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Guide to Hygge and CBD

Imagine this: you're curled up on your comfortable couch, surrounded by soft throw pillows, sipping a cup of hot chocolate.

Your mood matches your surroundings: cozy, calm, and at ease.

In a word, this pleasant scene could best be described as “hygge”.

Though simple pleasures like candles, blankets, and woodstoves can help make your external environment cozier, it might be more challenging to reach the inner calm that accompanies the hygge lifestyle.

Fortunately, hygge and CBD hemp oil may go hand in hand!

Sourced from hemp plants, CBD is a natural extract that's been extensively researched for its potential to balance mood, reduce anxiety, and even help reduce chronic pain.

If you're looking to incorporate the tenets of this cozy lifestyle trend into your life, then taking a closer look at the benefits of CBD oil might be the first step.

What is Hygge?

Pronounced “hoo-gaa”, the word hygge actually originated in the Old Norwegian language, and has been an established concept in Denmark since the 18th century.

As a concept, hygge covers quite a bit of ground. A cozy snuggle on the couch with a cup of hot tea and a good book is quintessential hygge.

But you can also find hygge in sharing some mulled wine with loved ones, playing with a beloved pet in the comfort of your living room, or relaxing into a hot bath at the end of a long day.

The Danish History of Hygge

In Denmark, winters are cold, dark, and long. To combat the loneliness and darkness of a long winter, Danes not only embrace feel-good activities (like brewing the perfect cup of hot cocoa or donning a pair of luxurious slippers) but also strive towards inner contentment and peace.

And in some ways, it must be working: the World Happiness Report consistently finds that Denmark ranks in the top three happiest countries in the world.

What's driving the global popularity of hygge?

Unfortunately, stress, anxiety, insomnia, and chronic pain are a reality all over the developed world. In fact, over 40 million people in the United States alone (approximately 18% of the population) struggle with anxiety disorders.

To fight back against a sometimes stressful world, many people are striving to embrace the concept of hygge in their everyday lives.

To incorporate hygge into your life, step back and look at how your external world and your internal (mental and emotional) world intersect:

  • Is there a way to make your environment more cozy and calming?
  • Can using CBD for anxiety help promote greater well-being and peace of mind without psychoactive effects.?

The Hygge/CBD Link

To truly incorporate hygge into your everyday life, it's not always enough to light a scented candle. Though it helps to establish a safe and cozy setting, we'll never truly experience hygge if we are wound up, worn down, or stressed.

The powerful link between hygge and CBD comes down to CBD oil's ability to help balance our bodies and minds through affecting the endocannabinoid system.

CBD and The Endocannabinoid System

Sourced from the hemp plant, CBD is a compound that interacts directly with our body's endocannabinoid system. This expansive system regulates multiple aspects of our physical and mental well-being, including our sleep, digestion, and mood.

CBD interacts with cannabinoid receptors in this system to help promote homeostasis (or balance) in our bodies and minds. Because quality CBD is carefully sourced from industrial hemp plants, it contains only a negligible amount of THC. This means it will not contribute to a “high,” or any of the other side effects associated with THC.

How can CBD contribute to the hygge lifestyle?

Can you embrace feelings of happiness when you're suffering from aches and pains after a long day?

Is it possible to achieve a sense of coziness when you can hardly sleep at night?

How can you prioritize health and wellness when you're going through stress and anxiety?

For most of us, CBD may help contribute to the coziness and well-being of hygge through its many positive effects:

  • CBD may reduce stress and anxiety so you can settle your mind while sipping your tea.
  • Using CBD for arthritis and other chronic pain conditions may help you relax into the coziness of hygge.
  • Using CBD products for sleep may help you naturally calm down after an overstimulating day.

Benefits of CBD in a Hygge Lifestyle

Though more research is needed, many recent studies have explored the various ways CBD may help us achieve balance in our lives and decrease anxiety. Based on compelling research, here are some possible benefits of CBD in a hygge lifestyle.

CBD May Help Ease Anxiety and Stress

One clinical review of 49 studies found that CBD has the potential to ease symptoms of multiple anxiety disorders. Though more research is required, CBD's ability to interact with the serotonin 5-HT1A receptor in the brain, along with its effects on the cannabinoid type 1 receptor (CB1R), could explain its anti-anxiety effects. Other studies have shown that CBD may be able to:

  • Regulate the amount of the stress hormone cortisol released into your system
  • Interact with serotonin levels in the brain, which may be helpful for those with seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
  • Support neuroplasticity, a process which allows our brains to “rewire,” change, and heal.

CBD as a Sleep Aid

There's nothing cozier than settling in for a long night's sleep. Unfortunately, in the United States, 50-70 million adults suffer from sleep disorders, and have troubling settling down at night.

To explore CBD's effects on sleep, one 2019 study analyzed adults suffering from clinically poor sleep and anxiety. Patients in the study were given CBD 25 mg/d in capsule form for at least one month daily. The researchers concluded that “on average, anxiety and sleep improved for most patients” who took part in the study.

CBD's Role in Pain Relief

If you're suffering from inflammation or chronic pain, it can be difficult to ease into a cozy hygge evening at home. To explore CBD's benefits for pain, a 2018 study in Frontiers in Pharmacology reviewed multiple studies dating back several years, finding that “the evidence from current research supports the use of medical cannabis in the treatment of chronic pain in adults.”

The review found that CBD works on various receptors in the endocannabinoid system and may be useful for soothing:

  • Chronic pain associated with conditions like fibromyalgia and neuropathic pain
  • Inflammatory pain associated with arthritis
  • Irritation and pain found with digestive disorders like irritable bowel syndrome

Top Hygge Products Containing CBD

In some cases, understanding CBD oil can help you bask in all the benefits of hygge. With so many products to choose from, you may be wondering where to get started with CBD oil. Fortunately, you can incorporate CBD into your hygge lifestyle in many ways:

  • Taking CBD in tincture form allows you to closely control the dose of CBD you're ingesting, so that you can start slow and work up to your comfort levels.
  • CBD capsules are an easy and convenient way to embrace CBD's anti-anxiety and pain relieving effects.
  • For some, there's nothing more hygge than enjoying a delicious treat while relaxing. CBD edibles take longer to trigger effects, but can lead to a long-lasting sense of well-being.
  • Want that cup of hot tea to really calm you down? Look for CBD infused teas from reputable companies.
  • If your idea of hygge involves relaxing into a steamy bath at the end of the day, then you might want to look into CBD infused bath bombs and bath salts.
  • To reap all the pain relieving topical benefits of CBD, a soothing CBD lotion or moisturizer could be a welcome element in your self-care routine.

Whatever you choose, make sure you source your CBD oil products from a company that verifies their products' purity with independent lab reviews. For edibles and topical products, check product labels carefully to ensure only natural ingredients are used.

Start with the lowest dose possible and work your way up. As always, if you have any questions about incorporating CBD into your hygge lifestyle, consult with your physician.

 

+ 6 sources

Sources:

  1. VisitDenmark. “What is Hygge?” VisitDenmark 2021. https://www.visitdenmark.com/denmark/highlights/hygge/what-hygge
  2. Sustainable Development Solutions Network. “World Happiness Report 2020.” https://worldhappiness.report/ed/2020/#read
  3. Anxiety & Depression Association of America. “Facts & Statistics.” ADAA 2021. https://adaa.org/about-adaa/press-room/facts-statistics#:~:text=Anxiety%20disorders%20are%20the%20most,of%20those%20suffering%20receive%20treatment
  4. Moss, Angelique. “Treating Seasonal Affective Disorder- Can CBD Help?” Healthcare in America 16 Feb 2018. https://healthcareinamerica.us/treating-seasonal-affective-disorder-can-cbd-help-3a9995f1f746?gi=8c94141a784f
  5. Whiteman, Honor. “These genes could make us prone to insomnia.” Medical News Today 12 Mar 2018. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321187#:~:text=It%20is%20estimated%20that%20around,abnormal%20working%20patterns%2C%20and%20inactivity
  6. Rider, Elizabeth. “How to Hygge: 7 Benefits of Cozy Wellness.” Accessed Oct 2021 https://www.elizabethrider.com/hygge-benefits/

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