CBD for Concentration: Serotonin Levels

As discussed in previous HealthyTOKYO articles, the benefits of CBD are still being discovered. However, many testimonies from users have claimed it benefits their concentration ability.

In today’s world, we are constantly bombarded by stimuli, whether it is from advertisements on the street, television, or even push notifications. Thus it can be difficult to tune out the incessant distractions vying for our attention. Just sitting down to concentrate on a single task at work or school becomes a challenge in and of itself, and that’s not to mention conditions such as ADHD which some people also suffer from.

For this installment of the HealthyTOKYO article series on CBD, we will be taking a look at the claims behind CBD for concentration.

What is CBD

CBD is a cannabinoid that comes from the Cannabis Sativa L. plant. It’s believed to indirectly interact with receptors in the endocannabinoid system, which are located in the brain and throughout the body. CBD is thought to stimulate this system and promote equilibrium (homeostasis), reducing pain and inflammation. However, there are currently only a small number of clinical studies based on the benefits of CBD, so its potential is still being discovered and confirmed. As discussed in my previous two articles on CBD (“CBD for Epilepsy” and “CBD for Depression“), CBD shows some promising results against these diseases, but its proposed benefits do not stop there. First, let’s take a look at some of the factors that can affect your concentration.

What causes a Lack of Concentration?

As mentioned above, distraction in our modern world might seem to be just a way of life. While it might be easy to chalk up our short attention spans to phone addiction, the issue may go deeper. Two big factors affecting concentration that you may not have thought about are stress and poor quality or a lack of sleep. Both of these have been shown to affect the levels of serotonin in the brain.

Studies show that CBD has an affinity to the 5-HT serotonin receptor, and has been purported to produce an anti-anxiety effect, lowering stress. Other research in preclinical studies claims CBD is potentially useful in treating insomnia. Paradoxically, there also exists literature showing that CBD may increase alertness, which helps with concentration and focus.

ADHD and Concentration

ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) is a disorder commonly found in children, but can also continue to occur through to adulthood. ADHD is characterized by inattentiveness, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness, in addition to feelings of anxiety, chronic forgetfulness, and procrastination. In the case of ADHD, there may be a connection to CBD for concentration.

In a preclinical study, CBD was shown to reduce hyperactivity in particular and thus may be a viable alternative to other well-known medications such as Adderall or Ritalin. It is still unknown exactly what causes ADHD, but it has been suggested that a chemical imbalance in the brain may be the culprit. In this respect, the believed homeostatic nature of CBD may be able to help with ADHD by potentially balancing out brain chemistry.

CBD for Concentration

So how exactly could CBD help you improve your concentration if you do not suffer from lack of sleep or ADHD? As briefly touched upon above, CBD is thought to allow a greater distribution of serotonin in the brain, not unlike an SSRI (selective serotonin uptake inhibitor). More serotonin leads to less stress and anxiety, so there is an argument to suggest that focus can be improved by decreasing these two factors. While there do not seem to be any current clinical studies specifically centered on the effects of CBD on concentration, there are multiple accounts from people who take CBD oil claiming its efficacy for improved focus.

One blogger writes about the results of her experience taking CBD every day for a week in the following excerpt: “I’m more focused at work. I work well under pressure, but…I’m constantly distracted by email, Slack, and the people around me, to the point where getting my work done becomes difficult. This week, however, (while taking CBD) I’ve found it easier to put my blinders on, block out all distractions, and focus on one task at a time.” She continues by stating: “I think this is partly related to the lessened anxiety…It almost feels like a newfound sense of clarity and calm that enables me to focus.”


Ultimately, it is difficult to decisively say what causes a lack of concentration. Whether it is due to external factors causing stress or anxiety, or a disorder such as ADHD, certain studies seem to suggest that CBD might be a potential option to help rebalance your system and regain focus. If you have any questions about using CBD to aid concentration or any other health-related topics, please make use of the HealthyTOKYO site chat feature located at the bottom right of the page. Before you go, just remember:

  • Concentration can be affected by factors such as sleep, stress, and anxiety, and certain research suggests that CBD can help with these symptoms.
  • A lack of concentration can be found in normal adults, but it may also be a sign of ADHD.
  • CBD is thought to increase levels of serotonin, thus allowing for better focus.
  • Hemp-based CBD oil can be purchased right here on HealthyTOKYO and is legal in Japan.

Other studies on CBD:

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