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Can CBD Actually Help You Focus? What The Science Says


Jamey Powell

March 1, 2023

Contributing writer

By Jamey Powell

Contributing writer

Jamey Powell is a writer and editor living in Brooklyn, NY. Previously the senior market editor at, she has years of experience scouring endless product reviews and testing out the latest and greatest products in the sleep, fitness, and nutrition markets.

Image by mbg creative

March 1, 2023

Our editors have independently chosen the products listed on this page. If you purchase something mentioned in this article, we may earn a small commission.

Disclaimer: Our website includes general information and instruction relating to health and wellness topics. This content is not a substitute for medical advice from your health care provider. All treatment decisions should be determined in partnership with a health care practitioner. Hemp CBD products are derived from U.S. industrial hemp (less than 0.3% THC) and European hemp (less than 0.2% THC). While CBD products derived from the hemp plant (Cannabis sativa) are legal on a federal level in the U.S., some states have specific laws.

Between text messages, social media notifications, and overflowing inboxes, the world is filled with distractions. So it’s only natural that many of us struggle to focus. While taking a focus supplement is one way to support cognitive function, another strategy to consider is hemp CBD.*

While there’s still a long way to go in terms of quality research to back CBD’s ability to help you stay focused, early studies (and a lot of anecdotal evidence) suggest that it might be indirectly beneficial by helping with common issues that cause us to lose focus, whether that’s a lack of sleep, feelings of anxiousness, or distracting aches.*

Here’s everything you need to know about CBD for focus, as well as a few of our favorite CBD products on the market today.

Benefits of CBD for focusing

While research on hemp-derived CBD is really just revving up, the early findings are promising. Here are a few ways CBD might help you refocus:

Evokes a sense of calm: “One factor that kills your ability to focus is stress and [anxiousness]. CBD can support focus by helping to manage stress, enhance our sense of calm, and regulate our mood,”* explains holistic physician Sony Sherpa, MD. Additionally, recent research from 20191 and 2022 2suggests that cannabidiol can promote a state of calm that can help us get in a focused flow.*

Encourages sleep: Getting a poor night’s sleep leaves us groggy, irritablem and unfocused the following day. Because most anecdotal and research-based support3 for CBD is for its sleep-encouraging benefits, taking CBD before bedtime might help you drift off to sleep more easily (and stay asleep longer).*

Promotes joint comfort: Aches and joint discomfort can pull focus away from the task at hand, so addressing the source of the distraction may help you find balance. Luckily, early research suggests that CBD supports the body’s inflammatory response4, a critical biological pathway for promoting joint comfort and mobility.*

Types of CBD for focus

CBD from the hemp plant affects everyone differently. The type of CBD that’s right for you will depend on a few factors, such as the potency (aka dosage) and the type of product you use. There are a few things to keep in mind when considering a CBD for focus:

Full- vs broad-spectrum hemp CBD

Full-spectrum hemp includes the full array of compounds from the hemp plant extract (cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, fatty acids, etc.), including less than 0.3 percent THC by dry weight (which is in the U.S. federal regulation for hemp). Scientists say this combo of native plant compounds can create a beneficial “entourage effect,” which makes it a go-to for the most comprehensive CBD experience–as a result, most of the products on our list are full-spectrum.

Still, not everyone wants those trace amounts of THC. Broad-spectrum hemp still includes beneficial compounds like CBD, terpenes, and flavonoids, but it filters out the THC. Many folks still claim to reap a lot of benefits from broad-spectrum hemp products, but you may want to try full-spectrum first to see how it goes (so long as you’re not routinely drug tested, because those trace amounts of THC could potentially show up).

Ingestibles vs topicals

You’ll find both ingestible and topical hemp CBD products on this list. If joint aches are the reason you’re having a hard time focusing, a topical CBD salve or cream might help get you back on track. If mental chatter, uneven mood, or lack of sleep are to blame, then you might want to consider an ingestible CBD product to systemically support your body, like a gummy, capsule, or oil tincture.*

A note on dosage

“Several factors, such as your weight, health focus area, and the CBD concentration, may affect how much CBD you should take,” says Sherpa. It’s a good idea to start with a lower dose and slowly increase it…It’s [also] best to consult your doctor before taking CBD.”

Here’s how we categorize hemp CBD potency here at mindbodygreen:

Gentle: Less than 20 mg of hemp CBD per serving

Moderate: 20 to 39 mg of hemp CBD per serving

Strong: 40+ mg of hemp CBD per serving

How we picked:

Organic hemp

All of the products on this list farm organic hemp to ensure you’re not putting pesticides or herbicides on your skin or into your body. Several also have additional sustainability efforts, like carbon-neutral shipping and recyclable packaging.


We only picked companies that provide easy access to each product’s COA (certificate of analysis) from third-party lab testing. Verifying the purity and potency of each lot, this certification is your best bet at confirming the quality of a product.


CBD comes in several different forms and potencies, so we included capsules, gummies, and a topical option so you can find a quality product that meets your dosage preferences (and budget!).


We scoured the reviews to ensure each of these CBD products is highly rated, especially in terms of helping folks feel more focused throughout the day.*

Some of our favorite CBD products:

Best gummies: Cornbread Hemp Full-Spectrum CBD Gummies

Save 25% with code:


view on Cornbread Hemp | $40


USDA-certified organic productNo artificial colors, flavors, or high-fructose corn syrupTwo strength & flavor options


No THC-free formula available

Types: Full-spectrum

Potency: Moderate, 20mg of CBD per serving; Strong, 50mg of CBD per serving

Servings: 30

Organic: Yes

Subscription discount: Yes

Cost per mg of CBD: $0.13

Cornbread Hemp’s vegan gummies have such a clean formula, even our vice president of scientific affairs Ashley Jordan Ferira, PhD, RDN was impressed. In addition to featuring full-spectrum organic hemp, the brand skips high-fructose corn syrup and artificial flavors and synthetic dyes in favor of natural, plant-sourced alternatives, including organic cane sugar, organic blue agave, and apple pectin. Each gummy serving (two gummies) has 4g of sugar and comes in two potencies: a moderate 20mg or strong 50mg CBD per serving.

You can choose between berry or peach flavors, although Cornbread Hemp occasionally offers some fun (limited) seasonal flavor options. Within the 2,700 reviews of these gummies are a lot of positive comments about focus–one person says, “The gummies give me a nice feeling of calm and help me focus. I was skeptical but you have a new fan.”*

Sustainability & Packaging: Cornbread Hemp is a Kentucky-based company that sources organic hemp from local farms. These gummies come in a curbside-recyclable glass bottle and plastic cap.

Transparency: We appreciate that the COA for these gummies was easy to find using Cornbread Hemp’s third-party lab results database. Cornbread Hemp also shares a lot of information about its farming and extraction process on the website.

Broad-spectrum oil: Joy Organics Broad-Spectrum CBD Oil Tincture

Save 20% with code:


view on Joy Organics | From $45


Multiple flavor optionsCarbon-neutral shippingUSDA-certified organic product Available in four strength options


Some users don’t love tasteNot suitable for those with tree nut allergies (coconut)

Types: Broad-spectrum

Potency: Gentle; 15 mg of CBD per servingModerate, 30 mg of CBD per servingStrong, 45 mg of CBD per serving, 75 mg of CBD per serving

Servings: 30

Organic: Yes

Subscription discount: Yes

Cost per mg of CBD: $0.10

If you’re looking for a certified organic formula, look no further than Joy Organics. Its broad-spectrum tincture combines MCT oil with up to 75 mg of CBD from either full- or broad-spectrum hemp per serving–of course you can shop a gentler formula, as well as a handful of flavors.

Reviewers love the Tropical Mint and Orange Bliss flavors, noting they taste great with a “calming effect.”* That being said, if you’re comfortable with trace amounts of THC, you might prefer the full-spectrum version of this tincture.

Sustainability & packaging: The Joy Organics factory is in Fort Collins, Colorado. In addition to organic farming, Joy Organics offsets all of the carbon emissions generated through its shipping process by partnering with Carbon Fund.

Transparency: All of Joy Organics’ COAs are available on the website. It also includes instructions on how to find your lot number on your product at home.


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Full-spectrum oil: Cornbread Hemp Whole Flower USDA Organic CBD Oil

Save 25% with code:


view on Cornbread Hemp | $65


USDA-certified organic product Made from whole flower30-day money back guarantee


No gentle dose optionNot suitable for those with tree nut allergies (coconut)

Types: Full-spectrum

Potency: Moderate, 25 mg of CBD per servingStrong, 50 mg of CBD per serving

Servings: 30

Organic: Yes

Subscription discount: Yes

Cost per mg of CBD: $0.09

Another great certified organic option, this full-spectrum formula from Cornbread Hemp earns extra points for undergoing minimal processing–which ensures it retains as many beneficial hemp compounds as possible, including the full array of cannabinoids, plus terpenes, flavonoids, and fatty acids.

Available in both a moderate and strong potency, the oil is unflavored with an earthy flavor that isn’t too bitter (despite the higher potency).

Sustainability & Packaging: Cornbread Hemp sources all of its organic hemp from local farmers in Kentucky, where the brand is also headquartered. They maintain an official USDA organic certification for products and manufacturing facilities, too.

Transparency: Cornbread Hemp’s CBD oils are tested for pesticides, heavy metals, mycotoxins, microbial contaminants, and potency via a third-party lab and are only sold if they pass the tests. All COAs are available on the site.

Budget-friendly CBD: Lazarus Naturals Full-Spectrum High Potency CBD Oil Tincture


USDA certified organicGood price for CBD potencyFlavorless & flavored varieties


Lower-potency option sells out quicklyNot suitable for those with tree nut allergies (coconut)

Types: Full-spectrum

Potency: Strong, 50 mg of CBD per serving

Organic: Yes

Subscription discount: No

Cost per mg of CBD: $0.03

This USDA certified organic tincture from Lazarus Naturals is a great option for those on a strict budget. It’s available in three flavor options (unflavored, chocolate mint, and strawberry lemonade), and two size options that offer 50mg of CBD per serving. If that sounds a little too intense for you, the dropper is clearly marked to help you customize the dosage.

This tincture gets great reviews on Lazarus Naturals’ website, including from one person who writes, “I use this CBD tincture every day. It helps me stay focused and calm at my job.”* Another pro: Lazarus Naturals offers 60% off to veterans, people on long-term disability, and households that qualify as low-income.

Sustainability & packaging: Lazarus farms own its own farms in central Oregon, where the company harvests organic hemp. The company uses recycled materials in its packaging and aims to be carbon neutral by 2030. Lazarus is also a certified B Corp, which means it’s held to high business standards for social and environmental impact.

Transparency: You can access the COA for this tincture on the product page, or via QR code on the product’s packaging.


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CBD Salve: FABCBD Topical CBD Cream

Save 20% with code:


view on FABCBD | $49


Non-greasy topical formulaSubtle blood orange scent


Strong scent (if you’re scent-averse)

Types: Full-spectrum

Cost per mg of CBD: $0.08

Potency: 600 mg

Size: 2-ounce

This topical cream from FABCBD uses moisturizing aloe vera, cocoa butter, coconut oil, olive oil, and organic, full-spectrum hemp. Blood orange oil and cinnamon give it a subtle, citrusy scent that reviewers love (but might not be a fit for folks sensitive to smells).

Reviewers also say it’s non-greasy and effective–one person writes, “I’ve used other topicals and they don’t compare to this wonderful cream. Smells great and works fast!” The only negative is that It comes in a small, 2-ounce jar. However, FABCBD advises that you only need to use a fingertip-full, so one jar should last you awhile.

Sustainability & packaging: FABCBD sources CBD from an organic farm in Colorado. The CBD cream comes in a recyclable jar, but the brand doesn’t have any other sustainability initiatives that we could find.

Transparency: FABCBD uses ProVerde Laboratories for third-party quality testing for each of its CBD products (you can view COA here)

Low-dose CBD: NuLeaf Naturals Full-Spectrum CBD Oil


Budget-friendly trial size & subscription discountsOnly two ingredients


No flavored optionsHemp-forward flavor

Types: Full-spectrum

Potency: Moderate, 30 mg of CBD per serving

Servings: 30

Organic: No

Subscription discount: Yes

Cost per mg of CBD: $0.05

If you’re new to the world of CBD, NuLeaf Naturals has a 0.17 ounce (5 mL) bottle that allows you to test the waters without compromising on potency. This formula consists solely of CBD from full-spectrum hemp extract and hemp seed oil (for the carrier oil), so while it’s unflavored it will taste hemp-y.

Still, the positive reviews alone are a great reason to try this product. There are over 25,000 reviews on NuLeaf’s website, including one that says, “Very effective way to stay calm and increase my focus. I have tried other CBD oils and this is the very best ever.”* And, when you’re ready for a bigger bottle, NuLeaf offers subscription discounts that make prices more competitive.

Sustainability & packaging: While the overall product is not USDA certified organic, NuLeaf Naturals sources hemp from organic farms in Colorado and uses an energy-saving CO2 extraction process. Plus, all bottles and jars are curbside recyclable plastic or glass.

Transparency: NuLeaf shares each product’s COA link on its website, so you can view third-party testing.


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How to choose a hemp-derived CBD product

Go organic: “You want to avoid products that are grown with toxic chemicals, like fertilizers and pesticides. The best brands offer organic CBD products made from organic farms,” says Sherpa. Luckily, all of the ingestible CBD brands on our list feature organic hemp (and we’ve reviewed a bunch more!).

Get specific: Identifying what causes your lack of focus can help you pick a CBD product to help target the root of the problem. If aches and discomfort keep you distracted, a topical CBD balm or cream might do the trick. If a busy mind is the culprit, a capsule, gummy, or tincture will be more effective at creating a sense of calm and thus, focus.*

Know your ingredients: To feel confident that your CBD contains what it says (i.e., potency) and excludes the stuff you don’t want (i.e., purity), “the most important thing is to know what is actually in the product–the only way to know this is to look for a third-party analysis of the product,” says Jameson.

Consider your budget: CBD can get expensive, especially in higher potencies. However, there are plenty of brands that offer high quality hemp-derived CBD at an affordable price, and most brands even offer a subscription discount for regular shipments. Because CBD affects people differently, consider going with a brand that offers discounts, trial periods, or satisfaction guarantees (especially if you’re new to the world of cannabidiol).

Other tips for focusing

Struggling to focus on a task in front of you is not only unproductive, but it can be frustrating too. Here are a few other things you can try to improve your focus:


Is there a CBD to help with focus?

The right CBD for you will depend on what’s causing your lack of focus. Topical CBD creams or salves can help relieve distracting aches, while ingestible gummies or tinctures may evoke a sense of calm.* If you’re good with trace amounts of THC, full-spectrum hemp CBD oil might be worth a try.

How much CBD oil should I take for focus?

“Start low and go slow is what I tell my clients,” says Jameson. “Everyone is different and care should be taken to use the lowest effective dose. While you cannot overdose on CBD, you can have side effects with high doses that you would want to avoid.”

How long does it take for CBD to kick in?

There are a lot of variables when it comes to feeling the effects of CBD. Some people experience benefits anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour after consumption, but your body weight, metabolism, the product potency, and how much you take will all play a part.

The takeaway.

While the effects of CBD vary from person to person and there’s a long way to go in terms of published research, anecdotal evidence and early studies suggest that hemp CBD might be beneficial for a variety of issues–including lack of focus and occasional brain fog.*

Just be sure that you’re choosing a high-quality product (like the six options on our list!) and prioritize companies that use organic farms and clean ingredient lists whenever possible. Whether you’re looking to learn more about dosing, find a CBD gummy for sleep, or get an idea of what to expect when taking CBD, we have lots more CBD-related content for you to explore.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or taking medications, consult with your doctor before starting a supplement routine. It is always optimal to consult with a health care provider when considering what supplements are right for you.

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