January 13, 2021

Tap Into the Flow: Cannabis for Focus and Productivity

In our hyper-connected, stimulation-heavy world, focus can be hard to come by.

Our office culture (home or in-person) celebrates brain-draining multitasking and frequent meetings, which lead to scattered focus and lower productivity in general. And even off the clock, there’s always another ping to pay attention to, another email to answer, another fire to put out. We’re constantly connected to news and social media, which demand our attention and then profit off it. 

And as humans, our minds are primed to wander, especially if we don’t find tasks particularly engaging. A 2019 article in the science journal Neuroscience of Consciousness holds that humans evolved to seek tasks and goals with high payoff, wandering from one task to the next as a form of protection against putting too much effort in a single goal (especially one that’s not guaranteed to pay off). 

All this to say: When it’s time to get focused, we’ve got a lot of obstacles to overcome. 

While scientists still have much to learn about the full human benefits of cannabis and specific cannabinoids, preliminary research has demonstrated the potential for cannabis to aid in a variety of brain-boosting ways, from achieving a flow state, to anxiety reduction and decision-making. Here’s an overview of where the science is, how to benefit from cannabis’s potential for aiding in focus and which strains are best for focus. 

What Research on Cannabinoids for Focus Tells Us

Cannabinoids work with the endocannabinoid system (ECS), a wide-reaching system in the body that impacts everything from the immune system to digestion. Phytocannabinoids like delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) interact with this system, helping to reduce inflammation and improve neuroplasticity, or the brain’s ability to learn and form new connections. For those seeking a boost in focus or brain power, working with the ECS by consuming CBD or THC shows promise—though more research is needed. 

There are currently few empirical or peer-reviewed studies regarding cannabinoids’ beneficial effects on focus, productivity or clarity. And in fact, many existing studies and reviews, like one published in the Journal of Addiction Medicine in 2011, center instead on the potential for negative effects on working memory and attention—theories established during the propaganda-heavy prohibition era. 

However, both THC and CBD have been shown to exhibit powerful neuroprotective effects and helpfulness in reducing anxiety and stress. Stress and anxiety can negatively affect working memory and make focusing on tasks incredibly difficult, so the ability to reduce perceived stress and anxiety could naturally help in increasing focus.  

Best Cannabis Strains for Focus

When choosing cannabis strains for focus, we’d recommend reaching for one from our Invite product line, such as Big Bubba Diesel and White 99— two of our favorites for promoting focus and engagement. Other strains from our Innovate line, including GG #4, Cherry Hills or Mimosa, are also great options to tap into flow. 

For those who struggle to focus due to anxiety or are sensitive to THC, we recommend trying out a CBD-dominant strain or a balanced CBD / THC strain. Since some strains, especially THC-heavy sativa strains, can increase heart rate or a feeling of anxiousness among some consumers, it’s important to take your individual needs and preferences into account. 

If you’re newer to cannabis or new to using it to help with focus and productivity, we’d also recommend experimenting with microdoses or lower-potency strains to see where your sweet spot is for maximizing focus, then gradually build up if need be. To help you find the perfect strain for focus, head over to our interactive strain guide. You can sort our more than 90 strains by experience, product type and taste—and get focused in no time.

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