Can Weed Help You Focus? Your Guide to Cannabis |

Can Weed Help You Focus?

This post is part of our Best Dispensary in San Diego series, sponsored by Cannabist.

Quick fixes, short form content, the endless scroll–this is the society we live in in 2024. We have normalized dopamine rushes in the form of “Like” buttons, 15 second video reels, push notifications, and ultra fast service, sadly at the expense of our neurological functioning. 

Since we have been so conditioned into thinking that everything should be at our fingertips, it has created even more barriers between us and how we operate in the world. How can one possibly concentrate when every which way we turn, we are being force fed things to consume? Be it pop up ads every few seconds on our phones, apps, radio stations, or even when we drive down the street–capitalism’s desire to capture and monetize our attention is creating a greater and greater divide between us and meaningful engagement with both ourselves and our surroundings.


One thing is for certain–this overwhelming barrage of stimuli is reshaping our brains. Information overload is causing our attention spans to wither away, and our ability to stay alert, engaged, and patient is wearing thin. Forgetfulness, difficulty focusing, feeling scatterbrained, getting easily distracted, lacking motivation, and having poor organization skills are now commonplace, especially for those with ADHD.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder–otherwise known as ADHD, is neurobehavioral disorder that is extremely prevalent in both children and adults, and growing at increasing rates due to this embedded culture of immediacy. In 2020, an estimated 366 million adults worldwide were believed to have ADHD–and that number continues to grow. 

To remedy these issues with staying focused, many resort to prescription medications to recenter focus, leading to adverse side effects that end up causing more harm than good. Thankfully researchers are discovering alternative ways to help those suffering from attention disorders, using plants from the earth such as cannabis. But could it be? Can weed help you focus?

Using Cannabis for ADD and ADHD

Can Weed Help You Focus?

It may come as a surprise to many, but there have been several studies that demonstrate there may be a link to cannabis for combatting unwanted symptoms associated with both ADD and ADHD. 

We know what you’re thinking…can weed help you focus? While THC for focus seems like a ridiculous thought to some, there are several strains out there that are believed to aid with mental clarity and narrow in focus and concentration, as well as ease the mind and body–great for those with restless leg syndrome or the fidget spinners out there. ADHD and ADD patients who get easily distracted, have trouble focusing, and forget what they are doing as they are doing it could potentially harness the power of cannabis to get things done and gain back the motivation to complete tasks and stay organized.

The Efficacy of Cannabis to Treat People With ADHD

Contrary to popular belief, cannabis doesn’t always make you lazy, and in fact may actually help you be more productive–depending on the strain and dosage, and time of day you consume it. For those with hyperactivity, it might be commonplace to wake up feeling wired, with high cortisol levels. If you are an energetic monkey in the morning or throughout the day, consuming cannabis can work to calm the mind and body, allowing your thoughts to become more orderly. 

THC, a Tetrahydrocannabinol, in cannabis, has the potential to amplify dopamine levels and improve neuron activity in the brain. This can create a euphoric high that is pleasant for pot smokers, but more importantly increase motivation and give you that surge of energy to complete tasks, be more productive, hone in a specific project, and generally be more centered. CBD, another Cannabidiol in cannabis that does not contain any psychoactive properties, has been used as a treatment for people with ADD and ADHD. It is believed to facilitate stress and anxiety reduction, as well as make one feel more relaxed, calm, and centered.

Cannabis for focus may still be a controversial subject, but with the right dose and strain for your particular needs, tolerance, and brain chemistry, you might be able to face tasks way better than before. 


The Role of Cannabis in the Mesolimbic System

While all the skeptics out there are wondering, “can weed help you focus?” We are here to shed more light on how some people use cannabis for focus and why some consider it as a suitable alternative to prescription ADD and ADHD medications. 

First off, what is the mesolimbic system, and why is that relevant to ADD and ADHD? The mesolimbic system is a central nervous system circuit responsible for many psychological processes. In layman’s terms, it is the dopamine system, or your body’s reward pathway. This system plays a crucial role in regulating our mood, our cognitive processes, the motivation behind our behaviors, and how we perceive rewards and reinforcements. The endocannabinoid system in the body also plays a significant role in signaling rewards and managing addiction. 

Cannabis is known to slightly modulate memory and provide a surge of dopamine, so cannabis can have an effect on the mesolimbic system. Cannabis contains active compounds like THC and CBD that interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system when consumed. THC and CBD bind to receptors in the body and activate them, leading to dopamine release, signaling a euphoric-feeling reward to your body. It can help with mindful presence and stress reduction, and serve as a reinforcement to stay focused–with the right strain of course.

That said, anything that can trigger dopamine and influence your reward system has the potential to lead to addiction, so it is crucial to find a strain that is beneficial to you and monitor your intake and consumption so as to avoid chasing that dopamine fix.

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Interested in finding out which products and strains of cannabis are best for focus? We’ve got you covered. There are several powerful strains out there that are believed to aid focus, increase energy, and boost creativity. Likely want to opt for a sativa or a sativa-dominant hybrid to get you in the zone, because indica-heavy strains often have the opposite effect, delivering sedative effects on both the body and mind. 

Similarly, certain terpenes are known to be highly stimulating and low sedative, including Limonene, Myrcene, and Humulene. Strains with high in these terpenes will give users greater drive to follow through on tasks at ease, allowing them to accomplish more and get distracted less.

Let’s explore some hybrid strains that are believed to help improve concentration and keep the mind nimble and alert.

Sour Diesel this THC dominated strain is among the highest rated strains out there. People who use Sour Diesel as a means to focus report it has the potential to keep the mind nimble and get tasks done.  it is potent so stay within your limit

Super Lemon Haze is a sativa-dominant hybrid that helps energize, enliven, and get the  creative juices flowing. As the name suggests, its lemony to the taste, and a solid potency of 20% THC content making it quite effective. Green Crack, a name coined by Snoop Dog due to its high intensity, is believed to sharpen the senses, stimulate the mind, and boost euphoria. 

Durban Poison is a pure sativa strain that serves as a mood booster, energizer, and social catalyst. It is a solid choice for those who need to increase their productivity, and it can also be great for social settings as it can make one feel chatty and confident. It is also a great strain for creatives as its effects can ignite and inspire ideas.Harlequin is a sativa-dominant hybrid that has relatively high CBD levels of around 8-15%, low in THC. This strain is stimulating and provides some physical sensations and euphoric effects, working to destress and decrease anxiety while simultaneously improving concentration.

Black Jack, while an indica-dominant strain, is known to have stimulating cerebral effects that can lend to creativity. While it is on the mellower side, this helps with managing racing thoughts.Other notable mentions include Blue Dream and Mango Kush.

Maximizing the Benefits of Cannabis

Can Weed Help You Focus?

Can weed help you focus? It is believed to, though there still is not much research out surrounding the topic due to federal restrictions. Can we maximize the benefits of cannabis to help with symptoms associated with ADD and ADHD? It is very well possible, with the right education, strain, and dosage!

It is important to note that the higher the THC content, the more potent and effective, but too much of something can be overpowering. Narrow in on a weed strain that works best for you, start small and build up your tolerance, and take a mental note of how the cannabis is interacting with your ability to focus. The goal here is to improve clarity and maximize concentration, we want to avoid paranoia and overthinking. 

To maximize the benefits of cannabis for focus, do your part and research specific strains to better understand the cannabinoid and terpene profiles. Once you have a better idea, consult with a budtender to find cannabis products best suited for your needs. 

While there is still much research to be done about the effectiveness of cannabis as it pertains to ADHD and attention problems, we are making strides to bridge the gap between distractions and mental clarity, one joint at a time. Ok, maybe not one joint at a time, but you get the idea.

Whether you are guilty of having hundreds of tabs open on your computer simultaneously, leading to overloading your computer CPU, or have countless digital shopping carts filled to the brim with things to distract you from your normal daily tasks, or perhaps you forget what you’re saying mid sentence because you have inundating thoughts flowing through your head–it’s worth considering finding a solution to help center your focus. Cannabist in San Diego is a wonderful dispensary with a vast selection of focus-friendly weed products. There are gummies designed for increased concentration, fresh flower that will clear your head and boost your creativity, and vape pens great for on the go focus-boosts. 

Before making any brash decisions, consult with a doctor to determine if switching over to cannabis is right for you to aid attention-related disorders and issues. 

Thank you and happy focusing!


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