Wired and Tired In Silicon Valley- CBD Oil and Ashwagandha to the Rescue! Today, people live busy, stressful lives. Ironically, technology has only allowed us to work more, while push Both have their own set of benefits, but can you take CBD and ashwagandha together? Click here for the answer.
Wired and Tired In Silicon Valley- CBD Oil and Ashwagandha to the Rescue!
Today, people live busy, stressful lives. Ironically, technology has only allowed us to work more, while push notifications constantly alert us to the latest crises. It’s no wonder we’re stressed out! Here in Silicon Valley, I often see business professionals who suffer from the ‘wired and tired’ scenario . I know this because after their first acupuncture session they feel completely exhausted. Some even claim to sleep 12 hours straight the night after their first session. Why is this?
Acupuncture removes the veneer of nervous tension (wired) and reconnects people to how their body is really feeling (tired). This is actually a good thing because it allows people to really calm down and get restorative sleep. But what if you can’t get acupuncture every week? I have a couple suggestions for herbal alternatives that might be right for you:
CBD oil and Ashwagandha
There’s a lot of media attention on the legalization of marijuana, but not a lot of intelligent discussion about its benefits from a medical perspective. In this vein, I thought I would do a compare and contrast discussion of CBD oil (an extract from the marijuana plant) and Ashwagandha, a storied herb from Ayurvedic (Indian) medicine.
Ashwagandha , also known as Withania somnifera , is known as an ‘adaptogen’ which means it both relieves stress and improves energy at the same time.
CBD Oil has been extensively researched for in the context of cancer (it reduces nausea) and is commonly prescribed for relieving anxiety and can help with sleep. It has also been used extensively to treat pain and inflammation. The key differentiator here is that CBD oil does not leave the user feeling ‘high’ in the way that THC does.
Homeostatic Balance and The Stress-Response
Stress can then be defined as a “push” away from homeostasis or balance. For example, our internal body temperature is maintained at a steady 98.6F (37C). Whenever changes in the environmental temperature push our bodies away from this, such as on a hot day, our body sees this change as a form of stress.
Our body then needs to adapt to this temperature change to maintain our strict internal temperature control. If we can’t adapt fast enough to maintain this balance, we become sick.
When we fall out of balance our immune system begins to fail, our repair processes becomes interrupted, energy levels decrease, and our overall vitality begins to fade.
Long-Term Stress and Imbalance Can Lead To:
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Anxiety and Depression
- Autoimmune disease
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
- Menstrual irregularities
CBD Oil- What Is It Exactly?
CBD is just one of over 60 cannabinoids found in the marijuana plant (Cannabis spp.). This compound has received a lot of attention in recent years for its wide range of health promoting activity.
CBD works off a system in the body known as the endocannabinoid system. The body uses this system as messenger service for the organs, allowing distant organs and cells to communicate with each other; turning up underactive organs, and turning down overactive ones whenever it’s needed.
CBD works by modulating this endocannabinoid system, essentially enhancing this process.
If the cannabinoid system can be thought of as an internet service for the body, we can imagine that just like our internet service plan, there is a monthly data limit. When we add CBD to this system it can be thought of as an upgrade to the data limit of this service plan. It allows the internal system to work more efficiently and achieve a higher level of control over homeostasis in the body by transferring more information.
The ability for CBD to modulate this endocannabinoid system is what gives it so many health promoting benefits. CBD oil is useful for chronic inflammation, insomnia, stress/anxiety, poor immunity , epilepsy, pain, and even cancer therapy and prevention.
What is Ashwagandha?
Our understanding of Ashwagandha comes from the Ayurvedic medical system of India and Southeast Asia. This herb is considered a Rasayana , which basically means “longevity promoting”. This classification was reserved for top-tier herbs that could promote vitality and improve health throughout life. These herbs are revered for having effects that can be considered “balancing”. When something falls out of balance, they bring the body back towards baseline. A more modern term for this class of herb is adaptogen .
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is used for conditions involving overstimulation and the resulting exhaustion that comes with it. This can include anxiety, insomnia, chronic fatigue syndrome, pain, and stress.
It’s also used for regulating the immune system which makes it useful for conditions like cancer, inflammation, and autoimmune disease.
Similarities Between Ashwagandha & CBD Oil
You may have noticed that many of the benefits attributed to CBD oil and ashwagandha are very similar. Both are used for chronic conditions involving inflammation, stress and anxiety, insomnia, chronic fatigue, and poor immunity.
In order to make a fair comparison, we’ll go through several key systems these compounds work on and compare them to each other.
Comparing Ashwagandha and CBD Oil:
Both CBD and Ashwagandha are useful for reducing the negative effects of stress on the body, but have different ways of achieving this.
CBD works through the endocannabinoid system, making it more sensitive to changes in our internal balance. It’s considered to be most effective in stress conditions involving anxiety and hyperexcitability.
In a recent randomised controlled clinical trial, researchers reported a significant reduction in patients suffering anxiety-related disorders using CBD .
CBD also modulates a neurotransmitter in the brain known as GABA. This neurotransmitter is responsible for muscle relaxation and plays an integral role in sleep and nerve cell recovery. CBD improves the function of GABA, helping us relax and unwind at the end of a long day .
Ashwagandha has similar effects, but works through a special system known as the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA axis). This system is tasked with the important job of regulating homeostasis through hormonal control.
A study investigating the effectiveness of ashwagandha on stress found that regular intake was able to reduce several key markers of chronic stress :
- Reduced corticosterone levels in the blood (an important stress hormone)
- Improve blood glucose metabolism (often becomes dysfunctional with long-term stress)
- Improved cognitive dysfunctions associated with high stress
- Improved immune function
- Corrected sexual dysfunctions that were the result of chronic stress
The effect profile of ashwagandha makes it more useful for long term stress involving exhaustion. It can be used to build the body back up to a state of good health after reaching exhaustion or “hitting the wall”.
Inflammation is a key element of the healing process, but can lead to long term health issues if allowed to go on for too long. CBD and ashwagandha are both effective for reducing inflammation.
CBD provides anti inflammatory effects through the regulation of the endocannabinoid system as well as a special set of receptors known as the adenosine system. It’s been shown in animal studies to reduce several key inflammatory markers after just a single dose of CBD .
Due to CBDs effectiveness for reducing pain, as well as its role in preventing adenosine-mediated inflammation, it’s considered to be most effective for inflammation involving pain such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, nerve pain, and chronic back pain.
Ashwagandha was shown to have superior anti inflammatory actions to hydrocortisone in an animal model . Hydrocortisone is a common anti inflammatory pharmaceutical medication used for joint and muscle pain.
The anti inflammatory effects of ashwagandha are better for inflammation related to autoimmune or allergic conditions . This makes ashwagandha a great anti inflammatory for conditions like eczema, hay fever, food allergies, and rheumatoid arthritis.
CBD helps with anxiety through GABA innervation, muscle relaxation, and CB1 receptors in the brain. It helps us relax at the end of the day, giving us a better chance of falling asleep. Additionally, the potent pain-relieving benefits of CBD make it effective for insomnia related to pain or discomfort.
CBD has been shown to improve sleep onset and sleep maintenance in highly stressed individuals , as well as those suffering from chronic pain .
Ashwagandha is especially useful for insomnia because it has the ability to reduce sympathetic nervous system dominance. This part of the nervous system (often referred to as the SNS) controlls our stress response. It becomes activated during stress, which serves to heighten our awareness and gives us a surge of energy. By turning this system down using ashwagandha, our brains are much more capable of relaxing and falling asleep at the end of the day.
Ashwagandha has been shown to not only improve sleep quality, but also to decrease the negative side effects of sleep deprivation . This makes ashwagandha especially useful for those with chronic insomnia, helping with the immediate issues of sleep deprivation, as well as preventing further sleep deprivation with regular use.
CBD is a potent pain-reliever. In fact, this is one of the main reasons many people choose to take CBD in the first place. It works by activating a special type of receptor known as the vanilloid receptors. These are used alongside the opioid system to control the amount of pain signals that are allowed to enter the brain. By activating these receptors, the pain signal is turned down, resulting in a significant reduction in pain sensation .
Common analgesics like morphine and codeine work through a similar mechanism.
Ashwagandha isn’t nearly as useful for pain-reduction as CBD, but does have some benefits. One study found that ashwagandha was able to reduce chronic nerve pain . Another study found similar results using ashwagandha for treating nerve pain resulting from surgical procedures .
This suggests that ashwagandha is useful specifically for pain associated with the nervous system.
This may include:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Degenerative disk pain
- DIabetic neuropathy
- Trigeminal neuralgia
CBD has been shown to have potent anticancer benefits over the past 10 years of research. It does this through a variety of different mechanisms.
CBD combats cancer by:
- Reducing inflammatory compounds associated with the development of cancer (such as NF-kB) .
- Increases programmed cell death in cancerous cells 
- Increases oxidative damage to cancer cells 
Ashwagandha is also useful as an anticancer supplement. It’s root contains a chemical known as withaferin A, which has been shown to have profound benefits towards the detection and elimination of cancer.
Can You Take CBD and Ashwagandha Together?
It is becoming increasingly clear that cannabidiol—commonly known as CBD—works better with other supplements.
For example, even though research studies indicate that it has analgesic properties, formulations with both CBD and THC have been noted to be more effective in managing pain.
But does this come as a surprise? CBD, like most other cannabinoids, is agonistic to the cannabinoid receptors. Studies show that it enhances receptor activity, thereby compounding the effects.
It is not exactly clear if this is why CBD works quite well with other natural supplements. However, speculation is growing that CBD is doubly effective when used with other herbals. If CBD enhances the properties of other compounds, it is a property you should take advantage of.
So, given the growing interest in natural supplements and their use in managing wide-ranging health conditions, it may be a great idea to investigate if you can take CBD and ashwagandha together.
What is ashwagandha?
Ashwagandha is an evergreen shrub native to some parts of Africa and Asia. Its roots and fruits have been used for their medicinal value for centuries.
It is believed to contain compounds that may help reduce inflammation, calm the brain, lower blood pressure and modulate the immune system.
For these reasons, there are claims that ashwagandha is an adaptogen.
Adaptogens boost the body’s resistance to mental and physical stress. They may be used to help combat conditions such as insomnia, aging, anxiety, and many more. However, there is no credible empirical evidence supporting most of these claims.
For instance, the COVID-19 pandemic increased the demand for ashwagandha as many used it to mitigate the effects of the virus. Nevertheless, there is no evidence suggesting ashwagandha can help in this regard.
But since ashwagandha has been an integral component of Ayurvedic medicine since ancient times, there is a good chance this shrub is medicinal. So let’s look at instances where this herb has proved beneficial.
What are the benefits of taking ashwagandha?
Many people use ashwagandha to manage common diseases and conditions like:
Evidence suggests this herb has anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties. Many health disorders are caused by inflammation, so reducing inflammation can protect the body from certain illnesses.
Laboratory studies indicate that ashwagandha can reduce inflammation and calm the central nervous system. Mice studies also show that this herb can lower blood sugar levels, stimulate the immune system, and destroy cancer cells.
However, the findings from animal studies have not been replicated in human studies, so there is no way to tell if ashwagandha would have the same effects on people.
There is evidence that ashwagandha may also be anxiolytic , i.e., stress-relieving. For example, a 2000 study indicated that this plant has similar anxiety-reducing properties as benzodiazepine medications.
These medicines are used to treat various neurological conditions like epilepsy, anxiety disorders, severe agitation, and insomnia.
Recently, scientists discovered that taking 240mg of ashwagandha daily significantly reduced stress levels in humans. This coincided with a reduction in cortisol levels.
These findings were corroborated in another study which showed that daily doses of 250-600mg of ashwagandha lowered cortisol levels and subsequently lower stress.
Ashwagandha may also have pain-relieving properties. It can impede pain signals from using the central nervous system to reach the brain. This can alter pain perception.
Consequently, some studies claim that ashwagandha may be used to reduce arthritis pain, particularly rheumatoid arthritis.
This was the logical conclusion of a 2015 study in which 125 participants with joint pain experienced reduced pain levels after taking ashwagandha.
Alzheimer’s disease management
Ashwagandha’s neuroprotective properties have been subjected to scrutiny. For example, multiple studies have examined the ability of ashwagandha to prevent or slow the loss of brain function in rats with Alzheimer’s.
In a 2011 review of these studies, the researchers established that it could potentially protect connective paths that get damaged as neurodegenerative diseases progress when taken in the early stages.
Further, a 2020 study on the effects of ashwagandha on brain disorders found that it has “key pharmacological effects” on brain disorders, notably schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s, anxiety, and ADHD, among others.
A few studies have also highlighted ashwagandha’s ability to slow the growth of cancer cells. Their findings show promise that ashwagandha can stop cell growth in particular types of cancer.
Even though the use of ashwagandha to boost heart health is not uncommon, there is scarce evidence to support this behavior.
Many people who turn to ashwagandha for this reason often cite its ability to ease chest pain, lower blood cholesterol and pressure, and prevent heart disease.
They may have a point because a 2015 human study showed that ashwagandha root extracts could enhance cardiorespiratory health. This could have a positive impact on heart health.
Nonetheless, more research is required to evaluate the health benefits of ashwagandha further.
When is the best time of day to take ashwagandha?
They say that, in life, timing is everything. But when it comes to natural supplements, it may not be the only consideration. It turns out that taking ashwagandha in the morning or at night has no impact on its efficacy.
In essence, there is no such thing as an “optimal moment” to take ashwagandha.
However, it is vital to recognize that the effects of ashwagandha are not instantaneous, and you may need to be patient and consistent before you see any benefits.
Should I take ashwagandha in the morning or at night?
It’s up to you, depending on your goals. Evenings may be ideal if you’re going for a relaxed mind and better sleep.
Studies have shown that taking between 120-300mg of ashwagandha for 8-12 weeks could improve sleep quality and reduce stress.
Higher doses—300-500mg—were noted to improve athletic performance and strength, implying these are suitable for daytime use.
Ashwagandha vs. CBD
Apart from their origins, there is little that separates ashwagandha and CBD. Both are natural supplements with wide-ranging health benefits.
While it’s well-established that CBD influences the endocannabinoid system, it is unclear where ashwagandha targets.
But like CBD, it also affects various beneficial physiological processes.
Benefits of CBD and ashwagandha
The prospects of combining CBD and ashwagandha are, no doubt, exciting. Both supplements have beneficial properties that can confer immense health benefits.
Some of these include:
CBD has been shown to influence mood by, among other things, influencing serotonin activity in the brain. Serotonin is one of the “feel good” hormones produced by the body.
CBD influences serotonin activity by inhibiting its uptake in the brain, leaving much of it in the body.
Endocannabinoids may also influence mood. One such endocannabinoid is anandamide, which is known for its mood-regulating role. When your spirits are low, it often means your anandamide levels are also low.
This can be caused by your body’s inability to process the anandamide it produces.
CBD has been linked to modulating anandamide signaling, which can boost its levels when they fall below the optimal amount. It is unclear whether ashwagandha enhances mood, but it can contribute to a better mood by helping reduce stress and anxiety.
Both CBD and ashwagandha have anxiolytic properties. In fact, CBD users cite its anti-stress and anxiety effects as among the major reasons for using it. Ashwagandha is equally well-known for its stress-reducing ability.
Regularly using ashwagandha supplements may considerably reduce cortisol levels, making it an excellent option for dealing with chronic stress.
While CBD influences the endocannabinoid system and the 5HT (serotonin) receptor network, ashwagandha primarily works through the HPA (hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis).
The HPA regulates hormonal output, including the production of the stress hormone cortisol.
Improved mental performance
CBD’s ability to affect mental performance is attributed to its indirect effect on focus and concentration.
Low CBD doses are associated with increased focus and concentration during the day. Research shows that CBD may enhance focus by alleviating the issues that impede it in the first place, e.g., pain, stress, and anxiety.
According to a 2020 research study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology , a single 600mg dose of CBD boosts the blood supply to the hippocampus. This portion of the brain handles memory processing. The reaction time for various memory tests conducted by test subjects was also reduced.
Moreover, according to a 2018 National Institutes of Health study, CBD can boost mental health and clarity in several ways. According to the study, CBD supplements may enhance new neuron formation in the brain, which explains why CBD might occasionally cause anxiety, sadness, or improve focus.
Similarly, a 2018 study showed that 300mg of ashwagandha taken twice daily for 12 weeks could boost mental alertness and improve sleep quality in older adults.
Ashwagandha has also demonstrated an ability to increase memory, attention, and mental clarity by stimulating neuron regeneration.
This adaptogen not only benefits your brain but also benefits your body. Indeed, ashwagandha has been found in studies to increase aerobic capacity in elite athletes!
Anxiety and stress are frequently the direct causes of insufficient and unsatisfying sleep. Because ashwagandha and CBD may help reduce stress symptoms, they may also enhance the quality and amount of your sleep.
CBD’s sleep-promoting properties are being studied more and more in the science world. Doses ranging from 40-160mg can help people fall asleep more easily.
Higher doses— 300 to 600mg —have been shown to significantly reduce cortisol levels. This can induce a sedative effect, making it easier to fall asleep.
Preliminary studies show that ashwagandha may help individuals sleep better at night and for longer periods.
Although further research is needed, participants in a recent study reported a 72% improvement in sleep quality after using ashwagandha supplements for six weeks.
There are encouraging study findings indicating that ashwagandha may help lower cortisol levels.
Cortisol is produced in response to stress and when blood sugar levels fall below a certain threshold. Chronically high cortisol levels may result in various health conditions, including sleeplessness.
Ashwagandha and CBD for sleep
Adaptogens increase your ability to adapt to stress.
Their principal role is to help you reestablish and maintain your body’s optimal state of balance. Stress always attempts to knock us off balance.
Adaptogens, like ashwagandha, help to fortify our internal defenses against the impacts of external factors.
Although CBD is not an adaptogen, it serves the same purpose as ashwagandha. CBD and the ECS work together to help stabilize the internal environment, notwithstanding the changes in the external environment.
You can now see why ashwagandha and CBD are a perfect combo!
Undoubtedly, combining CBD and ashwagandha may reduce restlessness and agitation before we jump into bed. These two botanical sleep promoters may help you calm your mind and body, enabling you to sleep much better.
Can you take CBD and ashwagandha together?
Oh yes! CBD and ashwagandha are a “power couple” that you should try out if you have a health condition affecting your quality of life. Using both to boost your health and overall wellbeing is also perfectly okay.
How to take CBD and ashwagandha together
There are many ways to use CBD with ashwagandha to help you relax and sleep better.
One way to do this is by establishing a routine of taking your CBD product at a specific time and adding the supporting supplement you require, such as ashwagandha, to help alleviate the distractions that keep you awake at night.
An effective sleep routine starts with selecting the best CBD products for regular usage. You may choose daily CBD capsules, CBD gummies, or CBD tinctures.
Any of these options will offer you a continuous supply of cannabinoids and other beneficial botanical compounds .
Ashwagandha and CBD dosage
The dosage typically depends on your underlying condition. If, for example, you have insomnia, you may need between 250 and 600mg of ashwagandha, but this may differ depending on the supplement.
With CBD, you may need anywhere from 40 to 160mg, depending on its potency.
Best CBD ashwagandha supplements
If you don’t want the hassle of buying CBD and ashwagandha separately, you can opt for products containing both supplements.
Our FOCL Night capsules are exactly what you need. These capsules are loaded with premium hemp CBD and an array of botanical herbs, including ashwagandha. FOCL Night is formulated to relax your mind and mitigate the effects of distractions that prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep.