The Definitive Guide To Adaptogens

The Magazine: The Definitive Guide To Adaptogens

If you’ve been paying even the tiniest amount of attention to wellbeing (which, if you’re a Prima fan or reading this article, chances are good that you have) you’ve probably come across the term adaptogens. But if asked to actually identify a specific adaptogen or even explain what they are or what they do, you might wind up drawing a blank.

That’s ok — while adaptogens are by no means a new ingredient, they are just starting to gain mainstream awareness. An even more recent development is how adaptogens interact and boost the benefits of cannabidiol (CBD). To help you demystify these potent plant extracts, we’ve put together this handy guide —with the expert input from Dr. Timothy Birdsall, ND, FABNO, a naturopathic doctor and Chief Integration and Information Officer for Pinnacle Dermatology — featuring everything you need to know about adaptogens, CBD, and your body. Keep reading to get the scoop.

What Is An Adaptogen?

An adaptogen is a natural compound or plant extract that helps your body to “adapt” (see what they did there) and resist stress — both internal and external. “In practical terms, this means that adaptogens help to balance the body’s response to stressful situations, enabling individuals to continue to function at a relatively high level physically and mentally, in spite of the stress,” explains Dr. Birdsall. So both the physical and mental manifestations of stress, which include everything from trouble falling asleep and digestive issues to irritability and unease, can be impacted positively by certain adaptogens.*

Where Do Adaptogens Come From?

Adaptogens have been used in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years. Ayurveda is a type of holistic healing that originates from India. Adaptogenic ingredients are typically plants, spices, herbs, or mushrooms. Some of the most common include ashwagandha, turmeric, rhodiola, ginseng, saffron, Holy Basil, and reishi.

How Does CBD Help With Stress?

CBD works with your body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) to help balance your body’s internal functions. This includes your mood, energy, and stress response. When your ECS is balanced, you may notice that you feel more positive, have more energy, fall asleep faster, and overall more balanced.*

What’s The Deal With CBD & Adaptogens?

As you’ve probably been able to deduce, adaptogens and CBD have similar effects on the body, however they accomplish them in different ways. “Originally adaptogens were thought to only modulate the stress response by interacting with the body’s Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) axis, the primary way that we control our stress response,” says Dr. Birdsall, “but more recent research has revealed that adaptogens may also impact numerous other receptors, mediators and pathways associated with a healthy response to stress” similar to how CBD affects the myriad ECS receptors.* “So together, hemp cannabinoids and herbal adaptogens work to balance multiple metabolic pathways that are necessary for a healthy response to stressful situations, and combine to bring the body back into balance,” explains Dr. Birdsall. “By addressing multiple mechanisms which control the body's response to stressful situations, we can create a robust, comprehensive approach to a common 21st century problem.”*

The Prima Adaptogenic Approach

At Prima, we use adaptogens in an array of products, but one of the best examples is our No Worries softgel supplements. Our organic, hemp-based CBD is combined with specialized forms of ashwagandha, a type of root; Holy Basil, an aromatic shrub also known as tulsi; and saffron, a spice. We use Shoden® Ashwagandha, a high-quality, purified extract with significant clinical studies showing benefits for stress reduction, vigor, improved performance, reduced fatigue with exercise and antioxidant functions.* It contains higher levels of adaptogens than generic ashwagandha.

This trio of adaptogens — when combined with CBD, vitamins, and super herbs — helps manage stress hormones and assists in the normalization of cortisol that impacts mood, resilience, and energy levels.

No Worries also features SaffSerene™, a clinically tested botanical extract from sargol saffron, which features more than 20% endogenous carotenoids to help manage stress and support mood balance. Carotenoids are a family of compounds with antioxidant functions that help to reduce free radical reactions in the body and have been studied to help manage psychosocial stress and mood.*

The main adaptogenic components of Holy Basil are ursolic acid and rosmarinic acid. Holy Basil has been used as an herb for health and wellness to manage detoxification, restlessness, well-being and general health.

This trio of adaptogens — when combined with CBD, vitamins, and super herbs — helps manage stress hormones and assists in the normalization of cortisol that impacts mood, resilience, and energy levels. It also combats the physical, emotional and mental fatigue that occurs with stress and burnout and promotes feelings of happiness, wellbeing, calmness and serenity.*

“Since they primarily act by strengthening our normal responses to stressful events, CBD and adaptogens can help support the body through tough times,” says Dr. Birdsall. “Nearly all of us, exposed to the rigors of modern living, can identify times in our lives when the events surrounding us seem overwhelming. Adding CBD and adaptogens to our daily regimen can be a healthy component of self-care, and can give us just one more tool to get back on track.”

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