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 and stimulate the immune system.
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.
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 cardiovascular issues.
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 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 may 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.