Can CBD Help With Focus? What The Research Says

Distractions can kill your productivity, whether you’re working on a big project or doing something as simple as watching TV. And when you lose focus, the first thing you try to do is eliminate these distractions but have you ever thought to try CBD?

But the truth is that it’s not just physical distractions that stop you from immersing to the best of your mental capacities. Many other things, such as sleep deprivation, anxiety, stress, and depression, can hinder your mental focus. 

A Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment article described how sleep deprivation could increase cortisol — the hormone responsible for stress responses — and declining cognitive function. Another study also demonstrated how sleep and stress both contribute to decreased attention spans. 

Although scientific research doesn’t suggest CBD can directly help maintain focus, there’s mounting evidence that CBD can treat the underlying causes leading to attention deficit problems. 

Can CBD Improve Focus?

To understand how CBD works to improve focus, we need to shed light on how CBD interacts with our brain. 

CBD interacts with our natural endocannabinoid system to produce its therapeutic effects. The ECS is a vast network of complex-signaling receptors prevalent in many systems of the human body. Its sprawling reach regulates various important physiological functions, including mood, anxiety, and, most importantly, focus. Without ECS, our body would lack a buffer to harmonize critical functions. 

CBD binds itself to CB2 receptors in the ECS. CB2 receptors are primarily a part of the immune system, organs, and tissues.

 THC, on the other hand, stimulates both CB1 and CB2 receptors. 

This functionality drives a wedge between THC and CBD’s role. CB1 receptors, among other things, trigger psychoactive effects and subject users to “highs,” whereas CBD doesn’t affect these receptors in any way, and therefore doesn’t cause any mind-altering activity. 

Moreover, CBD may modulate dopamine levels in the central nervous system. While Dopamine is famous for its focus, awareness, and memory-enhancing qualities. By triggering dopamine activity, CBD increases our attention spans, which results in a marked increase in concentration. 

One aspect that gives CBD an edge over other cannabinoids, especially THC, is its inability to induce psychoactive episodes. Heightened THC levels can release an excess of dopamine and cause unfavorable results: obstructed memory and focus. 

How to Take CBD for Improved Focus

Now that you understand CBD’s underlying science and its ability to improve focus, your next step is to find a CBD product most-suited to bring about these effects. The marketplace is filled with CBD products, so you have a lot of options to choose from. 

Not every CBD product will affect every individual the same way. Your choice will vary depending upon your preferences, needs, and intended use. Generally, some products that are popular for their cognition-boosting qualities include:


Vaping CBD is an enormously popular method of taking CBD. It is highly bioavailable, i.e., produces immediate effects. This is because compared to other consumption methods, such as CBD edibles and topical CBD creams, vapored CBD directly enters the bloodstream, bypassing other intermediary pathways, such as the digestive system or lungs.

This way, you also get a higher concentration of CBD because you loose less in this way. Experts tout vaping as one of the most effective ways of using CBD for focus.

 And the best part: vaping is relatively easy and doesn’t require any complicated processes to perform. All you have to do simply light up a CBD-dense strain, and you’re good to go. 

CBD oils and Tinctures

CBD oils and tinctures are also popular choices because these are the primary source of CBD. 

When sourced from hemp, CBD is originally extracted into oil form and then further processed to yield different products. Meaning, CBD oil has the least likelihood of containing other additives and is the closest it gets to pure CBD oil. 

While there are many CBD oil products commercially available, choosing one that isn’t contaminated with pesticides, heavy metals, and other dangerous substances is your best call. Many companies offer third-party test lab results; you can easily peruse to find out this critical information. 

Moreover, if you’re using CBD oil for improving focus, look for products with high concentrations of CBD. CBD concentrations are normally on the product packaging. 


Some people claim CBD is also beneficial for Attention deficit disorders. However, the research on this is scarce. This link is made because CBD has been shown to act as a neuroprotective agent and improve symptoms of degenerative brain conditions. In 2018, the FDA also approved the first CBD-based drug called Epidiolex to treat two types of severe epileptic disorders — Lennox Gastaut syndrome and Dravet and Syndrome. 

  • One randomized trial conducted to study the effects of cannabinoids on ADHD provided inconclusive evidence. When administered controlled doses of CBD oil, the three study participants didn’t experience any measurable improvement in IQ performance, cognitive function, or symptom reduction. However, a slight uptick in hyperactivity and impulsivity was reported. The authenticity of this study is a big question mark. Researchers believed many participants didn’t discontinue alcohol and medications, which may have affected the data and rendered the study inconclusive. 
  • Another study focused on the effects of cannabis on executive functioning adults. In the study, young adults who used cannabis before the age of 16 demonstrated decreased cognitive function later on in life. Especially those who already had ADHD reported having poor working and verbal memory and decision making. Their ability to complete tasks also recorded as not present. The researchers concluded that individuals who use cannabis at a premature age have a higher susceptibility to neuropsychological deficit conditions, including ADHD. 

Final Thoughts

While scientific evidence indicates that CBD can help with anxiety, stress, and many other conditions that contribute to lack of focus, the research on whether CBD can directly counteract attention deficit problems is either inconclusive or questionable. Therefore, it’s necessary to consult a reputable physician or holistic doctor before using CBD to treat any kind of disease. 

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