Many people gravitate to CBD because they have heard positive things about the cognitive effects of using CBD for focus and concentration. But are the CBD benefits helpful for people who lack focus or have difficulty concentrating on their jobs, reading, or studying? Furthermore, they frequently ask us “How much CBD should I take for focus?”
Let’s address all of this today and clear up the questions you may have regarding CBD for focus.
- CBD for focus: applications & uses
- Studies lacking for CBD cognitive applications
- How much CBD should I take for focus? (Different types and how to use)
- CBD benefits and how they may contribute to improved cognitive function
CBD for Focus and Concentration
To understand the link between CBD and how our minds work, we need to first address what CBD is not. It is not a replacement for medical care or for care from a mental health professional, though both of those professionals may suggest CBD use for you. It is also not a magical fix for a variety of conditions.
Think of it as an aid that helps to prepare the mental environment for you to have better focus, concentration, and mental function for things like your job, reading or studying. While CBD doesn’t directly work to improve each of these things, those things can be improved by setting the stage for your mind to work more efficiently. And yes, that’s all very confusing. In part, this is because we lack scientific studies to which we can refer for these answers and for clarity on how it all works.
What Do Studies Say About CBD and Focus?
The short answer: very little. And this makes it difficult to answer questions people have about cognitive and mental results from CBD use. We can only answer with what we know to be true and what has been proven. The CBD benefits are often varied from user to user, which makes it difficult to predict just how much CBD can help with focus or other applications and goals.
The wide use of CBD and the overwhelming feedback, reviews, and support of users for CBD use for cognitive purposes, memory, clarity, focus, and mental energy are all undeniable. In fact, all of this positive momentum for CBD is hopeful. But all of these reported experiences are way ahead of the scientific field of study which conducts all kinds of testing to verify what CBD can and cannot do and for whom.
One study, conducted by Netherlands’ doctors Mikael A. Kowal, Arno Hazekamp, Lorenza S. Colzato, Henk van Steenbergen and Bernhard Hommel, proposes that “cannabidiol (CBD), another abundant compound of cannabis, might have an impact on cognition and emotional processing, which is opposite to the effect of THC.” While this study does not directly answer our questions, as it was focused more on the idea that CBD can help to counter the cognitive impairment of THC both long- and short-term, it does show us that scientists are onto something here – a proposed connection between cannabidiol and mental function.
Hopefully more studies like this one, but more focused on the effects and benefits of CBD on cognitive function, will take place over the next few years and give us a clearer picture of how it all works.
CBD Benefits May Factor into CBD for Focus and Cognition
If you are confused about how CBD works and what it does for your mind, you are not alone. It works by indirect means by improving the way we sleep and how we process the daily stress in our lives, and by affecting how we interpret stimuli. And these are indirect effects as well, which makes CBD use and benefits all the more mysterious.
Because we know CBD has benefits for your whole body and how it functions overall, we know that there are certain aspects that can improve your mental function, quite by accident. By improving your life in one way, it can yield another benefit, even when that wasn’t the reason you took CBD in the first place. Let’s talk about the relationship between CBD and some of the ways our bodies function, specifically the three most related ways: sleep, stress, and distraction.
The Relationship Between Stress and Cognitive Function
Daily stress can affect our cognitive abilities, memory formation, and memory recall. Some stress is good for us in that it keeps us alert and ready to handle what goes on around us, but prolonged stress can adversely affect our physical and mental health. The term “allostatic load” refers to a buildup of stress over time which can affect the activities in our nervous system and our immune system, creating a consistent state of “fight or flight” response.
Without question, if you are having trouble with focus and concentration, stress may be a factor in causing these issues. We can determine, then, that to relieve some of this stress overload to our minds, we can make it easier to focus on the tasks before us. This is how CBD and focus can be connected. By making us feel more calm or relaxed, our bodies can adjust more easily to the daily stressors we face. Without the overload of stress affecting the way we process stimuli in our environment, we can then think more clearly and face tasks with a more level head and calm spirit.
The Relationship Between Sleep and Mental Clarity
Mattress Firm has an advertising campaign out right now promising to “unjunk your sleep,” bringing the concept of “junk sleep” to the table. While the advertising is a bit comical, they do have a point. It doesn’t take a lot of fancy advertising trickery for people to instantly connect to the idea.
Sleep quality can vary from “junk” to a healthy sleep pattern that leaves you refreshed and ready to tackle your day. Anything less than quality sleep can greatly impair your cognitive function and your ability to focus on even simple tasks.
Lack of sleep affects mental clarity in several ways:
- Leads to lower alertness and concentration.
- Makes it more difficult to focus or pay attention.
- You can become more easily confused.
- Logical reasoning and complex thought become more difficult.
- Impairs judgment.
- Makes it more difficult to learn.
- Impairs memory and the formation of memories.
- Slows down physical reaction time (which can be especially dangerous for operating machinery or driving a vehicle).
As important as sleep is to the proper function of our body and mind, getting the appropriate amount of sleep and sleeping well are both important to avoid cognitive impairment. Because CBD helps us to maintain a healthy sleep rhythm, especially when paired with melatonin and other supportive efforts, it is a contender for helping support both your sleep and subsequently your mental performance and focus.
Improving focus by using CBD, therefore, is an indirect path to improved cognitive function, which may be more the result of simply reducing stress reaction and getting better sleep. Until scientific studies catch up and show the actual neurological connections, it can’t be said that CBD and focus are directly connected, although many users report this benefit as their own personal experience.
Improving Sleep Patterns by Using CBD
Sleep patterns are regulated by two different biological processes. First, the homeostatic process, which basically means that the longer you are awake, the more likely you are to get drowsy and require sleep. The second is kind of like an internal clock, our circadian process, which is governed by our body’s reaction to light and the production of hormones such as melatonin.
The easiest way to explain how CBD is related to sleep is this:
- Your body has an endocannabinoid system (called the ECS) that allows you to process CBD and other cannabinoids through oral use or by pathways in your skin.
- CBD helps most people to feel more calm and relaxed.
- Using CBD close to bedtime in conjunction with a sleep-enhancing nightly routine can create the right atmosphere for a more restful night’s sleep.
- Many people also take melatonin either in the CBD formula or in addition to their nightly CBD regimen in order to help their body ease into sleep.
Though CBD is a relative newcomer to our attempts to maximize sleep quality and thereby create better cognitive function, daily performance, and a sense of well-being throughout the day, the future of these applications looks promising.
Clearing Away Mental Debris to Improve Focus
In some cases, CBD may help to clear away the “debris” in the mind by reducing distractions. This doesn’t mean that it makes you less distractible, or that it changes your environment, of course, but that it may help indirectly.
For example, many athletes and gym-goers have post-workout soreness that can really intrude on their thoughts the next day, making it hard to focus on tasks such as getting work done, answering emails, or focusing on studying for that big test. Post-workout soreness is something many Americans deal with as they focus on strength training, aerobic exercise, or sports and yoga practices. In fact, the New York Post reported that as many as 29 percent of Americans have admitted to calling out of work the day after due to the residual effects of working out or participating in sports.
What, then, if these same Americans had a CBD cream option with pain reliever to help with these issues? If they were to find relief for what was bothering them and preventing them from working, wouldn’t this make it easier for them to concentrate on the jobs and tasks they have to do? Whether CBD and focus are connected directly or not, removing obstacles to focus can help to clear the mental clutter that often keeps us from doing our best work.
How Much CBD Should You Take for Focus?
Taking CBD for focus is much like taking it for any other benefit you want. You’ll want to choose the CBD product that works best for you and work it into your everyday schedule.
Refer to the packaging instructions to determine your serving size and adjust as needed, giving each adjustment a few weeks to see how it affects you. You do not need to take a special amount for focus over other desired benefits.
With so many CBD options, finding the right one(s) is easy. Whether you choose a CBD tincture to take morning and night, add in CBD gummies when you need them, or incorporate the CBD tinctures for sleep in the evenings, find the right regimen that gives you the most benefit. It could be one particular CBD tincture or a combination of products.
What Type of CBD Should You Take for Cognitive Goals?
Taking the best CBD oil for focus means you’ll want to do these two things:
- Select the right products that fit easily into your lifestyle, as mentioned above, and
- Take your CBD products at regular intervals to keep the CBD as continuous in your system as possible.
But in addition to taking your CBD the right way, you also need to know there are lots of combinations of CBD and other terpenes and cannabinoids like CBN, CBG, and the well-known cannabis derivative THC, among others. There’s no easy answer as to which you will need: full spectrum CBD, which does contain THC in amounts of 0.3 percent or less, or broad spectrum CBD, which usually contains other terpenes and cannabinoids but not the THC. Each of the cannabinoids may function a little differently or provide differing benefits. This may require a little research on your part to find the best combination for you.
Take your CBD product for a few weeks and analyze how it is affecting you physically, emotionally, and cognitively, and also how you are sleeping and feeling throughout your day. Then you can try adjustments to the serving size or adding in another CBD product to work in conjunction with what you are using. It does feel a bit like trial and error but the packaging instructions help you get started.
Fortunately for most people, these first few weeks of adjustment are worth it to get to a long partnership with CBD for focus and other purposes. Here are some of the CBD options and how you might take each of them.
What Forms of CBD for Focus Are Available?
Along with the type of CBD and what cannabinoids are present, there are different forms of CBD to appeal to different users and preferred methods for using CBD products.
Using CBD Tinctures
cbdMD’s CBD oil tincture is simple and easy to take daily. Each bottle comes with a convenient dropper that you will fill to the halfway line for a single serving of 1 mL. Place the dropper under your tongue and squeeze. Then, just let the tincture sit for a moment before swallowing.
- 750 mg CBD Oil Tincture in brand new Coconut flavor
- 300 mg CBD Oil Tincture
- 1500 mg CBD Oil Tincture
- 3000 mg CBD Oil Tincture
- 5000 mg CBD Oil Tincture
- 7500 mg CBD Oil Tincture
These CBD oil formulas come in a couple of different sizes and flavorings like Berry, Mint, Orange, and Natural so there’s sure to be one to suit your body size, flavor preferences, and budget.
Using CBD Gummies
Taking the CBD gummies is as easy as taking one out and popping it into your mouth. Chew and swallow. It is a really easy way to have that extra pick-me-up in the middle of your day or before a task when you need extra support. Many people also take one as a part of their nighttime routine.
- 300 mg Premium CBD Gummies (Tropical Mix flavors)
- 750 mg Premium CBD Gummies (Tropical Mix flavors)
- 1500 mg Premium CBD Gummies (Tropical Mix flavors)
- 300 mg CBD Sour Gummies (Sour flavors)
- 750 mg CBD Sour Gummies (Sour flavors)
- 1500 mg CBD Sour Gummies (Sour flavors)
Using CBD Sleep Aids
For tinctures: Take the tinctures the same as you would your regular tinctures, 30 minutes to an hour before you plan to go to bed. It helps if you relax after taking the tincture and allow the calming effects to take place, rather than performing high-stimulus activities.
For the softgels: Simply swallow each softgel whole with a glass of water or other drink about an hour before you need to go to sleep. We recommend starting with one softgel, but you are free to adjust the number of capsules as needed.
- 500 mg CBD PM Tinctures for Sleep – formulated with melatonin, comes in Berry or Mint flavors
- 1500 mg CBD PM Tinctures for Sleep – formulated with melatonin, comes in Berry or Mint flavors
- 500 mg CBD PM Softgel Capsules for Sleep – formulated with melatonin
- 1000 mg CBD PM Softgel Capsules for Sleep – formulated with melatonin
- 1500 mg CBD PM Softgel Capsules for Sleep – formulated with melatonin
Using CBD Within a Larger Focus Plan
As with any health and wellness goal, the benefits are far more impactful on your life when you utilize a larger plan. Here are some tips for a Focus Plan to help you get your head together and tackle your day with a clear mind.
- Get the recommended amount of sleep. National Sleep Foundation guidelines advise that healthy adults need seven to nine hours per night.
- See your doctor to rule out any underlying medical conditions that could be contributing to your wandering mind.
- Get some exercise. Not only does this produce endorphins that make you feel good, but it’s also a great time to let your mind wander a bit while you run or go cycling. This free time for your brain can help you to focus more when it’s time to get down to work.
- Speaking of exercise – give your brain some mental focus training with brain exercises like Sudoku, memory games, or even some kinds of gaming.
- Spend some time in nature. Even 15 to 20 minutes each day can help.
- Eliminate distractions.
- Clean up your workspace.
- Practice mindfulness.
- Use meditation as a way to clear your mind.
- Take breaks throughout your workday when your mind begins to feel cluttered.
- Take up a craft. Things like crochet and cross-stitch require focus but don’t feel so much like brain work. Many people find this relaxing and say that it improves their mood.
- Some types of classical music and nature sounds can help to improve your focus.
Try CBD and See How it Helps You
To help improve your focus, concentration, memory, or any other cognitive skill, CBD for focus along with other supportive measures are available for you to try. The best thing to do is to try a few things and see what combination works best for you. If you suspect it’s poor sleep that is interrupting your ability to perform cognitively, then perhaps amping up your nightly routine with some CBD for sleep will help you perform your tasks the following day. Maybe clearing out the tension is helpful for you to have a great day at work.
Whatever measures you choose to use (meditation, exercise, or taking CBD for focus, etc.) we are here to answer any questions about our products that you may have. Simply visit our website and use the chat option, or join the community on Twitter.