We all know we should be meditating. If we’ve ever suffered from stress, anxiety or depression, it’s one of the best drug-free methods to get our minds back in harmony again. However, there’s a reason we’re not all doing it. Meditation can be hard. But guess what, our favourite, hemp-based supplement, CBD, might just give us the focus we need to sit on that meditation cushion for longer than we ever thought possible.
What is Meditation?
Meditation is an ancient technique used to calm the mind and slow down thoughts in order to create an inner peace and tranquility. Different forms of meditation can be found in ancient cultures dating back many thousands of years. For some it was a way to commune with the divine, while for others (such as the Buddha), it was a means to attain enlightenment.
Contrary to what most people believe, the aim of meditation isn’t to free ourselves from thoughts and have a blank mind. Even for the most seasoned meditators amongst us, this continues to be an impossible dream and is one of the reasons why most people are put off even trying meditation in the first place.
A key aspect to meditation is cultivating present moment awareness through concentration. This can be done by focussing on an object such as the breath, a mantra (a series of sounds) or bodily sensations. Everytime the mind is distracted (which is pretty much all the time), the meditator gently brings their attention back to the focus of their attention.
The result is usually a slowing down of thoughts until the gaps between them get longer and a sense of calm occurs.
It’s recommended to meditate every day for about 20-30 minutes, but for anyone starting out, it’s fine to start with just 5-10 minutes and gradually build up. The important thing is to be consistent, as like anything, without practice we never move beyond the initial difficulty of slowing our thoughts and concentrating on the breath.
I Want To Meditate - Where Can I Start?
One of the reasons people give up on meditation before they really start is because they do it on their own, at home, following some random YouTube video. While it’s true, we’re lucky to have so many resources available online, nothing beats being taught how to meditate by a real, live person.
A great place to start is by signing up to a Mindfulness course. Mindfulness is a method of cultivating present moment awareness through seated meditation and body scan exercises. In reality, we can be mindful 24 hours of the day by putting our attention on whatever is happening in the present moment (easier said than done). Most areas in the UK run mindfulness courses, just check that the trainer is fully accredited.
CBD and Meditation
CBD is a type of naturally occurring molecule called a cannabinoid found in hemp and cannabis. Many of us associate cannabis with getting stoned, but CBD is different because it doesn’t have any intoxicating effect. In fact, quite the opposite, CBD is thought to create a general sensation of calm focus, which is of particular interest to anyone struggling to stop their monkey mind from jumping around while they’re on the meditation cushion.
Not only that, CBD and meditation share some similarities when it comes to their effects on the body. Both are thought to promote neurogenesis, the formation of new neurons in the hippocampus region of the brain, as well as reducing inflammation.
Other benefits of meditation include lessening stress and anxiety, enhancing self awareness, improving memory in old age, and promoting improved emotional health.
Ok, so back to how CBD might help a meditation practice.
Picture the scene. You’ve had a crazy, busy day; your boss has been shouting at you, someone’s armpit was stuck to your face on the tube journey home, and your boyfriend has used the last piece of toilet paper. All you want to do is sit on your meditation cushion and let the day’s stress and worries melt away. Only your mind won’t let you. It’s literally having some kind of riot between your ears, letting off party poppers, and throwing you around until you feel like you’re verging on a panic attack.
No amount of concentrating on the breath and accepting the present moment seems to be helping. This is exactly the time when a few drops of CBD, twenty minutes before meditation can help ease the huge gap between the ‘doing’ and the meditating mind.
The good thing is that because there is zero psychoactive effect, taking CBD isn’t an affront to the meditation purists out there, who quite rightly say combining meditation with intoxicants defeats the purpose (spliffs and meditation just don’t go, folks). Combining CBD and meditation is like giving ourselves a little helping hand to centre the mind, potentiating the benefits we get from our meditation practice.
Would you like to try adding CBD to your mediation practice? If you want to feel CBD’s effect immediately, we recommend our CBD vape pens or if you’re the organised type and can remember to take your CBD 20 minutes before meditating, our whole plant CBD oils are a good choice. Just stop by our online shop or talk to our customer service team if you need any extra help.