CBD and Veganism: the perfect plant-based partners
Health and nutrition trends have been sweeping the world for the past few years. Gone are the days of crash dieting, today we’re seeing people make sustainable choices about their everyday lifestyle from what they eat to fitting in varied and regular exercise. One of the most popular lifestyle choices which has boomed in recent years in the West is veganism. This year saw half a million people in the UK take on the Veganuary (vegan January) challenge, showing a growing curiosity about the benefits and realities of this way of life.
There are two primary reasons why people choose to go vegan: environmental and health. In terms of environmental reasons, the production of animal products - in particular meat - is one of the biggest contributors of CO2 to the environment. By eliminating, or even just cutting down on, meat consumption could massively help to lower greenhouse gas emissions. Estimates show that livestock are predicted to contribute up to 14% of all greenhouse gas emissions from human activities. (1)
Meanwhile, others opt-in for the vegan lifestyle for health reasons alone. Of course, it is possible to find vegan fatty foods, but a majority of unhealthy processed foods do contain animal products. Consequently, the vegan diet is a lot more focussed on natural products from the earth. Vegan meals and snacks tend to focus on vegetables and natural proteins from nuts, pulses, and beans. That is not to say that the vegan diet is restrictive, rather people have got incredibly creative in places where the diet has only boomed in popularity in recent years, finding out how to cook with previously unfamiliar or underused ingredients. In the UK alone there are over 6,000 vegan restaurants.
While living a vegan lifestyle and following a vegan diet can be incredibly beneficial to your health, if this is something that you are transitioning into - in other words, not a way of life that you have followed since birth - it is truly important to make sure you are receiving all the necessary nutrients. Sometimes when people ‘go vegan’ they simply cut out all the animal products from their diet. But this is not the best or the healthiest way to do it. You need to think about what foods you will no longer be eating, what nutritional value they supplied you with, and how you can replicate this with vegan-friendly produce.
In addition to carefully sourcing your food and thinking about how to construct your meals, supplements are a great addition to your vegan diet. By taking supplements you can easily obtain many of the necessary nutrients required for your daily intake, a feat which can sometimes be difficult depending on the produce available where you live and the season. This applies to both vegan and non-vegan diets.
CBD (cannabidiol) is a plant-based supplement that has been rapidly growing in popularity over the past few years, in tandem with the vegan diet. And this is not a coincidence. People are becoming more and more aware that finding natural alternatives to their diet and being fueled by the earth’s natural produce boosts their health and wellbeing, as well as being sustainable.
Extracted from the hemp plant, CBD is a naturally occurring compound - also referred to as a cannabinoid - which interacts with receptors in the body in numerous ways that ultimately has beneficial effects on a range of physiological processes. Ultimately, studies and personal experiences have shown that incorporating CBD into diets can be beneficial for both mental and physical wellbeing. Some benefits include improved sleep quality (2), reduced pain (3), and better circulation (4).
And it’s no coincidence that veganism and CBD are the perfect partners. It’s not just because they are both plant-based, a vegan diet is one of the best ways to naturally enhance the effects of CBD and your overall CBD experience. Let us explain: the absorbency of CBD into the bloodstream is known as bioavailability, the more that is absorbed, the greater the efficacy. You get the picture. But did you know that the rate of absorbancy can be enhanced when you eat certain foods? A 2019 study (5) carried out by the University of Minnesota found that, as cannabinoids are fat-soluble, eating naturally fatty foods can promote absorption. Foods that are naturally full of good essential fats are foods that are very common in vegan diets including nuts, avocados, and olive oil.
CBD is also an incredibly popular supplement among vegan athletes. It has become no secret that many professionals in the sporting world now use CBD either before, during, or after their training - these benefits are amplified for vegan athletes. Here are a few reasons why.
CBD holds anti-inflammatory properties, which is why it is commonly used to help soothe and relieve pain and is a highly-regarded natural alternative for over the counter painkillers such as ibuprofen and paracetamol, which can lead to gastrointestinal issues when used over frequently. Muscle soreness is common after a work out when you’ve pushed yourself to the max, in other words, you have ‘felt the burn’. And while this is not immediately damaging, you need to take the right care afterwards to make sure your muscles recover in time for your next training session.
Is CBD Vegan?
Now we have established why CBD and veganism are the perfect plant-based partners, it is vital to answer the question of ‘is CBD vegan’. Well, what can we say, obviously many vegans regularly take CBD - so the answer seems like it would be a certain yes. However, things are not always super straightforward. The hemp plant, from which CBD is derived, is 100 per cent vegan. Nevertheless, sometimes in the extraction, production, and manufacturing processes other ingredients and elements can be added - either on purpose or due to traces in the environment - which are not vegan-friendly. For this reason, it is crucial that you check if the CBD product in question is vegan if you adhere to a strict vegan diet and lifestyle.
Oil tinctures are one of the most commonly used forms of CBD and there is a good reason for this. If you are using CBD for the first time, the tincture allows you to measure, control, increase, and decrease your amount and dosage by the smallest increments until you find your optimal dosage. It also means that if you desire you can take different doses at different times or different days depending on your circumstances and how you feel. And that’s not all! CBD oil is a great addition to a vegan kitchen, the taste can be either masked or complemented by a range of natural ingredients. We generally recommend adding it to fresh fruit smoothies, salad dressings or sauces - but we welcome and encourage any culinary creativity.
All Reakiro CBD oils are vegan-friendly, as well as gluten-free and non-GMO.
The other widely used CBD product is CBD capsules which bring their own unique range of benefits. These capsules are filled with Reakiro’s premium CBD oil. But while oil tinctures allow you to vary your dosage, the capsules are premeasured and each contains an exact amount of CBD. This is great for people who know exactly how much CBD they wish to consume each day and want to do so in a quick and convenient manner. Capsules are a particularly useful form if you find that you are frequently living life on the go. Pop these in your kitchen cupboard, your car, your gym bag to make sure their with you wherever you go.
It’s important to stress that often the gel in CBD gel capsules is made using non-vegan ingredients, which give it the gelatinous composition. At Reakiro we have recognised and identified this issue, which led us to create and formulating our unique CBD vegan capsules.
Reakiro’s CBD vegan capsules are infused with piperine (black pepper extract) which increases bioavailability, meaning the absorbancy and efficacy of the CBD is widely improved. Piperine also carries other benefits such as stress management support and anti-oxidant benefits.
Although the benefits and the ideals of a vegan diet and a vegan lifestyle are incredibly appealing, it is understandable that it is not always the easiest change to make to the way you live. In some ways, it is an upheaval of everything, from food and drink to the products you use and the clothes you wear. However, many decide that these sacrifices are worth it - whether it is for health reasons, environmental reasons, animal rights reasons - or a combination of all three.
If you are worried about not getting all the necessary nutrients after going vegan, perhaps this is something you should discuss with your doctor, or carry out some thorough research by speaking to people who have had a similar experience.
Here at Reakiro, we want to support everyone’s plant-based journey, which is why we have developed specifically vegan-friendly products. Everyone should be able to benefit from the natural alternative and widely beneficial supplement while maintaining their vegan values and lifestyle. All Reakiro vegan products will be clearly labelled in either the product name or description. Here’s to your health and the health of the great planet around us!