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How CBD and Yoga Can Reduce Stress

Yoga, a group of spiritual and physical disciplines based on millennia-old Indian religious beliefs, is increasingly popular in the West. The number of Americans practicing yoga increased by 50 percent between 2012 and 2016, and a whopping one-third of all Americans have tried yoga at least once.

Yoga in the West is practiced mainly as a form of physical exercise. Any kind of physical activity can contribute to mental well-being when practiced correctly, but studies show yoga might be an especially potent tool in the fight against stress. One trial found that yoga was even more effective than a simple “relaxation” regimen in a sample group of more than 100 individuals who were experiencing stress.

Yoga’s stress-fighting properties are strong enough to support individuals undergoing intense and difficult experiences–it’s been shown to improve quality of life for patients undergoing cancer treatments, inflammatory bowel disease, and grief.

Yoga is one wellness trend that’s actually based in millennia of practice and is increasingly becoming a permanent part of new practitioners’ lifestyles. Cannabis is another such trend. This plant’s mainstream public image and legal status have undergone a total transformation in the U.S. over the past decade. Reassessment of cannabis’s safety profile and potential health benefits (as well as the social and racial dynamics that led to U.S. criminalization in the first place) means that cannabis is increasingly recognized as a possible element of a wellness-oriented lifestyle.

Cannabis, like yoga, has been used to boost spiritual and physical well-being for millennia. But that doesn’t mean consuming marijuana is necessarily a yoga-compatible experience for everyone. Many cannabis strains and products contain high levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the naturally occurring cannabinoid responsible for marijuana’s signature psychoactive “high.” While a THC high can be enjoyable for many people (and may offer unique health benefits), it also triggers a distorted sense of reality and pronounced anxiety in many users.

But THC is just one of the 100-plus cannabinoids present in cannabis plants. Cannabidiol, or CBD, is another prominent cannabis component that’s rapidly gaining a devoted user base. CBD interacts with cannabinoid receptors and other parts of the human body differently than THC, without creating a sensation of being “stoned” or causing excessive anxiety.

A growing number of yoga practitioners are incorporating CBD into their yoga routine. While our scientific understanding of CBD has a long way to go thanks to cannabis’s complicated legal history, a growing body of evidence suggests that it can complement the stress-fighting powers of yoga. Here’s how:

Regulating Blood Pressure

Stress and blood pressure are closely connected. The Mayo Clinic recommends lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking and adequate sleep to reduce stress and improve blood pressure. And both yoga and CBD have been tied to blood-pressure reduction, suggesting a strong connection to lower overall stress levels.

Yoga’s impacts on blood pressure are so significant that studies have recommended it as a “viable antihypertensive lifestyle therapy.” Plenty of anecdotal evidence has encouraged CBD users turn to the cannabinoid for plant-based stress relief, and studies indicate that CBD’s stress-fighting properties may relate to blood pressure. At least one trial found that cannabidiol reduces both resting and stressed blood pressure in healthy human subjects.

Improving Sleep

Any physical exercise can improve sleep quality and quantity, and yoga is no exception. One study found that nurses slept better when they practiced yoga regularly, and other studies have tied yoga to better sleep (and overall quality of life) in kidney-disease patients and even Antarctic explorers. Yoga’s impact on sleep suggests that its stress-reduction properties are linked to its effect on healthy sleep patterns. Many of us have had the frustrating experience of feeling too stressed to sleep properly (and subsequently getting more stressed as our bodies struggle with sleep deprivation).

Yoga can help break this cycle, and there’s evidence that CBD can help too. While different dosages of the various cannabinoids can create a wide range of sleep effects, some studies suggest that high doses of CBD are therapeutic for sufferers of insomnia. Furthermore, CBD may help tackle the anxiety or PTSD that is sometimes at the root of insomnia.

Reducing Pain

The complex connection between emotional well-being and chronic pain probably comes as no surprise. The more we understand about the psychosomatic relationship between mental health and physical health, the more this connection makes sense. Studies suggest that stressful life events and mental health obstacles can contribute to chronic pain diagnoses, while pain itself can cause emotional distress. Pain, whether it’s a stress contributor or a result of stress, is another locus where both CBD and yoga can provide significant benefits.

While overtraining or improper form can cause injuries in yoga (just like in any other exercise), studies suggest appropriate yoga regimens can address chronic pain. Trials have tied yoga to pain reduction in patients experiencing chronic lower back pain, fibromyalgia, and migraines. Though CBD’s impact on pain, like many other CBD health impacts, needs further studies in human subjects, an array of rodent-based studies have suggested it has analgesic properties. Savitex, a government-approved drug in dozens of countries, uses a mix of THC and CBD to mitigate pain.

Regulating Cortisol

When the human body experiences stress, it releases cortisol–a key hormone in activating our “fight or flight” response. Cortisol plays an important role in helping us survive and manage stressful situations, but runaway cortisol levels are tied to an array of health and psychological problems, creating problems with weight, sleep, memory, heart disease, and mood regulation.

Both yoga and CBD have been tied to cortisol levels in the human body, suggesting that both practices help us manage stress by regulating this double-edged hormone. Multiple studies have found lower cortisol levels present in yoga practitioners compared to control groups. At least one study has also suggested that CBD inhibits cortisol secretion in human subjects.

It’s impossible to completely eliminate stress from day-to-day life, but it is possible to keep it to manageable, healthy levels. Both yoga and CBD are increasingly popular tools for managing stress. Studies show that they can engage complementary mechanisms to ultimately help us all lead calmer, healthier lives.

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8 Biggest Misconceptions People Have About CBD

Thanks to over 80 years of prohibition and government propaganda, a group of plants with demonstrated healing and therapeutic properties has been outlawed, stigmatized and made off limits for patients and scientists.

Because of the lack of public research (in the US, at least) and the negative stigma around cannabis, not only have patients been missing out on a potentially lifesaving form of natural medicine, but scientists and doctors have had to risk their licenses, jobs and livelihoods to perform even small amounts of research.

Recently, due to legislative reform and strong pushback by the general public, things are finally turning around in the United States. Consumers are more curious than ever about CBD, but there are many unanswered questions due to lack of awareness.

There are many misconceptions when it comes to CBD. We’re here to bust the myths and set the record straight.

Misconception 1: CBD is marijuana

First, it’s time for a vocabulary lesson. CBD stands for “cannabidiol” — it’s a phytocannabinoid (a plant compound derived from cannabis) that interacts with the human body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). That’s correct: you yourself, in your own body, have a specific system of receptors that are designated for cannabinoids. You learn something new every day, right?

Marijuana is a plant within the cannabis family. Cannabis plants come in many varieties, and marijuana is the type that’s high in THC content — THC is another kind of phytocannabinoid. There is some CBD in a marijuana plant, but it’s typically much lower than the THC content. Most CBD comes from hemp plants that are high in CBD and low in THC.

Misconception 2: CBD should only from hemp

False! While a lot of CBD does come from hemp plants, CBD can come from any cannabis plant. Whether or not it comes from marijuana typically depends on where it’s grown, manufactured and distributed. As mentioned, marijuana plants typically have a lower CBD content, so farmers have created hybrid strains of these cannabis plants to create high-CBD, low-THC varieties for the purpose of medical CBD.

The result is rooted in a high concentration of CBD. Think of it like vitamin C — you can get it from orange juice, or you can get it from a slice of watermelon. Regardless of where it comes from, it’s still vitamin C and your body processes it in the same way. CBD doesn’t necessarily have to come from a hemp plant; so long as it comes from safe, sustainable cannabis from a clean, organic farm, you’re golden.

Misconception 3: CBD gets you high

Above, we talked about CBD and THC, two phytocannabinoids with totally different effects on your body’s endocannabinoid system. In fact, THC is the only phytocannabinoid (out of more than 100) that provides the psychoactive intoxication effects known as the euphoria or “high.” If you’re looking to get stoned, CBD is not the option for you.

Though CBD does provide a form of psychoactive effect, it’s not by means of a euphoric high. CBD can relieve symptoms of anxiety, psychosis, bipolar disorder, depression and other psychological conditions, but not in the way typically associated with marijuana.

Misconception 4: CBD is medical, THC is recreational

Many people still have the notion that THC is only used for euphoric intoxication. This is not the case! THC has medicinal properties that CBD does not; in fact, it may be more effective for pain relief than CBD. In addition, THC has been shown to be extremely effective for treating glaucoma and ocular pressure, whereas CBD is not. THC is also useful to help chemotherapy patients regain their appetite, whereas CBD is not as potent in that area.

These are just a few of the proven medicinal benefits of THC. In sum, THC is used for much more than “getting stoned.”

Misconception 5: CBD is good and THC is bad

As you can probably tell, THC is hardly “bad.” It’s best to not pit CBD and THC against each other, as they both serve specific purposes within the body and mind, and are both therapeutic forms of plant medicine.

Misconception 6: CBD is better if it’s isolated

Speaking of not pitting them against each other, did you know that CBD and THC can actually work better together? It’s a symbiotic, synergistic effect known as the “entourage effect.” It hasn’t been exhaustively studied, but many scientists and cannabis experts have reported that these phytocannabinoids work even more effectively when they’re not split up.

CBD isolate definitely serves a purpose — it can blend into different kinds of edible products and can be combined into naturopathic medicines. In addition, there is potentially a U-shaped response curve when it comes to CBD isolate. This means there’s actually a threshold of efficacy, and after a certain amount of milligrams, the isolate becomes less effective. This is not the case with CBD distillate or full- and broad-spectrum hemp extract.

In these distillates and extracts, even if there’s no THC (or very little), the terpenes and flavonoids from the plant form a holistic healing profile that creates a more synergistic effect and delivers stronger symptom relief.

Misconception 7: CBD cures everything

We’re obviously big fans of CBD at Mood CBD, and cannabidiol has shown significant promise for its ability to treat a remarkable number of diseases and ailments. That said, you can’t rely on CBD for everything when it comes to your medical woes. For example, while it can help alleviate anxieties and inflammation, you won’t want to take CBD for a respiratory infection.

This is particularly important to remember when it comes to oncology and cancer treatment. CBD is becoming quite popular as a natural cancer remedy, and some studies have shown that it may be able to inhibit tumor growth and even cause cancer cell death. However, you should never forgo the advice of your oncologist while you’re under their care for cancer treatment. In fact, CBD could potentially interact negatively with chemotherapy treatment, so work closely with your specialist if this is an area of concern for you.

Misconception 8: CBD is illegal

There are a number of misconceptions surrounding the legality of CBD, as the legal landscape has been rapidly changing over the past few years, and most significantly in the last 6 months. Thanks to the Farm Bill, hemp is 100 percent legal and hemp-derived CBD is legal in all 50 states.

The difficult part is ascertaining whether your CBD product was derived from hemp or marijuana. As long as the finished product has less than 0.3 percent THC content, it shouldn’t matter. That said, if you live in a state in which THC is legal, the sky’s the limit when it comes to THC content.

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8 Athletes Who Use CBD Oil, and Why They Do So

It’s not just your friends and favorite wellness gurus who use CBD and therapeutic cannabis as part of their daily routine; professional athletes are coming out with stories about how and why they use cannabidiol as part of their wellness practice.

From NFL players using CBD in lieu of addictive opioids to treat brain injury, to famous trainers who rely on its anti-inflammatory properties, to retired stars investing in CBD wellness brands, athletes are playing a significant role in the green boom. Do you recognize any of the names in this list?

  • Caleb Marshall, dancer, coach and online fitness trainer. Caleb Marshall of The Fitness Marshall uses CBD to alleviate anxiety and soothe soreness from constant, intensive dance cardio while on tour. He was quoted in SVN Space Magazine saying that it helped anxiety that had been “completely out of control” and had affected his day-to-day functioning. Marshall currently takes 15 milligrams of CBD in the morning and 30 milligrams at night to manage anxiety and inflammation, in addition to topical muscular salves and creams for a chronically sore body. He says, “My anxiety is at a completely different place than it was when I started taking CBD daily, so I have no plans of stopping.”
  • Terrell Davis, NFL player. A former running back for the Denver Broncos, Davis is now focused on the world of cannabis, and specifically CBD. The star American athlete has been recorded as saying that his career would have been longer if he had had access to CBD earlier on, but he was sidelined (literally) by a knee injury. “I’ve been on CBD for well over a year now, and I can tell you that my body feels great. I have no more inflammation in my body, my knee, and my joint pain is gone. My migraines — I haven’t taken migraine medicine for over a year,” he told Westword. Davis is now investing in CBD brand Defy, a sports wellness beverage.
  • Ricky Williams, NFL player. Williams is a medical cannabis advocate. He once stated that his “personal goal is to elevate the legitimacy of cannabis as a medicine and the respect of medical professionals for cannabis users.” Williams was suspended from the NFL for using marijuana, and was subsequently slammed by the media and forced by the NFL to attend a substance-abuse program. In reality, Williams had severe social anxiety, which was exacerbated by the limelight inherent to professional sports, and he turned to cannabis for its therapeutic effects. Williams was once a spokesperson for Paxil, a pharmaceutical drug for anxiety and depression, but more recently he has said that cannabis was “10 times better than Paxil” for his personal condition.
  • Derrick Morgan, NFL player. After reading about a concussion-caused brain disease, chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), which is common in NFL players, Derrick Morgan started looking into cannabidiol to help. Discovering the famous case of 5-year-old Charlotte Figi, who received help from the Stanley brothers of Charlotte’s Web in Colorado to stop her seizures with CBD, Morgan was inspired to research further. Since then, he’s become an activist hoping to create policy change within the NFL so players can have access to medicinal cannabis. In an article in the Denver Post, he was quoted saying, “All I’m asking for is research. I’m not asking to let guys smoke weed and get high. I’m not asking for that. I’m just asking for the NFL and the NFLPA to take a look at the research.”
  • Eugene Monroe, NFL player. Monroe, an offensive lineman turned cannabis activist, is a pioneer for policy reform within professional sports. Passionate about stopping the overprescription of addictive opioids to athletes, particularly when it comes to CTE, Monroe says, “I’m calling for the NFL to remove marijuana from the banned substances list; fund medical marijuana research, especially as it relates to CTE; and stop overprescribing addictive and harmful opioids.” On his website, Monroe claims that “opioids are freely and regularly given to NFL players who experience chronic pain from sports-related injuries.” CBD has been shown to have similar efficacy as opioid pain relievers and anti-inflammatories, but with no addictive side effects. Currently, Monroe serves as an athletic ambassador for Doctors for Cannabis Regulation.
  • Nate Diaz, MMA fighter. Professional mixed martial arts fighter Nate Diaz made headlines in the summer of 2016 when he casually used a CBD vaporizer pen during a press conference. Bringing CBD to the media early on — roughly two years before it was completely legal nationally — helped propel CBD into the spotlight in a positive way, particularly for athletes. At that point, not many people knew what CBD was, but in the press conference he used his time in the spotlight to provide some public education. “It helps with healing process and inflammation and stuff like that,” he said. We can imagine that someone who gets punched for a living might need some anti-inflammatory CBD after a fight.
  • Gina Mazany, UFC fighter.Gina Mazany is also a professional mixed martial artist with the UFC, and recently has touted her affinity for CBD. “There are so many ways that CBD can benefit everyone in one way or another, but if people are using a product that they aren’t going to make money off of then they are not going to allow it, or make it seem like an evil thing,” Manzany said in an interview. According to reports, she uses CBD to reduce her anxiety and improve her sleep quality.
  • Liz Letchford, tonal trainer and San Francisco-based fitness icon. Liz Letchford uses CBD for reducing inflammation, as well as relieving stress from a hectic schedule of clients, filming and writing her doctoral thesis. In an interview with SVN Space, Letchford noted that she recommends CBD to her clients and fans, which has helped integrate CBD into the fitness and wellness community.
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CBD 101: Everything You Need to Know

When you’re new to CBD, there’s a lot to learn, and it can feel overwhelming. In this article, we’re breaking down the ABCs of CBD so you can be a more informed consumer and feel comfortable and confident making choices that impact your health. A quick read through this, and you’ll be able to start treating a variety of ailments with safe, effective, plant-based medicine.

What Is CBD?

You’ve probably seen the acronym all over your news feed. This is what you need to know about the cannabis-derived wonder herb that’s the new star of holistic health.

  • CBD stands for cannabidiol.
  • CBD is a phytocannabinoid, which means it’s a plant compound derived from cannabis.
  • Phytocannabinoids interact with the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is a system in the human body. Different cannabinoids interact with different parts of the body, such as the brain, nervous system and muscles, to deliver different effects. This is why CBD has a different effect than THC.
  • There are over 100 cannabinoids, and THC is the only one that produces euphoria/intoxication (the “high”). CBD does not produce a high.
  • CBD can be found in both types of cannabis plants: hemp and marijuana. Hemp tends to be high in CBD and low in THC content. Marijuana tends to be high in THC and low in CBD content. Therefore, most CBD comes from hemp.

The Difference Between CBD and THC

The two most significant phytocannabinoids are CBD and THC. Let’s break down the similarities and differences.

  • THC and CBD have many similarities: they can both treat pain and inflammation, they can help with sleep and they can help with certain mood disorders.
  • The primary difference between CBD and THC is that CBD does not produce the euphoric head high; it’s classified as nonpsychoactive (though that language may be changing as research within the hemp and cannabis world rapidly develops).
  • CBD is legal in all 50 states. THC is not yet legal at the federal level, but it is within certain states, including Colorado and California.
  • Some products combine CBD and THC to create tinctures with a synergistic effect. This is called the “entourage effect,” and some doctors and cannabis experts believe that the compounds are more effective when used together.
  • CBD is mostly used medically for epilepsy, anxiety, depression and inflammation; THC is mostly used medically for glaucoma, increasing appetite in cancer patients and sleep. While they can both help with certain mood disorders, pain, inflammation and sleep, there are certain ailments that one compound is more suited to than the other.

What Is CBD Used For?

There are dozens of science-backed benefits of CBD, and more are being researched and discovered at a rapid pace thanks to the recent lifting of cannabis prohibition in several states. Because scientists can now delve into the world of hemp research without risking their licenses, we’re on the precipice of incredibly exciting medical news and potential cures.

Here are the ailments and conditions CBD is commonly used for that have been researched at least in preclinical studies.

  • Anxiety
  • Psychosis
  • Depression
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Stress
  • Sleep/insomnia
  • Inflammation
  • Epilepsy
  • Tremors
  • Degenerative disease
  • Cancer/tumors
  • Skin ailments such as acne, eczema and psoriasis
  • Dyspareunia
  • Arthritis
  • Chronic pain
  • Migraines
  • Motion sickness
  • Nausea
  • Heart disease

Does CBD Have Side Effects?

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared CBD to be safe, with rare (if any) side effects. As mentioned, there is no head high, but everyone’s reaction will be unique (just as some people can eat a piece of bread with no problem, while those with a gluten sensitivity will get very sick), so consult your doctor when adding CBD to your routine.

Some potential side effects that may occur if you are sensitive to CBD or have taken too much include:

  • Dry mouth
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Drowsiness
  • Diarrhea

It’s important to know that while there are not many side effects and the listed ones are rarely reported, CBD is contraindicated with certain medications. Because CBD is digested by a specific enzyme in the liver — the same enzyme that breaks down certain medications (including chemotherapy) — it can interfere with how much medication your body absorbs. It’s imperative that you consult your doctor before adding any supplement (yes, even natural supplements).

How Much CBD Should You Take?

Deciding on a dose can be tricky as there’s not an exact science as of yet; the doctor recommendation is typically “start low and go slow.” While some patients feel relief from 5 to 15 milligrams, clinical trials report efficacy at 800 to 1,000 milligrams.

Dose also depends on delivery: whether you take a sublingual tincture, vaporize a cartridge, eat a gummy, swallow a pill, drink a tea or use a topical salve.

Some brands provide a chart that has been used with pediatric patients, suggesting one milligram of CBD per 10 pounds of bodyweight, but this is not yet regulated by the FDA or any medical organization. However, at a dose this low, it likely can’t hurt to try. Make sure you work with your doctor!

How Do You Take CBD Oil?

How you take CBD oil largely depends on preference and ailment. For example, if you have a skin ailment or muscular pain, you’d want a topical treatment. If you have anxiety or epilepsy, your delivery would be consumed either via vaporization, sublingual tincture or edibles (including capsule/pill).

When it comes to consumption versus topical application, the results will vary. Something that is digested will be absorbed differently than something delivered under the tongue or to the lungs. Digestion is a slower process, giving slow, sustained results; delivery to lungs or under the tongue absorbs into capillaries for quicker effects.

Whether you choose oils, capsules, gummies, teas, chocolates or protein powders, you’ll still get the therapeutic effects of CBD. Choose what feels best for your body and your lifestyle.

How Do You Make Sure Your CBD Oil Actually Has CBD in It?

Yes, this is a real concern! The FDA recently conducted a study which indicated that a large amount of products advertised as “CBD” didn’t actually contain CBD oil, or contained significantly less CBD than stated. So what’s a consumer to do?

Ask the brand you’re buying from to provide a COA: certificate of analysis. This PDF document is proof that a third-party, independent lab tested the batch of product they’re selling to ensure it’s safe, free of mold and toxins, and contains the advertised amount of CBD and/or THC. It may also show you where the hemp was grown, where the product was tested and if the lab has been inspected by the FDA.