CBD for focus: using cannabidiol for concentration


Exploring the link between CBD and concentration could be beneficial in helping people feel more energetic, as well as increasing their productivity and focus.

Many people struggle with concentration on a daily basis, which can affect their performance at work, their education and even their relationships. Lack of focus can sometimes be caused by disorders such as ADHD, by stress or sleep deprivation, or simply by distractions.

How stress can interfere with concentration levels

When we are suffering from stress, a chemical called cortisol appears within the body. The  function of this chemical is to help to regulate the body, and is associated with the “fight or flight” response to stress in the form of threat and danger.

This is all very helpful if you’re running away from a tiger, but not so helpful if you’re worrying about whether you locked the front door this morning. So if you’re not burning it off escaping an apex predator, then the higher levels of cortisol actually interferes with our ability to focus and concentrate. Therefore, working on ways to lower stress and anxiety levels can help you to feel less frazzled and more alert.

The impact of sleep disorders on focus levels

Another thing that can raise the cortisol levels in the body is lack of sleep. If you’re not getting enough zzz’s at night time, your cognitive functions can be lowered and your cortisol levels can be significantly raised.

Stress and sleep issues can also go hand in hand and it’s quite common for sleep problems to be caused by stress in the first place. Finding out how to lower stress and anxiety can help you to fall asleep faster and provide a deeper sleep, which will result in better concentration levels the next day.

CBD for focus and concentration

You might be wondering how CBD can help with any of this? Well, brain receptors are not only sensitive to neurotransmitters produced naturally within the brain, such as dopamine or serotonin. They are also sensitive to chemical messengers produced outside the body, for example the plant cannabinoids THC or CBD.

CBD engages with various molecular pathways within the brain and interacts with two cannabinoid receptors in the endocannabinoid system, called CB1 and CB2.

CBD also interacts with the 5-HT1A in these systems in the brain: the dopamine system, the serotonin system and the opioid system. All of these systems have different functions, so you can think of CBD as something that can be used to enhance their performance.

The 5-HT1A system

The opioid receptors help to reduce pain and the effects of chronic inflammation, the serotonin receptors deal with feelings of depression and anxiety and are neuroprotective. Finally, the dopamine system regulates many aspects of behavior and cognition, including motivation and clarity.

What is serotonin?

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that assists in regulating many body functions, including in helping you wake up feeling refreshed. Serotonin receptors regulate the release of hormones such as cortisol, which is responsible for metabolism and reactions to stress.

Serotonin receptors also affect a person’s mood, cognition, and appetite. Some people may have a serotonin deficiency, in which case they have low serotonin activity or low levels of serotonin.

CBD and serotonin

CBD targets a specific serotonin receptor, the serotonin 1A receptor. Its affinity with this receptor is associated with a lot of CBD’s therapeutic properties. CBD can improve focus levels is by encouraging higher levels of serotonin to flow through the brain. Serotonin helps you stay refreshed and well rested.

Higher serotonin levels can result in lower anxiety levels. One of the main culprits of lack of focus is anxiety, so the higher the serotonin, the lower the anxiety and the better the focus. CBD can activate the 5-HT1A for regulation of serotonin levels and activity.

CBD and dopamine

Dopamine is another hormone that influences our ability to stay awake and concentrate. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is responsible for memory, focus and mental awareness. When a person is faced with decreased attention and focus, it might mean that the dopamine levels are low. CBD directly interacts with the brain’s dopamine. CBD users with higher dopamine levels in the brain can experience boosted mental focus.

At the other end of the spectrum, extreme levels of dopamine can also impair focus and memory. However, CBD oil helps to maintain balance so that levels are not too low or too high. CBD strives for homeostasis and therefore strives to maintain dopamine levels at appropriate concentrations at all times.

How metabolism affects concentration

Our metabolism also plays a major role in our energy levels and our ability to concentrate. In fact, indicators of low metabolism include general feelings of lethargy and loss of concentration. As we’ve detailed in a previous blog, CBD oil can also help boost metabolism, which in turn supports the body and brain with focus and concentration.


CBD cannot cure ADHD, but it’s thought it can help . People who have ADHD often have a hard time in both dealing with anxiety and staying focused. Simply put, CBD oil may be able to help with both of these common issues, as we’ve discussed in this article.

There have not yet been any large scale clinical trials for CBD and ADHD so the positive “human” evidence exists mostly anecdotally at present. It could certainly be worth giving it a try if you or someone close to you suffers from symptoms of ADHD. However, as always, it’s important to consult your doctor before trying any new medication or treatments.

The primary role of CBD when it enters our bloodstream is to restore homeostasis – basically getting our body back into normal order. CBD is being investigated to learn about its role in learning, attention, and memory.

Focus CBD oil from Hawaiian Choice

If you would like to find out how CBD could bring you a new sense of clarity and calm, why not try the Focus CBD oil from Hawaiian Choice? It’s a hemp oil that can be beneficial to those who struggle with focusing for long periods of time or have low energy levels. The Focus CBD oil contains specific terpenes for the purpose of helping with concentration. These terpenes include:

  • Alpha Pinene – calming, energy, focus, eases inflammation, provides pain relief, uplifting.
  • Beta Pinene – energy, focus, eases inflammation, pain relief.
  • Limonene – calming, energy, focus, eases inflammation, uplifting.

View the full range of full spectrum CBD oils in our online shop.