Cannabis Science

Does Sativa Help You Focus?

man trying to focus on work on computer

If you’ve been having difficulty focusing lately, someone may have suggested opting for Sativa. Sativas are known in the stoner community to not only improve creativity and give you energy but also to help with focus. But with all the myths surrounding weed, you’re probably wondering if this is true. Should you use put some Sativa in your bong before cleaning your house? Can Sativa help you focus? Here’s what we know. 

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Does Sativa Help With Focus?

Maybe!

According to Healthline, “Some report that cannabis sativa strains can help ease a distracted mind and concentrate on the task at hand.”

But the real question is, why?

Well, we’re not exactly sure why, but we have some ideas.

One reason weed may just make it easier for you to focus is that it eliminates the reason you were distracted in the first place.

Andrei Derbenev, an associate professor of physiology at Tulane University’s School of Medicine was paraphrased in Mashable saying, “cannabis could potentially increase focus on some tasks indirectly, for instance, by temporarily reducing physical or mental pain.”

Another reason may have to do with the ability of weed to act as a stimulant. People report feeling focused on other stimulants such as coffee. How many people do you know that can’t function without a cup or two of coffee in the morning? 

Stimulants like coffee are able to do that by stimulating your central nervous system and triggering the release of neurotransmitters. 

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Additude says, “Caffeine arouses the central nervous system by stimulating the release of dopamine and other neurotransmitters, and by blocking the absorption of adenosine, which induces sleep. Caffeine modestly increases alertness and concentration compared to ADHD stimulants.”

Finally, we look at the role of cannabinoids. There is anecdotal evidence that CBD may reduce stress and give you a better night’s sleep which could leave you more focused. 

Holistic physician Sony Sherpa, M.D. told Mind Body Green Health, “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,”

However, it’s worth noting that strains categorized as Sativa are usually lower in CBD. 

Why Doesn’t Weed Help Me Focus?

There is a chance that no matter what strain you choose, weed may not help you focus. The main reason for that is that everybody reacts to weed differently.

In addition to that, there is more concrete evidence that weed can impair your focus rather than help it. 

As a matter of fact, John Salamone, a psychopharmacologist at the University of Connecticut told Mashable, “Actually, most of the research on cannabis and motivation shows no effect, or if anything, reduced motivation.”

Therefore if a hit from your blunt does not make you immediately want to clean your whole house, that’s normal. 

On the other hand, cognition, which may seem unrelated to focus, involves our attention span among other aspects. There are studies that indicate weed may negatively affect our cognition. These studies imply that these negative effects are likely dose and age dependent.

That means if you use a lot of weed you’re more likely to have negative effects on your cognition. In addition to that, if you used weed as an adolescent you’re more likely to have negative effects. 

NBC News says, “A recent analysis of previous research on the impact of cannabis on young’s people’s cognition found that many of the known learning and memory difficulties — such as slowed processing speed, and difficulties in focusing — could linger for weeks.”

Larissa Mooney, an addiction psychiatrist at UCLA’s Integrated Substance Abuse Programs also told Mashable that weed can impair executive functions such as planning and organizing. Executive functioning also refers to staying focused. 

Best Sativa Strains for Focus 

If you’re looking for Sativa strains or just any weed strain to keep you focused, Healthline and Royal Queen Seeds suggest:

  • Fruit Spirit
  • Lucid Blue
  • Stress Killer Automatic CBD
  • Sour Breath
  • Sweet Skunk Automatic
  • Red Congolese
  • Royal Haze Automatic
  • Joanne’s CBD

These strains, while they promise to keep you focused, they vary in their cannabinoid concentration among other aspects. For example, Stress Killer Automatic CBD has a 1:1 THC to CBD content. Royal Queen Seeds said this strain helps you focus by relaxing you. If your mind isn’t spinning you may be able to focus more. 

On the other hand, Fruit Spirit is a 70% Indica-dominant hybrid that doesn’t give you couch lock. Instead, Royal Queen Seeds says Fruit Spirit is, “….the perfect balance to put you in a clear headspace so you can stop overthinking and focus on the task at hand.”

Takeaway

Does Sativa help you focus? Some stoners will say absolutely while others would say no. It really depends on the individual. If you’re curious about whether or not Sativa can help you focus, you can check out some of the recommended strains we mentioned.

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About Trevann

Trevann is Stoner Rotation’s Jamaica-based lead writer for the Science section of our cannabis blog. She graduated with honors receiving her Bachelor of Science degree in Molecular Biology from the University of West Indies, Mona. For the last three years, she has covered some of the biggest questions around cannabis and health underpinned with research from supporting studies, medical journals and scholarly articles. Got something on your mind? You can reach her at [email protected].