Cannabis and yoga share a lot in common. For starters, both have a reasonably long history.

Yoga traces its origin back to over 5,000 years ago. Some researchers and historians believe that the practice might even be more than 10,000 years old. And considering that yoga is mostly passed down through the oral transmission of sacred texts, its history might be older than what most pieces of evidence suggest.

Similarly, cannabis has a history of human use spanning more than 2,500 years. Extracts from the herb were originally used in the textile industry.

Another glaring similarity between cannabis and yoga is that they both share similar medicinal properties. Some of those include pain management, stress relief, improved mental concentration, enhanced blood circulation, and an overall state of balance between the mind, body, and soul. So, if you’re battling chronic stress and anxiety, combining cannabis and yoga might be your ultimate remedy.

Read on for more insights on how cannabis and yoga work synergistically for stress relief.

How Do Yoga and Cannabis Relieve Stress?

Yoga relieves stress by integrating various crucial stress-reducing techniques, including exercise, breath control, clearing of the mind, and relaxation of the body.

Stress causes too much tension to pile up in your muscles, resulting in a feeling of tightness and discomfort. If the condition persists, the tension in your muscles may begin to manifest as pain. Most yoga-based exercises target the tension that builds up in your pressure points such as the palms, feet, hips, and lower back. By freeing your muscles of undue tension, the exercises consequently help to banish your stress and anxiety. Also, exercises generally trigger the release of ‘feel-good’ hormones like endorphins, which counteract the adverse effects of stress.

Breath work

In addition to exercise, yoga also manages stress by giving you higher control over your breath. In fact, all yoga routines include some pranayama, or breathwork. While breathing remains an involuntary function, the mere awareness of the depth or shallowness of your breath plays a core role in relaxing your body.

Yoga also helps to clear your mind of racing thoughts. Instead of recreating past events or anticipating possible future scenarios, yoga focuses on the present moment. As you relish the joys of the moment, all of your anxieties melt away so you can relax and concentrate better.

Lastly, yoga relieves stress through relaxation using the savasana or corpse pose. The pose usually lasts five to ten minutes and offers you a peaceful transition back into the world, feeling renewed and re-energized to handle your daily stressors.

For its part, cannabis relieves stress by boosting the function of your endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system is responsible for regulating your body’s homeostatic balance. Extracts from the plant, such as cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), trigger the release of ‘feel-good’ neurotransmitters like serotonin. Higher serotonin levels is associated with reduced stress and anxiety.

Research on the anxiolytic effects of cannabis has shown that the herb is effective against various anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, etc.

How to Integrate Cannabis Into Your Yoga Routine

Find the right product

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The cannabis industry teems with thousands of products sold under different categories. Using a Guide to Cannabis, you can be introduced to a number of products that include inhalables, edibles, and topicals. Your choice of these products depends on the nature and severity of the stress you wish to relieve.

Start low

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a beginner or seasoned yogis. When combining yoga with cannabis, the conventional wisdom is to begin low.

As you shall find, there’s no one-dose-fits-all with cannabis. Each user has their ideal dose, otherwise known as the ‘sweet spot.’  By starting low and working your way up gradually, you’ll eventually establish your sweet spot.

Once you’ve established your ideal dose, respect it. Remember that you cannot remove the cannabis you’ve already consumed.

Choose the right yoga poses

The goal is relaxation. Therefore, you should stay away from standing yoga asanas that require heightened coordination. Instead, focus on floor postures, particularly those that allow you ample time to meditate.

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But note that postures which require coordination, such as drop-backs and handstands, may be necessary for examining how deep the cannabis product you’re using has affected your motor skills.

Most importantly, the asana that you practice should include the four fundamental aspects – exercise, breath control, mental focus, and a short period of relaxation at the end of each interval.

Consider full-spectrum cannabis products

Full-spectrum cannabis products refer to products that are formulated with CBD, THC, and a host of other medically beneficial cannabis compounds. Such products are believed to work synergistically to deliver compounded health benefits.

THC in full-spectrum products acts as a mild stimulant at low doses and a sedative at high doses. So, you can consume products with higher concentrations of THC to enjoy the stimulating benefits of cannabis and lower your doses if you’re looking for tranquilizing effects.

Non-psychotropic cannabinoids like CBD relieve stress by enhancing your body’s signalling of serotonin. CBD is also a vasodilator and can improve your cardiovascular system by boosting blood flow to various organs within the body.

However, note that if you’re new to cannabis, you may be unable to handle the euphoria induced by THC. Therefore, the rule of starting low applies here too. In this case, you should experiment with even lower doses of THC until you’re acquainted with its psychoactive properties.

Choose the right strains

This ties back to choosing full-spectrum cannabis products. Cannabis has numerous strains and each one delivers specific effects. Once again, you will want something that will align with the four core functions of yoga – exercise boosting, breath control, mental awareness, and relaxation.

The following are popular cannabis strains along with their signature effects:

  • Fruity Pebbles – Induces euphoria and relaxation
  • Sour Diesel – Energizes and lifts the mood
  • Pineapple Express – An energizing and mood-lifting strain
  • Acapulco Gold – Induces euphoria
  • Blue Dream – Totally relaxing and sedating
  • Purple Kush – Induces euphoria, relaxation, and sleep
  • Northern Lights – Induces relaxation and sleep

Conclusion

Evidently, pairing cannabis with yoga can go a long way in improving your health and wellness routine. You only need to find the right cannabis products that optimize your favored asanas. And when you find it, remember to integrate the substance into your life carefully as you gradually increase your doses.

References

  • https://www.yogabasics.com/learn/history-of-yoga/
  • https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/06/oldest-evidence-marijuana-use-discovered-2500-year-old-cemetery-peaks-western-china
  • https://osteopathic.org/what-is-osteopathic-medicine/benefits-of-yoga/
  • https://www.verywellmind.com/how-yoga-can-help-reduce-stress-3567211
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4604171/
  • https://weedmaps.com/learn/the-plant/strains-what-do-they-tell-you/

Evidently, pairing cannabis with yoga can go a long way in improving your health and wellness routine. You only need to find the right cannabis products that optimize your favored asanas. And when you find it, remember to integrate the substance into your life carefully as you gradually increase your doses.

Who is the author?

Nancy Fernandez is a cannabis and health industry consultant who frequently writes about the latest trends in the industry. She has been writing on CBD for a long time now. Through her writing, she hopes to influence as many people as possible to help maintain better health and lifestyle. She has written many informative blogs on other verticals too.

All products featured on Longevity LIVE are independently selected by our editors. However, if you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
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Guest Writer

This post has been curated by a Longevity Live editor for the website.

The content in this editorial is for general information only and is not intended to provide medical or other professional advice. For more information on your medical condition and treatment options, speak to your healthcare professional.

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