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Doesn’t life just feel like a 100-metre dash, all the time? It’s easy to feel overheated and out-of-breath these days. You wake up, immediately check your phone (usually as part of turning off your alarm), and you’re instantly plugged into the news, social media, and every photo of your best friend’s second cousin’s new baby that you never needed nor wanted to see. And that’s just before you’re even out of bed. Then, you have to unplug from the world in order to go to work for the better part of your day (which can be very fast-paced in itself and is the leading cause of stress among Britons), before coming home and repeating the cycle all over again.
Where do you find your me-time, in all that? Everyone needs something to make us feel special in all the mundanity- a little bit of pampering and self-care to help you find peace in the quieter moments of life. For some people, it’s long, hot baths; for others, it’s a yummy takeaway once a week. At Amphora, we like to take care of ourselves all the time, whether we’re on the go or lounging at home. This is where breathing, vaping, and CBD come in.
Why is breath important?
Stop us if you’ve heard this one: ‘it’s not important, it’s only the air I breathe!’ This expression is so common we probably take it for granted a lot more than we should. Oxygen is one thing, but why is breathing, specifically, important enough for us to mention here?
Whether you suffer from stress or anxiety, or simply have trouble unwinding at the end of the day, keeping a watchful eye on your breath is sure to leave you relaxed and with a lovely feeling of balance throughout your whole body.
Deep breathing (also known as abdominal breathing and belly breathing) in particular, is known to promote full oxygen exchange, as well as lowering blood pressure and slowing our heart rate- two well-known factors linked to stress. Unfortunately, not many of us have practised deep breathing in any sort of detail. In fact, breathing properly can even feel unnatural at first, and requires some practice. An abdomen full of air (even if it is only after an inhale) is not the flat abdomen we have been socially taught to desire. So, many people tend to hold in their stomach muscles, resulting in tension and making breathing from the chest the norm. This type of from-the-chest breathing ensures the lower lungs aren’t as oxygenated as the upper parts, which can result in enhanced feelings of anxiety and shortness of breath.
What is the answer to feeling so awkward within our bodies we don’t allow ourselves to breathe correctly? Well, there are a few things you can do. The main one is starting a routine of breathing. This is different depending on the method of deep breathing you choose, but a few general things to do are:
- Stay open-minded. A lot of deep-breathing practices can sound ‘new-age’ or be a bit tricky at first, but it’s important to try. And remember, if you try one thing and don’t like it, there’s always something else out there for you in the world of deep-breathing.
- Try to keep your surroundings quiet, especially when you’re just starting out. It can be harder to concentrate on your breath if the telly is on in the background or you’re in a chaotic office.
- Don’t pressure yourself. Deep breathing is all about relaxation of tense muscles. If you spend all your time berating yourself for ‘not breathing right’ then you’re not going to be very relaxed!
- Remember that practice makes perfect. You need to set time aside to practice your favourite way of deep-breathing. Once or twice a day for ten to twenty minutes total (some people prefer more, once they get into it) should have you well on your way to establishing a healthy breathing habit.
According to the NHS, breathing exercises can indeed help to alleviate stress. Simply take yourself aside for three to five minutes, and watch your breathing. Let your breath flow deeply into your belly, all the way down to your diaphragm (just below your ribcage) if you are comfortable enough. Often, as we face the tensions of everyday life, we don’t notice as our breathing becomes shallow due to stress. Instead, our focus is completely on the day ahead, exacerbating our stress.
Breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth is a good way of keeping your attention on your body, rather than your worries. Your breath may seem shallow at first, but do not let this alarm you- simply work your way up to inhaling for five seconds, holding for a moment, and then exhaling for five seconds.
You are likely to associate yoga with middle-class women in tight pants using words like ‘namaste,’ the practice of yoga can be traced back thousands of years, to where it was an integral part of religious practice in India. In the West, we tend to strip the practice of religious significance, and focus on the practical benefits yoga can bring: physical strength, muscle definition, and again, helping you focus on your breath and setting intentions.
To an outsider, yoga looks easy enough: hold a position in a certain way, breathe, change positions, breathe again, etc. However, it can take months or even years of practice to be able to hold certain postures for extended periods of time. Afterwards, yoga can certainly leave you feeling sore and as if you’ve spent an hour lifting heavy weights rather than merely holding yourself in a different way for a few moments at a time. The beauty of yoga, however, lies in the way it connects you to your breath: you find yourself detached from the physical hardship of the activity as you focus on holding yourself correctly and breathing deeply (a good instructor will certainly be able to help you with this). Yoga has been used in connection with physiotherapy as well, so if you are struggling with muscular problems and want to improve your breathing at the same time, yoga might just be the thing for you.
Like yoga, meditation is also an ancient Vedic practice, hailing from India. While it maintains religious significance (particularly in Hinduism and Buddhism), in the Western world, it has also become a way of strengthening our connection to the present moment and our breath.
While meditation can take the form of sitting still and doing breathing exercises (see the NHS recommendations above), it can essentially be anything: even washing the dishes. If you do it slowly and mindfully, making sure to keep your thoughts on your breathing, even mundane tasks can count as meditation. Other things such as walking, eating, or even waiting a minute for the kettle to boil can become meditative practices, depending on how you do them. There are many online guides about the seemingly infinite ways you can meditate, but for beginners we do suggest starting out with breathing exercises, trying to keep the mind as clear of any thoughts (negative or positive) as possible.
This last practice on our list may seem out of left field, taking you right from the ancient Vedic practices of India to the streets of London or anywhere else in the Western world. Vaping has fast become a popular pastime and is often seen as an aid to quit smoking. Vaping combines the best of the aforementioned practices: the connection to the physical world we find in yoga; the connection to breath that breathing exercises give us; and the ability to take a moment out of our busy lives and redirect our focus elsewhere, as provided by meditation. Indeed, you could even include vaping into your meditation practice or breathing exercises, if you’re creative and looking for even more mind and body benefits – let’s be real, who isn’t?!
Due to its all-encompassing versatility, vaping is our main focus here today, and we’re here to show you the ropes.
What is vaping?
Vaping is a simple process. A vaporiser is a small instrument that you can hold in your hand, into which you place a cartridge filled with vape oil or e-liquid (this can even be nicotine-based, though is thought to be less potent than cigarettes). There will be a mouthpiece and usually a button on the vaporiser. When you’re ready, you place your mouth on the mouthpiece and press the button. Pressing the button vapourises the oil or liquid in the cartridge, and you inhale this vapour.
Vaping has had a few missteps with the media in the past few years, due in part to consumers linking it to cigarettes (though many vape oils do not contain nicotine or any toxins at all). It is essential to do your research and make sure you are buying from a reputable company when you do choose to vape.
You will not find any nicotine, toxins, or vitamin E acetate in Amphora products. The only things you will find in our catalogue of vape oils is CBD distillate (derived from 100% organically grown hemp) and plant-sourced terpenes (aromatic molecules) that will give you the maximum benefit from the entourage effect, without putting your wellbeing at risk. At Amphora, you don’t have to worry- we’re here to help you relax.
Can I vape CBD oil?
Well, you most likely already know the answer to this question: yes. CBD oil has risen magnificently in popularity thanks to its purported benefits and potential to enhance your mental and physical wellbeing. Vaping CBD is thought to be more effective than using other methods such as drops or edibles, as it has a higher bioavailability (percentage of CBD that ends up absorbed into the bloodstream) and acts faster, too. Essentially, vaping is thought to be the fastest and most efficient way to find your daily CBD fix.
It is also extremely versatile, as you can carry the equipment with you anywhere. Your work-time break can be spent outside the office, languishing in the effects of CBD, rather than hunched over a desk with a cold ham sandwich. Indeed, there are as many flavours of CBD vape oil as there are benefits to using it! Vaping CBD oil can taste like your favourite sweets when you were younger, or it can give you the more grown-up flavours you crave, like grapefruit and green peppercorn.
What does vaping CBD oil do?
CBD affects us by interacting with our endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS consists of mainly CB1 and CB2 receptors found throughout the brain, as well as the central and peripheral nervous systems. The influence of the ECS is thought to be as far-reaching and multifaceted as maintaining mood, memory, and appetite. Essentially, the ECS ensures we can maintain homeostasis (a kind of inner biological balance). When we ingest cannabinoids like CBD, they interact with the ECS and influence the ways in which the ECS regulates the different processes of the body. This is how CBD has such an incredible range of potential effects on the body- anything the ECS is involved in, there is the possibility for CBD to be applied there, too.
Vaping CBD oil, as opposed to the other methods of taking it, has a few benefits in itself. We’ve already talked about how it is the quickest way with the highest bioavailability, but let’s dive a little deeper into the positives of vaping CBD.
Common ways of taking CBD include orally (through pills and edibles), and topically (via creams and balms). Pills and edibles may seem like a fast and easy solution (and hey, CBD gummies do taste pretty great), but in reality, they turn CBD into a slow-burn supplement. When we eat or swallow CBD, we send it through the digestive system, where it passes through many of our internal organs in a process that can take 2-5 hours for the compound to take effect. By the time any CBD enters the bloodstream, it has usually lost much of its potency due to being broken down throughout the digestive process. Likewise, topicals can be useful for targeted areas and to pamper the skin. However, as they are only applied to the skin, there is no chance for topicals to be absorbed into the blood; therefore they cannot have any of CBD’s possible positive effects on your mood (such as alleviating stress and anxiety).
In stark contrast to these other methods, the effects of CBD vape oil have been known to peak as little as ten minutes after inhalation, and stay at that constant level for three to five hours. Indeed, one study compared the inhalation of cannabinoids to directly administering them to the bloodstream; the effects of vaping and inhaling can be that potent! Combine this with the fact that you can easily carry your vape pen with you, and common practice of vaping as a whole, and this method becomes a simple, discreet, and fast way of finding your CBD fix anytime, anywhere. If you already vape, it’s even easier to incorporate this into your daily wellness routine. If you don’t, then you get to face the excitement of trying something new.
Of course, there are some possible drawbacks when it comes to vaping CBD (more on those later), such as inhaling with an irritated respiratory tract, or not inhaling deeply enough; both of which can decrease the potency of your dosage. Like we’ve been saying all along: breathing properly is important. The efficiency of vaping varies from person to person simply because no two people breathe alike- our lungs are all different sizes, our postures differ (which affects how we breathe), and we are all different levels of stressed.
How does vaping CBD oil make you feel?
CBD Vape Oil Benefits
There is a whole host of different potential benefits of CBD. A quick Google search will bring up a thousand areas where CBD shows promise - it really can be overwhelming at first! It is important to know the science behind each benefit, and not to believe anywhere or anyone touting CBD as a be-all-end-all miracle cure. CBD is a marvellous cannabis-derivative that can really be useful- but only when used as a supplement to your healthy lifestyle, and certainly not as a replacement for medical treatments. That being said, let’s look at some of the fascinating things CBD may do for you:
For as long as doctors have been recommending eight hours of sleep a night, there have been people tossing and turning for seven and a half hours a night. Everyone knows what it’s like to climb into bed and have our eyes fly open like window shutters at the slightest noise. For most of us, these nights are few-and-far-between. However, for those suffering with extended sleep-related problems or full-blown disorders (such as insomnia), CBD might be just the thing.
One case study measured anxiety and sleep quality in a sample of 103 patients. 66% of them found that their sleep quality improved over the first month of taking CBD. On average, both scores improved over time, with almost sixty percent of patients reporting their sleep had overall improved by the end of the study. While the results were more sustained when it came to anxiety (showing CBD may have some possible anti-anxiety effects), they were still present when it came to sleep improvement. However, this sample size is relatively small in the wider world of scientific research; and the study concluded that further research is needed in order to properly uncover the capabilities of CBD when it comes to sleep and anxiety-related issues. It is worth noting, however, that the findings of the study implied CBD could be, in some cases, better-tolerated than certain routine psychiatric medications.
Another study sought to explore the relationship between the endocannabinoid system (which is the primary system through which CBD interacts with our body) and sleep. Through activating the CB1 receptors in the ECS (as CBD seems able to do), it was found that the ECS almost certainly does play an active role in our sleep pattern; specifically, in how long we are able to achieve non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep.
Feelings of stress and anxiety can often sneak up on us when we’re at our most vulnerable. Often, what we need is a hug, and some of the pressure to be lifted at the end of the day. However, for many of us who work full time, lifting the pressure isn’t always an option. It’s easy for worries to pile up, which presents the danger of our minor stresses turning into more major anxieties, and perhaps even full-flung disorders, if we don’t keep on top of anxiety.
While human trials are fairly scarce when it comes to exploring the relationship between CBD and anxiety, there have been a range of animal studies. One review observed the results of many such cases and found that the anti-anxiety (anxiolytic) effects of CBD, interestingly, could be shown on a bell curve. Low doses did not seem to have much effect, and neither did high doses. Moderate doses appeared to have the best effect in each study, but these often varied, which makes some sense. As everyone takes CBD for different reasons and has different metabolisms and needs, it is recommended that whenever you start using CBD, you start with a lower dose and work your way up to whatever is ‘moderate’ for you, in order to feel the full benefits of this incredible cannabis derivative.
One study injected 30mg of CBD into wild-type mice approximately two hours after they had been exposed to something stressful. This was found to increase brain activity in the hippocampus (a part of our brain associated with memories and emotions). Additionally, the introduction of CBD seemed to spark neurogenesis- the creation of new neurons (nervous system cells most famously found in the brain). Indeed, the anxiogenic (anxiety-creating) effects of the stress-producing thing the mice had been exposed to was, at the very least, subdued. Some mice showed few signs of anxiety at all. Across a fair amount of studies, such as this one, it has been found that CBD might generally be more helpful at quelling fear and anxiety responses after a stressful event has occurred, rather than taking CBD before you have felt such emotions.
Pain is perhaps one of the most common reasons people seek to use CBD. Whether it’s arthritis, muscle soreness, or mental anguish, people have pushed a lot of pain-managing qualities onto CBD. But what is the truth?
Well, as we saw with anxiety and stress, many animal studies (like this one) have been conducted on the subject of what CBD can do for human pain. CBD has indeed shown some promising anti-inflammatory qualities, due to the instrumental role the ECS’s CB1 and CB2 receptors play in modulating inflammatory pain responses. Inflammation is known to cause pain when it comes to certain diseases such as arthritis, cancer, inflammatory bowel disease (IBS), and many more. CBD is currently being studied as a possible supplement to mainstream medicines in the battle against such pains and the inflammation behind them. In fact, in animal models, the progression of certain diseases can even be slowed through the stimulation of CB2 receptors (possibly using CBD).
It is worth noting that CBD is not equally effective when it comes to aiding the treatment of all pain conditions in all humans. Within the body, different mechanisms control different types of pain, so what causes inflammatory pain may not be the same as what causes chronic pain, etc. It is always worth consulting your doctor, or the latest research (why not both?) before embarking on your CBD journey, particularly if you are on any medications or suffering from severe pain.
Of course, CBD has far more than the three benefits we’ve looked at today. There has been a wealth of research conducted into CBD’s potential when it comes to skincare and the application of its purported anti-inflammatory properties when it comes to battling acne.
Can vaping CBD hurt you?
When it comes to frequently asked questions about vaping CBD, we have you covered. While vaping may have established itself fairly firmly in the public lexicon, vaping CBD is likely a new experience for many of you. Rest assured, this is a reason to be excited, rather than apprehensive. We here at Amphora are always happy to help answer your questions and quandaries about CBD so that you can make the choice that’s right for you. That being said, let us answer some of your questions!
Can vaping CBD oil cause headaches?
Simple answer: No
A comprehensive paper published in 2017 details the possible side effects of CBD, which included weight and appetite changes, drowsiness, dry mouth, and lightheadedness, but there was no mention of headaches. If you are prone to migraines, vaping CBD will most likely not leave you feeling any worse.
Can vaping cbd oil cause lung damage?
Simple answer: Undecided
Vapes are not without their risk, as more comprehensive research is most certainly needed before we can say for sure whether or not the lungs are effectively damaged after vaping, and to what extent. The purported health risks of vaping include gum inflammation, respiratory issues, and an increased risk of heart problems and strokes. Some vapes also contain nicotine, though vaping is still thought to be safer than using cigarettes. In fact, for the smokers amongst us, it is good to know that vaping has been suggested not only to help when it comes to quitting smoking, but it can also lead to possible improvements when it comes to the arterial stiffness and blood pressure issues caused by habitual cigarette smoking.
Can vaping CBD cause a sore throat?
Simple answer: It depends on you
If you have an allergy to CBD, it is likely that you may experience the typical signs of an allergic reaction: a dry cough, sore throat, itchy eyes, skin irritation, or watery eyes. Additionally, some people have anecdotally found that vaping can cause their throat to feel scratchy; though this is not the same for everyone and may not be the case for you.
And there you have it! We hope you have enjoyed this article and learned something new about the importance of breathing, and how CBD just might be able to help you along the way. If you’re looking for a good starting point for your vaping or meditative practice, why not check out our selection of CBD vape oils? You’re sure to find a flavour you appreciate on the way to finding your inner calm.
Written by | Infused Amphora Team
The Infused Amphora Team is dedicated to creating resources to educate and engage consumers on the growing evidence of CBD benefits and the extensive health and wellness properties of CBD Oil.
Contributor | Angus Taylor CEO
Infused Amphora “Learn” is intended for informational purposes only and is NOT a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.