Could CBD oil be the key to improving your focus?
It’s the latest trend in a bottle, and its pain-dulling, stress-relieving benefits are well-documented. But could this oil also help up your productivity?
Words: Jonathan Wells
CBD: three little letters making big promises. It’ll relieve your pain! It’ll clear up your skin! It’ll prevent diabetes, cancer and a whole host of other disorders and diseases!
Will it now? The truth is that many of these alleged benefits are simply savvy advertising spiel, spun by salespeople trying to push this new purported ‘wonder substance’. But, if you’re looking for a cure-all to take the January blues away, CBD — an abbreviation of ‘Cannabidiol’ — is not it.
That’s not to say that it’s useless. In fact, there is one benefit to using CBD that could prove invaluable to the modern man — and that is its propensity to improve your focus. Because (here comes the science), this compound — one of 104 cannabinoids found in marijuana — allows more serotonin to flow to the brain, which in turn mildly sedates the receptor associated with anxiety, addiction and sleep.
In short, CBD can make you more alert, less distracted and sharpen your mind — and who amongst us couldn’t do with a touch more focus in our lives? So, to help you zero in on this one real benefit of CBD, we’ve rounded up the best ways to introduce it into your day-to-day routine.
Keep it uncomplicated with a simple oil and dropper
The easiest – and most effective – way to ingest CBD is through the oil. A couple of drops on the tongue, and you’ll start feeling the benefits almost immediately. Many clinic trials have found good evidence to show that CBD will help you curb the levels of cortisol — a chronically detrimental stress hormone — in your body, and a simple dropper is a quick fix should you need to calm down and focus on the go.
Try Minor Figures’ offering, CBD blended with coconut oil that the brand suggests you take after a hot cup of coffee — giving you a one-two punch of caffeine and cannabinoid. Or Vitality CBD could help; with their Vitamin A-infused offering that will maintain your iron metabolism and keep your vision clear. Alternatively, Aver are a new CBD lifestyle brand you can trust to incorporate the winning benefits of this compound into your everyday life. Formulated to give you a little lift to keep you centred and clear during turbulent moments, the brand’s Boost Oil is slickly designed, endlessly effective — and perfect for the office drawer.
CBD oil is the latest trend in a bottle, and its pain-dulling, stress-relieving benefits are well-documented. But could it also help up your productivity?
Can CBD Help Energy and Focus?
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Cannabidiol (CBD) use is on the rise, with many people trying it for a variety of reasons.
Some people use CBD for energy and focus — but can it really help? Here’s what you need to know about using CBD for concentration and energy.
Many factors can affect our energy and concentration. Chronic conditions, lack of sleep, stress, and diet can all influence our energy levels.
At present, there’s very little evidence that suggests CBD could improve energy and focus.
One 2014 research review did note that CBD might promote wakefulness for some people, although the researchers add further research should be conducted.
But there’s promising research that suggests CBD can improve other issues that may affect your energy levels and ability to concentrate.
CBD for tiring anxiety and stress symptoms
For example, anxiety disorders might cause you to feel fatigued and have difficulty concentrating.
CBD might reduce the symptoms of PTSD and social anxiety disorders. So, if PTSD symptoms, social anxiety, or both cause you to lose focus and feel fatigued, CBD might be able to help you.
CBD for sleep issues
Another example is sleep. If you’re struggling to sleep properly, you might feel tired and lack focus the next day.
CBD might be able to help with certain sleep disorders. In this case, CBD might help you get a good night’s sleep, which may help you feel energetic and focused more often.
CBD for pain
CBD might also help with pain, which can also cause you to struggle with concentration and experience fatigue.
It’s important to note that CBD hasn’t been definitively proven to “cure” any of the above conditions. More research is needed.
For the purpose of this article, we chose a range of CBD products that might be able to help with sleep issues, pain, and anxiety, all of which might hinder your ability to feel energized and focused.
We chose CBD products based on criteria we think are good indicators of safety, quality, and transparency. Each product in this article:
- is made by a company that provides proof of third-party testing by an ISO 17025-compliant lab
- is made with U.S.-grown hemp
- contains no more than 0.3 percent THC, according to the certificate of analysis (COA)
- passes tests for pesticides, heavy metals, and molds, according to the COA
We also considered:
- company certifications and manufacturing processes
- product potency
- overall ingredients
- indicators of user trust and brand reputation, such as:
- customer reviews
- whether the company has been subject to a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warning letter
- whether the company makes any unsupported health claims
- $ = under $40
- $$ = $40–$60
- $$$ = over $60
While shopping for CBD products, you might notice some of the following terms. Here’s what they mean:
- Terpenes are compounds found in cannabis and hemp plants that give it a flavor and aroma. It’s believed that terpenes might be able to enhance the benefits of CBD.
- CBD isolate is pure CBD, with no other cannabinoids or terpenes included in the product.
- Broad-spectrum CBD contains most cannabinoids, but some are purposefully removed. (Usually tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC — the cannabinoid that produces the “high” effect — is removed.) It often contains terpenes.
- Full-spectrum CBD contains all cannabinoids found in the plant, including THC. It usually contains terpenes, too.
LiftMode Hemp Extract Oil, Calm
- Price : $
- CBD type : Full-spectrum (less than 0.3 percent THC)
- CBD potency : 1,500 mg per 30-mL bottle
- COA :Available online
If poor sleep is causing your fatigue, LiftModeHemp Extract Oil in Calm might be worth trying. This CBD oil includes melatonin, a hormone that regulates the sleep cycle. Melatonin is often taken as a sleep supplement. LiftModeHemp Extract Oil also includes chamomile and lavender oils.
Ojai Energetics Full Spectrum Hemp Elixir
- CBD type : Full-spectrum
- CBD potency : 250 mg per 30-mL bottle
- COA :Available online
Ojai Energetics Full Spectrum Hemp Elixir is an example of “nano CBD”: The molecules in the CBD oil are nano-sized (that is, super small). These tiny molecules are designed to pass into the bloodstream more easily, which means that it’s more bioavailable. Because the molecules are tiny, they can be mixed into water — usually, water and oil don’t mix.
Because this CBD is water-soluble, you’ll need less for it to work. The oil also includes extracts of moringa and acerola cherry.
According to the website, 250 milligrams (mg) of the oil is equivalent to 5,000 mg of regular CBD oil. (But this claim hasn’t been independently verified.)
Ojai offers a “subscribe and save” program, and offers an assistance program for those seeking affordable CBD.
Green Gorilla CBD Gorilla Gummies, 300mg
Use code “healthline” for 15% off.
- CBD type : Isolate
- CBD potency : 5mg per gummy
- Count : 60 gummies per container
- COA :Available online
These CBD gummies are vegan, kosher, and THC-free. One bottle contains a mixture of flavors: Strawberry, Wild Berry, and Gorilla Berry. Each gummy contains 5 mg CBD. The company recommends that you take between two and four per day.
If you want to test it out before buying a large bottle, you can purchase a pack of four gummies. There’s an option to subscribe for a recurring delivery to receive a 10 percent discount. The company is also currently offering a free product to first responders.
Sunday Scaries Vegan CBD Gummies
Use code “healthline20” for 20% off
- CBD type : Broad-spectrum
- CBD potency : 10 mg per gummy
- Count : 20 gummies per bottle
- COA :Available online
These vegan CBD gummies contain 10 mg CBD each. They’re sugar-coated and come in lemon, lime, tangerine, and cherry flavors.
The gummies also contain vitamins B12 and D3. A lack of vitamin B12 can lead to fatigue, so if you need to include more of those vitamins in your diet, this might be a good buy.
Sunday Scaries offers a discount for those who subscribe to purchase their items.
GoGreen Hemp CBD Balm Salve
- CBD type : Broad-spectrum
- CBD potency : 500 mg–4,000 mg per 4-oz. container
- COA :Available online
It’s difficult to concentrate while you’re in pain, and constant pain can drain your energy. If you’re experiencing pain in a specific area, a CBD balm might be helpful.
GoGreen Hemp CBD Balm Salve is beeswax-based and includes fragrant eucalyptus and lavender oils. According to online reviews and forums, many people use this for helping manage arthritis and fibromyalgia as well as injuries.
This salve comes in a range of potencies and sizes. Choose a stronger one if your pain is more severe.
GoGreen Hemp offers an assistance program with a 20 percent discount for active service members, veterans, disabled people, and people with a low income.
Shopping for CBD products can be overwhelming, but it’s important to read a CBD product label before making a purchase. This will help you figure out whether you’re buying high-quality CBD.
The FDA doesn’t regulate CBD products for quality, which means there are many low-quality products out there.
Check out the packaging
The packaging must specify that it contains CBD (it might use the full word, cannabidiol). If the ingredients list only includes hemp or hempseed oil, it probably doesn’t contain CBD at all.
Look for lab-tested
CBD products must be tested by an independent and compliant lab. The lab results (also known as a certificate of analysis, or COA) are usually available on the company’s website.
Some companies provide a QR code on the packaging that leads to a COA. The COA should ideally be recent and dated within the past year.
COAs are important because they confirm the contents of the product. A COA should specify the amount of CBD in the product. COAs often test for other cannabinoids and terpenes as well as harmful toxins, like molds and traces of pesticide.
Consider the extra ingredients
CBD oils use carrier oils like MCT oil, hempseed oil, grapeseed oil, or cranberry oil. They sometimes use flavorings too. CBD edibles and topicals can contain numerous ingredients. Pay attention to these ingredients in case of allergies.
CBD companies might also make other claims about their products. However, it’s difficult to verify these claims.
For example, some companies claim that their products are created from organic and U.S.-grown hemp. However, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) doesn’t regulate what is labeled “organic” and what is not.
Similarly, the claim that their hemp is grown in the United States might be difficult to verify because the USDA doesn’t regulate this.
Some companies might label their items as vegan. CBD items seldom contain animal products, although some gummies contain gelatin, and edibles may contain eggs and dairy.
However, if you’re vegan, it’s a good idea to look out for the “vegan” label for peace of mind.
When it comes to CBD dosage, it’s a good idea to start with a small amount every day. After a while, reassess how you feel. If you think you need a higher dosage, increase it gradually.
It might be a good idea to track your dosage and your symptoms. You can do so in a paper journal or a notes app on your phone.
When in doubt, speak to a CBD-knowledgeable doctor. They might be able to advise you on how much CBD to take.
Research suggests that CBD is safe for human consumption. There are a handful of potential side effects, though, including:
- changes in appetite
- changes in weight
Some research suggests that consuming CBD with high fat meals could drastically increase CBD blood concentrations. This can increase your chances of experiencing side effects.
CBD might interact with certain medications. If you’re using a medication that carries a grapefruit warning, avoid taking CBD without your doctor’s approval. This is because CBD and grapefruit both change the way your liver metabolizes certain substances.
To be on the safe side, it’s always best to talk to a doctor before using CBD, no matter your health status.
There are many other ways to build stamina, boost energy, and increase focus.
- ensuring you get plenty of quality sleep
- eating a nutritious, balanced diet
- exercising regularly
- avoiding smoking and heavy alcohol use
- drinking enough water
- reducing stress where possible
- taking any supplements as directed by your doctor
If you’re constantly dealing with fatigue and concentration, it might be a good idea to speak to your doctor. They could help pinpoint the cause and talk about remedies.
Is CBD Legal? Hemp-derived CBD products (with less than 0.3 percent THC) are legal on the federal level, but are still illegal under some state laws. Marijuana-derived CBD products are illegal on the federal level, but are legal under some state laws. Check your state’s laws and those of anywhere you travel. Keep in mind that nonprescription CBD products are not FDA-approved, and may be inaccurately labeled.
Last medically reviewed on November 24, 2020
Here’s what to know about using CBD for better concentration and energy.