A new study suggests that many modern cannabis consumers may be seeking the spiritual benefits of the plant.
Scientists investigating the spiritual benefits of the cannabis plant have indicated that this is an area worthy of more research.
A team from the California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University in the US, have been examining the spiritual motives among modern day cannabis consumers.
Cannabis has been a part of traditional spiritual practices for thousands of years, with deep roots in Hinduism, Islam, Rastafarianism, and indigenous traditions in Asia, Africa, and elsewhere.
However, whether adults who consume cannabis regularly today do so for spiritual reasons, is an area which has not been previously studied.
More than 1,000 participants, with an average age of 39, completed an online survey about their use of cannabis and other substances, as well as their ‘spiritual and psychological characteristics’.
Spiritual benefit from cannabis was reported by 66.1 percent of respondents, with only 5.5 percent saying it had sometimes been a ‘spiritual hindrance’.
In the US, where cannabis has been legalised for adult-use in many states, consumers are increasingly seeking cannabis out for wellness purposes.
Using cannabis before practicing yoga or meditation, for example, is said to help enhance the experience and quieten the mind.
Speaking at Prohibition Live earlier this year, American cannabis activist and yoga instructor, Jessamyn Stanley, said cannabis can help “take the armour off” to help people get on the mat and engage in wellness practices such as yoga and meditation,
She commented: “Yoga and cannabis have been in a relationship stretching back thousands of years.”
The authors of the study wrote in an abstract: “Those who reported spiritual benefit differed significantly from those who did not on several outcome variables, and a post hoc descriptive discriminant analysis revealed that expansiveness motivation, non-theistic daily spiritual experience, meditation frequency, and two mindfulness facets contributed most to differentiating the two groups.
“Results suggest that spiritual motives for cannabis use may be widespread.”
CBD guides: What terpenes are best for anxiety?
Do you know your linalool from your pinene?
There are thousands of different terpenes in existence that may help with different health conditions. We ask what terpenes are best for anxiety
Anxiety is one of the most common emotions. It is a natural reaction to stress creating fear or apprehensive feeling about what might happen. While anxiety can happen to everyone from time to time, there are some people who struggle with strong feelings of anxiety every day.
Could terpenes found in cannabis or CBD may a part in anxiety-relief?
What are terpenes?
Terpenes are the active aromatic molecules found in plants that cause smell and taste. Most people associate them with cannabis plants as they are high in concentration but there are other plants or fruits such as pine, lavender and lemon.
In nature, these terpenes protect the plants from animal grazing or infectious germs. Some terpenes play a protective role in helping the plant to recover from damage. Others can act as an immune system to keep away infectious diseases.
What terpenes help with anxiety?
Linalool is most commonly found in lavender. It may have the same benefits that CBD is associated with such as reducing anxiety, depression and sleep issues. This is why lavender is often associated with sleep. Linalool can also be found in geraniums, roses, chamomile and cannabis. It may also increase adenosine which is a sedating hormone that can help us to fall asleep.
One study on mice revealed that inhaled linalool may reduce anxiety, aggressiveness and increase social interaction. It showed anxiolytic properties (anti-anxiety properties) in light/dark tests. In higher doses of linalool, the mice showed decreased aggressiveness and increased social interaction however researchers noted impaired memory. They concluded that linalool essential oils may help with relaxation and decreased anxiety.
A study reported that linalool could potentially help to reduce sleep problems in dementia patients. During the study, 19 patients inhaled lavender before trying to fall asleep for 20 days. The patients reported better, longer sleep on the days where they inhaled the lavender than when they did not.
Limonene is often found in citrus fruits or plants such as oranges or lemons. It is especially strong in oranges as it makes up 97 per cent of the rind. Limonene is often used for a variety of different items such as cleaning or beauty products due to its antibacterial properties.
It is thought to have antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, disease-preventing properties. It’s the potential anti-stress properties that make it a great terpene for anxiety in particular. It is also the third most common terpene found in cannabis plants and the second most common terpene found in nature. In cannabis, the terpene is produced in the flower’s resin glands. Although certain strands may be higher than others in limonene, it is usually found in trace amounts of less than 0.2 per cent.
It isn’t just found in citrus fruits, limonene is also present in mint, juniper, rosemary, pine, and fennel.
A study involving an elevated maze model of rats with anxiety suggest it may help as an anti-stress agent when used in aromatherapy.
In another recent study, mice were injected with saline in a control group and limonene in a test group before their behaviour was assessed. The mice showed increased locomotor activity and open-arm preference in the elevated plus-maze experiment. The mice given limonene showed increased expression of proteins and significantly upregulated dopamine levels in the striatum. The striatum contains brain activity related to movements and rewards.
Inhalation of limonene vapour may also increase serotonin and dopamine levels in the brain. Serotonin is a hormone responsible for stabilising our moods, while dopamine sends signals to the brain that affect mood, sleep, memory, learning and concentration.
Myrcene is the most common terpene found in cannabis. It is thought to have sedative and calming effects which could make it a great choice for anxiety. It is usually found in lemongrass, thyme or hops and has a peppery or spicy scent.
One study revealed that myrcene given in large doses may have muscle relaxant effects on mice. The amount of time the mice spent asleep was increased when used along with tablets that have sedative effects.
One thing to watch out for is that it is synergistic with THC. This means that those using THC may experience stronger ‘high-like’ effects when combining both. This is potentially why there are concerns that myrcene may cause anxiety.
Pinene is often associated with feelings of calm. This may be because it is a bronchodilator that opens up the lungs to allow more oxygen which in turn is transmitted to the bloodstream and tissues. Deep breathing may in turn increase the relaxation felt as more oxygen hits the brain.
Alpha-pinene is also found in parsley, dill, basil, rosemary, and some varieties of citrus.
A study from 2019 showed that inhalation of alpha-pinene potentially reduced anxiety in mice. The mice were observed for dizocilpine (MK-801-) induced schizophrenia-like behavioural abnormalities including hyperactivity and anxiety.
The authors wrote: “These results suggest that α-pinene acts to reduce MK-801-induced behavioural abnormalities resembling those seen in neuropsychiatric disorders. Therefore, both medicinal plants and essential oils containing α-pinene may have the potential for therapeutic treatment of schizophrenia.”
How do I take different terpenes?
There are different ways to take particular terpenes.
It comes down to personal preference when choosing a way to take terpenes. CBD and cannabis brands are now introducing terpene profiles into their products for different health needs.
Some people may prefer to add herbs or plants to their diet where possible such as rosemary, hops or dill. Others may choose vaping or oils.
Essential oils or cosmetic products containing both can also help if you are struggling with muscle pains or stiffness. Oil diffusers can also distribute the scent into the air to be inhaled. They can also be pressed into the temples or pressure points on the body to relieve stress or tension. Some people even add linalool (in lavender form) to their bed linen to get a good night’s sleep.
Kanabo: It’s time to talk about terpenes
Medical cannabis experts Kanabo explain the importance and health benefits of terpenes
It’s time to talk about terpenes, what are they? What do they do exactly? Where do they come from and why are they important?
What’s the best way to absorb terpenes and why do they smell like they do?
Terpenes sometimes leave a bad first impression because of the natural grassy aroma they give to CBD products. This scent has led to some confusing CBD to cannabis, but there is a simple explanation.
From the different types to why they are important to your CBD intake, there is a lot to unpack about terpenes.
We asked the experts at the world-renowned medical cannabis research group, Kanabo, to go beyond the jargon and explain why we need hemp terpenes with our CBD.
What are terpenes?
A terpene is a compound found in the oils of all plants, including hemp. Terpenes give off a unique scent or aroma, varying slightly from plant to plant. If you thought terpenes were exclusive to cannabis products, think again.
A great example of the historical presence of terpenes is the Christmas tree. Imagine decorating a natural Christmas tree, brought into your warm home fresh from the frosty outdoors. When you and your loved ones comment on the smell of the tree, that is in fact all down to a terpene called Pinene. Other examples of terpenes that you are bound to have come across before are lavender and rosemary.
It’s thought that there are around 20,000 terpenes out there across the plant kingdom, giving woodlands, jungles and even our gardens their fresh, unique aromas. Knowing this, you might realise that hemp isn’t such a scary topic. It has a lot in common with other plants after all!
What do terpenes do and are they safe?
For the purpose of this article, we’re going to focus on hemp terpenes. These aromatic compounds are believed to play an important role in The Entourage Effect.
This is the concept that cannabinoids, terpenes, and other compounds extracted from hemp such as flavonoids, all work synergistically. This means they make each other better, raising each other up and ultimately making each other more efficient at their jobs. The result is a better CBD experience for the consumer.
Proof of this can be seen in the results of a recent study at the University of Arizona. Researchers exploring The Entourage Effect found that terpenes can mimic cannabinoids and produce similar pain-relieving effects, which are amplified when the two are used together.
There is a growing interest in terpene research due to the popularity of CBD and the benefits to our quality of life from cannabinoids. To date, terpenes have been linked to many of the same mental and physical lifestyle concerns as CBD such as pain, inflammation, anxiety and sleep disorders.
In a scientific review published in 2018 in the European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, hemp-derived terpenes were credited for their many medicinal properties and for their very low toxicity, meaning they have been proven safe and are generally well-tolerated.
Five key terpenes you need to know about
One of the most common terpenes, Mycrene is said to promote a sense of calm and relaxation. As well as being found in hemp, this dominant terpene can also be found in mango, lemongrass, thyme and even in beer (hops).
With its fresh, woody smell, and notes of citrus, you’ll find this terpene in everyday household and wellness items. Terpinolene is also said to boost relaxation and has been linked to sedative and anti-anxiety studies.
Instantly recognisable, limonene can be found in the peel of citrus fruits, as well as being a popular terpene found in hemp. Thanks to its zesty scent, limonene has long been used in household items such as soap. Limonene plays an important role in the Entourage Effect and is praised for elevating mood levels and helping us to reload in trying times. When vaporized, limonene is said to increase serotonin and dopamine levels, helping us moderate our response to stress.
The name of this terpene comes from the Ancient Greek word for basil, Ocimum, so it’s no surprise that basil leaves are rich in this sweet, woody aroma. Known for its antioxidant and anti-fungal effects, Ocimene works well when combined with pinene and minor terpenes.
Perhaps most famous for its connection to the Christmas tree, the power of pinene goes far beyond its aroma. Hemp-derived pinene, together with linalool, has been explored for its therapeutic benefits to brain health and insomnia. Research shows pinene is anti-inflammatory and may support the body’s repair cycle.
What is the best way to combine terpenes with CBD?
Firstly, it’s important to discover where the terpenes have come from. As a world leader in medical cannabis and CBD formulation, the expert team at Kanabo only works with terpenes that originate in the hemp plant.
Hemp, by its very nature, is an incredibly versatile and sustainable plant. Kanabo believes in using as much of the hemp plant as possible, highlighting all it has to offer without wasting a drop of its goodness. Thinking back to The Entourage Effect, the result of using hemp-derived terpenes is a perfectly blended product that is rich in those and CBD for a greater effect and maximum benefit.
In contrast, many products on the UK market add a terpene mix to their CBD oil, without knowing where they come from. In some cases, these terpenes come from other plants, but in many cases, they are made synthetically.
The second part of this answer comes down to the how. With so many different ways to take CBD, how should we take our terpenes? Is there one way that’s better than all the rest?
Many CBD oils, sprays and capsules contain terpenes, but there is only one format that triumphs, vaporization.
Research shows that vaping CBD and terpenes are the fastest, most efficient way to absorb these compounds.
How does it work? Quite simply. For this example, let’s use the new VapePod device from Kanabo, which is compatible with three unique cartridges loaded with cannabinoids and terpenes. This is the first medical-grade vaporizer with metered dosage providing a temperature-controlled, limited and precise dose of CBD.
When you inhale from the VapePod, the liquid in the vape cartridge is received in the mouth as a vapour. From here, it travels to the throat and down into the lungs where it is dispersed efficiently into the bloodstream via the pulmonary tract.
Compared with taking oil drops under the tongue, using a product like the VapePod by Kanabo provides a more precise, no-nonsense approach to getting a measured amount of CBD, and feeling the difference, fast.
CBD guides: Can CBD help with quitting smoking?
We ask if CBD could help with stubbing out the habit for good.
The start of a new year is a common time for people to try to quit smoking. What does the science say about using CBD?
Is there ever a good time to attempt to stop smoking?
We ask if CBD could help with stubbing out the habit for good.
Reducing nicotine withdrawal
A new study, published earlier this year, found that CBD may help to reduce withdrawal symptoms in those experiencing nicotine dependency. The research, conducted by the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) in collaboration with CV Sciences’ pharmaceutical diversion, focused on chewing tobacco rather than cigarettes as it’s an area where there are few treatments.
In the study, rats dependent on nicotine and experiencing withdrawal symptoms were given products containing CBD.
The three groups of rats received CBD injections with doses of 7.5, 15 and 30 mg per day for two weeks starting one week into chronic nicotine infusion.
The control groups included rats with nicotine mini pumps that received vehicle injections of sesame oil instead of CBD. They also included rats implanted with saline mini-pumps that received sesame oil injections (double vehicle) or high doses of 30 mg CBD. The results showed that CBD may prevent the animals from experiencing increased pain sensitivity and weight gain during long and short term restrictions.
What is the best way to take CBD when you want to quit smoking?
There is no perfect way of taking CBD to stop smoking. It is all down to personal preference.
Some smokers prefer to use vapes, CBD flower or CBD cigarettes because it can mimic the feel of a cigarette without tobacco. However, some smokers find this too close to what they are trying to quit so they prefer to use oils or edibles such as gummies. It’s a good idea to examine how CBD could fit into your lifestyle without too many changes. If you are worried about sugar intake or weight gain during the quitting process then edibles may not be the best idea alternatively, if you want something to take the place of a cigarette on a night out then vaping may be for you.
It’s worth trying a few different methods to find the one that suits you best. Keeping it simple to start with is the best idea while you adapt to life with smoking.
CBD vapes or inhalers
Vapes can be a really useful tool when you are attempting to quit.
For some smokers, the social habit of going outside to talk to friends or the peer pressure of a group smoking around you can be difficult. Also, many smokers report that vaping can help to break the habit of having something in your hand.
If you are careful about where you buy CBD vapes then it shouldn’t be dangerous. There are many CBD e-liquids on the market that are perfect for vaping. They can be added to the vape tank very easily where they are heated and turned into vapour. It is important to check the authenticity of the site that you purchase from and their lab reports to make sure you are buying a quality, legal product.
There are a lot of reports in the media about Evali and a series of deaths from vaping that occurred in the US. This has caused concern that vaping may not be as safe as it seems. However, this was found to be a result of THC cartridges bought on the illegal market and not CBD products.
Public Health England reports that vaping is 95 per cent less harmful than smoking.
A 2013 report explored the effects of replacing cigarettes with CBD in a week-long study. The results revealed that those participants given a CBD inhaler to use every time they felt the need to smoke, reduced their number of cigarettes by 40 per cent.
It’s important to note that if you are starting to reduce the level of nicotine you consume then CBD e-liquids do not contain any at all. E-liquids containing CBD and those with nicotine are usually sold separately.
Some vaping enthusiasts may fix their own e-liquids or follow recipes online however there are no studies on the effects of mixing CBD and nicotine e-liquid together. It may be a good idea to keep separate vapes for each liquid to be used at different times.
Vape store workers will be able to help you calculate the amount of nicotine that you need based on how much you smoke and how often. They may also be able to suggest different CBD liquids for you to try or the right vape for your needs.
Quitting any addictive behaviour or substance can cause a great deal of anxiety. In the first 24 hours after you quit, the level of nicotine in the body starts to drop which causes anxiety or irritability. Over time, this anxiety fades as the body becomes less reliant on nicotine. Anxiety levels reduce once nicotine leaves the system as it is, along with caffeine, a stimulant drug.
Studies have suggested that CBD may be able to help with reducing anxiety.
A study examining the effect of CBD on people with Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) found that it may help to reduce anxiety.
SAD is a social disorder where people can feel panic at the thought of social settings or speaking to groups of people. Participants in this study were given 400 mg of CBD or a placebo. The researchers reported that those in the group given the CBD recorded lower levels of anxiety.
Can CBD gummies help me quit nicotine?
When it comes to quitting, a lot of smokers look for sweets, lollipops or chewing gum that can help with cravings. Smokers can experience oral fixation, the constant need to put something in their mouth after quitting. It is thought to be at its strongest in the first three days after quitting then reduce in strength over the next few weeks.
CBD gummies may be a good substitute with added health benefits.
Sometimes CBD edibles may contain high levels of sugar or sweeteners. CBD toothpicks are also a good option to help with this particular craving.
How long do CBD cigarettes stay in your system?
How long CBD stays in your system are down to different factors that are unique for each person. A person’s weight, height or dose amount may influence this. That said, inhaling CBD either through vapes, cigarettes or inhalers, is a faster way to get absorb a dose into the system. CBD is absorbed through the blood vessels in the lungs faster than oils or edibles.
It is worth taking a note of the time, amount, strength and brand of CBD in a journal when recording the effects.
Are CBD oils and tinctures different from e-liquids?
Although they sound very similar, oils, tinctures and e-liquids are very different.
Oils and tinctures are designed to be taken orally under the tongue. They are not designed to be used in vapes and may break the equipment. Not only that, but they may cause internal harm by being vaped. Always use a proper CBD e-liquid for vaping or flower for a dry herb vape.
In the same way, e-liquids are not designed to be ingested. They can be harmful if taken the same way as oil or tincture. Despite the descriptions on the bottles being compared to desserts or fruits, they are likely to not taste as nice.
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