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Herbs, adaptogens, and naturopathic remedies are gaining popularity as an alternative to conventional medicines, especially those with potentially harmful side effects. As science unearths more evidence supporting such plants' properties and benefits, CBD and ashwagandha are two such plants that are becoming highly coveted by health-minded consumers.
CBD and ashwagandha share properties in common, yet they are distinct plants. CBD derives from hemp and cannabis and features a slew of stress-relieving, medicinal, and recreationally beneficial effects. Conversely, ashwagandha is a root and adaptogen that helps the body better function and fight against stress.
Neither is necessarily better than the other, but understanding how CBD and ashwagandha work separately can help users decide which best suits their needs and how to potentially combine them. Read on for our breakdown of everything to know about CBD and ashwagandha and how the two compare.
- CBD comes from hemp or cannabis plants, while ashwagandha supplements come from the roots or berries of the ashwagandha plant.
- Both supplements may lower stress, fight inflammation and improve body and mental health.
- Combining CBD and ashwagandha may produce more wellness benefits than taking them individually.
What is CBD?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is the second-most prevalent cannabinoid found in cannabis or hemp. Most CBD available on the market are hemp-derived, making them legal in all 50 states.
Types of CBD:
- Full-spectrum CBD, which contains up to 0.3% THC and a full range of the strain's cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavor components.
- Broad-spectrum CBD, which has cannabinoid and terpenes but zero THC content.
- CBD isolate, which is pure CBD free from other cannabis or hemp-derived chemicals.
Many CBD-rich medical cannabis products contain various combinations of cannabinoids and terpenes, though those with over 0.3% THC are available only in licensed dispensaries.
CBD behaves in the body like our natural endocannabinoids, which regulate many of the body's essential functions. When using CBD oil or products, the chemical enters the body and helps promote a variety of health-related tasks that may otherwise be out of balance.
Potential benefits of CBD:
- Promote feelings of relaxation and calm
- Soothe aches and reduce pain or inflammation
- Elevate moods
- Fall and stay asleep
Medically speaking, evidence suggests that CBD also features a wide range of potential benefits thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties and ability to soothe stress. Anxiety, depression, chronic pain, neuropathy, and even epileptic seizures have all been shown to benefit from treatment with CBD. However, we still lack the necessary research to make such medical claims about the cannabinoid definitively.
What is Ashwagandha?
Ashwagandha is an evergreen shrub that produces red berries, growing primarily in India, Africa, and the Middle East. Also called winter cherry and Indian ginseng, the word "ashwagandha" translates to "smell of a horse," thanks to the pungent aroma of its roots. Thankfully, most products made from ashwagandha are not nearly as smelly as their source material.
Cultures, especially Ayurvedic medicine, have used ashwagandha as a traditional remedy for thousands of years. It was believed to improve lifespan, build strength during exercise, and enhance sexual function. It's most commonly ground into a powered root to create a consumable product, though sometimes the berries are used.
As an adaptogen, ashwagandha is thought to help boost the body's wellness, helping it cope with mental and physical stress. Research believes one such mechanism by which it does this is by reducing cortisol, responsible for triggering feelings of stress response.
While many studies are still needed to understand how ashwagandha impacts the body, early evidence indicates it can improve concentration heighten mental function, and even improve sleep. This makes it especially useful for individuals who need to be at the top of their game for work or exam demands, and may help them benefit from the many positives of good sleep.
CBD vs Ashwagandha: Key Similarities and Differences
Both ashwagandha and CBD share many properties in common despite them coming from different plants (winter berry vs. hemp or cannabis). CBD acts on the endocannabinoid system to improve various functions, including mood, appetite, stress, and pain.
While less is known about ashwagandha's chemical interaction with the body, this adaptogen similarly promotes overall mental and physical wellness. Both plants share stress-relieving and general mood-bosting properties and can relax individuals struggling with stress.
Combining CBD and Ashwagandha
Many consumers are experimenting with CBD and ashwagandha taken together, especially because so many of their reported benefits are complementary. For example, one can combine relaxing CBD oil drops in a stress-relieving ashwagandha-based coffee or latte. Ashwagandha powder and CBD oil can be added to smoothies or mixed into a food recipe for earthy flavors while still delivering both supplements' benefits.
CBD and ashwagandha are well-suited for both morning and evening use, depending on your specific goals. On one hand, the two work on different body systems to combat stress and relax overall, changing how the brain responds to serotonin and soothing the release of cortisol. Their brain-boosting effects, too, help increase blood flow to the brain and even feature neuroprotective properties.
Whether prepping for an important day at work or winding down and seeking to take the edge off, using both together can make for a successfully soothing blanket or energizing boost. How you use them is entirely up to personal preference.
The Bottom Line: How to Decide Which Is Best For You
It's less a matter of CBD vs. ashwaganda and instead a decision between whether you'd like to take one or both. Both substances are powerful supplements, with many potential medical and wellness benefits. Yet, taken together, CBD and ashwagandha make for a potent cocktail of relaxing, mood-elevating, and stress-relieving effects, among a host of other potential uses.
Curious about where to find clean, effective CBD products? Check out EVN's range of CBD gummies, oil, and more available nationwide.