With the pressure to perform academically more intense than ever, students are always searching for an extra edge when it comes to improving their performance. Unfortunately, these performance enhancers have traditionally come in the form of stimulant-type study aids that increase anxiety and stress – factors that actually inhibit our ability to focus and concentrate.

Given these facts, it only makes sense to consider alternatives, especially with the recent flood of research indicating the neurological benefits of CBD.

The good news is that, yes, CBD could be a valuable study aid, but not necessarily in the way you might think. Instead of directly increasing your ability to focus (like stimulants), CBD can help by decreasing the anxiety and stress that limit you from performing at your best. It’s better to think of CBD’s as a beneficial dietary supplement to promotes a holistically healthy lifestyle, rather than a secret performance enhancer.

This “bottom up” approach can help create the foundation for a calm and balanced mental state; the ideal foundation for effective studying. It’s certainly a refreshing alternative to the more common “quick-fix” attitude of the past, fueled by caffeine and other stimulant drugs, but still deserves some looking into. Let’s explore exactly how CBD could benefit your learning:

Increased Productivity

Reducing anxiety can make it easier to slow down and take the time to create a responsible study plan. Consistently following a solid plan will allow you to manage your time effectively, avoiding those last-minute, stress-mess cram sessions. This is crucial for maintaining a confident, balanced mental state all the way up to your exam — the time when anxious thoughts can be most detrimental.

We all know stress kills productivity. When you’re stressed, you spend more time worrying about where and how to start than just getting started. Your 20-page thesis isn’t going to be amazing if you’re stressed out the entire time writing it. Relax. Make a plan and execute. Rest. Start early. Practice a healthy lifestyle. CBD can only help if you’re going to put in the effort.

More Effective Learning

Instead of spending half of your valuable studying time being distracted by feelings of, “what if I fail this test?”, or “I’m probably behind the rest of the class”, imagine using that time for actual learning!

By reducing the anxiety that causes thoughts of self-doubt, CBD could make it easier to focus on the task at hand. These efficient study sessions can result in a more comprehensive understanding of the material, as well as a higher rate of information retention.

Better Sleep

There aren’t many things that naturally boost your ability to focus and concentrate more than a good night’s sleep. CBD won’t actively make you fall asleep faster, but with anxiety being such a huge contributor to poor sleep schedules, it can definitely help. When compared to habit forming sleep medications, CBD is sort of a no-brainer if you’re having difficulty getting great sleep.

Research has shown that quality sleep is also contributes to a balanced emotional state, better memory, and increased control over negative emotions like irritability and demotivation. These are all factors not only important to an effective studying session, but to your overall mental health. Click to learn more about how/why CBD might help improve sleep.


So what’s the verdict? This “myth” has some truth to it. Reduced stress and anxiety and better sleep from CBD can absolutely benefit your studying, but only as a small piece of a larger study plan. It’s not a substitute for the self-discipline and personal responsibility that you still need to maintain a consistent study schedule.

It’s also worth noting that, though reducing anxiety is obviously a benefit, CBD is not the only way to do it. Depending on the person, other options could be more effective, like meditation, regular exercise, or therapy sessions. It’s up to you find out works best for you, whether that involves CBD or not.

As always, don’t hesitate to talk to a professional when it comes to your mental health. Your university counseling center is there for a reason. We recommend that you seek support from your peers, professors, and other university staff if you are worried about your academic performance. We also strongly advise you speak to a medical professional about your personal health history before adding a CBD supplement to your diet.

Thank you for reading! Knowledge is power, and learning is key to living a better life.

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