CBD To Improve Cognitive Performance
While the research on CBD continues to pump out affirmations of its effectiveness in treating a variety of symptoms and illnesses, using CBD as a nootropic is also steadily growing in popularity among healthy individuals who are seeking to improve their focus and cognitive performance.
We’ve compiled together all the nootropics information you need here. In this article we’ll look at:
- What is a Nootropic?
- History of Nootropics
- Why Use CBD as a Nootropic?
- Are Nootropics Safe?
- Are Nootropics Legal?
- How to Use CBD as a Nootropic
- The Best Nootropics For You
CBD as a Nootropic
Before looking at why you should be using CBD as a nootropic, let’s take a closer look at what nootropics are.
What is a Nootropic?
Nootropic definition: adjective (of a drug) used to enhance memory or other cognitive functions.
All supplements and drugs, whether natural or synthesized, that may improve your cognitive (or psychological) performance are considered to be “nootropics”.
Memory, creativity, focus, and motivation, can all be enhanced by these so-called “smart drugs”, which is why even healthy individuals are taking them to help achieve their peak performance at any given task.
The History of Nootropics
A short story of pure accident. While trying to invent a new sleeping aid, back in the 1960’s, Dr Corneliu Giurgea developed a new substance which he named piracetam.
The effects of piracetam, including enhanced mental performance and learning abilities, didn’t fit under any existing drug classification, and thus, the term “nootropics” was born.
Nootropics have likely been used for 1,000’s of years, however, as natural nootropics, such as gingko biloba and coco leaves, exert similar effects on the brain.
Why Use CBD as a Nootropic?
The reason people are looking to CBD for nootropic effects are due to the compound’s interaction with our body’s endocannabinoid system.
Our endocannabinoid system plays a crucial role in regulating various physiological and cognitive functions and it’s the effects that CBD has on these cognitive functions that is getting people excited about the potential for using CBD as a nootropic.
Your Brain Deteriorates Over Time
The main reasons for why the brain deteriorates over time are due to damage from oxidation and inflammation. Serotonin and anandamide levels decline (anandamide is your body’s native cannabinoid known as your ‘bliss’ chemical), and your anxiety increases.
Neuroplasticity also declines and along with it, your mood, cognition, memory, learning and recall abilities. Free radicals damage your brain cells in the form of oxidative stress and inflammation in the brain can cause a leaky blood-brain barrier.
How CBD Boosts Brain Health and Function
There is already a large body of research into the ways that CBD can boost brain health and function. You can access some of this research (via the links provided) that shows CBD:
- Significantly alleviates anxiety and fear by altering blood flow in the brain
- Elevates mood by increasing levels of serotonin and anandamide
- Increases memory capacity by assisting in neurogenesis
- Reverses oxidative stress by working as an antioxidant
- Increases alertness by acting as a wake-promoting agent (in small doses)
- Improves quality of sleep by exhibiting a sedating effect (in medium/large doses)
- Repairs damage to leaky blood-brain barrier and prevents further damage from inflammation
Some of these benefits, such as increasing alertness and alleviating anxiety, will more directly affect your immediate cognitive performance.
Others, such as the reversal of oxidative stress and assistance in neurogenesis, may take a bit more time to exert influence on your overall performance.
As you can imagine, protecting and repairing damage to the brain is an incredibly attractive property of CBD that many healthy individuals are keen to take advantage of, despite not needing CBD for pain or anxiety.
Other Benefits of CBD
It is also thought that CBD’s ability to improve functions, not just in the brain, but also the body, could also exert positive effects on your overall health and performance, such as:
It makes sense that if your body is functioning more effectively and efficiently, that this will have a knock-on effect on your brain, mood, and ultimately, your overall cognitive and learning abilities.
Are Nootropics Safe?
As with any new supplement or drug you should weigh up the effects, positive and negative, that it may have on you, before taking it.
Nootropics side effects will vary greatly depending on which type of nootropic you are looking at and for this reason many people prefer natural nootropics, such as CBD, as opposed to man-made nootropics that are synthesized in a lab.
When it comes to using CBD as a nootropic, you’ll be pleased to know that CBD has an extremely favorable safety profile. In fact, to date, no significant side effects have been reported with dosing as high as 1,500mg per day.
CBD will also not intoxicate you in any way. Only mild side-effects such as dry mouth, sleepiness, light-headedness, and diarrhea, are felt by some people.
Are Nootropics Legal?
The USA does not control or schedule most nootropics, so most popular nootropics are completely legal to buy, own, and consume. Hemp-derived CBD also became federally legal across all 50 states when the Hemp Farming Act was signed into law in 2018.
A brain enhancing drugs list would also include caffeine, nicotine, creatine, L-theanine, noopept, and phenotropil. Brain enhancing herbs and plants include bacopa monnieri, rhodiola rosea, panax ginseng, and gingko biloba. All of these nootropics are legal in the U.S. at the time of writing.
How to Use CBD as a Nootropic
It’s remarkably easy to use CBD as a nootropic due to the fact that there are so many different ways you can take it, adding it to your daily routine in a way that suits you.
You can either inhale it in the form of smokable flower, put a couple of drops of oil under your tongue, or even ingest it orally by adding it to your food, or take CBD capsules.
Some forms of CBD have more immediate effects, and others have slower, longer-lasting effects. You can find out more about the different methods of CBD consumption in our article here.
Nootropic Dosing – As a general rule of thumb, you should start with very small doses (as low as 5mg) and then increase the dosage until you feel the desired effects. The majority of people using CBD for nootropics benefits use around 15 to 50mg daily. Dosage will vary depending on your body weight and also the bioavailability of your CBD source.
In smaller doses CBD has been noted to increase alertness, so a small dose during the day could help to improve your concentration almost immediately. Larger doses, on the other hand, have a sedating effect, and helping you get a restful night’s sleep could massively help your level of focus the following day.
While you may prefer to take CBD as and when you need that extra boost, many people choose to take CBD more regularly, due to CBD’s positive effects on many different areas of the body and brain’s function, some of which almost certainly won’t happen overnight.
While researching for this article, we came across an interesting story from a guy who tried using CBD as a nootropic and published his experience online.
The Best Nootropics For You
When it comes to finding the best CBD for you to use as a nootropic, it could also be a good idea to consider what naturally occurring terpenes in the hemp plant can help to further boost the desired effects.
You can learn more about hemp terpenes here, or, take our word for it and seek out full-spectrum CBD products that contain geraniol, pinene, limonene, or valencene, for their uplifting and motivating effects that can help improve focus.
The best way to ensure you’re getting all of the naturally occurring cannabinoids and terpenes in hemp is by consuming smokable flower. Smoking your CBD will also deliver the most immediate effects.
WE LOVE Green Unicorn Farms as they pride themselves on sourcing and sharing only the richest, cleanest, and most aromatic flower there is available in the U.S. Try their Hawaiian Haze pre-rolls, or Space Candy flower, to help kick-start your day the right way…
If you don’t like smoking then you may wish to consider a CBD oil. CBD oil can be dropped under your tongue for effects in as little as 20-40 minutes, or added to your food and drink for a slower onset of effects in around 60-90 minutes.
Ww love Drop of Sunshine as they have created a full spectrum CBD tincture infused with essential oils and herbs to make an incredibly terpene-rich formula. Their Focus Tincture takes organic, herbal nootropics to the next level.
Other Nootropics Supplements
There are a massive range of nootropic supplements available these days, but if you want to stick to natural nootropics to compliment your all-natural CBD routine, then look out for herbal ingredients and avoid brands that add artificial ingredients.
Next time you’re at the pharmacy, nootropic herbal ingredients you can keep your eye out for include, lion’s mane mushroom, bacopa monnieri, rhodiola rosea, ginseng, and gingko biloba.
Nootropics in Your Diet
Due to the naturally occurring nootropics that can be found in nature, you can also ingest nootropics in food you eat! Eggs, dark leafy greens, blueberries, and dark chocolate are all said to help improve your memory! As if we need more excuses to eat chocolate.
Using Nootropics for a New You
If you want to try CBD as a nootropic, always make sure you are buying an organic, third-party tested, premium quality product. Consider the longer term benefits of CBD, rather than using it as a one-off to help get you through a particularly taxing day.
To monitor your results more closely, it’s a good idea to keep a journal to note down how you feel from day to day. Start the journal a few days before you start taking CBD and throughout the first few weeks, to help you work out your optimum dosage.
And don’t forget that when it comes to dosing, start low and go slow.