Ever have that feeling that you’ve got 1,000 irons in the fire at once, and you can’t seem to find that calm moment you need to take a breath, look around, prioritize, and execute? Same.
After ten years in the military, I found myself in business school overworked, under slept, and physically fading. I’d wake up tired, rush from task to task throughout the day, and skid into bed with just enough time to get 4-5 hours of sleep. Rinse and repeat. The “I will not be outworked” mentality was strong.
Throughout life, I was always taught that ambitious/Type-A people must accept lives of punishing stress and imbalance if they hoped to achieve their goals. Or maybe I made that up myself. In any case, that’s great when you’re 22 (it also sounds good on bumper stickers) – but it is unsustainable and unintelligent as time slides to the right. It turns out that a few tactical changes can add balance, reduce stress, and increase productivity. One such tactic is a daily CBD regimen.
After using CBD as a consumer, I was utterly floored by its capacity to improve the foundations of what I consider to be a healthy and happy life: stress, pain, and sleep. If I want to be as productive as possible – I must solve for these issues first.
Our goal with VRB was to save other driven doers from needing to learn the ins and outs of this compound to benefit from it. With simplicity in mind, we’re going to cover the basics of what you need to know regarding CBD and Productivity here.
Why - Why use CBD for productivity?
Broadly speaking, CBD can help with productivity by limiting anxiety, increasing focus, and improving sleep.
CBD has been shown to possess anxiolytic properties that, by definition, reduce stress. Subjectively, this manifests in my day-to-day as a toning down of the feeling of frenzy resultant from a long to-do list. In practice, CBD shaves off the layer of anxiety that sometimes results in paralysis or frenzy leaving only the “good stress”; the impulse to calmly press into discomfort to get things done and lean into ambitious endeavors.
Managing this unhelpful anxiety allows me to concentrate on the task at hand. I think about it as increasing my ability to relax, take a breath, look at the situation, make a call, and execute when under duress. In this same vein, I’ve noted a marked increase in my ability to enter flow states when my CBD regime is dialed in.
Finally, the right CBD blend is incredible for sleep. I’ll save the details for a sleep-dedicated article, but suffice to say that the surest way to a productive day is a restorative night’s sleep. *Note: not all CBD products are created equal. Seek out brands, like VRB, that purpose-build products to solve discrete issues (like sleep).
How – How does CBD work relative to productivity?
CBD’s anxiolytic properties manifest via the endocannabinoid system (ECS) – a signaling network in the human body consisting of receptors, enzymes, and endocannabinoids. The ECS is believed to be one of the primary systems the body has for regulating bodily function including sleep, anxiety, mood, memory, reproduction, appetite, and pain.
Cannabinoids can come in several forms – most notably endocannabinoids and phytocannabinoids. Endocannabinoids naturally occur in the body and include anandamide and 2-AG. Phytocannabinoids come from plants and include both CBD and THC. Cannabinoid molecules work on the ECS by binding to and activating certain receptors.
Studies show CBD to have, “a broad pharmacological profile, including interactions with several receptors known to regulate fear and anxiety-related behaviors, specifically the cannabinoid type 1 receptor (CB1R), the serotonin 5-HT1A receptor, and the transient receptor potential (TRP) vanilloid type 1 (TRPV1) receptor.” Primary studies indicate these receptors and subsequent processes to be the most likely avenues of action resulting in CBD’s anxiolytic properties.
What & When – What CBD products should I take and when should I take them for productivity?
The CBD space is crowded with thousands of products and brands claiming everything under the sun. When we got out of the military and were just getting started at graduate school – this was the million-dollar question. What were the right products to address our specific concerns and how do we take them?!
When we couldn’t get a straight answer we linked up with a team of scientists and practitioners to R&D our way to targeted, tactical solutions that answered the mail - simply, naturally, and effectively.
We recommend our flagship product for daytime use targeting focus and calm – Work. Work is packed with powerful natural ingredients that have been used for centuries to maximize productivity, enhance cognition, and reduce stress. Work combines CBD with ingredients like rhodiola rosea and ginseng in the optimal balance to help us stay mentally sharp throughout the day, keep stress levels low, and ultimately get the most out of life. VRB Work is great for fighting jitters caused by stimulants like coffee or as a natural mid-afternoon boost to stay in the game. We also have it on good authority that it can help with hangovers…just sayin’.
We take work every morning after a pint of water and cup of coffee. On particularly stress-heavy days we’ll take another dose in the afternoon to keep us moving!
Whether or not you choose to integrate CBD into your daily life, remember that anxiety can manifest in not only your professional life, but also in how you show up for your friends and family. A certain degree of stress keeps us sharp and allows us to push our boundaries. Beyond that – stress and anxiety can be deleterious to our performance. There are no gold medals to be gained by suffering through anxiety. Now get out there and do something about it!