As the field of medicine continues to evolve in the modern era, increased emphasis is being placed on the use of mindfulness practice to help treat illness and disease. Simple yet incredibly powerful, mindfulness meditation encourages an individual to fully experience and attend to the present moment.1 Steeped in centuries of Buddhist tradition, mindfulness meditation found its way into the clinical literature of the 20th century, where its effects in the treatment of chronic pain and psychiatric illness were studied and found to be promising.1–3 Mindfulness can play an important role while using medicine to heal the body, particularly when medicating with CBD to help restore optimal health and wellness. CBD can aid the body and mind in sustaining a healthy intention to create a “space” for healing to occur.
The Power of Belief, as Evidenced by the Placebo Effect
The Placebo Effect is intrinsically connected to the power of belief, and while placebos continue to have a mainstay in clinical research, the mechanism behind its function still remains a mystery. Belief as an activator of immunity responses and healing, along with the biochemical pathways that contribute to its power, is just now being researched.4 Still, this shouldn’t stop anyone from using the power of belief to their own advantage, and creating a space for optimal wellness and healing. While medicating with CBD, recognizing the power of belief can be of great benefit in reaching health goals. The brain can be “primed” to heal—all that is needed is a mental “space” for physiological and psychological processes to help the body find homeostasis—and this space is created by the will, the will to believe that you can get better.
Medicine and Mindfulness Can Coexist in Harmony
Generally, mindfulness and medication are mutually exclusive; you pop a pill, then forget about yourself and the medicine—the act itself is often mindless. People would rather not think about how a medication is affecting one’s body, especially with lists of side-effects and potentially adverse reactions. There is a pervasive and potentially harmful belief that connects the use of medicine with weakness, and allopathic medicine, when misused and abused, strongly fuels this notion. But mindfulness can be associated with everything. Recent studies have demonstrated that being mindful while smoking cigarettes has aided smokers in quitting—such is the power of our awareness.5 CBD, particularly, is an especially positive and proactive choice for mindfully medicating, as it helps the body’s own internal, cannabis-like modulation system recalibrate itself and find balance while also providing relief from symptoms such as pain and anxiety.6
Acknowledging Our Physical Body & Health Goals
The use of medicine should acknowledge the physical body—it’s empowering to embark on a journey of personal recovery and healing. Mindfulness creates an opportunity to abandon limiting beliefs and accept that symptom relief and full recovery are real, attainable possibilities. Mindfully incorporating CBD and similar tools, while pairing their use with healthy intention, acknowledges that the body has a powerful, innate ability for healing when provided with the right resources and attitude—a space to heal is created.
Cultivating Mindfulness: Easier Said Than Done
Just the thought of meditation or “being mindful” can be overwhelming in states of physiological and psychological distress. The use of medicine, be it SSRIs or CBD, can address these physical barriers and limitations, and help to cultivate a conducive approach where mindfulness has a chance to thrive. It is the belief that you can heal that is the crucial element, and the Placebo Effect is proof that the body can do amazing things when you trust it knows what to do, and is given the space to do it. Every attempt at practicing greater awareness through mindfulness is met with benefits and greater control over one’s energy and consciousness. Medication, be it ayurvedic or allopathic, can be greatly encouraged to work more effectively if used in conjunction with mindfulness practice.
How Can I Mindfully Medicate With CBD?
Do you want to treat chronic pain, inflammation or anxiety without the use of potentially addictive and harmful pharmaceuticals? Perhaps you’ve explored CBD treatment and have even gone so far as to add it to your daily regimen for health. What if you could take it further by using mindfulness as a catalyst to better health, simply by crafting the practice of medicating with CBD oil into a daily meditation? Although the thought of meditating can be anxiety-inducing given our fast-paced lives, the good news is that even 60 seconds of unadulterated “presence” in the here and now is more than enough to start making a profound impact on our lives. What if, when you went to dose your CBD oil, you sat down and took a few deep breaths? What if you closed your eyes and saw the very near future, where the CBD is helping your body fight anxiety, pain, inflammation and whatever else ails you, effectively? All of this can be done in a moment, and, if done regularly, will be a small tweak to one’s day with potentially profound benefits. The challenge is to use that minute every day, a small but significant investment with the potential to pay dividends based on current research into mindfulness therapy.
Adding medicine, such as CBD, to one’s treatment regiment can be an effective strategy. With clearly defined intentions and goals to heal, CBD has shown to be an effective adjuvant and/or treatment for everything from chronic pain and anxiety to inflammatory disorders. Research shows the effectiveness of mindfulness therapy, as well. Using these tools, anyone could benefit from mindfully and deliberately medicating (be it with hemp, cannabis, or other drugs) with the intention that the medicine is working and relief will come. After all, the best athletes, performers, and leaders in the world all talk about mentally preparing themselves for success, so why shouldn’t you?
- Shapero, B. G., Greenberg, J., Pedrelli, P., de Jong, M. & Desbordes, G. Mindfulness-Based Interventions in Psychiatry. Focus Am. Psychiatr. Publ. 16, 32–39 (2018).
- Segal, Z. V., Williams, J. M. G. & Teasdale, J. D. Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for depression: A new approach to preventing relapse. (Guilford Press, 2002).
- Kabat-Zinn, J. & Hanh, T. N. Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness. (Random House Publishing Group, 2009).
- Mark, A. Placebo: the Belief Effect. J. R. Soc. Med. 96, 199–200 (2003).
- Mindfulness Training for smoking cessation: results from a randomized controlled trial. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3191261/. (Accessed: 19th June 2019)
- The Endocannabinoid System and Cannabidiol’s Promise for the Treatment of Substance Use Disorder. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6390812/. (Accessed: 19th June 2019)