cbd for energy: everything you want to know all in one place
can cbd increase energy levels? this is a really good question in my opinion, especially considering the claims regarding how cbd can also help sleep (and seemingly everything else under the sun). but heck, if cbd oil can give me a more sustained level of focus and energy throughout the day, i want to know about it. you probably do too if you’re reading this, so let’s get on with the findings.
cbd oil can help bring about increased energy levels due to its ability to enhance protein synthesis and expression within areas of the brain associated with wakefulness. it also works to regulate the endocannabinoid system, which can modulate your body’s sleep-wake cycle to create lasting energy.
plenty of other factors also affect cbd and energy levels, including dosage size, the type of cbd you choose, how often you take it, and how you react on an individual level. lifestyle habits and other existing conditions are also important.
does cbd oil give you more energy?
a study was conducted in 2014 that supported the hypothesis that cannabidiol (cbd) worked as a wake-promoting agent. their findings showed that administration of cbd increased dopamine levels in the brain’s hypothalamus. dopamine is a neurotransmitter that promotes wakefulness and is involved in other processes such as learning and motivation, heart rate, and mood. it is known as the “feel-good neurotransmitter,” as dopamine levels rise when we are expecting or experiencing some form of perceived reward.
if you have naturally low energy levels, cbd could work to combat that for a variety of reasons due to the way it works on the human body. cbd interacts with our endocannabinoid system (ecs), a primitive system inside every single one of us that is believed to be responsible for homeostasis, or a relatively stable equilibrium within our environment. this means it can effect changes within your body chemistry in a bidirectional manner, explaining its potential to both increase your energy level if it is low and exhibit a calming effect should your energy be too high.
our ecs has receptors all throughout our bodies. these two types of receptors (cb1 and cb2) are found within different areas of both our brains and bodies and both have different functions. when you take cbd, it can stimulate these receptors as your body sees fit based on your current state of being (mental, emotional, physical). in other words, your body knows where to use cbd just how it can distinguish between using ibuprofen for inflammation versus a headache.
when our ecs’ receptors are stimulated, we synthesize more of our own naturally occurring cannabinoids, known as anandamide and 2-ag to work their magic. anandamide is known as the bliss molecule and plays a role in motivation, appetite, and sleep. less is known about 2-ag because it is rapidly absorbed by the body, but it exists in higher levels in our bodies than anandamide and binds readily to both cb1 and cb2 receptors, whereas anandamide only attaches to cb1 receptors.
because the ecs works on a whole-body scale, it is entirely possible that it could also regulate a process where low energy was a side effect. however, cbd oil can still increase energy levels regardless of the condition if it is consumed at the right dosage size: low doses of cbd (15 mg) were shown to “have alerting properties in healthy volunteers” and increase wakefulness in one brazilian study. cbd won’t replace a cup of coffee, but it can absolutely bring the potential for increased and sustained energy nonetheless.
why does cbd keep you awake?
cbd technically does not make you sleepy on its own, though many people do take cbd oil to help with sleep regulation. when consumed over the long term, cbd’s aligning properties can bring about a sense of calmness and relaxation that could promote sleep, even if small doses of cbd can have an energizing effect in the short term. therefore, you have several options to determine why cbd may be keeping you awake if you are taking it with the intention of sleeping.
- dosage size: it is possible you need a larger dose to achieve your desired effect
- time of day: if cbd has an energizing effect on your body, you may want to look into taking it earlier before bed. if you still have no luck, you could even experiment with taking it earlier in the day in order to take advantage of the energizing effect. doing so will still enable you to capitalize on cbd’s long-term benefits, as cbd can help you sleep even if you take it during the day.
- a combination of the two: you may also find that taking a few smaller-sized doses of cbd throughout the day helps to regulate your energy levels as you go about your life. this could also help put you in a better place to sleep when it comes time to do so, as opposed to finding yourself battling a racing brain once your head hits the pillow.
there is also more science behind wakefulness and cbd. studies have hypothesized that cbd influences an awakened state by activating neurons such as dopamine within areas of the brain like the hypothalamus and the dorsal raphe nucleus (drd), which is found midway through the brainstem. dopamine is one of four primary neurotransmitters that regulate our energy (and also our mood) along with serotonin, gaba, and norepinephrine.
when the last of the four, norepinephrine, is released in the body it is known as noradrenaline. this is similar to adrenaline, which you may be most familiar with except that norepinephrine and noradrenaline are constantly released at low levels to promote normal functioning, whereas the isolated release of epinephrine/adrenaline give you that “rush” during times of stress. this may also contribute to why cbd may keep you awake.
adrenaline is only one hormone that is released when you are stressed, and it brings about increased heart rate and blood pressure in addition to an energy boost. cortisol is also released when you experience stress, and it is known as the stress hormone. it is secreted to elicit your fight-or-flight response, which is great if you run into a bear while hiking, or even if you have a deadline to meet at work. but what if your cortisol levels are always high?
as it turns out, sustained high cortisol levels can be incredibly detrimental to the human condition. one such byproduct of cortisol is increased glucose (blood sugar) levels, which can put the body in an insulin-resistant state and even result in diabetes. weight gain and obesity, lowered immunity, cardiovascular disease, digestive issues, and even fertility problems are some of the most prominent adverse effects from consistently having too much cortisol in your blood.
lastly, consistent stress and high cortisol levels may be linked to insomnia and chronic fatigue syndrome as well as possible thyroid issues, dementia, and depression. if you are experiencing fatigue from stress, regular cbd usage could help to lower those levels in the long run, which could alleviate symptoms of chronic fatigue and work towards restoring energy levels.
how does cbd affect energy?
it is a misconception that cbd is a sedative. that idea likely came to be due to the fact that cbd comes from the cannabis plant, just like another well-known cannabinoid called thc. thc is responsible for the psychoactive effects that give people a “high” when consumed in “marijuana” (which is nothing more than a garbage legal term for cannabis containing more than 0.3% thc, but i digress), and it is very effective at inducing sleep.
on the other hand, cannabis that has less than 0.3% thc is referred to as “hemp,” and it is often grown to produce higher levels of both cbd and all of the other accompanying accessory cannabinoids. when extracted into a cbd product, the end result can either be 100% cbd (isolate), or it can retain all of the characteristics from the entire plant’s makeup. this type of product is known as full spectrum, and it can be even further refined by fully removing the existing traces of thc to result in what we call a broad spectrum extract.
both full and broad spectrum extracts can tap into the overall benefits of cannabis more thoroughly than an isolate through a process referred to as the entourage effect. furthermore, thc is not needed to produce the entourage effect, making broad spectrum drops the optimal choice if you have access to them. tapping fully into the entourage effect could also have an impact on maximizing cbd’s effectiveness towards raising your energy levels.
addressing the issue of cbd and energy beyond these factors may require a self-assessment (or a professional one) into the cause of your low energy. something as simple as a change in lifestyle or environment due to a new job could be the cause, but conditions such as anemia, heart disease, sleep apnea, a thyroid disorder, or testosterone imbalance could also cause low energy. anxiety, insomnia, and/or depression could be other key contributors, and cbd may have varied efficacy towards reducing or alleviating symptoms of some or all of these problems.
however, issues like a lack of exercise or poor nutrition are also major causes of low energy, especially if you work at a desk all day. elements such as these are within your control, and it is absolutely worth it, both for your physical and mental health to see if improved eating and activity habits can help increase your energy. and unless you’re perfect (which none of us are), it is likely that lower energy levels have a number of contributing facets, which means that making as many overall healthy lifestyle changes as possible will give you the best chances of improvement in the end.
while that may sound like a copout, everything within our bodies is interconnected, especially with regards to our ecs. the truth is, cbd is not a cure-all for every ailment on planet earth, despite its potential to help increase our quality of life in a lot of ways. there’s also a lot we can do to increase our energy levels and our overall health, and those things could further help increase cbd’s efficacy with regards to improved energy as well.
- hydration: it’s fairly safe to say just about nobody is properly hydrated. (if you are the exception, good for you!) hydration literally provides oxygen to our cells, and it also has one of the largest influences on our energy level. hydration levels also affect brain function and can help maximize physical performance, meaning that proper hydration can enable you to more fully exert yourself both mentally and physically.
- activity: the easiest way to do this during the day is to go for a quick walk. even a 20-minute walk can restore energy levels, especially if you can do so in the sun since vitamin d boosts energy from a cellular level as well. you could also incorporate some type of workout regimen, or other activity to get your body moving. for most people, this is most beneficial earlier in the day, though you should pay attention to how your body responds after working out and utilize the positive effects accordingly.
- give it a rest: it’s impossible to perpetually exert any muscle without giving it a break. taking breaks is one of the best ways to create more energy for when you want to use it. set aside time to take healthy breaks where you can recharge by going for a hike, reading a book, taking a bath, or socializing in some manner (from a safe distance, of course). whatever helps you press that “reset” button, make sure to create time to give it some love, as it can help you come back to life’s demands with a fresh and focused mindset, rather than a drained one.
- sleep: poor sleep is directly tied to low energy levels. luckily, cbd’s effects on sleep are vast: it can improve symptoms of insomnia, increase overall quality of sleep, and reduce the effects associated with lack of sleep, among others. this improved sleep can help improve our waking energy, and can further help promote a balanced sleep-wake cycle in order to bring about sustained, long-term benefits.
how can you best take cbd for energy?
hopefully by now you realize the potential for cbd to be taken to help increase energy. if you are looking to incorporate cbd into your regimen, the next question would be how to get the most out of your cbd. cbd is not regulated by the fda, which means you need to be in the know as much as possible when it comes to the different types of products that are available.
in order to make sure you’re safe, only buy organic cbd products made from american-grown hemp. the company you are buying from should also be able to provide an independently tested third-party assessment to prove both the purity and potency of a given product. taking these steps will ensure you are purchasing a legal product, as american-grown hemp is legal in all 50 states.
even once you’ve got all that figured out, there will still likely be lots of options fitting your criteria. sublingual cbd drops are the easiest and fastest way for your body to absorb cbd oil, and will be more effective than capsules and edibles, which are taken orally and must pass through the digestive tract before they become fully absorbed.
finally, taking cbd every day, and doing so at the same time(s) is also crucial to maximizing cbd’s benefits. by taking cbd every day, you can work to promote a regulated ecs, which can lead to an overall healthier and more energetic version of yourself. if you have any other questions or comments regarding cbd for energy, or any other ways in which it may be of benefit to your life, please reach out. we would love to hear from you.