Many people who choose to incorporate CBD products into their wellness routine may wonder how well CBD pairs with other powerful plant allies. Numerous remedies from traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda include adaptogenic herbs, some of the most well-known being shiitake mushrooms, ginseng and ashwagandha. With all the different adaptogenic formulas on the market, it may feel daunting to incorporate these wonder tonics into your regular routine, particularly when you are already prioritizing self-care with the use of CBD products.

What Are Adaptogens?

Adaptogens are plants that help the body cope with the damaging effects of stress and promote normal and even optimal functioning. There is a growing body of scientific research on the positive effects of adaptogens, including their ability to strengthen the immune system, protect the brain, reduce inflammation, support sleep cycles and decrease stress. Sounds a lot like the effects of CBD, right? The anti-anxiety, pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties of CBD pair beautifully with the adrenal and immune support found in adaptogenic herbs.

How Do They Work?

While consulting a trained herbalist or naturopathic doctor is usually advisable, particularly for serious or chronic health problems, many adaptogens are considered safe and gentle to use as long-term tonics to strengthen the body. Unlike using herbal medicine for acute, temporary situations (like taking ginger for nausea), adaptogens are meant to be taken (or eaten) on a daily basis for weeks or months to build vitality. Since Americans can be a little obsessed about the newest quick fix, it is important to know that, just like CBD, adaptogens have the best effect with regular, long-term use.

Which Adaptogens Are Right for Me?

If sleep is your Achilles heel, consider taking CBD paired with ashwagandha, an Indian tonic reported to help you sleep deeply on a regular basis faster than you can count sheep, especially when the underlying cause is stress. For increasing sexual stamina, Asian ginseng has been used for centuries as an aphrodisiac by both men and women. One study showed an increase in sexual function for premenopausal women. If your sexual challenges are caused by social anxiety, chronic pain or depression, the combination of CBD with ginseng might be just the trick to get you back in the saddle. American ginseng is also a fabulous option to support sexual health, and since it is more moistening and less heating than Asian ginseng, it may be a better choice for many Americans, including post-menopausal women who can suffer from hot flashes and dryness.

Medicinal Mushrooms

Another type of adaptogens are medicinal mushrooms like shiitake, chaga, reishi and cordyceps. With over 1,000 active compounds, mushrooms make up a significant quantity of the adaptogen products on the market. So, how do medicinal mushrooms pair with CBD? Just about as well as you might guess, but without the psychedelic side effects of their magic mushroom cousins. Some of the many benefits of medicinal mushrooms include anti-stress, anti-inflammatory and immune-support effects. Since mushrooms are also a culinary delicacy, they are an excellent way to get some adaptogenic properties in your regular diet.

Putting It All Together

While cannabis has yet to be classified as an adaptogen, CBD definitely meets the requirements since it is non-toxic, stress-reducing and has an overall balancing effect on the body. Pairing CBD with adaptogenic plant allies could potentially strengthen the effects of CBD or vice versa. The natural world certainly has no shortage of plant medicines to support balance in mind, body and spirit. While there is still much to be learned about how plants affect the human organism, as well as how plant medicines act when combined, it is clear that there are many herbal allies out there to help decrease stress, boost energy and treat issues like anxiety, depression, insomnia and chronic pain. It’s about finding the combinations that work for your unique body!