If you’re well-versed in natural health and wellness practices (which you probably are, if you’re reading this) you’ve certainly heard about CBD — in fact, you might even be a little tired of hearing about CBD.

The stuff is everywhere these days, from the health food store to the gas station checkout — and seems to be in everything, from tonics to chocolates to gummy bears.

Though it’s easy to dismiss CBD as just another questionable health fad — perpetrated by companies hustling for a quick buck — the science actually has intriguing and wide-ranging implications for yogis and others, indeed anyone who’s interested in achieving holistic balance within the body. Curiously, that science also overlaps with ayurvedic & other healthy dietary practices going back thousands of years. (Learn more in Ayurveda's Spring Cleaning for the Body.)

The Value of CBD

The key to understanding CBD’s potential value lies with a complex web of neurotransmitters, their corresponding receptors, and the bodily processes they influence – the endocannabinoid system (or ECS).

When scientists began to research the effects of cannabinoids like THC, they discovered that all humans – and the vast majority of animals – naturally produce similar substances within their own bodies.

The most famous of these cannabinoid relatives naturally produced by the human body is anandamide. Named after the Sanskrit word for bliss, it’s responsible for the famous “runner’s high” that follows any good workout.

It is also essential for promoting and maintaining homeostasis, regulating inflammation, and influencing neuron signaling. There’s even evidence that many common ailments stem from what’s being called “endocannabinoid deficiency syndrome.”

Interestingly, cannabis is not the only plant that contains compounds that work within our endocannabinoid system. Many other foods & herbs familiar to yogis and natural health fans — including turmeric, cinnamon, clove, lemon balm, black pepper, cacao, maca, kava kava, and nutmeg — activate the same receptors or influence our body’s production and breakdown of cannabinoids.

The Endocannabinoid System

The endocannabinoid system influences or governs a substantial number of essential processes, including pain management, mood regulation, the stress response, inflammation (where those ayurvedic spices play their essential role), and many others. (Learn more in Ayurveda's Top 5 Medicinal Plants for Restoring Balance to the Body.)

Like any other natural system, the ECS can become unbalanced, which is where CBD comes in.

It modulates the endocannabinoid system, promoting beneficial homeostasis. For example, our old friend anandamide is a fragile substance, breaking down quickly. When taken as a supplement, CBD helps to increase the body’s natural anandamide levels – and does so without intoxicating effects.

Why Try CBD?

Our bodies are naturally primed to respond to CBD in diverse ways, with the potential to greatly enhance general wellness. And since it’s safe, well-tolerated and non-intoxicating, CBD is easy to experiment with – so you can determine whether it’s a useful addition to your regimen.

But, just as ayurvedic foods and herbs can take time to rebalance the body, CBD benefits from consistent, daily supplementation to yield the best results. And like with any supplement, quality matters.

What to Look For

When shopping for a CBD product, there are a few things to look for. Broad-spectrum hemp extract is much more effective than CBD isolate, since it comes with a natural cohort of whole-plant compounds that enhance its natural properties.

Purity and best environmental practices are critically important, for your body as well as the planet. And there’s a current vogue for expensive “nano” CBD oils made with chemical additives, which cost more because they supposedly absorb better – but MCT carrier oil from young coconuts also absorbs easily, without the need for mystery chemicals.

You’ll want to find a tried-and-true manufacturer, like Foria.

In business since 2012, Foria has always paid special attention to purity (since many of their products, like arousal oils and menstrual relief suppositories, are designed for intimate health). Foria’s Basics Tonic, a premium CBD oil for daily use, features broad-spectrum CBD from sun-grown USA hemp in 100% organic MCT oil from sustainably-raised coconuts.

Free of solvents, heavy metals, and pesticides, with no additives, preservatives or THC, this is a pristine product from a trusted source – so you can explore CBD’s holistic benefits worry-free.

Foria is offering our readers a 15% discount on their CBD Tonic when you use the code YOGA15 at checkout.