Staying on task and finding the motivation to get stuff done can be challenging at best most days, especially during a pandemic. Ok—let's face it, some of us still had a hard time getting everything we need to do in the day without the Coronavirus to blame.
While time management is a huge component of productivity, you can implement health hacks to support your energy levels, mood, and mental clarity.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a compound naturally derived from cannabis plants that people enjoy using to optimize their health. As a result of supporting your overall health, you'll find support for healthy concentration and find yourself more productive.
In this article, we'll take a closer look at CBD's effects on the body and share 4 ways you can use CBD for focus, along with other tips to help you become more productive studying or working from home.
What Is CBD?
Humans have had an affinity for the cannabis plant for millennia .
It naturally produces over 100 therapeutic compounds. CBD, one of the main non-psychotropic cannabinoids, has been extensively studied for its wide range of health benefits, from its stress regulating properties to helping to support a calm mood.
CBD's broad-acting benefits are largely due to its interaction with the body's endocannabinoid system (ECS), which acts as a moderator for our vital functions. The ECS comprises a network of endocannabinoids, receptors, and enzymes that carry out tasks to keep our body in homeostasis (balance).
What makes this compound even more appealing to support a healthy lifestyle, is that CBD has been found to be very safe and well-tolerated, even in high doses.
There's virtually an endless amount of ways you can include CBD into your health regimen. While hemp plants were traditionally smoked or ingested, today, you can find CBD in everything from CBD oils, CBD capsules, CBD gummies, CBD smokeables, and CBD topicals.
How Does CBD Affect Focus?
CBD benefits include supporting relaxation and elevating our mood through its interaction in the ECS. When our bodies are primed to respond to stress, we're much better at concentration tasks which demand a lot of energy from the brain.
If you're looking to use CBD for focus, consider using full spectrum CBD extracts. Full spectrum hemp extracts contain a wide range of cannabinoids and terpenes that support CBD's effects. Rather than CBD doing the job on its own, it becomes more effective alongside other beneficial cannabinoids and terpenes that support relaxation and cognitive function.
For example, the terpenes alpha-pinene and limonene have been shown to help support the management of everyday stressors, mood, and concentration . Let's get into some of the ways you can use CBD oil for focus.
1. Get A Good Night's Sleep With CBD
If you're feeling tired and sluggish throughout the day and it's getting in the way of your productivity, chances are you're not getting enough good-quality sleep.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends adults get 7–9 hours of sleep every night . Losing even 2 hours of sleep can affect your concentration, memory, and decision-making the next morning .
Because it has relaxing properties, CBD can help to support your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep. The endocannabinoid system plays a role in regulating our sleep-wake cycle. Specifically, the CB1 receptor activates a complex system of signaling in the central nervous system to induce sleep or stimulate wakefulness .
CBD has been shown to help support GABA in the brain, which is a neurotransmitter that subdues mental and physical stress that could keep us up at night .
When using CBD for sleep, it's best to take it in higher doses at least an hour before your intended bedtime alongside other sleep hygiene practices such as dimming the lights, avoiding screens, and keeping a cooler temperature in your bedroom.
2. Take CBD With Your Morning Coffee
For many people around the world, coffee is an essential part of their morning routine.
Caffeine, the active compound in coffee, stimulates the central nervous system, increasing the heart rate and cortisol levels, making us feel more alert.
The problem is that it's too easy for us to over-do it on caffeine, leading to a host of negative side effects. Caffeine overstimulation can make us feel jittery, irritable, and anxious, impeding productivity.
Taking CBD with coffee can help some to overcome caffeine's jitteriness and unease, making it the perfect morning pairing.
The same mechanisms at play that help you get to sleep come in handy when curbing caffeine's negative side-effects. CBD's effects on GABA put the breaks on the fight-or-flight response that caffeine induces. Higher GABA levels also help improve mood, concentration, and fight off mental fatigue .
To avoid feeling sleepy from your CBD in the morning, it's best to stick to low to medium doses.
3. Combat Zoom Fatigue With CBD
With more people working and studying from home, Zoom meetings have become a larger part of our routine, and it's led to some pretty staggering consequences for our mental health, affecting mood, motivation, and energy levels, often contributing to overall burnout and brain fog.
The phenomenon of "Zoom Fatigue" refers to the exhaustion experienced after a video call or conference. One of the theorized reasons for this is the high cognitive demands of virtual communication. We struggle to get the non-verbal communication cues we're accustomed to when we're speaking with someone in person, so it takes a lot more energy to keep with virtual conversations.
If you're suffering from Zoom Fatigue, make sure you take regular breaks from your computer, avoid multitasking, and you may even want to minimize or even hide your video feed from yourself. We're not used to watching ourselves in our interactions with other people, which may add to your distraction on the call.
A recent study found that CBD may reduce motivational dysfunction through its activation with the 5-HT1A receptors . This receptor releases dopamine, which has a significant role in motivation, pleasure, and reward in the nucleus accumbens.
If you find Zoom lectures and meetings difficult to get through, CBD products may help to support concentration on monotonous tasks.
4. Support Normal Mobility With Topical CBD
Sitting all day in front of your computer can wreak havoc on your mood and productivity levels — and you're not alone. People experiencing persistent aches due to poor office ergonomics, repetitive typing and mouse movements, or chronic conditions report that their aches interfere with their ability to do produce good work.
Along with practicing good posture while working at your computer or studying and getting up to move and stretch your muscles, CBD can support your concentration and focus by improving your comfort levels.
To get the benefits of topical CBD, simply massage the product into your desired area. Since CBD does not enter the bloodstream through the skin, you get targetted effects of CBD use. For higher levels of discomfort, many people combine an edible or smokable CBD product with skin applications.
Extra Tips For Increasing Your Focus And Productivity
Adding CBD oil to your routine can make working or study from home a lot more enjoyable. CBD can support mental clarity and concentration helping your body's ability to cope with stressors.
Here are some additional tips to using CBD for focus to help you maximize your energy and improve your efficiency.
Use CBD Consistently
The advantages of CBD are best experienced with consistent use.
CBD works by toning the endocannabinoid system. With a higher functioning ECS, your body can better respond to stress and regulate a long list of vital processes.
Cannabinoid receptors are found throughout the body—when activated by endocannabinoids, the receptors produce chemical responses designed to keep essential functions in the Goldilock's zone for optimal performance. CBD helps inhibit the enzymes that break down endocannabinoids, which means more messenger cells are available in the ECS for regulating function.
Taking CBD consistently helps to maximize the natural balancing role of the ECS, supporting your overall health.
Implement A Morning Routine
A good morning routine sets your tone for the day by putting you into the right mindset. Many people find that they're much less focused and productive during stressful events where their routines are thrown off.
The lack of structure in one's day can lead to more exaggerated feelings of stress and anxiety, which was observed on a global scale with the event of the COVID-19 pandemic .
Even if you're not one to hold a strict schedule, establishing a morning routine can help you feel more focused and in control of your day.
Stay On One Task
The human mind is not good at multitasking. In fact, it's not capable of carrying out more than two tasks that require high-level cognitive function at once.
What you're actually doing when you think you're multitasking is switching quickly back and forth between tasks, and it's highly inefficient, making you more vulnerable to distraction, feeling anxious, and making mistakes.
To maximize your productivity, you want to stick to one task at a time. It helps to block out time in chunks in your daily schedule to focus on a given task so that you can enter a deep state of work.
The fact that exercise is good for you isn't breaking news.
Exercise helps to increase energy levels, boost mood, and improve our mental capacity. One study observed that exercising at work improved work performance in sedentary occupations .
Some of the best low-impact exercises for improving focus and productivity for work or studying include brisk walks, yoga, and low-intensity aerobic exercises.
If you've been struggling to maintain focus on your tasks at hand, try adding even 20 minutes of exercise into your day. For particularly rigorous exercise, take CBD oil to support your muscle recovery.
Take Regular Breaks
Breaks are just as important as the work you put in. Taking frequent breaks in your studying or work helps you retain information and restores your energy levels so that you maintain concentration for longer.
A University of Illinois study found that even short breaks from a task can dramatically improve the participant's ability to stay focused on the task for prolonged periods .
A practical way to implement breaks into your work or studying regimen from home is to practice the Pomodoro Technique.
The Pomodoro Technique is a time management tool used to re-train focus by breaking down work into intervals (25 minutes), separated by short breaks (5 minutes). Feel free to experiment with the length of work and break time that feels best for you. The important thing here is that you do take frequent breaks to rest and reset your cognitive energy.
Side Effects Of CBD For Focus
Just because CBD is well-tolerated doesn't mean it's free from potential side effects.
The side effects of CBD include:
- Dry mouth
Luckily most of the adverse effects of CBD subside after 8 hours. To avoid the negative effects of CBD, it's imperative you don't over-do the amount of CBD you take.
Frequently Asked Questions About CBD For Energy And Focus
Can CBD Oil Help Focus My Attention?
There are many factors that go into your ability to focus and concentrate.
The most significant way CBD oil supports your ability to maintain attention is supporting your body's ability to cope with stress. CBD has powerful effects on the central nervous system, helping to slow down hyperactivity in the brain.
CBD can also help you get a better night's sleep. When you're well-rested, you'll typically find you have better mental clarity throughout the day.
Does CBD Improve Memory?
The endocannabinoid system plays a role in regulating learning and memory . By supplementing CBD, you're supporting the endocannabinoid's job to control important cognitive functions, including memory.
CBD has been shown to be a neuroprotectant, helping to reduce the effects of oxidation and supporting a healthy inflammatory response in the brain .
How Much CBD Should I Take For Focus?
Dosing CBD oil for focus is a highly personal affair since there are many factors that contribute to how much CBD one should take, including genetics, experience with CBD, weight, and condition of health.
If you're using CBD for the first time, we recommend starting with lower doses and slowly build your way up until you reach your desired effects.
For improving your sleep quality, higher doses of CBD is recommended as too low of a dose could have the opposite effect and keep you awake. Because of this, you want to stick with low to moderate doses throughout the day to maintain high energy levels.
Will CBD Oil Get Me High?
CBD is a non-psychotropic compound. Unlike its counterpart THC, CBD doesn't have an affinity to bind to CB1 receptors that elicits the flood of hormones that alter our perception.
As long as your CBD oil is made from hemp crops with less than 0.3% THC, you don't have to worry about any intoxicating effects.
The Takeaway: CBD Oil For Focus
CBD is becoming widely available for good reason. It helps to support a variety of lifestyles, and when it comes to CBD oil for focus, it's been found to support productivity by helping to manage stress levels, improve one's quality of sleep, and mitigate discomfort.
As we mentioned at the start of the article, there are two sides to productivity — time management and boosting your overall health. It makes sense that as you feel better, your mental clarity and attention improves too.
The best CBD products you can take for focus will be derived from full spectrum CBD. This is because full spectrum extracts contain a wide range of cannabinoids and terpenes that can amplify the benefits of CBD. Whole plant synergy helps with the absorption of CBD and provides health benefits that complement that of CBD.
If you're looking to find more ways to include CBD into your lifestyle, we have more articles like this you can access on our blog.
Let us know some of your productivity hacks for staying focused at home.