If you are having one of those days where you just can’t seem to focus and aren’t productive, chances are you might be dealing with brain fog. Brain fog affects many of us from time to time, and it is more than just a hindrance to our daily lives. Luckily, the natural, hemp-derived compound known as CBD has the ability to interact with receptors on the brain, and advocates claim it promotes mental clarity. Let’s explore CBD and brain fog.
What is Brain Fog?
Brain fog is not a medical condition, but rather a term people use to describe symptoms that affect your ability to think. You know that feeling when your head feels cluttered and it is difficult to focus on something, or you’re thinking of something and the words are on the tip of your tongue but you can’t grasp them? That is brain fog.
Some of the symptoms of brain fog include:
- Memory problems
- Difficulty concentrating
- Inability to think clearly
- Lack of motivation/inspiration
Brain fog is sometimes described as mental exhaustion, which can be a result of working or studying too much. For example, sometimes college students study all night long and then they have trouble remembering the material the next day. Your brain simply cannot store that much information at once without any rest in between. As common as brain fog is, it is also something that can easily be fixed.
What Causes Brain Fog?
As we mentioned earlier, brain fog is a term used to describe symptoms that affect your ability to think. Believe it or not, many factors can contribute to this feeling of mental cloudiness. Here are just some potential causes of brain fog:
Stress can result in a cascade of negative effects in your body. It can increase your blood pressure, weaken your immune system, and lead to anxiety and depression. All of these changes can reduce your ability to think clearly, so it is important to manage your stress when times get rough.
Sleep is arguably the most important time spent during your life. Sleep restores and protects your mental and physical health. Getting a good night’s sleep is crucial for optimal brain function.
During pregnancy and menopause, hormones fluctuate and your body experiences changes during this process. Some of these changes affect your cognition and mental clarity, as well as your memory.
Food is a vital element for maintaining proper brain functioning and health. Certain nutrients like vitamin B12 are particularly important for a healthy brain, as a B12 deficiency can actually be one cause of brain fog. On the other hand, eating certain foods that do not go well with your body can trigger symptoms of brain fog.
Brain fog can be a side effect of some drugs, so make sure to notify your doctor if your experience brain fog while taking medication. Chemotherapy can also cause brain fog due to the high strength of the drugs that are used.
Anxiety, depression, multiple sclerosis, arthritis, dehydration–whether it is an autoimmune disease or an issue with water loss, a wide range of medical conditions can play a role in the development of brain fog.
Common Treatments of Brain Fog
The way you treat brain fog depends on the cause. Dehydration can be solved by replenishing your body with fluids. Anxiety and depression can be treated by drugs that interact with the brain’s serotonin and dopamine system. Arthritis can be treated with an anti-inflammatory.
Sure, over-the-counter medications can reduce your pain, and strong prescription medications can relieve symptoms of anxiety and depression. But do you also know the harm that these drugs are doing to your body?
Conventional medicine may be effective, but it also can have some striking flaws. These include unwanted side effects, high risk of addiction, and health-deteriorating effects.
For long-term pain or anxiety management, you should be using something that is actually good for your health, not the opposite. CBD, or cannabidiol, can offer tons of benefits.
What Does CBD Do to the Brain?
All mammals have a built-in system of receptors that specifically respond to cannabinoids like CBD. This system is the endocannabinoid system (ECS) and it is responsible for the many incredible effects on our bodies.
The endocannabinoid system is composed of two main types of receptors: CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors are mainly in the brain. CB2 receptors are mainly in the immune system. For this article, we are going to focus on CB1 receptors and find out how their interactions with CBD affect the brain.
Keep in mind that CBD ingestion does not produce any mind-altering effects. It is completely safe and non-psychoactive. It is very commonly confused with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive component of cannabis plants.
CBD does not directly bind to CB1 receptors. Instead, it interacts with them and is believed to indirectly activate the production of the body’s natural endocannabinoids. Endocannabinoids and the ECS work together to promote overall wellness and homeostasis. Homeostasis is when your body is functioning at prime capacity, healthily and happily. It is vital to wellness.
Can CBD Oil Help with Brain Fog?
Let’s revisit some of the possible causes of brain fog: stress, poor sleep, medications, and medical conditions (anxiety, arthritis, etc.). Remember, CBD interacts with the ECS to promote overall functionality.
Stress can cause a headache, and we all know it can be almost impossible to focus on our work while dealing with a bad headache. Brain fog can also follow a poor night’s sleep. Sleep organizes and refreshes our brain and gets it ready for the next day. Without enough sleep, the brain can have trouble with focus, as well as with making and storing memories. The ECS helps to regulate both stress levels and sleep. By making sure that your ECS is functioning at its best, you may be able to fight off brain fog.
Most Effective Way to Take CBD for Brain Fog
CBD capsules are a clean and convenient way to take regular doses of CBD. Capsules are effective but take a bit longer to have an effect due to the digestive and metabolic processes that are involved.
CBD oil tinctures
You can take CBD sublingually in the form of oil tinctures. This is a faster way of absorbing CBD because it bypasses the main digestive system goes into the blood relatively quickly. You can feel the effects within minutes after taking the dose.
Edibles, such as CBD gummies, can be a tasty alternative to those who prefer not to swallow capsules. They do, however, require a longer time like capsules to be absorbed into the bloodstream because of the digestive and metabolic processes involved.
Vaping CBD for brain fog is by far the fastest way to feel its effects. The only barrier between itself and the blood is the thin-walled alveoli in your lungs, where gas exchange is very efficient. Your lungs quickly absorb CBD that you inhale, making it preferable for individuals who want fast results.