Ashwagandha and Weed

ashwagandha plant

Ashwagandha is one of the most well-known adaptogenic herbs and is included in a wide range of products, from chocolate to drinks to gummies.

You may have heard of Ashwagandha, however, you might still have questions about it, like “Is Ashwagandha like weed?” and “What are the similarities and differences between the two plants?” and “Can you mix ashwagandha with weed?”

Find the answers to these and other common queries below!

What Is Ashwagandha?

Ashwagandha is also known as Indian ginseng, winter cherry, and Withania somnifera (its scientific name). It is an herbal, evergreen shrub with roots and berries that can both be used medicinally.

Ashwagandha Benefits

Ashwagandha is also part of a group of plants known as adaptogens.

Adaptogens help the body manage stress and maintain homeostasis. They make it easier for people to adapt to external stressors (both physical and psychological) and contribute to a better overall sense of well-being. 

The following are some health and wellness benefits associated with ashwagandha:

ashwagandha gummies with a lemon tree

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Reduced Stress and Anxiety

One of the greatest benefits of ashwagandha is its stress-reducing effects. Many people find that they feel calmer and less anxious after consuming it consistently (the effects are cumulative, meaning they become more pronounced over time).

A systematic review of 62 studies found that it significantly decreases stress and anxiety. Another placebo-controlled study also showed that it improved sleep quality in healthy adults and helped those struggling with stress to rest more deeply.

Reduced Blood Sugar Levels

Some small but still significant studies indicate that Ashwagandha has blood-sugar-lowering benefits.

For example, one study of 25 participants showed that those who used Ashwagandha had lower blood sugar levels compared to those who were given a placebo.

Another smaller study compared Ashwgandha’s blood sugar-reducing effects to medications prescribed to those with type 2 diabetes. While more research is needed before Ashwagandha can be recommended as an alternative to blood-sugar-lowering drugs, the early research looks promising.

Improved Memory and Focus

Some people find that they feel more focused and have an easier time completing cognitively demanding tasks after using Ashwagandha.

Compared to placebos, research shows that Ashwagandha improves reaction times during psychomotor and cognition tests. Another study showed that participants who consumed ashwagandha had better attention spans and memory recall.

Improved Heart Health

In some studies, Ashwagandha has been shown to increase participants’ VO2 max levels (VO2 max is the amount of oxygen you can take in when exercising or exerting yourself physically. Higher VO2 max levels are associated with increased endurance and a stronger, healthier heart.

Ashwagandha also has blood pressure- and LDL cholesterol-lowering properties. High blood pressure and elevated LDL cholesterol levels are associated with an increased risk of heart disease, heart attacks, strokes, and other cardiovascular conditions.

Ashwagandha Side Effects

Like any form of plant medicine, ashwagandha does come with some potential side effects, particularly when consumed in large doses. Here are the most noteworthy ones to keep in mind:

  • Upset stomach
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting

Ashwagandha is not recommended for those who are pregnant or nursing. It may also interact negatively with certain medications, including the following:

  • Those that lower blood sugar or blood pressure
  • Those that suppress the immune system
  • Those that act as sedatives
  • Those that affect thyroid hormone levels

If you’re concerned about how ashwagandha might interact with a medication you use, consult a physician before consuming it.

Can Ashwagandha Be Used With Cannabis?

If you’re part of the 16 percent of Americans who consume cannabis, you might be concerned about using Ashwagandha because you’re worried about how the two plants will interact.

The good news is that you can safely combine ashwagandha and cannabis.

Ashwagandha appears to work well when used with both various strains of cannabis. For example, it can enhance the relaxing effects of high-CBD strains, which may help you to manage stress, unwind after a tough day, and get a better night’s sleep.

Conversely, Ashawanghda can also help to ground an intense high from a strain containing larger amounts of THC. As a result, you’ll feel more in control. You’ll also be less likely to feel anxious or paranoid after consuming a Sativa-dominant strain.

Cannabis as an Adaptogen

It’s worth noting, too, that cannabis shares many of the same characteristics as other adaptogens like Ashwagandha. These effects stem from how cannabis and ashwagandha and work with the body's natural systems.

Cannabis, for example, works with the body's endocannabinoid system (ECS), which consists of a network of receptors and compounds and is present in all mammals, including humans. It exists to help the body maintain equilibrium, regulating pain, appetite, sleep, immune system function, stress responses, and more.

FAQs

If you want to know more about ashwagandha vs. weed, check out the answers to these frequently asked questions.

Can You Take Ashwagandha When High?

Unless you’re part of the small group of people for whom ashwagandha is contraindicated, you can likely consume it when high without any severe effects.

In fact, you may find that your high is more enjoyable after you combine weed and ashwagandha because the adaptogen will ground an intense high or enhance the relaxing effects of a more “couch-locking” strain.

Can You Smoke and Use Ahwagandha?

Yes. Based on anecdotal evidence, Ashwagandha and THC seem to work very well together.

Using them together may help you experience less anxiety or paranoia after consuming cannabis (particularly a sativa-dominant strain).

Is Ashwagandha Similar to Weed?

In some ways, ashwagandha and weed are similar.

For example, both are natural forms of plant medicine that offer health and wellness benefits. Both can also be used to promote a greater sense of equilibrium in the body.

The two plants differ when it comes to their specific effects. Ashwagandha has relaxation-promoting properties, but it doesn’t cause a “high” the same way cannabis does.

They’re also two different types of plants. Ashwagandha is an evergreen shrub, and cannabis is a flowering plant.

The information provided in this blog and by this website is for general informational purposes only. It is not intended to be professional medical advice, a medical diagnosis, or medical treatment. Please consult your health practitioner with any questions you have regarding a medical condition. 

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