting still enough to know the difference between the voice and you. It’s a heightened state of being that lets whatever you’re doing be your best life, from moment to astonishing moment.”
We’ve explored mindfulness in the past , but let’s talk about how to get started on your meditation journey if you’ve never done it before. To take it a step deeper, we’ll explain how to meditate for beginners with the added benefit of CBD. Mindful meditation brings awareness to oneself and the present.
Meditation inspires acceptance and teaches us to turn our awareness to our emotions non-judgmentally. This may inspire thoughts of hippies sitting cross-legged in the desert, but meditation isn’t only for the New Age set. By practicing meditation, we can learn vital tips to calm down our minds and elevate our higher selves no matter where we are or what kind of lifestyle we prefer — even during the most stressful times.
What Is Meditation and Why Should We Do It?
Meditation can quell stress and anxiety brought on by stress hormones. Stress hormones, like cortisol, can go unmanaged for long periods of time. Left unchecked, our stress hormones can wreak havoc on our health, increasing difficulty managing emotions, and making it challenging to remember how to calm anxiety. Long-term pressure on our stress hormones can lead to physical symptoms like stomach pain, headaches and even issues with the heart .
By learning how to meditate, we can learn how to calm anxiety, and relatedly, teach ourselves how to calm down from even the most extreme stress like when one has a panic attack. Adding CBD to our meditation practice can help enhance our experiences and soothe ourselves faster. Let’s take some deep breaths and embark on our journey to learn how to meditate with CBD.
Meditation Meets CBD
Meditation is powerful on its own, but adding an extra boost can enhance your practice. Yogis have recognized the importance of incorporating medicinal herbs into the practice for centuries . According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, complementary alternative medicine approaches such as meditation practice may help people to heal more effectively due to stronger emotional and mental health.
Studies have found that people heal better if they have good emotional and mental health. Now, we’re seeing that adding CBD can be a game changer for people to support their meditation sessions. CBD can balance mood and retrain our bodies on how to calm anxiety temporarily. When you utilize CBD during meditation, you’re essentially reassociating calmness with the present. By adding CBD to calm anxiety, you are prepared to quiet judgement within.
How to Meditate with CBD
One of our favorite things about meditation is that even a few minutes of practice each day can make lasting impacts on your life. If you’re new to mindfulness meditation, follow these simple steps on how to meditate mindfully.
1. Take your CBD
CBD takes time to kick in, so be sure to dose your CBD ahead of meditation. Timing can vary due to factors like body composition and method of consumption . If you’re prepared an hour in advance, try a CBD edible like our hemp chocolate supplement . If you’re short on time, use sublingual oil like our Cold Pressed Lemon Full Spectrum Hemp Extract or inhalable methods like our smokable CBD pre-rolls . Due to higher rates of bioavailability , sublingual oil and hemp pre-rolls work quickly. Expect these CBD consumption methods to begin working within 15-20 minutes.
2. Relax and get comfy
When it comes to planning a setting for your mindfulness session, pick somewhere comfortable and if possible quiet. Mindfulness works best without interruption, so it’s good to be in a physical setting that allows you to be centered. Many mindfulness practitioners recommend making meditation a daily habit, and if this is something you would be interested in, we recommend practicing mindfulness in a similar place in order to form a routine. Also, in terms of setting, practice at similar times of day. If CBD tends to relax you, perhaps make time for your mindfulness practice near bedtime. No matter when you practice, find a spot that’s comfortable to you.
Once you’ve found a cozy place, it’s time to position yourself comfortably. We recommend that you take a seat for this one. Sitting cross-legged with a straight back or on a chair can be helpful to adjust your body to where it feels comfortable and steady. You may also find luck with kneeling or lying down. As with CBD, meditation is something you can take with you anywhere, and you can change your position to best suit the environment. Lying down isn’t the best method in an office setting, but it’s a great spot to practice sitting meditation. Now, settle into position, close your eyes, roll your shoulders out a bit and take a couple of deep breaths.
3. Focus on becoming aware of the present
Present awareness is the pinnacle of practicing mindfulness meditation. When you learn how to meditate, you’re educating yourself about engaging in the present moment, acknowledging your current state of being and recognizing fleeting thoughts and feelings. CBD helps ease the mind into the process of tuning in, especially for those working on learning how to calm anxiety.
Essentially, mindfulness meditation allows you to establish a healthy relationship with the present to make peace with yourself and reduce stress and anxiety. Present awareness may not always be the most comfortable experience. Throughout the duration, you might experience unpleasant thoughts, but this is all part of the process. Notice the thought, and then let it go. Facing problems can help us learn how to calm anxiety at its roots.
4. Center your attention on your body
Now, turn your attention to your body. Notice your hands, your neck, your legs, your toes. Pay attention to your heartbeat. Maybe your CBD has helped to quell your nerves a little. Maybe you are feeling physically uncomfortable.
Take this time to evaluate and adjust yourself. This is a common practice in mindfulness meditation known as a body scan. The body scan allows us to notice how we are physically feeling in the present moment. It unlocks sensations we may not have even realized we were experiencing. This in turn allows us to acknowledge where tension in our bodies may lie. Though simple, body scan meditation has been shown to significantly improve conditions such as insomnia, fatigue and even symptoms of depression .
5. Begin meaningful breathing exercises
While focusing on the body, also focus on your breath. Simple breathing exercises can go a long way. Notice yourself breathing in and out. Take time to notice the airflow within your body and as you exhale, pay attention to the release. Simple breathing exercises can go a long way. The ever popular 4-7-8 breathing exercise asks you to inhale through your nose for four seconds, hold your breath for seven seconds and exhale through your mouth for eight seconds. If you’re new to 4-7-8 technique, try it for four deep breaths.
For those of you who are practiced in breathwork meditation, try eight deep breaths. If your mind begins to wander, coming back to your breathing can be a useful method to stay in the practice. It might sound easy, but it can take some time to get used to and that’s okay! In tandem with your CBD, breathing exercises act as an additional tool to calm anxiety.
6. Close your eyes and set your motivation
There is no wrong way to meditate, and with such diverse options of practice from breathing exercises to standing meditation, it might be helpful for beginners to set an intention or your motivation. If your mind becomes stuck, returning to your motivation can help your brain learn how to calm down and focus on the practice. Are you looking to help your brain unplug from a problem? What about providing space to address a stressful situation? Even if you’re using meditation just to get a feel of where your body feels in the present moment, take some time to set motivation to make the most of your practice.
7. Observe the breath and your thoughts
Remember, minds do tend to wander during meditation, but that’s why they call it a practice. Don’t get down on yourself, rather return back to your intention or motivation to calm those stress hormones and meditate more easily. Recall the moment that you took your CBD and let those feelings of calm and promise wash over you. Alternatively, try to return to your breath and bring yourself back to the present with the simple assistance of involuntary exercise. In any case, observing your breath, your intentions or passing thoughts can help you feel like you’ve gained from the experience what you can. Although learning to meditate is a subjective experience, we recommend you take about five or ten minutes when you’re first getting started.
8. Prepare to wrap up
Whether your meditation journey was 60 seconds or 60 minutes you’ll want to take a few moments to return back to your body. Wiggle your fingers and toes, wrists and ankles, elbows and knees to awaken your body for your return. Listen for any subtle whispers from the pose in your physical body before you fully return. Take a few deep breaths and take a moment to share gratitude for yourself, for consuming your CBD, and for making time for yourself to meditate.
9. Close your practice and continue your day with intention
Now that you’ve practiced, it’s time to come back to the environment surrounding you. Start this practice gently. Pay attention to your body, and notice yourself returning to the space. Welcome back. As with CBD doses, mindfulness sessions can be adjusted over time. The practice takes time to learn and feel comfortable with. It can be tinkered with over time to fit best with what works for you and your schedule.
Though your day’s practice is over, it’s best to continue the remainder of the day with intention. For newcomers, this could be as simple as paying attention to passing judgmental thoughts or noticing when you’re feeling heightened anxiety. Take the lessons learned in your practice and carry them with you. Likewise, continue use of CBD even outside of meditation practice in order to center yourself and bring yourself back to those calm moments of meditation.
Why We Love Meditating With CBD
As with CBD doses, meditation sessions can be adjusted to fit your schedule and feel more comfortable. You can do it just about anywhere, and we love that. For those who are busy, you can practice meditation even while doing laundry, taking public transportation, or washing dishes. CBD can help you deepen your practice, and even reach a state of calm quicker when you have limited time. Whether you’re on the go or staying in, Toast CBD can help to settle your mind and help you stay in the present. Take a peek at our expertly crafted calming CBD products , and start your journey towards a more positive mindset today with meditation. Remember, if Oprah can make time to do it, so can you!
CBD and Meditation: Benefits of Meditating with CBD
Sometimes, life can kick you pretty hard. With so many stimuli around us, it’s difficult to maintain a clear head if you don’t get enough sleep, nutrition, and physical activity.
Chances are, you have been suggested to practice meditation, which is a great way to put your mind into a state of balance and remain resistant to daily stressors. But did you know that adding CBD to your meditation routine can help you achieve even better results?
CBD and meditation is hot topic these days. Overworked professionals, athletes, travelers, busy parents — everyone can benefit from this combination.
The key to successful meditation is to calm the mind and relax the body at first so that you can focus inward, which is what CBD seems to do best.
In this article, we dive deep… no, not in ourselves. We dive deep into using CBD and meditation together to take care of your mental well-being. We’ll cover the basics about meditation, how CBD may help, and how to use CBD oil to maximize the benefits.
What Is Meditation?
When most people try to picture meditation, they usually see a yoga master sitting on a cushion in a Shiva-like position, trying to ooom the heck out of himself. But the truth is, real meditation is far from that.
Meditation is a mental practice to put a person into a state of focus, relaxation, and awareness. From a metaphysical standpoint, it’s a tool to transform the mind and become enlightened.
Meditation occurs in every culture over the world, dating back to millennia. Most religions, including Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, and even Islam, have some sort of meditative regime. And while meditation is rooted in spiritual practices, most people today use it to relieve stress and unwire the mind from the aforementioned stimuli.
Types of Meditation
There are three main types of meditation: mindfulness, transcendental, and guided meditation.
Mindfulness is a concept that encourages being completely present at the moment with your thoughts. The purpose of this type of meditation is to become aware of what you are feeling and doing as you sit and breathe — to let the thoughts flow through your head without triggering any reactions.
If you get distracted by external noise or get caught up in the “chatter” in your head, mindfulness will recalibrate your attention to the moment, focusing on even, deep, rhythmic breathing.
Although you can practice mindful meditation virtually anywhere by simply staying in the moment, the best conditions to meditate this way are while sitting or relaxing in a quiet room with eyes closed, where you can control your breath.
Transcendental meditation involves using a mantra, which is a sound, word, or short phrase that is repeated — in silence or out loud — to keep the distractors away. Most people practice it twice a day, seated in a relaxed position, with their eyes closed. The mantra makes it easier to enter an introspection and quiet the mind while keeping the stress at bay, resulting in a deep state of relaxation.
Guided meditation uses stories, situations, mental images, or visualizations to relax and make you feel focused. For example, imagine you’re sitting in a pine forest, listening to birds and feeling the wind slowly touching your cheeks. This type of meditation is often conducted by a mentor — during a live or recorded session — and spurs you to use all of your senses as you try to imagine the scene, including views, sound, touch, and smell.
Meditation and Stress
Before you ditch the idea of meditation because you consider it too “alternative,” think about it this way: even modern science agrees that by meditating 10 minutes a day, a person can help increase their ability to relax while reducing stress, anxiety, and even regulating blood pressure.
The Link Between Meditation and Stress
Meditation is exactly the opposite of stress. It can trigger and boost our relaxation response, helping the body achieve homeostasis. This not only relaxes our minds and helps us focus, but it brings back the so much needed balance in the body, allowing our systems and organs to effectively maintain their function and repair from the physical damage caused by stress.
How Meditation Can Help Reduce Stress
If you’ve heard of the “fight or flight” response, you know that our bodies can be put in a state of alertness at the first signs of threat. While that threat may no longer be a predator watching you as their prey, our daily lives are chock-full of stressors that keep us constantly alert, even if we think there’s nothing to worry about.
These days, our minds race, and our bodies are overwhelmed by stress, pains, and tension.
Consistency in meditating not only helps us stave off the state of permanent stress and find a way to calm down, but it also helps us become less reactive and calmer on a daily basis. Meditation also facilitates positive thinking and makes us more adaptable and resilient.
CBD and Meditation: What You Need to Know
CBD and meditation go hand-in-hand. CBD has a myriad of positive effects on our body and brain, all of which can improve your meditation routine. So, if you’re wondering if CBD can help you meditate, then the answer is a straight “yes.”
Your body naturally produces a neurotransmitter called anandamide. It works “on demand,” meaning that your body doesn’t constantly produce it, nor does it store the compound for later.
Scientists have linked higher levels of anandamide with increased happiness and reduced cortisol, keeping the flight-or-flight response in check. This neurotransmitter belongs to a class of compounds known as endocannabinoids; they’re an essential part of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) which works constantly to promote a state of balance to the body and mind.
When you’re constantly stressed, your body may become deficient in endocannabinoids. In fact, clinical endocannabinoid deficiency is proposed as the underlying cause of many autoimmune diseases as well as psychiatric disorders.
When you take CBD, it signals the ECS to produce more anandamide; it also inhibits an enzyme that breaks it down, making it more available for the body.
As a result, you can return to homeostasis more efficiently, especially if you combine CBD supplementation with meditation. When you’re in the state of flow — which is what meditation does to your mind — your body naturally produces higher levels of anandamide.
That’s what makes this combo so effective.
Increased Ability to Focus
This is paramount, especially if you’re just getting started with meditation and wish to extend your practice time. CBD oil has been shown to improve concentration by acting on GABA receptors, calming an overactive nervous system. This, in turn, allows you to remain in the zone for longer and resist random thoughts that would otherwise cause you to fall out of that balance.
Reduced Stress and Anxiety
If your mind is full of worrisome thoughts and anxiety, you’ll have a hard time trying to sit still and enjoy 10 minutes of undisturbed silence. Studies are showing that using CBD oil for anxiety can directly lower blood pressure and thus facilitate slower breathing. This, in turn, stimulates your parasympathetic system, which is responsible for feelings of calm and relaxation.
Meditation is all about improving your mood by achieving a state of balance between the body and mind. CBD oil helps you stay calm and improves the production of serotonin in the brain. This, in turn, elevates your mood and helps you maintain longer meditation periods. Like everything else, meditation is a skill that takes time and practice to master — and the more you practice, the better your mindfulness meditation will get.
If you live with a disability, chronic pain, or an inflammatory condition, high-quality CBD oil for pain can help you ease the physical discomfort by reducing inflammation and mitigating pain transmission from the neurons to the brain. Yoga and meditation can have short-term and long-term benefits for conditions involving chronic pain. CBD, on the other hand, can help relax tense muscles and reduce soreness, improving your range of motion and the ability to sit still for a while.
Types of CBD Products for Meditation
Ready to combine your meditation mantra with CBD supplementation? Here are a few great options if you’re looking for everyday support:
- CBD oil is a hemp extract suspended in a natural carrier oil for better absorption and even distribution. It’s taken under the tongue using a dropper; it’s one of the most effective ways to take CBD and a great way to start your day before meditating.
- CBD capsules offer a fixed dose of CBD in a convenient softgel form that you can add to your morning vitamin routine.
- CBD gummies are probably the most enjoyable way to take your daily CBD. You can take them anytime and anywhere you want for an extra CBD boost. They have a delayed onset (similar to capsules), so make sure to wait for about 40 minutes before you start meditation.
- CBD vapes come in handy when you’re looking for almost instantaneous effects. Vaporized CBD starts to act within minutes after inhalation because it uses the lung tissue for absorption. It’s also the most bioavailable of all consumption methods.
- CBD topicals can help you ease localized discomfort, such as soreness, itching, pain, and swelling caused by inflammation. If you have a chronic pain condition, using CBD creams for pain before meditation can help a lot.
How to Use CBD Oil for Meditation
- Take CBD under the tongue before meditation practice. Measure out the desired dose of CBD with the dropper and transfer it under your tongue, holding for up to 60 seconds before swallowing. From there, the oil will absorb through the tiny capillaries beneath the tongue, avoiding the liver and the first-pass metabolism.
- Add CBD oil to your morning tea. You can actually use any kind of beverage that you drink in the morning, be it coffee, tea, fruit juice, or smoothies. If you mix CBD oil into your tea, you can sip it slowly during your meditation practice.
- Use CBD in skincare. As mentioned above, CBD creams and lotions offer relief for localized problems and are a great way to relax your body before meditation.
Tips on Using CBD Oil to Boost Meditation
CBD and meditation can significantly improve your well-being if you’re consistent with your routine. However, keep in mind that these are just tools for balancing your body — not quick fixes or magic pills that will do wonders to your health overnight.
Here are three things you need to know about before practicing CBD and meditation.
Results May Vary Between Individuals
This is true for all things in life, and CBD is no exception. Although the current body of scientific research on the health benefits of CBD oil looks impressive, the vast majority of studies were conducted on small samples or animal models. There’s also a plethora of anecdotal evidence from CBD users claiming that CBD oil and meditation helped them alleviate certain conditions. But the truth is, results vary depending on a person. Some find that CBD helps them get rid of anxiety before work, while others use it to induce focus and creativity. There are also people who claim that CBD simply makes them drowsy. You’ll need to try different doses at different times of the day to figure out how CBD affects you.
It Takes Time
CBD is a complex compound, so you may not see the results from the start. It has an interesting way of working with the endocannabinoid system; the more you take, the more receptive your body will become to it. This phenomenon is known as reverse tolerance. Depending on your levels of endocannabinoids and the scale of deficiencies, you might need anywhere from two weeks to a couple of months of continuous CBD use in order to experience its benefits.
CBD Won’t Do Wonders for Your Meditation
CBD won’t turn you into a meditating rock — that’s wishful thinking. Meditation is a process that takes time and effort, especially if you’ve never meditated before. Although CBD can help you enter a more relaxed and stable state, it doesn’t mean it will magically make you the master of meditation. Instead, consider looking for different guided meditation apps and videos, and being regular with your sessions.
Key Takeaways on Combining CBD with Meditation
Modern life puts us into all kinds of discomfort. Physical and mental fatigue can be difficult to overcome if you don’t find the right solution to maintain the balance between the body and mind. Whether you live an active lifestyle or sit at a desk all day hunched over a keyboard, meditation can help you relieve tension and soreness, putting you into a state of deep relaxation.
Not only that, but meditation also relieves stress and anxiety by regulating your breath and improving awareness while keeping anxious thoughts at bay. It’s no wonder why so many people become interested in this practice.
You can boost your wellness care in many ways, but when it comes to meditation, CBD is a perfect partner. By interacting with your endocannabinoid system, CBD can reduce pain, relieve stress, ease anxiety, dampen inflammation, and elevate your mood with consistent use.
This, in turn, provides complimentary benefits for those who meditate in the morning or before bed.
Do you use CBD for meditation? Share your experience in the comments below!
Nina created CFAH.org following the birth of her second child. She was a science and math teacher for 6 years prior to becoming a parent — teaching in schools in White Plains, New York and later in Paterson, New Jersey.
CBD and Meditation—Can It Enhance Your Practice?
Cannabidiol (CBD) has been a somewhat controversial wellness product for the last few years, especially when used for meditation. As CBD oil and hemp oils enter wider usage, it turns out there are a lot of benefits to using these supplements to enhance meditation. If you have struggled or have been unsuccessful in establishing a meditation practice due to anxiety, restlessness, or pain, then CBD might be a great help. If you felt unsure or intimidated about using hemp oils, this guide will provide an overview of what CBD is and how to use it for mindfulness practices.
What Is CBD Oil?
CBD is one of the 113 potentially beneficial compounds found in the hemp plant. When people think about using hemp or CBD oil, they often get confused about marijuana, and it’s THC compound that gets you high. CBD oils do not have the same negative side effects of THC, such as hyperactivity, spatial and verbal impairment, short term memory loss, and paranoia.
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It’s understandable if you’re a bit hesitant to try CBD oil, but know that it is something completely different than THC. Rather than running the risk of leaving you paranoid and anxious, CBD oil can be very supportive for meditation due to its mind-body balancing and stress-relieving effects.
Can You Get High On Hemp Oil?
CBD is non-intoxicating, yet there are some kinds of hemp oil which do have a small amount of THC. Hemp oil, by federal regulation standards, are required to have no more than 0.3% THC. Hemp oil is either found in isolate, full, or broad-spectrum extracts. Full-spectrum means that all of the plant compounds are preserved in the final product, and this means there is likely to be a small amount of THC. If you are extremely sensitive, you want to use a broad-spectrum or isolate, which has absolutely no THC at all.
Why Should You Use CBD Oil For Meditation?
We understand and support the argument that students should avoid “external substances” to help them meditate. Yes, the use of CBD can be seen as a crutch, but there are many positive reasons to use hemp oil for your meditation. Many of these benefits are similar to using CBD for Yoga, but there are also specific benefits related to meditation. CBD works slowly with your endocannabinoid system, and it may take several weeks or months to notice the benefits. The top four benefits include:
Increased ability to concentrate. This is important, especially when you’re beginning your practice and when you wish to extend your meditation practice time. CBD oil has been shown to improve concentration, focus, and attention. This, in turn, allows your mind to resist random thoughts and allows you to sit for longer periods with less distraction.
How To Use CBD Oil For Meditation
There are a few ways to incorporate hemp oil into your meditation. You may feel the calming and focusing effects right away, or it could take 15-60 minutes, so plan your dosage based on your response. There are three main ways to take CBD:
- Taking CBD orally before practice. Put a dropper full (or other recommended amount) of a CBD tincture under your tongue for 60 seconds before swallowing. CBD oil tincture manufacturer CBDfx recommends to start with a small amount (1/4 to a full dropper) and gradually increase until you find your perfect serving.
- Add Hemp oil to your morning smoothie or add it to some tea. If used in tea, you can sip it slowly during your yoga practice, and when you’re ready to meditate, your body will be relaxed and ready.
- Adding oil to your skincare. Adding hemp oil to your favorite hand cream and then applying it to your hands, neck, and chest before you start can help you in your meditation. You can add the oils to your favorite creams yourself or choose hemp-infused products. Make sure you test new skin products on small patches of skin and wait 12 hours for any allergic reaction.
About Christine Heilbron
Christine has been teaching and practicing yoga, meditation, and mindfulness for over ten years. She has explored many different styles of yoga under local and international teachers. She is a graduate of a 200-hour yoga teacher training program and is certified to teach vinyasa, Hatha, and restorative styles of yoga and has additional training in trauma sensitivity.