In this Evopure guide to CBD and focus, you’ll learn:
- How cannabinoids impact on focus and concentration
- The most common causes for lack of focus when studying
- How CBD impacts on these factors
- How to take CBD as a natural study aid to boost focus
In our modern, digital age, issues with focus have become pretty common. If you struggle to concentrate on your studies, work or other important tasks, you’re not alone. There are so many things that can pull your focus, from external distractions such as social media notifications to internal struggles like stress.
As the distractions build, you fall further behind with your work or studies and it becomes harder to focus. This vicious cycle can particularly occur during exam time or when you have other stresses or worries in your life.
Sound familiar? Then we have some good news for you!
You can’t avoid distractions, but there are multiple ways to boost your focus and sharpen your memory.
One natural way to help improve your focus is with CBD. Research is still in its early stages and is yet to prove a direct link between CBD and concentration.
However, what studies have shown is that this natural study aid can influence a number of the factors that make it harder to focus. By having an impact on these background factors that impede focus and concentration, CBD indirectly helps to improve your focus.
For example, CBD can help manage anxiety and stress. Stress and anxiety can play havoc with your concentration. Therefore, by helping to manage stress, CBD also promotes better concentration.
In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into the relationship between CBD and focus, and how to best use this natural compound as a study aid.
Cannabinoids and Focus
People often have a number of misconceptions when it comes to Cannabidiol, or CBD, which is largely due to the misinformation that unfortunately widely circulates around this topic. If you are a regular reader of our blog, you know that this cannabinoid is a natural compound extracted from the hemp plant and has a range of benefits for our health and wellbeing.
However, CBD should not be confused with THC, a completely different cannabinoid that is found in marijuana and, to a lesser extent, hemp plants. This is the psychoactive compound that is responsible for the “high” people experience when they smoke marijuana.
Because of this, people may think that cannabinoids will hinder your focus and concentration. However, although CBD and THC are both cannabinoids, they have very different effects. Sure, THC can certainly disrupt your ability to concentrate.
CBD does not have the same effect. According to one official WHO report, there is no scientific evidence to show that CBD has adverse effects on focus.
Now that we know this health supplement does not harm your mental capacity, the question is: can it actually help to boost your focus?
To answer this question, we first need to know the root causes of poor focus and concentration. Let’s discuss the underlying factors that get in the way of your ability to focus on your studies. Later, we will take a look at the ways CBD that can help to improve your focus.
Why can’t I Focus on my Work?
Anyone who has tried to focus on their work and complete their assignments on time knows how hard it can be to concentrate. Lack of focus is one of the common reasons why we are unable to finish our assignments by the deadline or perform poorly in exams.
It is hard to focus on your studies when you have an upcoming test or assessment. It is normal to think about all the other things you could be doing instead of studying. Sometimes, the lack of focus on your work is simply because you are not interested in the subject. Perhaps, you simply don’t want to learn about excel spreadsheets or the world wars!
Most commonly, however, a lack of focus is not so much about motivation but other factors.
The stress of the exams and assignments makes you anxious. It also affects your sleep. In turn, the lack of sleep for weeks, distractions, and the stress of the upcoming deadlines make it super challenging to concentrate on the task at hand.
Stress, fatigue, distractions and even a poor diet can all impact on your ability to concentrate. Let’s take a closer look at why this is.
One of the most common reasons why students and professionals have a hard time focusing on important tasks is distractions. This could be music playing in the background, construction going on in your neighbourhood, or traffic noise from the street, making it difficult for you to focus on your studies. Even your smartphone beeping constantly can be a major distraction.
Most people believe that removing these distractions and finding a quiet and peaceful place to study is all you need to do to boost their focus. While it’s true that this will certainly help, removing all noise and distraction won’t necessarily solve all your focus issues.
There are often other, underlying issues that need to be addressed in order for you to focus on your studies and give your best. We’ll take a look at the most common of these reasons in the next sections.
Lack of Sleep
Nowadays, many of us drink caffeinated drinks, from coffee to Red Bull to stay up all night, whether prepping for a big exam or balancing work during the day while completing assignments at night.
However, these irregular sleeping patterns and inadequate sleep can be detrimental for your concentration. People who don’t get enough sleep have issues with focus and memory. They find it challenging to complete the academic work that requires deep thinking, and cannot retain information.
You need at least six to eight hours of quality sleep every night to think clearly, avoid confusion, and remember details. All of these abilities are crucial to be able to study effectively, whether completing assignments or studying for an exam.
Lack of sleep not only causes mental fatigue, but it also confuses your brain. It affects your ability to think clearly. The lack of alertness caused by being sleep-deprived makes it super difficult to complete any tasks that require memory, recall or logical reasoning.
Along with hectic schedules and too many competing demands, a lack of sleep can also be caused by sleeping disorders, such as sleep apnea. Sleeping disorders and poor-quality sleep are closely linked to stress and anxiety, which we’ll look at next.
Stress and Anxiety
Emotional trauma, stress, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and other such psychological conditions can hamper your studies. So, even if you manage to find a calm place to complete your assignments or learn a new chapter, chances are you will end up getting distracted.
It is very difficult to focus on studies when suffering from stress or anxiety. Getting adequate sleep, practicing meditation, eating healthy food, and taking regular breaks are some ways to reduce stress and help you to focus on your work.
However, stress and anxiety are common causes of sleep disruption. This, therefore, becomes a vicious cycle where stress leads to poor sleep, which in turn makes stress and anxiety worse. When it gets to this stage, chronic stress can have a negative impact on your concentration and memory, making it very difficult to focus on your work.
Like vehicles, our bodies need fuel to function. If you don’t eat a healthy and balanced diet, chances are you are going to have a hard time focusing on your studies. As tempting as cheeseburgers and double-cheese pizzas are, they don’t help you with focus and memory.
You should rather feed your brain the food it needs. Our brains need certain vital vitamins and minerals in order to work properly, and for these you need to eat a healthy, balanced diet. Keep yourself hydrated and eat nutritious, healthy meals to help you stay focused.
How Does CBD for Focus Work?
To date, there is only limited research on the impacts of CBD on focus, but we do know that it can have a range of effects on the human body. These include impacts relating to stress, anxiety and sleep, some of the major underlying factors that can lead to poor focus and concentration.
These impacts are linked to how CBD interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system, a system that plays a pivotal role in our mental and physical wellbeing. It is associated with many essential bodily processes, including mood, stress, appetite, concentration, sleep and memory.
CBD binds to certain receptors in the endocannabinoid system, for example CB2 receptors that are known for regulating our immune system. In the same way, CBD acts on the receptors that relate to mood, helping to regulate our emotional state and manage stress.
CBD also has a very specific relationship with another compound that is critical for mood, dopamine. Let’s take a look at this next.
Does CBD Impact on Dopamine Levels?
CBD oil also affects the levels of dopamine in the body, the hormone which is responsible for our memory, concentration, and alertness. One major cause of a lack of focus can be low dopamine levels in the brain.
Students have a hard time focusing on their studies when their dopamine level drops. In other words, the more dopamine your brain produces, the more you will be able to concentrate. That’s what CBD can help you achieve.
Many cannabinoids have the ability to interact with the brain’s dopamine levels. In the case of THC, this can lead to excess production of dopamine, which contributes to the high, but has a negative impact on concentration and memory.
The reason you are unable to think properly and stay alert is because of the high level of dopamine. However, CBD oil and other CBD products do not cause an excessive production of dopamine. It rather helps you achieve optimum dopamine levels that make it easier for your brain to stay focused.
What are the Benefits of CBD for Focus?
As we’ve seen, there can be a number of factors that affect your focus and memory. Poor diet, lack of sleep, anxiety & stress, chronic pain, distractions, and medical conditions can detract from your focus and make it harder for you to study.
Let’s see how CBD can help address these factors and therefore boost your focus.
As discussed above, lack of adequate sleep and sleeping disorders can have a negative impact on your physical and mental health. Not only does it make it hard for you to focus on your studies, but inadequate sleep can interfere with your memory, hindering exam performance. Anxiety, stress, and psychological issues are the primary causes of sleeping disorders.
Some students find it difficult to fall asleep due to exam stress, while others rely on the caffeine to stay up the whole night so they can get their work done. Your body finds it difficult to retain information and focus on the task at hand when it doesn’t get enough sleep. That’s why sleep-deprived students have a hard time completing their assignments.
A 2019 study focusing on the CBD’s impact of sleeping disorders involved a number of participants who suffered from sleeping issues due to anxiety. After taking 25 milligrams of CBD every day, a large number of patients reported improved sleep and reduced anxiety.
More research is needed to prove that CBD has a positive impact on insomnia patients. However, there are promising signs that taking CBD regularly can improve the underlying causes of sleeping disorders, such as chronic pain, anxiety, and stress.
Want to learn more about the relationship between CBD and sleep? Check out this post.
Reduced Stress and Anxiety
Your body releases a high level of the stress hormone cortisol in response to stress. This hormone helps your body deal with stress in the short term. However, the increased level of cortisol in your body also affects your concentration, making it harder for you to concentrate. Over the long term, chronic stress can lead to elevated cortisol levels in the body, in turn hampering focus.
CBD has been shown to decrease the production of cortisol. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, cannabidiol has proven to control stress in rats. The study also showed that CBD improved anxiety symptoms in rats. Although more research on CBD’s potential psychological benefits for people, recent studies have also indicated the benefits of CBD oil for PTSD patients.
In helping to manage your anxiety and stress, CBD makes it easier for you to focus on your studies. When your stress levels are high, you find it super challenging to concentrate. Whether it is for work projects or academic studies, it is important to keep your stress levels under control for better concentration.
Mood and Energy
Another common cause for concentration issues is mood issues or anxiety. Bad mood affects your motivation. It is normal for people to not take interest in assignments or apply themselves to study for exams when they feel upset and anxious.
Your mood is closely linked to the serotonin production in your body. Low levels of serotonin can have a negative impact on your mood. CBD oil does not increase the serotonin level in your body. However, it does change the way the receptors in your brain responds to this mood-boosting hormone.
According to a 2018 review, CBD can reduce the stress that could lead to mood swings and depression. However like many areas, research concerning the effect of CBD oil on stress levels, mood, and energy is still ongoing.
How to Take CBD for Focus
Now we’ve discussed how CBD can aid with underlying issues that may hinder concentration, the question is “what’s the best way to take CBD for better focus?”. It’s important to remember that CBD isn’t a one-size-fits-all product. What works for someone else may or may not work for you. Trying it out is the best way to find the best method and dosage for you.
If you are taking CBD for focus and memory, then it is usually recommended to take it at least 30 to 40 minutes before you plan on studying. This is because CBD does not improve your focus immediately after consumption: it takes time to reach your bloodstream and get transported through the body. In terms of dosage, it is always a good idea to start with a low dosage and gradually increase it to find the dose that works for you.
As always, it is extremely important to check the label of the product to verify the concentration of CBD as well as all ingredients. Be aware that CBD may interact with medication and is not recommended for some people such as pregnant women. Therefore, always consult your doctor before starting to take CBD.
While people believe that CBD oil can be a promising option for focus and memory, to date there has been limited research on its effects on your concentration. That being said, we do know that CBD can be helpful when it comes to some of the root causes of poor concentration, such as sleep disorders, stress and anxiety.
However, this isn’t to say that CBD is a magical cure or a wonder product for people suffering from lack of concentration.
Cannabidiol must not be considered as an alternative to the certified medicines for mental health disorders. You should always seek your doctor’s advice before starting to take CBD, especially if you suffer from any condition or are taking medication.