Unlocking Your Focus: How CBD Could Help You Focus
When you begin focusing on a task, you’re engaging your prefrontal cortex, the area of your brain associated with working memory and executive function.
Back then, most people investigating the health and wellness potential of CBD for the first time were also getting a crash course on a relatively unknown regulatory system responsible for the cannabinoid’s overall effect, the endocannabinoid system (ECS). Today, most CBD users not only know that ECS signaling regulates nearly every essential function in the body, they also understand that CBD supports ECS function in a way that helps restore balance (homeostasis). In this beginner’s guide, you’ll discover why adults of all ages consider CBD a powerful tool for unlocking focus and improving concentration.
CBD Could Help You Focus
Understanding the Neurobiology of Concentration & Focus
Your brain is continuously processing information, including potentially distracting thoughts, feelings, and emotions. When you begin focusing on a task, you’re engaging your prefrontal cortex, the area of your brain associated with working memory and executive function. Researchers believe your ability to maintain concentration and focus is dependent on the function of your salient network (SN), regions of your brain that filter information in one of two ways, “bottom-up” or “top-down.” (Demetre, 2017). Top-down filtering relies on prior knowledge and expectation to filter irrelevant information. Bottom-up filtering allows your brain to zero in on immediately relevant or “novel” input. Both switch between goal-directed or stimulus-driven influences.
Not only does your salient network help you focus on tasks directly in front of you, it also helps you keep sight of long-term goals like sticking to a sleep schedule, improving physical fitness, or losing weight (Hillman, 2020). While there’s still a lot to be learned about this system, neuroimaging suggests sleep deprivation decreases brain activation in the salience network (Ma et al., 2014). Stress hormones temporarily increase SN activity but impair focus and concentration over time by inhibiting the connections between your salience network and functions impacting behavior and emotional regulation (Zhang et al., 2022). Multiple studies link ECS signaling to numerous aspects of brain function, including salient network activity.
How CBD Could Help You Focus
How Could CBD Help Me Clear the Fog?
Physical, mental, or emotional strain can temporarily cloud your memory, impair your judgment, and negatively impact your productivity. While you might be tempted to temporarily clear the fog or boost your energy with a sugar-laden snack or double espresso, the crash you’ll feel an hour or two later can cause more issues with mental clarity than you might expect. Instead of creating a situation that elevates your frustration or increases the risk of zoning out mid-conversation, CBD could help you reclaim your edge.
CBD (cannabidiol) is the most abundant of more than 113 cannabinoids in the oil extracted from hemp’s stalks, stems, and flowers. This non-intoxicating cannabinoid works by interacting with multiple molecular targets, including the receptors of your dopamine, serotonin, GABA, and endocannabinoid systems. As the largest regulatory system in your body, ECS signaling helps regulate everything from your moods, emotions, and stress responses to hormonal regulation and muscle movement (Mouslech & Valla, 2009). Although individual results can vary, CBD could help restore balance to numerous processes affecting clarity and focus in several ways.
There are many potential causes of too little sleep and poor sleep quality, from age-related hormonal shifts to medication side effects. When even seemingly minor changes in routine disrupt your circadian rhythms, it can be difficult to get back on track. When that happens, your brain is far more susceptible to a type of “network instability” that can compromise information recall, decision-making, impulse control, and other aspects of executive function. With executive function compromised, focus, concentration, and overall efficiency are also adversely affected. In a sleep study conducted by CBDistillery™ in 2021, participants reported sleeping 30-40 minutes longer on average when using the 600mg CBN + CBD Sleep Tincture, and 61% of participants said they felt refreshed in the morning after using the same product.
Calming Mild or Temporary Anxiety
Whether your rapid heart rate, damp palms, or tense muscles are triggered by an immediate risk to your physical well-being, or a mind trapped in an endless loop of worst case scenarios, you’re feeling the effects of the autonomic response of your sympathetic nervous system. Your system will stay in a state of heightened alert from the surge of cortisol and adrenaline until receiving signals that you’re no longer in danger (Chu et al., 2022). In a CBDistillery study conducted in 2022, participants reported a significant difference in reduction of mild or temporary anxiety when they started using a 500mg CBG + 500mg CBD tincture.
Alleviating Discomfort After Physical Activity
The discomfort you feel after a moderate increase in physical activity is a sign that your body needs time to heal. The microscopic damage caused by muscle exertion alerts your immune system to send specialized white blood cells to initiate repairs and remove cellular debris (Fitzgerald, 2013). In the days it can take your body to recover, the discomfort can negatively impact your ability to focus. While there hasn’t been an abundance of research delving into the possible benefits specifically for athletes, an investigation connecting the dots between physical function and CBD makes a rather compelling case (Rojas-Valverde, 2021). In an athlete exercise recovery study conducted by CBDistillery in 2022, 80% of participants agreed to strongly agreed that they were able to improve their overall endurance and overall performance while using the Full Spectrum CBD Oil Tincture, while 73% of participants agreed to strongly agreed they felt less overall pain after their exercise/workout while using the Full Spectrum CBD Oil Tincture.
Which CBD Products Are Best for Beginners?
Based on decades of research detailing how CBD interacts with numerous receptors throughout the body and brain, just about any high-quality CBD product could have a positive impact on concentration and focus. As you’re investigating some of the many reports or browsing product reviews, you may also find it at least somewhat reassuring to know that most of 1,900 CBD users who participated in a 2019 CBDistillery ® customer survey report positive results for relaxation, discomfort after physical activity, and better sleep. An impressive 89% tell us that CBD helps calm their minds, 88% report that CBD helps with mild or temporary anxiety, and 82% prefer the effects of CBD over meditation. While there’s no single product that appeals to every CBD user interested in using hemp-derived products for their focus-enhancing potential, the following descriptions could lead you to the product best suited to your daily routine.
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