Cannabidiol (CBD) may seem like it’s been a hot topic on the wellness front for quite some time now.
After all, the non-psychoactive compound of marijuana has touted for its stress and anxiety-relieving properties without getting you high. It has a cult following, and for good reason: there’s a lot of data and evidence that CBD does work. So it’s everywhere these days: from CBD capsules to oils, beverages and edibles, getting rid of stress has never been easier.
But sharing the limelight with CBD these days are adaptogens.
Adaptogens have been known for hundreds of years especially in Asia and India, and among those who follow Ayurvedic lifestyle principles. They refer to types of plants that possess special properties to help the body cope with stress, regulate healthy functioning and hormonal balance. Aside from that, they have numerous other health benefits such as help fighting off fatigue, reduce inflammation, improve sleep, and improve cognitive function even when we are under periods of stress among others.
Benefits of combining CBD and adaptogens
Popular and common adaptogens that you’ll easily encounter in the market are the following:
Ashwagandha: Widely used for centuries to treat stress and anxiety, and its use in ayurvedic potions. Ashwagandha is a root that is also used in some eastern delicacies.
Rhodiola: Rhodiola is an adaptogen appreciated for its ability to provide energy. It is even said that the Vikings consumed rhodiola before they did their raids. A 2013 study discovered that amateur cyclists who consumed the plant finished a timed race quicker than the placebo group and with reduced heart rates.
Tulsi: This shrub, also known as the queen of herbs or holy basil, is popular in Ayurvedic tradition for its ability to reduce anxiety and increase focus. It can also help with reducing stress and depression, while boosting immunity through regulation of hormones and healthy responses.
Reishi mushrooms: Reishi mushrooms are renowned for their antioxidant properties. They are taken to support immunity but can also help keep the skin looking young.
Other famous adaptogens include cordyceps, chaga, and tocos.
On their own, most adaptogens are too bitter to be consumed which is why they are usually manufactured into a powder meant to be added to drinks or smoothies, or as capsules. When consumed, they are said to work with the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis, which is made up of several hormones, receptors, and glands in the body whereas cannabinoids interact with our endocannabinoid system.
Adaptogens work with the HPA to restore homeostasis and balance within our system especially if we are feeling out of whack because of exposure to stress whether it’s physical, emotional, mental, or environmental. In many cases, we produce stress hormones and adaptogens can help to reduce it while when there’s too little of one, adaptogens can help replenish it. Adaptogens are meant to be taken in the long term to provide stability to our internal systems instead of taking them as a band-aid remedy whenever we feel sick, so you likely won’t feel many benefits using them just once.
On the other hand, immediate effects can be felt when you use CBD to medicate for a variety of conditions such as anxiety, insomnia, panic attacks, and more though you can also use CBD as part of a long-term holistic solution for improving overall health.
However, the benefits of CBD as well as adaptogens clearly fill a massive void in western medicine so it’s not surprising to see patients fall for their charms. You don’t even have to be ill in order to appreciate the benefits of CBD and adaptogens; they can be taken to support your overall system.
Is it safe to combine CBD and adaptogens?
Both cannabis and adaptogens are nontoxic plants that interact with the human body gently. But before you start taking adaptogens or combining it with CBD, here are some things to keep in mind:
Talk to your physician first: At the time of writing, both CBD and adaptogens are not regulated by the FDA especially when they are produced into food and drink or taken as supplements. They don’t have to work or prove its safety in order to be sold in the marketplace. Having said that, there are many brands out there for both that are dubious as well as highly renowned, so make sure that you do your research or ask for your doctor’s recommendations.
Additionally, your physician can also give you clearance to take certain CBD and adaptogen products to make sure that everything in the ingredient list is safe for you to take. When shopping for adaptogenic products, always helps to buy products with the USP seal on any jar, which will tell you that it has been checked by the United States Pharmacopia.
Medication interactions: If you are already taking prescription drugs, any or all of them can have undesirable side effect when combined with CBD and/or adaptogens. You should talk to an herbalist or naturopath to make sure that it’s 100% safe for you to start taking these ingredients with the rest of your medications. There are known interactions with prescription drugs, so don’t assume they are completely safe even if they are natural.
Start with smaller doses: Whenever trying out anything new, it always helps to start small in terms of doses, and work your way up gradually. The same is true with CBD and adaptogens, so start with small doses unless you have consulted with a doctor or naturopath who has given you clearance to start with moderate doses right away. Some unwanted side effects that are associated with taking too much adaptogens too fast include dizziness, headaches, or nausea, while for CBD it can cause strong sedation and sleepiness.