Can CBD help you study?


As autumn returns and the school year begins, students are inevitably looking for more effective ways to study and focus. 

Many CBD companies advertise that their products help with focus. But is that a bogus claim? Or is CBD really a miracle study aid?

We did a little investigating.

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How CBD works in the body

It’s impossible to say with any certainty how CBD products will affect each individual. 

The reason comes down to the endocannabinoid system, the bodily system that processes CBD and THC. Because this system is different for everyone, CBD and THC will affect each person differently. 

For some, CBD will make them feel less anxious and more alert. However, for some, it will make them feel fatigued. 

Misconceptions about CBD and how it affects the body

It is essential to do your research on any supplements that you are interested in taking. The same goes for CBD. With so many different opinions out there about CBD, it’s easy to be led astray if you don’t do your homework. 

There are plenty of misconceptions regarding CBD and its benefits (or lack thereof). Perhaps the most prominent of these is the nature of the difference between CBD and THC. When it comes to students using it to study, many people are concerned that it will inhibit a student’s ability to get the job done, thinking it gives the user some sort of high. 

While some users do report feeling a buzz after using CBD, this is usually because they are particularly sensitive to THC and or because they used full-spectrum CBD (meaning, CBD with trace amounts of THC in it) rather than CBD-isolate. It is extremely rare for a person to feel high after using CBD isolate products.

Therefore, for most users, the biggest risk with using CBD is the possibility of it having no effect. 

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CBD for studying: Should you try it?

All this considered, is it worth trying CBD before finals week? 

We asked cannabis clinician Dr. Leigh Vinocur to weigh in. 

“There’s a lot of advertising with CBD companies that talk about better focus and concentration. But that’s not reputable, and you need to look for clinical trials.” Vinocur told GreenState. 

Vinocur warned against falling for CBD advertising. While bold claims of improving focus and productivity might be enticing, there is not enough data out there to conclusively support these promises.

Because of the lack of research on the topic, Vinocur does not recommend her patients start using CBD just because they need a focus boost. But there are more reliable studies out there that show CBD and THC might help with other mental and medical conditions that can get in the way of productivity, such as anxiety, chronic pain, insomnia, and inflammation. 

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A few words of caution

When doing research into what products to use and if you should even use them, it is easy to get caught up in the tidal wave of positive blogs and articles that are sure to appear in your search results. If you’re not careful, you might start seeing CBD as a cure-all for every ailment. 

Vinocur encourages those interested in CBD to look for articles backed by scientific research when deciding whether or not to use CBD. There is very little research out there regarding the effects of CBD, and even less on how it affects humans specifically. 

The best thing you can do if you are thinking about using CBD for any purpose is to speak with a trusted healthcare professional before purchasing it. A doctor can advise you on whether or not CBD could be expected to have any effect on your personal health needs, help you find a reputable and trustworthy product, and work through whether CBD could negatively impact the effectiveness of any other medications you might be taking. 

CBD as a study aid: Worth a shot, but not guaranteed

Since everyone’s endocannabinoid systems are different, CBD might help you focus, but there’s a chance it won’t. And there’s not enough research to say conclusively whether it helps with focus at all.

On the other hand, if you struggle with test anxiety, CBD could help you with that. And there’s a chance CBD could help you overcome some other mental and physical obstacles that are keeping you away from your books.

If you’re considering trying CBD for studying and are willing to work with a healthcare professional to be sure your experience with CBD is as safe as possible, there’s probably no harm in trying it out. Just keep your expectations and your doses low.

Julia Findley