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These days, thanks to the worldwide Coronavirus pandemic upon us, and all the ever-changing restrictions, lockdowns, curfews and itchy masks that come along with it, establishing that all-important balance between mind and body can feel almost impossible.
Now more than ever, it is crucial to ensure your mind and body can obtain a peaceful equilibrium; but knowing how to achieve this doesn't come easily or even intuitively.
For this reason, we at Infused Amphora have gathered together our best, scientifically-backed advice for unifying your mind and body in these testing times. And it involves introducing CBD into your life. Indeed, this exciting constituent of cannabis Sativa has been endorsed by a slew of ever-emerging scientific research. The deluge of studies on the medicinal promise of cannabidiol, together with the constant reinforcement from influencers and celebrities alike, have enabled the CBD trend to gain traction throughout the wellness world and gather innumerable followers in its wake.
Keep reading to discover our top tips on exactly how to balance your mind and body through traditional wellness rituals, with the additional help of the intriguing cannabinoid that has taken the wellness world by storm.
Cannabis Sativa and its Cannabinoids
Cannabis Sativa is a plant species as old as agriculture itself. Making up this plant are two varieties: Hemp and Marijuana. Within both cannabis Sativa varieties, there are over 100 'cannabinoids', or naturally-occurring chemicals. Some of the frontrunners in the cannabinoid family are THC, CBG, CBN and CBC; but the one grabbing everyone's attention is cannabidiol, more commonly known as CBD.
CBD and THC are the cannabinoids that have garnered the most limelight and undergone the most investigation, due to being the most abundant in the plant, with the most fascinating properties and therapeutic potential. The fundamental differences between CBD and THC are that the former is non-intoxicating and does not have mind-altering or intoxicating effects like THC.
At Infused Amphora, we are committed to working solely with the highest-quality strains of hemp, which were naturally processed and organically-grown. Our hemp is grown pesticide-free, THC-free, nicotine-free and all our final products are non-intoxicating.
On all of our products, a Certificate of Analysis (COA), can be found by scanning the QR code, entering the manufacture date, or the batch identification number. The COA will reassure you of the verified lab testing the product has undergone.
Our products come in three different ranges: ZZZ, Inspire, Peace and Mend. Our ZZZ blend is designed to hush the mind and body and induce an entirely natural good night's rest upon the user. The Inspire blend is for bolstering focus and inspiration. Thirdly, our Peace variety strives to tackle everyday stress and provide CBD users with relief and relaxation from that debilitating and progress-stunting stress with which we all struggle. Our Mend formula delivers notable relief to those dealing with aching muscles.
Overall, our range is crafted around unifying and balancing mind and body, because we know this can be tricky to do - and we all need a helping hand from time to time!
CBD meets body
When we take CBD, it interacts with a biological, regulatory system we have throughout our bodies, known as the Endocannabinoid System. This system, discovered only as recently as 2002, is believed to be the control centre of our bodies, in charge of achieving homeostasis (a state of internal balance necessary for good overall health).
There are two types of receptors, or cannabinoid receptors, in the ECS: CB1 and CB2 receptors. These are found in the Central Nervous System and the Immune System, respectively. The ECS is also made up of endocannabinoids (cannabinoids created within the body) as well as enzymes that degrade our endocannabinoids.
When we take phytocannabinoids (cannabinoids derived from a plant) such as CBD or THC, they engage with the ECS and affect how it carries out its regulatory functions. Essentially, it is believed that CBD affects the way our endocannabinoid receptors bind.
Because of its ability to work with our ECS, CBD can affect the way we feel, both physically and mentally. Numerous studies over the years have attested to its impact on mental disorders like anxiety and depression; they have gathered indisputable evidence that it can sharpen focus and raise energy levels as well as improve sleep. In addition, research has established that CBD can benefit us on a physical level by helping with conditions of the skin, muscles, joints and by serving as a potential analgesic, alleviating pain.
Given the widespread popularity of CBD, different extracts have emerged to suit consumer needs and preferences. These extracts are full-spectrum CBD, broad-spectrum CBD, and CBD isolate. The only factor that distinguishes full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD extracts is their THC content, which is usually zero in products that use the latter.
CBD isolate, on the other hand, is pure cannabidiol, meaning it has undergone extra filtering to eliminate all other compounds that may have been present in the plant. When we take full-spectrum or broad-spectrum CBD, we garner all of the benefits via a process known as the "entourage effect". This is the means by which all of the cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, vitamins and fatty acids work collaboratively to bring out the best in one another. However, given that CBD isolate only contains cannabidiol, such synergy is not possible, which suits the user who is only interested in CBD alone.
What is vaping?
Vaping is merely inhaling a liquid that has been vaporised and holding the vapour there before slowly releasing it into the air as you exhale. You do this with a vaping device that consists of a mechanism to heat up the vape oil or e-liquid contained inside, which then travels through the device to be delivered into your mouth- it is as easy as breathing.
There are numerous benefits to vaping CBD - more than any other form of CBD consumption; including capsules, ingestibles, edibles or transdermal absorption. That's because of its supremely high bioavailability (the measure of how fast and how much of the CBD actually reaches the bloodstream once consumed), estimated to be at 34–46%, with some studies reporting up a bioavailability of up to 56%. The secret behind the superior bioavailability of vaping compared to other methods of CBD consumption is in the lungs. The lining of the lungs is covered in alveoli, which offer a large, highly absorptive surface area.
Once through the alveoli, the CBD molecules are immediately transferred into the bloodstream without losing much potency on the way there - hence the bioavailability of vaping CBD towers over all other consumption methods.
Despite what you may have been led to believe about vaping, our vape oils contain no nicotine whatsoever, meaning they will not harm your lungs like ordinary e-cigarettes or traditional cigarettes. In fact, there are scarcely any adverse reactions suffered by CBD users who choose to vape their CBD. Amphora’s CBD vape oil only contains 2 simple all-natural ingredients: 20% distillate and plant based terpenes. We do not have any harmful additives associated with the negative stigma of vaping, including MCT oil, PG, VG, or Vitamin E Acetate.
Ways to incorporate CBD into mind and body-balancing practices
Balancing your mind and body isn't just about taking CBD. For internal balance, there must be balance in your lifestyle. Below, we recommend several scientifically-backed practices you can carry out for optimum mind-and-body harmony, whilst weaving in CBD.
CBD & yoga
Nowadays, for many of us, the word yoga is enough to elicit an image in our heads of the archetypal "yoga mom", heading to brunch in her multicoloured leggings.
Despite the fact that yoga has become something of a meme, emblematic of a particular idea of Western wellness, it is by no means new to the wellness scene or indigenous to the West. Its origins date back more than 5000 years in Northern India, and there is a great deal to be said about the benefits of yoga on our wellness. Indeed, studies have highlighted the benefits of yoga, with one citing it as "A discipline for integrating the mind and body into union and harmony [which] when adopted as a way of life, improves physical, mental, intellectual and spiritual health."
We at Amphora champion the integration of CBD into mind and body-balancing practices; thus, whether you make yoga part of your morning or evening routine, we recommend taking a draw or two from your CBD vape before settling down to do your yoga stretches. This will not only set the tone for ultimate relaxation after your yoga is complete; it will also allow your muscles the restoration they may need after the intensive stretching you put them through.
Often, in the early days of practising yoga, before your muscles gain strength, you may feel weak and shaky. This is from all the hard work your muscles do throughout the exercise. CBD can assist with muscle restoration; research has illuminated the impact of CBD on muscle recovery, and in one study on rats, it also showed great promise on arthritic joints. Naturally, more human-based studies are required to verify these results.
CBD & meditation
Essentially, meditation is controlled breathing and centring your body and mind to the present moment. The practice of meditation has its roots in the ancient Vedic traditions of India. It is one of the key teachings used in Ayurveda (which roughly translates to "Science of Life"), the comprehensive, natural health care system that began during these times. According to Vedic science, the real purpose of meditation is to connect oneself to one's more profound inner Self.
Research illuminates the physical and neurological benefits of meditation and mindfulness. For instance, meditative practice has been linked to lowered blood pressure in one study of 298 university students. These same results also indicate that meditation can help with psychological distress, anxiety, depression, and anger issues.
There have also been possible positive correlations between meditation and pain reduction, IBS flare-ups and smoking and addiction cessation. Do such findings remind you of anything in particular?
Since so much of meditation involves controlled breathing, we think that inhaling a draw of CBD vapour before, after or even during this practice could make a seamless addition to your meditation, whilst bringing you all the added benefits that CBD offers.
CBD & walks
In the UK, walking is the latest fashion: during lockdown, at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was recorded that 61% of British women and 50% of their male counterparts began walking more often than previously. So, if you are one of the heaps of Britons that has taken up this wholesome pastime, adding CBD to your walking routine shouldn't be too much of a stretch. Picture this: a gentle stroll through the scenic English countryside, the rolling hills before you, or the bustling streets of your city, or breathing in the crisp suburban air. Now, add some CBD to whichever of those scenes you're envisioning, and you have yourself a perfect picture!
Besides the obvious benefits of walking for physical fitness, it is an excellent opportunity to take in the fresh air and check in with your thoughts. Studies have charted a relationship between walking and improved mental health. The outside is also a great space for breathing in the vapoury goodness of CBD and exhaling it into the surrounding air, without fear of your vapour invading anybody else's space nearby.
CBD & diet
Needless to say, a poor diet results in poor physical health. We don't just refer to body weight, but poor immunity, increased chances of heart disease - the list goes on. But what many people don't realise, is that an unhealthy diet also equates to an unhealthy mind. Scores of studies declare that a poor diet (one that lacks sufficient nutritional value) can increase one's likelihood of depression.
CBD and healthy eating complement each other excellently, for a number of reasons:
- CBD is packed with nutritional value. It contains essential vitamins, terpenes and fatty acids that you may otherwise struggle to include in your diet. That, however, is not a call to eat whatever as long as you take CBD to compensate. Instead, CBD can smoothly supplement a healthy diet that is already laden with nutrients.
- Because it engages with the ECS, CBD is able to help regulate our metabolism and appetite. As a result, studies have even cited CBD as helping to manage some cases of obesity.
- CBD is believed to be an antioxidant. As hinted by the word antioxidant, it reportedly helps prevent the process of oxidative stress. In simple terms, this is the process by which free radicals in the body, which are unbalanced atoms, set off chain reactions that can lead to ill-health. Oxidative stress is believed to be a leading cause of multiple long term health conditions; namely cardiovascular conditions, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and others.
CBD & sleep
If you haven't been sleeping well as of late, you're not alone. Actually, you're part of half the UK population that also had sleeping troubles through lockdown. Two in five (39%) say they've slept fewer hours per night on average compared with before the lockdown.
Sleep is vital for cognitive performance, better mental health and much more; so lack of sleep is sure to trigger a decline in these functions and make daily life a struggle.
Sleeping disorders come in multiple forms, such as insomnia, sleep apnea and REM sleep behaviour disorder. Each has its own set of hellish symptoms, such as disturbing, vivid nightmares which you may act out in your sleep; the stopping and starting of breathing during sleep, or the simple inability to fall unconscious for the night.
Enter CBD, whose benefits on sleep have been widely corroborated by research. Taking a dose of CBD before your head hits the pillow could just be key for attaining that undisturbed, comatose-like slumber.
CBD works mainly by tackling the root of the issue underlying a sleep disorder. Factors that may be having a detrimental impact on your sleep could include stress, anxiety, depression, pain, medications, caffeine, other health problems, and many others. Although the mechanism by which CBD helps promote better sleep is yet to be fully understood, it is thought that when we take CBD before bed, it interacts with the CB1 receptors (found in the brain and spinal cord, which make up the central nervous system) and regulates the production of cortisol, our primary stress hormone.
For useful tips on how to make a trusty CBD purchase, it's worth checking off each point on the to-do list below:
- Always consult the laws surrounding CBD in your country or state before making a purchase from a CBD outlet. Whilst CBD is legal throughout the UK, most EU countries, in the US (at a federal level) and in many other countries around the world, regulations about how much THC content a CBD-based product is allowed to contain still apply and vary between countries and states.
- Be sure to check for a Certificate of Analysis (COA) before making a CBD purchase. A COA should list the exact cannabinoid profile of a CBD product, certifying it as having been tested by a third-party laboratory. For vape oils, avoid additives like propylene glycol (PG), vegetable glycerin (VG), Vitamin E acetate and polyethylene glycol (PEG), which can contain ethylene oxide. These additives can potentially cause harm, so best stick with vape oils that do not include such substances - like our own vape oils at Infused Amphora.
- Ensure the CBD outlet is transparent and reputable. This ties in with the previous point, but it is essential to know that the company has visible reviews so you can get a real sense of what their products are like.
- Avoid vaping CBD if you are pregnant, family-planning or breastfeeding. Though research is yet to confirm the effects of CBD on any of these, it is thought that this cannabinoid may have an impact on the formation of foetuses and the quality of breast milk, so we would advise steering clear of it.
- Should you have any doubts about beginning a CBD regime, speak to your healthcare provider. This especially applies if you are on medications for a health condition, as the use of CBD could influence them.
- As a piece of uniform advice, we always say to start with a low dose of CBD and gradually work your way up to more potent doses, until you find the appropriate concentration for your weight, metabolism and other factors unique to your body.
- Try not to exceed 70mg per day, in line with guidelines from the Food Standards Agency (FSA).
- Be experimental! CBD products are designed to be an entirely natural, organic and safe way to reap the benefits of this cannabinoid. There is an array of different products out there to try, and a vast spectrum of flavours, too.
To vape or not to vape? That is the question…
As the world trudges along in disarray, much of what we knew has been forced to make way for a new "normal". To many, this has meant a change, or total collapse, of our precious routines. One way you can restore some semblance of routine is by taking CBD on a daily basis, which will help to ensure a stabilised mind and body.
As we say, though, there are multiple factors that go into maintaining wellness and harmony between mind and body. Doing all the things we recommended is sure to set you on a path towards such harmony. However, sometimes ticking all of the boxes by eating the world's healthiest diet; getting consistently peaceful nights' sleep, meditating, walking and doing yoga still isn't enough. If you have persistent feelings of stress, anxiety or sadness, or indeed you are suffering with new pains, don't hesitate in talking to a doctor or counsellor to get to the root of the problem.
In sum, we think a daily routine of vaping CBD is one of the kindest things you can do for your mind and body. This constituent of cannabis is brimming with potential for your wellbeing, and, with very low likelihood of adverse reactions or negative side effects, we think there is not much to lose and a whole lot to be gained from adding CBD to your wellness regime.
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.