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Focus and CBD

Focus and CBD

The phone beeps to signal a new social media post. An email will follow. There are footsteps coming from the corridor and the colleague sitting at the next table is laughing, possibly at a funny video he just saw. The summer’s most played hit is playing on the radio and thoughts are already turning to next week’s menu. Attention is drawn to everything else except what you should be doing, and it’s no wonder! Lack of concentration is one of the biggest challenges of today. It is understandable, because the flood of stimuli in the environment is huge.

Is good concentration a gift given at birth, or can it be improved when it is impaired? In this article, we will get to know what concentration is, how it can be supported and whether CBD oil could help with this!

 

What is focus?

 

Focusing is paying attention and concentrating on what is being done and what is essential in terms of the operation.

When you are deeply focused, you lose track of time, you immerse yourself in what you are doing and things seem to flow naturally. As a result of concentration, the quality of work improves, learning deepens and thinking can develop.

The background is the activity in the frontal lobe of the brain and concentration is the cooperation of the brain and nervous system. The frontal lobe matures until the teenage years, and the nerve connections related to concentration can be strengthened throughout childhood. The brain is plastic, which means it can change throughout life. The ability to concentrate can also be improved when it weakens.

The central nervous system’s neurotransmitter, dopamine, is central to brain activity related to concentration. Dopamine is produced not only in the brain but also in the gut and it carries signals between brain cells. Dopamine especially affects concentration, motivation, movement and the feeling of pleasure, as well as sleep, emotion regulation and energy balance. It also improves the general functioning of the brain. (1)

 

Difficulty concentrating

 

Difficulty concentrating is not uncommon and everyone has it at times. There may be other challenges in the background such as ADHD , depression or stress , but the flood of environmental stimuli that strongly affects concentration unfortunately touches and challenges everyone. Life is hectic and there is a lot to think about, instant videos are watched for hours a day and work and studying are interrupted by the disturbances coming from this environment. It’s as if the brain has already learned that the required time to focus on one thing is very short, and that’s why fidgeting is a weakness of the neural connection.

Poor concentration shows up as interruptions in thought. It seems that he does not understand what is being said, what is meant by the text, and even familiar tasks seem more difficult than they really are. My mind wanders somewhere else and it’s hard to get a grip on what’s going on.

The fast rhythm of life and the stimuli in the environment have made it very common for children and adults alike to have poor concentration. Concentration challenges are already common enough that its symptoms have their own term, attention deficit disorder (ADT).

 

Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) is a disorder that affects the ability to concentrate due to a flood of stimuli.

Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) reflects difficulty concentrating due to a constant barrage of stimuli.

 

ADT stands for Attention Deficit Disorder

 

ADT (Attention Deficit Trait) or concentration disorder is a relatively new term and it refers to the so-called self-acquired difficulty concentrating. R. Hallowelli, an American psychiatrist who treats ADHD patients, noticed that people suffering from hyperactivity, i.e. ADHD symptoms, but who do not have ADHD, i.e. a neurological abnormality in brain function, are coming to his office. He interpreted that they have self-acquired attention deficit disorder instead of congenital ADHD and coined the term Attention Deficit Trait (ADT) to describe the symptomatology. ADT is precisely difficulty concentrating caused by a flood of stimuli. (2,3)

 

Developing a child’s ability to concentrate

 

The frontal lobe continues to mature until adolescence, so childhood is a good time to pay attention to the development of concentration. When life is fast-paced, it is important to stop in peace at the edge of doing things and give the child experiences of moments where there are no distractions. Memory games, long-lasting role plays, crafts and arts, etc. help the child focus on one thing and strengthen the nerve connections needed for concentration. (4,5)

 

Concentration can be improved

 

Concentration can be improved in many ways, e.g. with supplements that support it. Magnesium is one of the most important minerals for the body and its deficiency is very common. Taking a good magnesium supplement can have a positive effect on the ability to concentrate and you can read about it more here. Similarly, e.g. L-theanine , the effects of which can be read here .

From the plant ashwagandha (herbaceous plant) and Ginkgo Bilopa (maiden hair tree) can also help with concentration. In addition to these, medicinal mushrooms such as lion’s mane can be helpful.

Vitamins of the B group obtained from food and glucose, a monosaccharide belonging to carbohydrates, are the most significant in terms of concentration. B group vitamins are most abundant in e.g. in beans, sprouts, dairy products and nutritional yeast flakes. Glucose e.g. in dried fruit, fresh fruit and dried fresh vegetables such as carrots. (6)

The ability to concentrate can also be improved by practicing concentration. As with children, an adult’s concentration is also improved by such hobbies that require concentration and deepening. Reading a book, doing crafts, learning new skills, etc. put the brain to work and help in the formation of new nerve connections.

 

Supporting concentration

 

Concentration can be supported by taking care of general well-being. A life as stress-free as possible, exercise, a sufficient amount of good sleep , clean and nutritious food, and moments without smart devices provide a good basis for the ability to concentrate, but it should also be supported with, for example, conscious stopping. Daily moments when you just be, listen and observe and don’t do or think about anything, help the nervous system to calm down and create new connections.

Concrete actions at the workplace and at school can also increase the possibility of concentration. You can’t always change the environment, but by openly discussing the need for peace of mind at work and, for example, by using noise canceling headphones, you can achieve the desired peace for your own work.

The ability to concentrate can be improved with music. Rhythmic music has been scientifically proven to help you concentrate better.

According to research, listening to rhythmic music improves concentration.

 

Music affects concentration

 

Many people know from experience that music deepens the effect, and this is also confirmed by research. Others need a little noise in the background of their work, while others need silence, but mostly rhythmic music supports everyone’s concentration. According to American research, it is not so much the tempo or nature of the music that is important, but the rhythm in it. (7,8)

 

The endocannabinoid system underlying attention

 

The endocannabinoid system is a balancing system of the human body, whose task is to ensure that all bodily functions take place correctly and on time. The endocannabinoid system consists of endo- or internally-born cannabinoids, cannabinoid receptors and the enzymes that break them down.

Endocannabinoids are formed in many places in the body, but usually only when needed. There are two known endocannabinoids, anandamide and 2-AG . In the background of concentration, they influence e.g. dopamine production (9) and brain function (10).

Cannabinoids to support concentration

 

The hemp plant contains many different active compounds, the most familiar of which are cannabinoids. There are more than 120 different types of cannabinoids and this is probably the most famous CBD ( cannabidiol). Other cannabinoids have also been studied and, apart from CBD, CBG or cannabigerol may have the greatest effect on concentration.

CBD oil is extracted from hemp and, according to research, it has numerous properties that affect the well-being of both humans and animals. In the background of concentration, cannabidiol, or CBD, may have a positive effect sleep quality , which you can read more about here. Sstress, which you can read about the interaction with CBD here, and depression, which you can read more about here . According to studies, cannabidiol also has calming effects on the nervous system.

CBD may not directly affect the ability to concentrate, but by helping the body towards balance, its effects most likely extend there as well. The brain plays a significant role in the background of concentration, and according to research, CBD increases blood circulation in those areas where e.g. learning and remembering takes place. (11)

 

Summary

 

Poor concentration is a common challenge for people of all ages, but there is an opportunity to improve it. There are many ways, but it is also important to stop and think about what might be the cause of poor concentration, so that you can rule out other possible causes such as depression, ADHD or other diseases affecting concentration. Concentration can be supported by e.g. by strengthening the nerve connections necessary for concentration, and with the help of versatile nutrition, supplements and quality sleep. Also CBD oil may be helpful for increasing and maintaining concentration. A new large-scale American study is currently underway on this topic, which will lead to a better understanding of activities related to concentration in the future (12).

 

Sources

 

  1. Wium M.. 2022. Science photo magazine. Dopamine – a multifunctional pleasure substance. https://tieku.fi/ihminen/elimisto/dopamine. Referenced 10/6/2023.
  2. Student Health Care Foundation. ADHD or even ADT? https://www.yths.fi/terveystieto/mielenterveys/keskittyminen/adhd-vai-sittenkin-adt/. 6.10.2023.
  3. Edward Hallowell. 2005. Harvard business review. Overloaded Circuits: Why Smart People Underperform. https://hbr.org/2005/01/overloaded-circuits-why-smart-people-underperform. Referenced 10/6/2023.
  4. Mannerheim Child Welfare Association. Supporting the ability to concentrate. https://www.mll.fi/vanhemmille/tietoa-lapsiperheen-elamasta/hyvinvointia-digiajassa/vauvana-ja-taaperona-digiajassa/median-vaikutuksista-pienen-lapsen-elamassa/keskittymiskyvyn-tukeminen/. Referenced 10/6/2023.
  5. Learning and Joy. Temper increases with age – this is how you support a child’s concentration and self-regulation skills. https://www.oppijailo.fi/tue-taitoja-nain-keskittymiskyky-ja-itsesaatelytaidot-kehittyvat. Referenced 10/6/2023.
  6. Fine. Department of Health and Welfare. Nutritional values. https://fineli.fi/fineli/fi/elintarvarkei . Referenced 10/6/2023.
  7. Hogenes M., Van Oers B., Diextra R. and Sklad M.. 2015. The effects of music composition as a classroom activity on engagement in music education and academic and music achievement: A quasi-experimental study. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/279160129_The_effects_of_music_composition_as_a_classroom_activity_on_engagement_in_music_education_and_academic_and_music_achievement_A_quasi-experimental_study. Referenced 10/6/2023.
  8. Stammeier J. and Wiksten A.. 2019. Too much noise? Is it difficult to concentrate?. https://yle.fi/aihe/artikkeli/2019/12/20/liikaa-melua-ja-halya-onko-keskittytymen-vaikeaa-tietyntyptinen-musiikki. Referenced 10/6/2023.
  9. Covey D., Mateo Y., Sulzer D., Cheer J., and Lovinger D.. 2017. Endocannabinoid modulation of dopamine neurotransmission. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5608040/. Referenced 10/6/2023.
  10. Zou S. and Kumar U.. 2015. Cannabinoid Receptors and the Endocannabinoid System: Signaling and Function in the Central Nervous System . https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5877694/. Referenced 10/6/2023.
  11. Bloomfield M., Green S., et al.. 2020. Sage Journals. The effects of acute cannabidiol on cerebral blood flow and its relationship to memory: An arterial spin labeling magnetic resonance imaging study. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0269881120936419. Referenced 10/6/2023.
  12. Laura Stewart, University of Northern Colorado. Cannabidiol and Focus Study (CBD-Focus). https://clinicaltrials.gov/study/NCT05189275#publications. Referenced 10/6/2023.
Does CBD soothe restless legs?

Does CBD soothe restless legs?

Every tenth person in the world suffers from the symptoms of restless legs either regularly or occasionally. It is a disease affecting the quality of sleep and mood for which there is no curative treatment. In this article, we’ll find out what restless legs are and whether you could CBD oil calms them down!

 

Restless legs

 

Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is classified as a neurological, sensorimotor disease that has only become more common in recent decades. Often, when making a diagnosis, it turns out that people who suffer from restless legs have had symptoms since childhood, and there is usually a genetic link to the disease. (1) The name of the disease, restless legs, is incorrect in the sense that the symptoms are not necessarily limited to the legs, but there are often sensations in the arms as well.

 

Symptoms of restless legs

 

The symptoms manifest as a strong need to move the limbs, especially the legs. The sensations are obviously difficult to describe, but we are talking about pressure, tingling, burning, itching and an unpleasant feeling deep inside the leg. The symptoms start in the evenings before going to bed and for some even when they sit down to calm down at the end of the day. You might think that restless legs need rest and peace, but it seems that the right amount of exercise eases the symptoms or even stops them temporarily. Lightly moving your legs when the symptoms start may relieve them and make you feel easier enough to catch up on sleep. (1,2,3)

A woman is lying on the grass and swinging her restless legs.

The symptoms of restless legs often occur at night and in the evenings when the legs are at rest. Restlessness in the legs may force you to get up and swing your legs, even if the person is otherwise tired and ready to sleep.

Anxiety, which occurs as a side effect, is relieved by CBD oil

 

Restless legs may cause side effects of insomnia and daytime fatigue after a bad night’s sleep. The need to move and the strong compulsion in the legs wakes up throughout the night and sometimes requires even getting out of bed. (1,2) Anxiety and stress are also commonly mentioned side symptoms. For anxiety relief with CBD oil can read here and about the effect of CBD oil on stress here. CBD oil is versatile in its care, and its effects that support the body’s functions also help restless legs, at least indirectly. CBD oil may also help with sleep-related challenges and you can read more about it here .

 

Reasons behind restless legs

 

The origin of restless legs is not completely known, but in addition to hereditary factors, iron deficiency anemia and a disturbance in dopamine production contribute to the onset (1,3). Lack of exercise, coffee, tobacco, alcohol and some medications may also increase and maintain symptoms (1).

 

Iron deficiency underlying the symptoms

 

According to studies, iron deficiency in the substantia nigra of the brain is behind restless legs (3). The iron content of the blood does not yet tell whether there is enough iron in the tissues and the brain, and it has been found that iron deficiency occurring in the substantia nigra of the brain can cause symptoms of restless legs.

Disturbance in dopamine production

 

The neurotransmitter hormone dopamine is involved in many things and is also involved in body movements. Its lack causes e.g. dystonia, i.e. involuntary movement of the body.

Dopamine levels in the nervous system naturally decrease towards evening, and are at their lowest at night. Dopamine’s involvement in the production of body movement and its natural production rhythm is directly related to when restless legs begin to show symptoms.

Studies have found an increase in dopamine production related to restless legs and this is interpreted as a disturbance in dopamine production. An increase in production can be a sign of bad signaling in the brain, and despite the overproduction, the effect of dopamine weakens for certain brain cells at certain times of the day more than usual.

Dopamine is produced by the substantia nigra of the brain, and it is the lack of iron in the dopamine cells in people suffering from restless legs that supports the theory of the combined effect of a dopamine disorder and iron deficiency in the emergence of the syndrome. It is still unclear how there can be too little iron in the brain when iron levels in the blood are normal. (3)

 

Restless legs during pregnancy

 

During pregnancy, a woman’s body adapts to work in more cramped conditions than normal. In addition to the nerve pathways being pinched and the blood vessels constricted, the legs are suddenly subjected to more weight than they are used to carrying. Symptoms of restless legs during pregnancy are 3 times more common than in the general population, and they usually stop soon after pregnancy. The risk of getting restless legs during pregnancy is increased by being overweight and the age of the expectant mother. (4)

 

Restless legs syndrome treatment

 

In the absence of a working form of treatment, the treatment for restless legs currently consists of small pieces that each person with symptoms assembles according to their needs. Sufficient exercise helps most people as long as it is not too late in the evening. You should also avoid consuming caffeine, alcohol and tobacco too close to bedtime. Restless legs strongly affect the quality of sleep for most people, so you should take care of suitable conditions for sleeping, such as a good bed, suitable temperature and relaxation before settling down to sleep.

 

Magnesium and other minerals relieve symptoms

 

Restless legs are also treated by taking care of iron reserves and iron absorption. It would be important to get the iron levels of the tissues and brain to a good level, and therefore it is also essential to consider other minerals that affect the absorption and transport of iron to the right places. Especially copper and magnesium are important minerals for the absorption of iron, and their adequate intake should be taken care of in a varied diet and possibly also in the form of a supplement. Well-absorbed iron and other minerals to support the body are e.g. in humic and fulvic acid capsules which can be found here .

 

Restless legs on the pier relax thanks to CBD oil.

CBD can help with the symptoms of restless legs, because CBD affects nerve function by optimizing and balancing it as needed.

 

CBD oil to soothe symptoms?

 

The effectiveness of CBD oil in people with restless legs syndrome may be based on CBD ‘s ability to prevent excessive dopamine release by restoring nerve activity to a more normal state (5).

CBD oil has been shown to be an effective aid in the treatment of various neurological diseases such as epilepsy and MS . The relief of the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease with CBD oil has also been studied with good results, as well as fibromyalgia. All of these diseases, with the exception of fibromyalgia, have the same involuntary, life-affecting movements of the body and precisely these symptoms CBD oil has been found to bring relief or even release.

You can read more about alleviating the symptoms of epilepsy with CBD oil here. Also for the treatment of MS There is an article written on CBD , which you can read here. Restless legs associated with fibromyalgia are very common and due to the effect of CBD on fibromyalgia can read here .

The treatment of restless legs with CBD oil has been studied unfortunately little, but the few studies and the numerous experiences of users give good promises of a positive treatment response. A study of six participants was conducted in France, of which 5/6 stated that they had received help for restless legs (6) and in connection with a study in Canada, it was found that more than half of the participants who had restless legs as one of the symptoms received CBD oil helps with symptoms (7).

 

CBD foot cream

 

Although there is no direct cure for restless legs, you can try a 100% natural CBD foot cream specially designed for tired legs to treat its symptoms, which includes several active substances. CBD foot cream reduces swelling, warms and relaxes the feet. At the same time, it also stimulates peripheral blood circulation and makes the legs feel fresh and light. The product does not contain parabens, artificial colors, flavors or preservatives CBD foot cream can be ordered Hemp from the online store .

 

In summary

Restless legs is a disease that occurs either by itself or along with another disease. Treating it with CBD oil has not been studied yet, but since the endocannabinoid system is so important behind the body’s functions, it is possible that cannabis-based medicines will still be developed, also for restless legs.

 

Sources

 

  1. Saarelma O.. 2022. Duodecim health library. Restless legs syndrome. https://www.terveyskirjasto.fi/dlk00294. Referred to on 30/06/2022.
  2. Partinen M.. 2006. Duodecim periodical book. Restless legs. https://www.duodecimlehti.fi/duo96142. Referred to on 30/06/2022.
  3. Johns Hopkins Medicine. Causes of restless legs syndrome. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/neurology_neurosurgery/centers_clinics/restless-legs-syndrome/what-is-rls/causes.html. Referred to on 30/06/2022.
  4. Jansson M.. 2017. Patient’s medical journal. Restless legs are monitored during pregnancy. https://www.potileanlaakarilehti.fi/uutiset/levottomat-jalat-valvottavat-raskausaikana/. Referred to on 30/06/2022.
  5. Wenk G.. 2020. Psychology today. Cannabis for restless legs syndrome. https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/your-brain-food/202007/cannabis-restless-leg-syndrome. Referred to on 30/06/2022.
  6. Megelin T. and Ghorayeb I.. 2020. More evidence of cannabis efficacy in restless legs syndrome. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31820197/. Referred to on 30/06/2022.
  7. Samaha D., Kandiah T. and Zimmermann D.. 2020. Cannabis Use for Restless Legs Syndrome and Uremic Pruritus in patients treated with maintenance dialysis: A Survey. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7488602/. Referred to on 30/06/2022.
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