Criticism against CBD and the impact of this substance on concentration
There are many false clichés associated with the effects of CBD. Due to the link between this cannabinoid and the Cannabis sativa species , many assume that the molecule is counterproductive for those who need to remain alert and focused.
Many people think that because the THC (psychotropic cousin of CBD) reduces the ability to concentrate, CBD also produces the same effect. But is not so. The chemical structure of CBD does not allow a link with CB1 receptors — associated with motivation and mood — at the same level of affinity as THC.\
Furthermore, in 2018, the World Health Organization submitted the CBD to a thorough review . After reviewing all available scientific research, the institution concluded that “CBD does not show any potentially associated effects of abuse or dependence”, adding that “at present, there is no evidence of the use of CBD for recreational purposes, nor of public health problems associated with the consumption of pure CBD ”.
We now know that CBD, apparently, does not negatively affect our mental abilities. We can move on to the next question – can CBD improve our concentration skills? To answer the question we need to better understand the factors that affect our ability to pay attention and concentration.
Why do we have difficulty concentrating on our tasks?
It could simply be a radio playing in the background, but when you need to concentrate, even the smallest noise can distract you. In these cases, the solution is easy — to eliminate the disturbing element. However, technology is not the only one responsible for our concentration problems. Lack of sleep, stress and cognitive impairment can greatly affect our attention span.
The effects of sleep deprivation on cognitive performance are well illustrated in an article published in Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment . It has been shown that lack of sleep can cause a reduction in cognitive function, increasing the levels of the neurochemical cortisol molecule. Under normal conditions, low cortisol levels are useful for stimulating the body’s physiological response in the event of stress.
However, a second research , conducted by the University of Limburg, found that higher cortisol levels can cause a decrease in attention. Combining stress and lack of rest, disastrous results are achieved on concentration skills.
What does science say about the effects of CBD on our ability to concentrate?
If you are among the millions of people who suffer from insomnia and often feel stressed, you may think that your chances of improving concentration are limited. Apparently, even according to experts the remedies are scarce. For this they turned their attention to the CBD.
There are no specific studies concerning the impact of CBD on concentration. However, some investigations have been carried out on the effects of the molecule against sleep and stress. These two factors negatively affect our ability to concentrate, so the results of the study could provide important data.
Let’s start with the study on the links between sleep and CBD. In a five-day experiment, scientists from the Department of Neuroscience and Behavior at the University of São Paulo administered 2.5, 10 and 40mg / kg of CBD to adult rats. The results indicate that “acute administration of CBD appears to increase the total sleep period, in addition to increasing sleep latency during daylight hours”.
These results look promising, but many people have difficulty falling asleep. Stress is a known factor responsible for interrupting the sleep cycle. What does science say about the effects of CBD on stress?
A study published in the International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology found anxiolytic effects in rats given CBD, thanks to the action of the molecule on endocannabinoid signaling. These results suggest the involvement of the endocannabinoid system in the management of the stress reaction, but tests on human subjects are still ongoing.
What we know about CBD and attention span
Based on the results described above, CBD could potentially be a remedy for concentration problems. The molecule cannot remove distracting elements, such as the telephone or office noise, but it could positively affect the sleep cycle and the physiological response to stress — two essential factors to promote concentration.
It is important to note that the aforementioned studies, and many others, are still in the pre-clinical stage or conducted on animal guinea pigs, so there is still much to be discovered about the effects of CBD. If you are interested in the potential of CBD for sleep, stress or concentration, always consult a doctor before making any decision.