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Adaptogens and Cannabis 

By Danyal Swan November 21, 2022
Popular Adaptogens

Adaptogens are natural compounds that promote a healthy response to stress. Adaptogens have been used in traditional medicine for centuries and can provide relief from a variety of physical, mental, and emotional ailments. They typically work by stimulating the body's immune system to improve resistance to disease, increasing energy levels, promoting cognitive function and improving memory.

Many adaptogenic herbs contain phytochemicals known as terpenes—the same chemical compounds found in cannabis that give it its familiar aroma. Terpenes interact with our bodies' cannabinoid receptors (CB1 & CB2) to produce an array of medicinal benefits including pain relief, mood improvement and better sleep quality.

What Are Adaptogens? 

 
Adaptogens are a class of herbs and mushrooms that help the body adapt to stress. They can be used to reduce anxiety and stress, improve energy levels, and enhance mental focus.

Some well-known adaptogens include

Ginseng

Ginseng

Ginseng has been used as a natural remedy for hundreds of years. It's been used to combat fatigue, promote emotional wellness, resist physical stress, and alleviate various ailments. 

Guarana

Guaraná

Guaraná is a natural energy booster that increases mental alertness, fights fatigue and increases stamina. Guaraná also protects against the damaging effects of stress because of its preventive nature against premature aging.  

Rose hip

Rose hip

Rose hips contain phytonutrients that help restore hormonal balance while boosting adrenal function. They are also antioxidant-rich, which makes them effective in preventing oxidative stress. 

Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha contains chemicals that can help to lower cortisol levels and reduce stress. Studies have shown that ashwagandha reduces anxiety, depression, and stress in people who are chronically stressed.

Reishi

Reishi

Reishi mushroom helps support healthy adrenal function and reduces side effects typically seen with chemotherapy, such as hair loss, nausea, vomiting, stomatitis (mouth ulcers), sore throat, loss of appetite, and insomnia. 

Elderflower

Elderflower

Elderflower offers soothing properties, helping calm the mind and aid sleep without drowsiness. It also helps with digestion. The deep-purple fruits are rich in protective and antioxidant anthocyanins and can help support healthy recovery time after physical exertion. 

Acerola

Acerola

Acerola is rich in Vitamin C, which our immune system loves. It also helps the body produce collagen, the key structural protein in hair, skin and nails. It's been shown to reduce inflammation and oxidation in the brain, which keeps brain cells and neurons healthy. 

Lemon Balm

Lemon Balm

Lemon balm is part of the mint family and contains dietary fiber. It has been known to soothe irritated skin, and ease digestive complications. Commonly used in teas before bedtime, lemon balm is used as a natural sleep aid.

Rose

Rose

Rose, meaning the petals of a rose plant, contains not only the beautiful aroma of roses, but it has many benefits when consumed also. Rose can be used to offer calming effects, relieve pain, and increase libido.

Coffee Fruit

Coffee Fruit

Coffee Fruit is mega rich in antioxidants and polyphenols like chlorogenic acid. These are beneficial for protecting against free radical damage and helps protect the brain from age-related illnesses. The chlorogenic acid has been shown to help with reduction of weight and assists with burning fat.

A common theme among these plants is their ability to regulate hormone production in the body—particularly cortisol—which helps lower inflammation caused by elevated stress levels.

What Do Adaptogens Do?  

Adaptogens are a class of herbal supplements that have been used for thousands of years to support health and wellness.

They’re often defined as plants that increase resistance to stress, but what does that mean?

  • Adaptogens are known to enhance your ability to concentrate and stay on task without getting tired or distracted. This can be especially helpful when you’re working on a big project, studying for an exam, or trying to focus on something else besides the stress in your life (e.g., work/school deadlines).
  • Lower stress levels by reducing anxiety and promoting relaxation—which also helps you sleep better at night! Sound familiar? That’s because both adaptogens and cannabis do this really well—and together they can make a potent duo when it comes time for bedtime rituals that help you de-stress after an intense day at school or work.

A number of clinical trials demonstrate that adaptogens exert an anti-fatigue effect that increases mental work capacity, particularly in regards to mental exhaustion and enhanced attention.

Similarities of THC + Adaptogens 

THC can reduce stress and anxiety, increase focus, increase energy and appetite, and even increase socialization.

Adaptogens are also known for their ability to decrease stress and anxiety, increase focus, increase energy levels, and aid in digestion.

  • THC can reduce stress and anxiety, increase focus, increase energy and appetite, and even increase socialization.
  • Adaptogens are also known for their ability to decrease stress and anxiety, increase focus, increase energy levels, and aid in digestion.
  • Both THC and adaptogens have been shown to be effective against a variety of conditions such as fatigue, chronic pain, depression/anxiety disorders.

Similarities of CBD + Adaptogens 

CBD and adaptogens are similar in a number of ways.

They both contain properties, which can:

  • Reduce stress and anxiety
  • Help you sleep
  • Relieve pain

In addition, CBD may be an effective treatment for insomnia due to its ability to promote deep relaxation while simultaneously reducing chronic inflammation and oxidative stress in the body.

Have you ever studied this naturally occurring substance? Test your knowledge with our adaptogen quiz!

Cannabis and Adaptogens for Better Sleep

How Cannabis and Adaptogens Work Together 

Cannabis and adaptogens have a lot of similarities, which is why they work so well together. 

Both cannabis and adaptogens are stress relievers that help your body recover from physical or mental stress, as well as boost your mood. They both also have anti-inflammatory properties, which lower cortisol levels in the brain and body. Both herbal remedies can help promote relaxation and sleepiness while reducing anxiety and pain—which makes it easier to get a good night's rest! 

Adaptogens – the Future of Cannabis? 

Adaptogens are a new frontier in cannabis research. But they're also an ancient remedy, with roots that go back thousands of years. As we continue to explore the possibilities of cannabis, exploring adaptogens is one way you can help us understand how to use it and why it works so well for your body. 

You see, when you take a puff from that joint or vape pen, or if you eat an edible, the cannabinoids bind with receptors in your brain and body. They affect your mood, appetite and pain levels by interacting with those receptors without actually being absorbed into the bloodstream like many other medications do (think opioids). Adaptogens also interact with these same receptors but don't become absorbed by them; instead, they amplify their response to other compounds like cannabinoids so that they can produce effects on their own (like activating more CB1 receptors). In this way adaptogens act as amplifiers that allow more cannabinoids to reach desired pathways faster than they would otherwise be able to travel alone through our bodies. 

Final Thoughts 

The future of cannabis is bright, and adaptogens are paving the way for a new era of wellness. There’s still a lot we don’t know about cannabis and its effects on the body, but as more research is done and more people discover the benefits of this plant, it will only get better from here. We’re excited to see how adaptogens will be used in future cannabis product creation and education.  


References:

  1. Adaptogenic effects of Panax ginseng on modulation of cardiovascular functions https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7322748/#:~:text=As%20an%20adaptogen%2C%20ginseng%20enhances,vascular%20endothelial%20tone%20and%20blood
  2. Wang, J., Li, S., Fan, Y., Chen, Y., Liu, D., Cheng, H., . . . Zhou, Y. (2010). Anti-fatigue activity of the water-soluble polysaccharides isolated from Panax ginseng C. A. Meyer. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 130(2), 421-423. doi:10.1016/j.jep.2010.05.027  
  3. A preliminary review of studies on adaptogens: comparison of their bioactivity in TCM with that of ginseng-like herbs used worldwide https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6240259/
  4. Effects of Adaptogens on the Central Nervous System and the Molecular Mechanisms Associated with Their Stress—Protective Activity https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3991026/ Pharmaceuticals (Basel). 2010 Jan; 3(1): 188–224. Published online 2010 Jan 19. doi: 10.3390/ph3010188 

Digital Content Manager for MÜV Florida and Zen Leaf Dispensaries. A cannabis connoisseur with a passion for explaining the miraculous possibility of the plant, Swan began her journey with cannabis as a recreational user and quickly realized its positive impact on her depression and severe anxiety. She joined the cannabis industry as Receptionist and MedTender and witnessed first-hand the immense potential of the plant for a wide variety of ailments, deepening her passion for alternative medicine. Swan is dedicated to self-education on the plant and sharing its potential with all. She holds a Journalism degree from the University of Iowa.

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