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2020. We think it's fair to say this year has been one of chaos. Frankly, we ought to give ourselves a generous pat on the back for making it through the last few pandemic-ridden, health-threatening, stress-inducing months.
No matter who you are, the COVID-19 chapter, which is ever-unfolding, has likely been turbulent for you. Now more than ever, self-care is imperative; if you haven't yet pressed pause for some much-needed self-nurturing, it is definitely time you do. To help you along, we have laid out an array of tips on how to maintain a level mind and body during these times of uncertainty. We will be exploring how you can feel a sense of calm that has, for many of us, slipped through our clutches during this pandemic, and we have also prepared some timeless and trusty tips for maintaining a healthy equilibrium of your mind and body. But before all that, let's learn more about CBD vapes, and how they might be able to fit into your new lockdown wellness routine.
CBD: what is it?
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a compound that is a component of the Cannabis Sativa plant. CBD is one of over 100 other naturally-occurring cannabinoids present in the cannabis plant. Some of CBD’s cannabinoid-cousins include THC, CBG, CBC and CBN. Of those we just mentioned, we are sure you recognise THC. Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC for short, is the intoxicating cannabinoid in cannabis, which, in large doses, causes the “high” sensation that is commonly associated with recreational cannabis use. THC and CBD are the most abundant cannabinoids in cannabis, and so are the two that have been the most extensively characterised and researched, and are also known most widely by the general public.
How does CBD work?
In order to explain how CBD works, we’re going to have to get just a little bit scientific. Don’t worry, we promise to keep it as clear and simple as possible.
In each and every one of us, there is a system known as the Endocannabinoid System or ECS. The ECS is made up of receptors that regulate vital physiological functions, such as cognition, sleep, emotion, and memory. These receptors, known as endocannabinoid receptors, are concentrated in the Central Nervous System and the Immune System. The ECS also consists of endocannabinoids, which are cannabinoids that are produced by our bodies, and enzymes that break down the endocannabinoids. These endocannabinoids then interact with ECS receptors, and together are involved in a variety of regulatory and bodily processes. Phytocannabinoids is the term used to describe cannabinoids that are not produced by the body but are instead found in plants like cannabis. It is thought that these interact with the ECS, which is the mechanism by which they affect our bodies and our health.
The ECS is involved with many processes in our body, and the extent of its influence is not yet fully established. One of its many functions is its role in maintaining certain processes of homeostasis, which is the mechanisms by which our body ensures stable internal conditions. A great example of homeostasis is the maintenance of our core body temperature; when we get too hot our body switches on things like sweating to cool us down, when we’re too cold we involuntarily shiver to warm us up.
Research to date has established that there are interactions between CBD and our ECS; more specifically it is thought that CBD modifies the binding of cannabinoid receptors and enhances our natural level of endocannabinoids, which then has downstream effects on our health. As investigations continue, the research community will be able to establish exactly what effect CBD has on our body and how it interacts with the complex mechanisms and processes that shape us.
What is Vaping?
In case any of you haven’t come across vaping before, or aren’t familiar with how they work, a vaporiser is a small handheld instrument, into which you pop a vape cartridge pre-filled with vape oil or e-liquid. To use a vaping device, you would place your mouth on the mouthpiece and breathe in, pressing the button if there is one. At this point, the device vaporises the e-liquid contained in the cartridge and releases its now-vaporised contents into your mouth. Vaping, then, is the act of inhaling the vape oil through this device.
A vape is composed of a battery to power it, an atomiser, mouthpiece and chamber. The atomiser is the heating element in the vaping device and vaporises the vape oil. The chamber is the area of the vape that holds your vaping oil and the mouthpiece allows the vapour to travel from the chamber into your mouth.
Putting the pieces together - how can you combine CBD and Vaping?
CBD is currently all the rage, and it seems that its popularity is only set to grow as it becomes a more mainstream wellness trend. As a result, new wonderful ways of consuming and absorbing CBD are constantly emerging, including vaping CBD. Vaping CBD is, in fact, one of the most efficient ways of taking CBD, and, when vaped, you can start to feel the effects of the CBD as early as within 15 minutes of inhaling it. In addition to this, the bioavailability of the CBD, meaning the amount of the CBD that actually makes it into your bloodstream and then to its target destination, is much higher when vaped compared to other methods of consuming CBD such as sublingual absorption under the tongue, or direct ingestion. When vaped, the CBD enters your bloodstream by diffusing through the lining of the lungs, meaning the compound is absorbed in a speedy and efficient manner.
Here at Amphora, our CBD vape oil is of the highest quality, and we use CBD Distillate for maximum bioavailability and safety. Where other brands may use harmful carrier oils, Amphora only uses terpenes that are also natural components of the cannabis plant, to make sure our CBD is safe and wholeheartedly organic and natural.
What is CBD Distillate?
Unlike CBD Isolate, which is simply pure CBD without any other ingredients, CBD Distillate contains other beneficial components that are found in the cannabis plant. Refinement of the extract to remove any traces of THC is carried out, so what you are left with are other cannabinoids, terpenes, vitamins, and fatty acids. To be clear, CBD Distillate is a synonym for “Broad-spectrum” CBD extract, if you thought their characteristics sounded familiar. We use CBD Distillate in our vape oils, as we believe in preserving the natural benefits of all the components of the cannabis plant working together. It is thought that the constituents of cannabis can enhance each other's effects, in what is known as the ‘entourage effect’.
That’s most of the basics of CBD covered! In case you still have some doubts or questions, here are answers to some quick FAQs that we know people often struggle with.
Is CBD legal?
Absolutely! CBD is totally legal in the UK. The only restrictions that exist on CBD and cannabinoid-based products is that the THC concentration is limited, in order for a product to qualify as legal, it must contain less than 0.2% THC. The same rule applies in most countries in the EU, too. The equivalent law in the US has set the legal THC threshold at 0.3%.
Is vaping CBD safe?
It is unquestionably safe: CBD has been approved by none other than the World Health Organisation (WHO), who have deemed it safe for human consumption. So far, there have been few reports of minor adverse effects, including headaches, nausea, lightheadedness and diarrhoea.
Vaping is also totally safe. However, there are vape products out there that have the potential to be harmful to your health, as some unreputable producers sell vape products with additives or other harmful substances. Needless to say, our vape oils do not contain any additives like PG and VG; they are free from known toxic ingredients like vitamin E acetate and are completely organic and safe to use. We also carry our third-party testing to ensure and provide evidence for the quality of our products, something that you should always look out for when buying any form of CBD product.
Is there Nicotine in CBD Vapes?
Nope! Whilst a lot of vaping cartridges contain nicotine and are targeted at ex-smokers, at Amphora our CBD products are entirely nicotine-free; our goal is to provide you with a vaping experience focussed on CBD and its health-maintaining benefits.
Will I get high from vaping CBD?
Negative! You will not get high as our e-liquids are completely THC-free!
Keep it simple: the practical benefits of vaping CBD
There are many practical advantages to vaping Cannabidiol.
Firstly, everything about vaping CBD is fast. In theory, it takes only seconds to retrieve your vape and inhale from it, and the quick absorption times when inhaling CBD makes this a quick and efficient way to get your CBD dose. After a draw or two, depending on the amount of CBD in your vape oil, and your metabolism, you should promptly be able to feel the beneficial effects of the CBD.
Given how commonplace vaping is today, it’s also a very discreet way to take CBD, and if you’re already a regular vaper, it’s a great way to incorporate CBD into your existing daily habits and routine.
Another benefit of vaping CBD is that you can easily adjust your CBD dose, both by choosing vape oils that contain higher or lower concentrations of CBD, as well as by changing the frequency with which you inhale. Because your optimal CBD dose is entirely individual and will depend on your metabolism, what you’re taking CBD for and more, vaping CBD gives you great flexibility to take the dose of CBD that is the best for you. If you’re new to CBD, we recommend you start small and incrementally increase your intake. In this way, you’ll be able to determine your preferred dosage.
CBD for health and wellbeing
Vaping CBD isn’t just practical, it's also a great way of boosting the maintenance of your health and wellbeing. Although a fairly new field, research is emerging that is indicative of many potential benefits of taking CBD and, consequently, vaping CBD. Research surrounding CBD still has some way to go, and further research is desperately needed before definitive claims can be made, but existing findings have already made significant progress in establishing the way in which CBD interacts with our bodies.
Throughout the pandemic, poor sleep has been an undesirable by-product for many because of factors like stress, changed routines and more. A survey carried out in May by King's College London, based on 2,254 interviews with UK residents aged 16-75, revealed that nearly two-thirds (63%) of respondents reported overall deteriorated sleeping patters since the start of lockdown. Of course, there are a whole host of causes behind sleeping problems; namely stress, anxiety and pain, amongst others.
Enter CBD. Many CBD-lovers already report taking it for promoting better quality sleep. Accordingly, there are studies that support that CBD may also tackle sleep-related problems such as insomnia and sleep apnea. It is currently thought that the reason CBD an affect your sleep quality is as it has the capacity to regulate the stress hormone, cortisol, which can play an important regulatory role in sleep. In addition to this, CBD has also been linked to a reduction in ailments that can cause poor sleep, including anxiety, stress, and aches and pains, so CBD could help you gain more restful sleep at night by alleviating these too.
There is some debate surrounding whether or not CBD has therapeutic effects on ADHD. While existing studies are hopeful, more research is required to confirm its success in managing this disorder. What we do know is that CBD can stimulate the production of your body’s endocannabinoids, which are involved in processes that impact your concentration and productivity. So, next time you find yourself reaching for a coffee - maybe consider trying out CBD instead, if you’re looking to find your focus.
Away with anxiety
It should come as no surprise that during lockdown our mental health took in a large proportion of the British population. One survey reported that young adults in the UK between the ages of 18 and 24 were almost three times more likely than usual to have felt lonely, with almost half (44%) recording feelings of isolation since lockdown.
CBD could be one way to support your wellbeing and thereby reduce the negative feelings that have accompanied this chaotic chapter in history. Studies demonstrate that CBD may help tackle anxiety disorders such as generalised anxiety disorder; Panic Disorder (PD); Social Anxiety Disorder, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). CBD is also purported to help temper our mood levels, thanks to its interaction with serotonin and adenosine receptors in the ECS. These two neurochemicals have important functions in regulating mood along with other cognitive activity.
A general tip when vaping CBD would be to check the ingredients list and look out for a Certificate of Analysis (COA). A COA is a third-party lab report that verifies the ingredients in a product. It should outline the cannabinoid and terpene profile of a product, and highlight if there are any other contaminants too. At Amphora, we espouse total transparency, so you will find all of our Certificates Of Analysis readily available to view on our website.
CBD is a great way to support and maintain your health, but it’s important to remember to live a healthy balanced lifestyle too. If you are looking for some more traditional ways to keep your mind and body balanced in these trying times, don't worry - we’ve got you covered. Whether you’re into meditation or immersing yourself in nature, or neither, we have five scientifically-backed ideas on how you can centre your body and mind during these challenging times.
Meditation and mindfulness - rather like cannabis - have a long history of usage in ancient cultures and have recently bled into mainstream, Western culture. Thanks to modern, nifty apps that facilitate meditative practice, mindfulness can now be led by the syrupy voices of professionals who offer detailed step-by-step guidance. There are also ample resources available on the internet which can support your meditation practice.
Studies demonstrate that meditation has a vast number of potential health benefits for both physiological and cerebral functions. Research has reported that meditation can diminish stress, anxiety, depression and pain (both physical and psychological) and can improve memory. In terms of physiological benefits, meditation has also been shown in some cases to reduce blood pressure, heart rate, metabolism and even level out jagged breathing patterns.
Meditation involves training yourself in awareness; it is the practice of observing what is around you, acknowledging your sensory experiences and your thoughts. Mindfulness is what its name suggests: being mindful. It is not the act of batting away your thoughts or even switching them off; rather, it is acknowledging them and then re-centring yourself, all the while controlling your breathing. We know, it can initially be difficult to get your head around these concepts - how can sitting still and controlling how you breathe do anything at all? It's all in the literature, folks!
Is running not for you? We understand. It is hard to gather the motivation, not to mention confidence. Nevertheless, if you are, or were, one of the millions working from home, it can feel suffocating to remain couped up in the four walls of your house, staring into your laptop screen. Even as many of us are coming back out of strict lockdowns, it’s likely that this period has changed your priorities and your habits, and that you would probably benefit from some time outdoors.
We recommend you take yourself off into the fresh air once a day for a refreshing change of scenery. Scores of studies testify that walking, among other forms of exercise, can hugely reduce stress levels. Whenever you choose to go for a walk, in the morning to start your day or at the end of it, you will feel miles better after stretching your legs and putting your body to good use. If you have the pleasure of being accompanied by a furry friend, even better. The point is to get outside, get some exercise, and if possible to take some time to be in nature.
Walks can also be a great time to check in with your thoughts. Whilst it may be tempting to put in your earphones and walk along rhythmically in time to your music, it might be worth it once in a while to walk without distractions and let your mind wander.
You are not at risk of catching SARS-Cov2 simply by going on a walk, but make sure you are safe and sensible when you do go outside, for your safety as much as for the safety of others. Always make sure you’re adhering to social distancing guidelines, and it’s a good idea to bring along a pocket-sized hand sanitiser in case you do come into contact with anything or anyone while you’re out and about.
At the risk of sounding old-fashioned: we are truly fortunate to live in an age where we have endless content at our fingertips. Thanks to apps like the podcast app, or Spotify - both of which have an abundance of podcasts - gone are the days of hear-it-live-or-miss-it radio. Podcasts make an excellent passive activity that can simultaneously relax and educate you. From current affairs (though these days it may be advisable to take a break from this, especially if it's relaxation you’re after) to celebrity interviews, to real-life inspiring love stories - the diversity of content knows no bounds.
Equally, setting aside a portion of each day to make your way through an audiobook can be a great way to pacify your mind whilst keeping it focused and engaged. One study even indicated that being absorbed in a fiction or nonfiction audiobook could have benefits on the mental wellbeing of the listener. This is especially useful for those who do not enjoy the activity of reading but still want to reap its intellectually-stimulating benefits and expand their modes of entertainment beyond their TV screen.
Arts and Crafts
If you are part of the so-called “Instagram Generation”, you probably spent lockdown watching your friends get into all sorts of new creative activities that they could do from the comfort of their own home. Indeed, many got creative with different forms of arts and crafts during lockdown, doing everything from painting to pottery.
Art therapy could prove extremely valuable for treating several issues connected to the mind and body. Studies corroborate this, showing it can help alleviate the symptoms of various mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, phobias and post-traumatic stress disorder. Arts and crafts could be a perfect way to express how you feel in a visual manner; a cathartic, relaxing and stabilising activity for a frantic mind.
Not only that, carrying out arts and crafts in whatever form - painting pottery, colouring, or simply doodling - can instil a sense of accomplishment in you. Investing in an adult colouring book may just be the greatest investment you make in the current climate.
Perhaps you don't like speaking to family and friends for fear of burdening them; perhaps you feel they have enough on their plates as it is. Journalling, or “expressive writing”, can provide the perfect solution to this. Before you switch off, hear us out.
One particularly notable study revealed that participants who were asked to write about traumatic events for 15–20 minute periods on a handful of occasions had considerably better physical and psychological outcomes compared to those who didn't partake in this activity. It even suggested that blood pressure was lowered and liver functionality improved for those who scribbled down their feelings. Overall, journaling has revealed itself to be massively influential in reducing trauma. The simple act of putting pen to paper can be very cathartic and help the authoring process what they have been through, their feelings, and can help you organise and compartmentalise your thoughts.
Whether you elect to vape to decrease your stress levels, sleep more deeply or improve focus; or you choose a more traditional approach and incorporate one of our non-CBD activities into your daily routine; we really hope that you reap all the possible benefits that these activities have to offer. Do remember, though, that it isn’t solely about additional stress-alleviating activities; it is also important to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle on a day-to-day basis.
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.
Contributors | Angus Taylor + Dr Gaylord Wardell
IPI is a pharmaceutical ingredient company that cultivates cannabis strains curated to extract specific cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids for the formulation of effects-based health and wellness products. Angus is an experienced public speaker, engaging stakeholders, governments and media. Angus was the co-founder of NewLeaf Cannabis, Canada’s most successful retail brand to date, and has been established as a well-known and recognized expert in the field.
Dr Wardell is a practising physician with over 40 years of clinical and educational experience in pain management, medical practices and education. Dr Wardell is past President of the Pain Society of Alberta, and current President of the Alberta Medical Association, section of Pain. He is a popular public speaker, an active blogger on medical and pain-related issues, and proponent for scientific validation for patients experiencing pain.
Infused Amphora “Learn” is intended for informational purposes only and is NOT a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.