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CBD for Focus and Concentration: A New Approach

 CBD for focus

It happens to the best of us: The inevitable 3 p.m. slump. Whether it’s because of your sleep schedule or the result of a poor diet, mid-afternoon sleepiness can significantly impact your focus and concentration. Age, a medical condition and information overload can also contribute to a foggy brain.

Fortunately, there are ways to maintain your alertness throughout the day.

In addition to regular movement and hydration, CBD may also lead to better focus. How so? Let’s dive in.

How Does The Brain Work?

It’s believed that CBD — or cannabidiol — can interact directly with receptors within the brain by way of the endocannabinoid system, a complex network of cell signaling that helps to maintain balance throughout the body. 

The brain is made up of many receptors which play a significant role in how the brain functions. These proteins live inside brain cells, and they’re triggered by various neurotransmitters to transmit signals that control:

  • Mood and emotions
  • Sensory perception
  • Motor function
  • Memory and learning

Ultimately, they’re responsible for maintaining homeostasis in the body — an equilibrium that ensures optimal functioning of physiological processes. When this equilibrium becomes unbalanced, it can lead to a loss of concentration or mental clarity through — unpredictably — its effect on motor control.

More specifically, a neuroscientist from the University of California San Diego found that a part of the brain that impacts movement, called the subthalamic nucleus (STN), also impacts cognition. The STN is found in the basal ganglia system, a complex network of nuclei found deep within the brain. It plays a role in maintaining focus by contributing to the initiation and execution of goal-directed actions.

The study also suggests the connection may be tied to our fight or flight response — our bodies must react quickly, thus inhibiting brain function and clearing the brain of any unnecessary thoughts. 

Excessive focus — such as spending hours scanning an Excel sheet for mistakes — can also “shortwire” the brain, impeding your ability to make good decisions, collaborate with others and maintain productivity. Why does this happen? Researchers believe it has something to do with the default mode network (DMN), a brain circuit that activates memories to support creative thinking, planning and understanding.

So, how can CBD help?

Your Brain on CBD

CBD is a type of cannabinoid that naturally occurs within cannabis plants — both hemp and marijuana. Hemp-derived CBD, however, is the only type of CBD that’s federally legal across the United States. Fortunately, this makes it easy to access, whether from a dispensary, health store or online shop. 

Studies have found that CBD can significantly, and positively, impact brain activity both at rest and when concentrating on a cognitive task. 

When you smoke, ingest or apply CBD on your body with a CBD-infused lotion or CBD balm, the cannabinoid influences receptors found in the endocannabinoid system. These receptors are found throughout the body and come in two varieties: CB1 and CB2.

CB1 Receptors

Remember the basal ganglia system? CB1 receptors are abundant there. They’re also expressed in the cortical regions of the brain, which include the neocortex, pyriform cortex, hippocampus and amygdala. Collectively, they’re responsible for: 

  • Language processing
  • Speech production
  • Memory formation
  • Problem-solving
  • Decision-making
  • Attention and maintaining focus

Thus, these receptors play a key role in memory and learning and their activation may help to maintain your concentration throughout the day. 

CB2 Receptors 

Unlike CB1 receptors, you won’t find many CB2 receptors in the central nervous system. Rather, they’re found in the peripheral nervous system: the immune cells. While the link between CB2 receptors and the brain is less direct, they may still impact brain function through what’s called the brain-gut axis, a bidirectional communication flow between the peripheral intestines and the central nervous system. 

When CBD activates these immune receptors, it may help to reduce inflammation in the gut, maintain healthy gut microbiota and neutralize toxins within the digestive path. Thus, interacting with the central nervous system to regulate brain chemistry, the stress response and memory function.

Addressing the Root Causes of Lack of Concentration

For people struggling with concentration issues, it's important to recognize that various factors, such as insufficient sleep, heightened stress levels or physical discomfort, can contribute to a lack of focus. 

Fortunately, CBD may help to address the underlying issues that can disrupt mental clarity and focus:

  • Sleep – In instances where inadequate sleep or sleep problems chip away at your brain power, CBD may offer relief. By interacting with the endocannabinoid system, CBD may promote a sense of relaxation and contribute to improved sleep quality, potentially alleviating one of the root causes of concentration lapses. Our tips for better sleep are also here to help!
  • Stress – Stress, whether stemming from work, personal concerns or other factors, can greatly impact concentration. CBD's potential anxiolytic properties may prove beneficial in these scenarios, helping to ease stress and promote a calmer mental state. For additional support, take a look at our informative guide on how to destress.
  • Physical discomfort – CBD's potential anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties may help manage aches and soreness, allowing you to concentrate more effectively throughout the day.

Natural and Healthy CBD Complements

In the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, maintaining focus and concentration can often feel like an uphill battle. The good news? There are various natural and health-conscious tricks to help combat an afternoon dip and keep better focus throughout the day.

Let's delve into some strategies that you can incorporate into your CBD for focus routine. 

#1 Mindful Meditation

Ever thought about giving your brain a workout of its own? Mindful meditation might just be the ticket. Rooted in ancient practices, mindful meditation encourages you to be fully present in the moment. 

Dive into guided meditation sessions — thanks to apps like Headspace or Insight Timer — and watch as your focus sharpens with regular practice.

Taking a CBD gummy or CBD capsule before your meditation session can help to relax your mind and body and prepare for deep decompression. 

#2 Brain-Boosting Nutrition

They say you are what you eat, and when it comes to cognitive function, this couldn't be more accurate. 

So, load up on brain-boosting foods, like omega-3-rich fish, walnuts, flaxseeds and an abundance of fruits and vegetables. Dark chocolate, a guilty pleasure for many, also packs a punch with its antioxidants. Ultimately, a balanced diet with proteins, healthy fats and complex carbs ensures your energy levels remain stable throughout the day.

For a focus-boosting after-meal treat, reach for a CBD gummy. 

#3 Hydration Habits

Dehydration is the silent focus killer we often overlook. 

Keep the brain juices flowing by sipping water throughout the day. Throw in hydrating foods like cucumber and watermelon for an extra boost. Herbal teas, especially those with peppermint or ginseng, can also contribute to improved focus.

You can combine your hydration and CBD habits, too. Add a few drops of a premium CBD oil to your water bottle or cup of tea for added benefits. Learn more in our other article where we dive into our favorite CBD infused drinks.

#4 Quality Sleep Routine

Never underestimate the power of a good night's sleep — quality sleep is the unsung hero of cognitive function. Establish a consistent sleep routine, create a sleep-friendly environment and unwind with calming activities before bedtime — did someone say CBD-infused tea?

#5 Regular Exercise Routine

Physical activity isn't just for the body — it's a boon for the brain, too. Engage in activities you enjoy, be it a brisk walk, yoga or a full-on workout. Exercise increases blood flow to the brain, releases neurotransmitters and supports the growth of new brain cells.

If post-workout soreness is inhibiting your ability to focus on your work, CBD use may be able to help ease any discomfort. 

#6 Herbal Supplements 

Explore herbal supplements that are known for their cognitive-enhancing properties. Ginseng, ginkgo biloba and Rhodiola rosea are some herbs associated with improved focus. 

That said, always consult with a healthcare professional before introducing new supplements to your diet — especially when in conjunction with other substances like CBD.

#7 Productivity Techniques

Ever heard of the Pomodoro Technique? Working in focused intervals with short breaks can be a game-changer. Incorporate short breaks for stretches, deep breathing, CBD grabs or even a brief mindfulness exercise to recharge your mental batteries throughout the work day.

#8 Digital Detox

Our constant connection to digital devices can be a major focus disruptor. Implement a digital detox by setting specific times for emails and social media checks. 

Also, designate periods for uninterrupted focus on tasks to allow your brain to engage deeply without constant interruptions.

Focus on Zebra CBD

Research does suggest that CBD use may play a major role in regulating brain function and maintaining your focus and concentration throughout the day. That said, the type of CBD product you choose to boost your brain matters, such as whether it's a broad spectrum CBD product for a range of cannabinoids or a pure CBD isolate for a more targeted approach.

At Zebra CBD, each of our products is made with premium hemp extract to support your total well-being, whether you’re focusing on mental alertness and energy, sleep quality or physical health. In other words, they’re CBD products you can trust.

We also craft a variety of products to fit your taste and lifestyle, from premium CBDoil and CBD capsules to CBD topicals and CBD gummies for sale. They’re all verified, too — by a third-party lab that tests for contaminants and ensures label accuracy.

Check it out, and check out, at Zebra CBD.



  1. Harvard Health Publishing. Tips to Improve Concentration.
  2. Dana Foundation. Neurotransmission: Brain Receptors.
  3. EurekaAlert! Derailed train of thought? Brain's stopping system may be at fault.
  4. Harvard Health Publishing. The endocannabinoid system: Essential and mysterious. 
  5. Harvard Business Review. Your Brain Can Only Take So Much Focus.
  6. Healthline. Can CBD Help Energy and Focus? 

Co-founder of Copycat Copywriters, Adam has written for dozens of CBD and cannabis companies on a wide array of topics, including regulations, economics, farming practices and biochemistry.

About the Author

Adam Biederman Image

Adam Biederman

As co-founder and lead writer of Copycat Copywriters, one of Adam’s primary areas of expertise is within the budding CBD and cannabis space. He has written for dozens of CBD and cannabis companies, producing a collection of white papers, press releases, blog posts, articles and ebooks about a wide array of industry-related subjects, including regulations, economics, farming practices and biochemistry.

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