Working on an important assignment that simply requires more hours in the day than sunlight can offer?
If so, then you might be thinking about pulling an all-nighter. While no one wants to make a habit of these overnight work sessions, they can help you knock out a substantial chunk of work in just a few hours.
However, there will inevitably come a time when you reach a wall. Your body’s natural circadian rhythm will kick in, and you’ll be tempted to give into sleep. If that happens, it can help to use CBD for focus and energy.
Today, we’re sharing how this cannabinoid works and the difference it can make.
What Is CBD?
Before we dive into how to use CBD for energy, let’s take a step back. What is this compound? In short, CBD stands for Cannabidiol.
It’s one of many different chemical compounds (called cannabinoids) found in the Cannabis sativa plant, which is also called cannabis or hemp. You may be familiar with another cannabinoid, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
Yet, CBD and THC are different in one important way: CBD does not contain significant psychoactive properties. That means it will not deliver the same feeling of euphoria as THC, and will not get you “high” when taken in an appropriate dose.
When you ingest any cannabinoid, it interacts with your body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) in its own way. This is the complex, cell-signaling system found throughout your body. It helps regulate a range of functions, including your:
THC, CBD, and Your ECS
Even if you don’t ingest any compounds from the cannabis plant, this ECS exists within you and functions around the clock. Yet, certain cannabinoids will affect that function. For instance, when you ingest THC, it quickly goes to work on your ECS.
As a result, it becomes more difficult for the natural cannabinoids present within your body to do their job. They’re responsible for fine-tuning all of the connections and communications between your neurons. When this task isn’t performed in the right manner, your entire ECS can be thrown off-balance.
As it attaches to the cannabinoid receptors in your brain and body, THC can have a range of effects that include:
- Slower reaction times
- Impaired memory
- Impaired judgment
Yet, CBD is a milder compound and doesn’t induce the same level of a reaction. As it binds to the cannabinoid receptors in your ECS, it doesn’t do so as strongly as THC does. Specifically, it binds more loosely to two of your most prominent receptors: CB1 and CB2.
While researchers aren’t exactly sure how CBD does influence ECS activity, they have two prominent theories:
- It prevents endocannabinoids from being broken down, so they have a greater effect on your body
- It binds to a specific ECS receptor that has not been identified yet
In either case, we do know that CBD can catalyze mild reactions within your ECS. It’s these reactions that could benefit your ability to focus, concentrate, and stay awake during an all-nighter.
The Connection Between CBD and Focus/Energy
As CBD won’t get you high or make you feel sleepy like THC can do, many people turn to it for a gentle energy boost. How does it work? There are a few ways, so let’s take a look at each one.
Balancing Dopamine and Serotonin
When you apply a few drops of CBD oil under your tongue or ingest a gummy, the cannabinoid binds to your ECS receptors as described above. You can also try a Sativa vape for energy if you prefer to ingest CBD that way.
Despite the method you choose, CBD can help to balance your neurotransmitters as it interacts with your ECS, alleviating certain issues that could negatively affect your energy levels.
Two of those neurotransmitters are the “feel good” hormones: dopamine and serotonin. Both are critical components of your sleep-wake cycle.
Dopamine helps inhibit the stress hormone norepinephrine and can help you feel more alert. Meanwhile, serotonin plays a role in your overall wakefulness. Though it can prevent the onset of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, it’s also the precursor to melatonin, which is your body’s main sleep hormone.
When dopamine and serotonin are not in balance, one can be present in a greater amount than the other. This can lead to sleep issues, which you definitely don’t want to deal with if you’re trying to stay up all night. Thus, ingesting CBD and restoring that balance can be beneficial.
Modulating the GABA-A Receptor
Your GABA-A Receptor helps control your overall nervous system. They help control a majority of the inhibitory signaling that occurs within the system, which guides your everyday activities, such as:
While more research is required to form a true connection, CBD may alter the effects of GABA-A. This can help balance the processes in the list above.
Reducing Cortisol Levels
Cortisol is your body’s main stress hormone. When you’re feeling particularly stretched thin (e.g. during an all-nighter), you don’t want to be scatterbrained and stressed. You need to be able to focus and concentrate on the task at hand so you can get through it.
Again, CBD may be able to help. This compound not only affects your feel-good hormones but may also help manage the excess levels of cortisol that your body produces during periods of peak stress. When this happens, it frees your ECS up to produce more dopamine and serotonin, which improves your ability to stay on task.
Should You Try CBD for Focus?
No one loves the idea of burning the midnight oil. However, sometimes it’s unavoidable. While you can chug a ton of coffee to stay awake, why not try CBD for focus instead?
This cannabinoid works with your ECS in a unique way that could leave you feeling better rested, even if you don’t get any actual sleep until the next morning. Research the ingestion method that will work best for you, and see if it makes the difference you need!
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