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The benefits of CBD with yoga

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Using CBD to ease pain and inflammation can help you enjoy yoga fully

Looking for a moment of bliss? Try using CBD as part of your yoga practice. 

Many of us experience anxiety at some point, whether through work or personal pressures, or simply daily life getting too much. 

According to charity Mind, one in four people will experience some form of mental health problems in the UK, with mixed anxiety and depression and generalised anxiety disorder the most common conditions. These mental health problems can be challenging to manage, which is why most sufferers use a combination of tools. One of the most popular remedies, however, is yoga. 

Focusing on strength, flexibility and breathing to boost mental and physical health, not only is yoga great for soothing the mind in the short term, but it also teaches practitioners how to address their anxiety in the longer term too. 

To boost the benefits even further, yoga pairs perfectly with another of our favourite relaxation tools – CBD. It has long been documented that CBD can have a positive effect in those suffering with anxiety, increasing serotonin and interacting with receptors in the endocannabinoid system. 

Let’s start at the very beginning – this partnership has a history. Cannabis is a sacred plant in India, where yoga originated, and has been smoked by Saddhus (wandering holy men) in conjunction with yoga practices for centuries.

If you’ve always wanted to try yoga but struggled due to a pre-existing condition, CBD could be the solution to help get your practice underway. The remedy has been shown to relieve chronic pain, with one 2018 review finding that CBD was effective in overall pain management for conditions including cancer, neuropathic pain and fibromyalgia, while presenting no negative side effects. 

By easing the symptoms of chronic pain, CBD can allow sufferers to fully partake in a yoga practice and begin to reap the benefits the exercise can bring to their condition. 

Whether you’re a yoga novice or a long-time practitioner, it’s not uncommon to suffer from aches and pains after a session. Thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, CBD can relieve you of these issues.

A 2016 study looked at the effect the remedy on rats, finding that topical gel reduced joint swelling with no significant side effects. With no niggles playing on your mind, you’re able to move freely and quieten your mind, making Savasana – the final relaxation period in yoga – much more rejuvenating. 

While the main reason many of us partake in yoga is to ease anxiety, it can be difficult to shake thoughts and feelings enough to allow us to fully commit to the practice – this is where CBD can help. 

As mentioned above, studies have found that the remedy alone can reduce our anxiety levels. In a study from 2010, for example, subjects with social anxiety disorder were given CBD and tested using statistical parametric mapping (a method used to record brain activity). They showed lowered anxiety levels as well as significant activity in the brain areas associated with emotions and motivation. 

By decreasing these anxious feelings, users will find it easier to rid their mind of negative thoughts and focus solely on the soothing benefits of yoga. 

And the benefits don’t stop as soon as your session does – CBD can also help to prolong the feelings of bliss obtained during Savasana. When we feel good, our brain produces a neurotransmitter called Anandamide, which is broken down quickly in the body and so doesn’t offer a perpetual state of bliss. CBD, however, has been found to suppress the enzymes that break down Anandamide, therefore creating longer lasting effects. 

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Red Eyez: Making CBD accessible to the masses

Red Eyez CBD founder Darshan Patel shares his industry insight with Cannabis Health News along with advice for those looking to get started in the industry

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Red Eyez: A collection of CBD jars and bottles against a pink and orange sunset

CBD could be a part of everyone’s daily wellbeing routine, but it needs to be affordable first, says founder of Red Eyez CBD, Darshan Patel.

Red Eyez CBD founder Darshan Patel shares his industry insight with Cannabis Health News. The potential benefits of CBD are well reported, and with increasing awareness of the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) the world is starting to wake up to the fact that this natural supplement could bring a boost to everyone’s well-being.

There’s just one catch; as well as making the commitment to improve your health, you have to be prepared to make the financial investment.

The founder of UK-based CBD brand Red Eyez, Darshan Patel is trying to change that. He believes that the wealth of CBD products on the market right now are overpriced, with companies driving up price points to make huge profits.

Red Eyez broad-spectrum CBD

When Patel brought his 1000mg broad-spectrum oil to the market after his launch in August 2020 – the ideal starting point he says, for those wanting to try CBD for the first time – it was priced at £19.99.

It’s a stark contrast to the costs of some products out there, which can reach into the triple figures.

“When I started looking at CBD, the first bottle I saw was £119 for 10ml. It put me off straight away,” says Patel.

“That’s a big investment for someone to be able to jump in and use it regularly.”

He continues: “We’re trying to bring CBD products to the market which are affordable to everybody.

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“There are a lot of products on the market that are highly-priced, but we’re bringing the same or better quality products for a fraction of that.

“We want to get CBD into people’s cupboards and into their routine as something they use daily, because that’s when they stand to benefit the most.”

Patel wants to make CBD accessible to everyone, not just those with enough disposable income at their fingertips. All of us have an ECS, so we all stand to benefit from its properties.

“People are becoming aware of the fact that we all have ECS, so realistically we need to have access to this supplement,” he says.

“Just as people take vitamins, CBD should be something that is added into your daily routine, but it needs to be affordable first.”

Red Eyez also offers a wide range of products to ensure there is something for everyone.

Red Eyez: A bottle of CBD oil against a yellow background. The bottle is next to the white box

Red Eyez flavours

Its broad spectrum oils come in tempting flavours such as tropical, as well as the cannabis-themed strains of Gelato, Z Skittles, Strawberry Kush and Lemon Skunk which are flavoured with added terpenes.

As well as tinctures, topicals, edibles, bath bombs and CBD-infused coffee, its new range of superfood nootropics capsules have just launched on Amazon.

“Our oils and nootropics are a fun way of taking CBD, people are often wary of the taste but the flavours make it more appealing,” says Patel.

“But we still offer the full spectrum oil which has the original hemp taste, so there is something for every type of consumer.”

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Business has been good since the site launched last summer, with the impact of the pandemic meaning people are more conscious of their health and wellbeing.

But having a lower-priced product can work against you, admits Patel.

“Some people assume that if our bottle of oil costs £20 and somebody else’s is £60, then it must be lower quality, but people still don’t really know what they are buying when it comes to CBD,” he says.

“It’s important to get the message out there that a higher markup doesn’t necessarily mean a higher quality product.

He adds: “Our average sales may be lower than many in the market, but our return rate is good, people keep coming back because they want to try CBD products and affordability is a big thing.”

Read more: Working out: Could CBD or THC have an effect on your workout?

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Case Studies

CBD brand created by a Welsh athlete releases report on potential health benefits of CBD

The Healthcare Technology Centre (HTC) partners with Welsh brand Hemp Heroes to discover the potential health benefits of CBD products. 

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Welsh: A cbd oil bottle containing yellow oil has a dropper being placed into it

The Healthcare Technology Centre (HTC) partners with Welsh brand Hemp Heros to discover the potential health benefits of CBD products.

The Welsh HTC led by Swansea University Medical School collaborated with Swansea and Ireland based company, Hemp Heros. Hemp Heros was co-founded by  David Hartigan and martial arts athlete John Philips.

The report was the result of several months of research into the benefits of CBD- based products on a range of conditions. These included epilepsy, side effects of chemotherapy, multiple sclerosis (MS), stress and anxiety.

Speaking with Cannabis Health News, Hemp Heros co-founder David Hartigan explains how an interest in martial arts helped him to meet John and start the company.

Athletes and CBD

David said: “It’s a bit of an interesting story how myself and John met. My background is in business consultancy and I’ve always been into martial arts since I was a kid. John asked my brother who is a musician to do some walkout music for UFC. As John was only newly signed at that time, I wondered if he had anyone to help him with marketing and sponsors. I became John’s manager.”

He added: “I started looking at CBD companies because athletes were starting to use it. I thought there was a huge opportunity to get John sponsored by a company. We did get a few samples from different companies but the quality was hit or miss. Even the instructions when you were trying to read it could be confusing.”

John’s first experience with CBD was not actually on himself but his dog, Alfie. When he became ill, John began treating him with CBD after realising that Tramadol was not working. The vet had exhausted all options for treatment but CBD helped him to recover.

David said: “I have an uncle who is a powerlifter and he has a couple of Irish records. He has a number of injuries he started taking CBD for pain and inflammation. At one stage, he couldn’t even change the gear stick in his car but he has much better mobility and pain management now. So between my story, John’s and the lack of transparency in the industry in the market, we decided to try an investigation.”

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David spent six to eight months researching the whole industry speaking to anyone he could about hemp or CBD. He also joined the board for the Irish Hemp Cooperative. They spent months researching everything before finding a supplier to get them started. The brand has now grown from three or four products to over twenty including a successful pet range.

Hemp heros: A man wearing a black t-shirt stands next to a dog

Welsh university study

The brand partnered with Swansea University and are part of the accelerator programme there. They had planned to participate in studies on CBD but unfortunately, COVID hit just as they began to start the studies. The Welsh Accelerate programme aims to create lasting economic value by helping innovators in Wales to translate their ideas into solutions, enabling them to be adopted in health and care.

David explained: “Dr Daniel Rees, who is one of the researchers at Swansea University reached out to us. He had seen our products around the place and wanted to know if we would be interested to do some studies in the life sciences department.”

“The whole idea of the Accelerator programme is to identify potential services or products that can have a positive impact on people’s lives. It improves the lives of the end-user. Dan highlighted that very little research was done on CBD in this context. We are passionate about transparency so we really wanted to push the research. However just as we had hoped to start lab tests, COVID hit.”

The COVID situation didn’t force a complete shutdown but changed the direction of the study for the researchers. As the colleges were closed, there were no ways of getting anyone into a lab for testing so David and the team decided to go down the road of research producing a report on the effectiveness of CBD. The initial study paves the way for future research activities around four key pillars: pain, sleep, anxiety, and recovery.

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Lab study to research reports

“What we did was change gears so instead of a lab-based study, we are going to do a more research-based one. We researched the case studies for CBD and hemp-based products along with the history behind them. We looked at different cannabinoids like CBD or CBDA, different terpenes and then unique extraction methods. We went into deep dives on what studies were there for cancer, sleep, inflammation, pain and took them as different pillars. This is what our report contains.”

He added: “We wanted to show some form of evidence for how CBD could possibly work for Parkinson’s by looking at the findings, how the studies are performed? What is the wider picture for sleep or inflammation? This could give us a foundation to build on.”

The next step

Hemp Heros started to submit an application called Smart Partnership to the University for the management side. This would allow them to secure funding to get an associate who would work between the Welsh brand and the university.

“It gives the company the tools and techniques to use these findings and apply them so you can continue your work. We have all of this anecdotal evidence on why people use our products but then the smart partnership would allow us to do a deeper dive and validate what our understandings are.”

He explained: “We have set out three pillars essentially. Sleep is one that we want to investigate and they have a sleep lab there. We want to start out with something quite simple like 20 participants with sleep issues and give them a protocol. They log everything then they take a set dose of our product for a week to see what the impact is. The next step would be to go into the sleep lab to actually monitor what someone’s sleep pattern is, how quickly it works and what the effects are.”

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Welsh: A man walking a dog on a lead across a beach

As well as the studies and research they have conducted, the brand is still planning to work with different athletes.

“Should athletes be using prescription pain medications to help with their pain to get through the day? They could have a more natural alternative with no side effects. Your body is already built for cannabinoids, not really for painkillers. That’s why a lot of people have issues with their kidneys when they are on painkillers for so long because they are trying to process everything.”

David is also involved in the advocacy side. He believes that Ireland needs to match the European level to make sure it isn’t left behind. He sits on the Irish Hemp Cooperative Board who are trying to change the laws.

“There are a couple of TDS (Ministers) who said that they would be interested in the sports angle. We aren’t looking for full-blown cannabis legal for everyone but we actually want to just look at hemp and the production because you can get a license but then technically what you grow is illegal. There is a massive gap in the law where the two laws don’t match and we don’t match at the European level. We need to make sure we are on par with our international counterparts.”

Read more: Pain, anxiety and sleep are the most common reasons people use CBD

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Sexual Health Awareness week: Could CBD help with sex?

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Cannabis Health is a journalist-led news site. Any views expressed by interviewees or commentators do not reflect our own. All content on this site is intended for educational purposes, please seek professional medical advice if you are concerned about any of the issues raised.

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