CBD (or cannabidiol) is one of over 60 cannabinoid components in the cannabis plant. Over the years CBD has gained a lot of popularity for its positive effects found to work on the nervous system. It has become a reliable remedy for sleeping disorders, anxiety and pain relief and is also widely used for its anti-inflammatory properties. A major contributing factor associated with the use of CBD is that it does not induce the ‘high’ associated with its counterpart, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). THC is what is responsible for the psychoactive component of the cannabis plant.
Although there hasn’t been much research on the subject so far, in recent times CBD is being used as an aid for meditation. This article may be helpful if you’ve been wanting to meditate but find it difficult to actually sit down and do it or have general anxiety and feel like that stops you from meditating. CBD might just help you start your meditation journey.
What is meditation?
Meditation is an ancient practice of connecting to the inner-self by using techniques that explore mindfulness. By building the focus of attention on a particular object, the mind trains itself to attain awareness and eventually achieve a state of mental and emotional calm.
Although the exact origins of meditation are debated, it seems to have developed in Buddhist India and Taoist China.
The history of CBD for meditation and in meditation
The use of cannabis and hemp has been used for various purposes across the world for thousands of years. Cannabis has been an integral part of meditation in The Vedas, ancient sacred scriptures found in India. Even in present-day India you will find sadhus (holy/religious ascetics) using cannabis and hemp for their calming effects. A drink made with hemp and milk – bhang is traditionally consumed during Hindu festivals and holidays, as it plays a significant role in assisting one to reach a meditative and spiritual state.
How can CBD help?
CBD is believed to support the endocannabinoid system that strives for homeostasis – a physiological state of complete balance and equilibrium. To reach this state, it is important that the chemicals and hormones in the brain are balanced. When we’re mentally or physically tense, the body produces stress hormones at high levels; CBD works on the endocannabinoid system to help relax the body by reducing these levels of stress hormones.
This balanced endocannabinoid system helps in meditation practices in two ways. First, it switches on healthier stress responses, which means that the body is better able to combat stress and the endocannabinoid system in turn, becomes healthier. Second, when taken before a meditation practice, CBD has a calming effect on both the mind and the body, making it easier for us to sit down, focus and start meditating without any difficulties and reach the zen zone.
CBD isn’t a shortcut to meditation, it’s an aid
To understand this simple statement, you must realise that meditation is a practice, not a result. It involves a steady training of your mind and your body over time to achieve a general state of equanimity, and can often be quite challenging.
If you decide to take CBD before your meditation routine in order to reach the ‘calm state’ faster, then it’s likely that the result of the calm won’t come from the meditation, but from the CBD.
CBD is an aid for those who find even sitting in one place too difficult, and for those who are so anxious that they cannot even begin a meditation practice, let alone try to control their minds. So, it is important to point out that CBD is by no means a shortcut to meditation, but rather an aid for those who may actually need it to meditate.
When to take CBD for meditation
It takes at least 15 minutes for the effects of CBD to kick in. So taking a dose right before a meditation practice will not do you any good, it should be taken at least 15-20 minutes before you begin your practice.
Moreover, it is also important to acquaint yourself with the different ways of taking CBD and how quickly they work. Of all of them, the CBD vape is the fastest, showing effects within 10 minutes. Vaping CBD leaves the impact for about one to two hours. An oil dropper is also a popular way to intake CBD oil.
The standard dose of CBD that is generally advised is at least 15 mg a day. So if you’re taking anything less than that, you might not feel the effects at all. Also, it is important to note that long term effects will take a few days to be fully experienced.
You can establish your CBD standard according to your body weight by referring to this article.
So should you take CBD for meditation?
As I said, it’s an aid, not a shortcut.
Perhaps CBD and meditation can work together, but does the use of CBD align with original Buddhist practices and teachings? Some Buddhists encourage drug use within a safe environment while others argue that it violates the fifth precept which prohibits the use of intoxicants or a shortcut to a certain experience.
Whether CBD should be used for meditation is subjective. However it has to be said that meditation is practically beneficial because it trains the mind to reach a state of calm and not vice versa. It is completely worth the innumerable amounts of benefits it has, especially for age-related mental decline.