Best Cannabinoids for Staying Productive At Work

Area 52
April 16, 2022 | Blog

How does cannabis — specifically marijuana — affect productivity? The answer might seem obvious; after all, for many people, it spawns an image of “the lazy weed user.”

But as marijuana becomes legalized in more places, new research shows us these longstanding assumptions may not show the whole picture. While cannabis misuse can negatively impact people’s work ethic, that’s only a slice of the other variables at play.

Let’s look at those different variables — pain, consumption method, and personal habits, to name a few — and you may see a different picture in the story of cannabis and productivity.

Can Cannabinoids Really Improve Productivity?

Weed buds on the table

In many ways, cannabinoids can improve a person’s productivity. Numerous factors come into play, though. Cannabis can be a double-edged sword as its misuse can impair a person’s ability to do tasks.

Carl Sagan noted in an essay he wrote about cannabis that the substance has varying effects on people. For him, it improved his “torpid sensibilities.” He wrote it helped his appreciation of art, and in one anecdote, Sagan recounted a tale about how cannabis led him on an escapade of ideas and writing.

For us, it may seem like Sagan had it easy dreaming up new ideas, but understanding productivity also demands understanding the smaller things that go into making us productive.

Does Cannabis Affect Our Productivity?

People struggle with productivity for many reasons. For some, it may be a habit ingrained in them from childhood. Others may struggle with a balanced lifestyle; some may deal with physical distractions. It can also stem from a person’s skill and even overall life and job satisfaction. Ultimately, productivity comes down to more than just the tasks in front of a person.

For example, when recreational marijuana was legalized in certain parts of the U.S. and Canada, one study showed productivity rates in older generations actually went up. Participation in the workforce among people aged 40-62 increased, and as Fortune Magazine points out, one critical correlation in the study seemed to be cannabis and pain. This coincides with the common-sense idea that people tend to work harder and longer when they’re in less pain. Makes sense.

Another study found using cannabis after work did not have a measurable effect on people’s productivity the next day, going against the suggestion that cannabis users are inherently lazy. One employee of a marijuana clinic told Fortune Magazine that people often use low doses of THC, typically around 2.5-10 milligrams when they are looking for a more balanced state.

Using Cannabis to Find a Balanced State (Zone)

How one consumes cannabis and the products they use are critical factors when it comes to productivity and that so-called “balanced state.”

Cannabinoids can leave us feeling energized, although THCP, THC-O, and CBN tend to not work as well.

Research exploring cannabis as a boon to productivity is in its early stages, but people across the web have recited anecdotes about their own positive experiences.

The best way to find out what works for you is to take it slow. Start with a very small dose and slowly increase over time. This will set you up for success in finding a balanced spot. Ultimately, everyone is different, and taking a slow approach ensures finding the right response.

Higher doses of THC tend to negatively affect productivity, though. Moreover, productivity and creativity can be stunted by consistent misuse or overuse of cannabis products. Overdosing is unheard of, but it’s best to start slow to avoid unwanted side effects.

Cannabinoids & Creativity

After working your way up and finding a sweet spot that works for you, you may feel more creative and productive. Behind that is cannabis and its possible effects on divergent thinking — the ability to form creative, new, or out-of-the-box thoughts.

The concept of convergent and divergent thinking is linked to our semantic memory, which is the bulk of knowledge we’ve collected throughout life. Think about how many capital cities you can name, how many songs you can recite from your childhood, or how well you can balance a math equation— that’s your semantic memory in action.

Cannabinoids tend to promote divergent thinking when we recall things from our memory.

One study published in the National Library of Medicine seems to link the familiar experience of cannabis to the concept of semantic memory, the function of our brain that remembers the knowledge we gain throughout our lives.

The study tested 36 people under the influence of marijuana and then again when they were sober. The study also tested 38 control subjects, sober throughout. They were quizzed on how well they recall things from their semantic memory and what connections they were making with other topics.

The study found that those tested after consuming marijuana could connect concepts and ideas that otherwise seem unconnected.

This type of thinking is known as divergent thinking. Think back to those capital cities and math equations: what is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of your capital city? If images of streets, neighbors’ homes, and grade school halls come to mind, that’s more in line with convergent thinking.

However, if the thought of your capital city brings spurious thoughts of ballet dancers from another century, or if the thought of your landlocked capital prompts wonders of pirates and sea passage, your thinking may be more in line with a divergent model of thought. Think back to Sagan’s essays and his own series of writings brought on by cannabinoids.

When we prompt ourselves to use divergent thinking with cannabis or cannabinoids, we can make connections between concepts that are not otherwise immediately obvious — crucial to the creative process.

Cannabinoids & Mental Energy

Low-dose cannabinoids such as delta 8 and delta 10 and moderate doses of delta 9 can spark feelings of alertness and focus. Many have reported their mental energy reservoirs are impacted by cannabis, and if done right, it can leave a “pick-me-up” feeling.

Forms of THC such as delta 8 and delta 10 can stabilize mood and decrease feelings of nervousness in people, critical factors in the creative and productive processes.

Leveraging these effects can aid in those processes. While experimenting, think about how your mind is affected. When we position our mood to positive thoughts and break ourselves free of worries, we can rest with our true potential.

With delta 8 and delta 10, 10-20 mg seems to hit a balanced spot. For delta 9 THC, even lower doses are suggested (5-10 mg). It’s important to avoid using too much, as high doses of most cannabinoids can lead someone toward sluggishness.

Cannabinoids & Adrenoreceptors

Research into other cannabinoids has found interesting prospects in how these substances interact with our nervous system. One study of CBG found doses of the cannabinoid could activate alpha 2 adrenoreceptors.

These receptors activate or inhibit norepinephrine, a hormone that plays a role in our “fight-or-flight” reaction. The same receptors can also control vasoconstriction, or how much blood is getting through our veins and cells, preparing our body for action.

A separate study, not necessarily on cannabis, found positive results in people with ADHD when alpha 2 adrenoreceptors are activated with a stimulant.

Cannabis & Our Mental Energy Reservoirs

People rely on mental energy to tackle tasks and get things done. We all have a certain amount of focus and energy we can give throughout each day, and everyone is different.

Looking at your own energy reservoirs, and knowing how much you can get done in one day, is the first step to analyzing yet another way cannabinoids can help with productivity. For some, cannabis may provide a pick-me-up or boost in focus.

For others, it may simply help clear the mind and create a tranquil space to get work done.

People have reported positive effects with low doses of delta 8, delta 9, and delta 10. Many find an increase in creativity, productivity, and a general improved attitude — all great for mental energy.

In order to get THC to encourage productivity, you need to get to know yourself and what you need and have the patience to experiment with doses. Again, start low and remember that common doses are 10-20 mg for delta 8 and 10 and 5-10 mg for delta 9.

How To Use Cannabinoids To Be More Productive

Man using a vape pen while working

Approaching cannabinoids with an intent to improve productivity or creativity isn’t a catch-all. It also comes with knowing the structures and modes of creativity and thinking.

One key process to being productive is giving yourself space to be creative and promoting the creative process. This can promote divergent thinking in much the same way cannabinoids affect us.

The creative process commonly comes in four steps:

1. Preparation

Preparing yourself to be creative means giving yourself the time, space, and resources to enter a state of creativity. This means collecting everything you can regarding the task at hand, making yourself knowledgeable, and reading up on a topic. Preparation comes down to immersing yourself in what you seek to know: music, movies, anything.

2. Incubation

The next step is incubation. This is the part of the process when ideas start to circulate and form. After having watched dozens of movies, read numerous articles, or listened to all the new albums, you may find yourself with feelings of inspiration. There may be a few spurious connections or concepts you want to explore — but the ideas aren’t ready yet. They need to stew a bit and be explored further.

Putting yourself in a space to analyze and really ponder your end goals can lead to the next step in the creative process. 

3. Illumination

Illumination serves as the moment in the creative process commonly called the “Eureka” moment. Illumination can be like chasing a white rabbit for some, especially when exploring complex topics. Using and understanding the creative process can push us toward the moment we solve a problem or perfect an idea. The moment can come suddenly, and it can come at any time.

We can use divergent thinking to lead us to that “Eureka” moment, and cannabinoids can be a critical part of it. Keep track of the process by capturing the moment, recognizing when you have a great idea, and marking it down.

4. Verification & Integration

Next comes the verification and integration phase of the creative process. Admittedly, not every idea is perfect at first. But when we start to crack parts of the code in the illumination phase, we start to piece together ideas into concepts that can be applied to our end goals.

Scripting a movie or composing a symphony takes repetition and diligence toward the creative process. It then requires taking a critical eye at our ideas, verifying their worthiness, and analyzing how they fit into the bigger picture.

Where Cannabinoids Come Into the Process

Knowing how to phrase a sentence, play a chord, or integrate knowledge into a project comes as the creative process is repeated and ideas are harnessed. Eventually, chords become songs, and words become speeches.

Cannabinoids can come into multiple parts of the creative process. At the forefront are preparation and incubation. Finding and nurturing new ideas can be a surprisingly difficult task. Taking new perspectives on ideas you’ve already heard or framing issues in new ways can lend a hand in forming your own ideas and solutions.

Cannabinoids ultimately can help us with the divergent thinking part of the creative process, leading to more great ideas we can act on. The more creative concepts we can form and harness through divergent thinking for our end goals, the better.

Drawbacks for Productivity

Promoting divergent thinking with cannabinoids can have drawbacks for other forms of productivity. Some tasks require convergent thinking, and cannabis can detract from it. Tasks that call for convergent thinking include multiple-choice tests, science experiments, and tasks with a quantitative or specific answer.

Creativity can be great for problem-solving, art, and ideas; however, when our brains need to focus on coding highly complex algorithms or a multiple-choice test, we need to use the part of our brain typically less associated with creativity.

Best Cannabinoids for Productivity

A laptop, notebook, and Cannabinoids Products

Ready to try cannabinoids for productivity? Here’s where to start.

1. Delta 8 THC

Delta 8 THC is similar to delta 9 THC but provides a calmer, less anxious high. It’s perfect for those that find marijuana too potent or don’t have legal access to it. The only problem — don’t take too much, or you’ll end up lethargic.

We suggest sticking to about 10–15 mg of D8 for this effect. That works out to around half of one of our delta 8 THC gummies.

2. Delta 9 THC

Delta 9 THC is the cannabinoid in marijuana that causes the high. It’s great for creativity but can be overwhelming, so it’s best to stick with even lower doses if you want to be productive instead of couch-locked.

Check out our Full-Spectrum UFO Gummies to give this a try yourself. Start with one gummy and go from there.

3. Delta 10 THC

Here’s another isomer of delta 9, meaning they’re alike in many ways. However, delta 10 tends to be more energizing. Delta 8 and 9 are more relaxing.

Start with 10 mg first and note how it makes you feel.

4. CBG

CBG can stimulate the adrenergic receptors, making it cause a boost similar to coffee, though weaker. Unlike those previously mentioned, CBG won’t cause a high and is unlikely to make you sleepy if you take too much.

Our Mars Delta 8 Energy Gummies are a great way to take CBG (and other cannabinoids) for this effect.

5. CBD

CBD is one of the more researched and acclaimed hemp products widely available on today’s market. With CBD, you need to consider the factors affecting our productivity. For many, stress and anxiety can get in the way of our true potential. Studies show CBD can help reduce the stress and overwhelming thoughts that inhabit our lives. Remove some of that baggage, and you can move forward in life.

6. HHC

HHC, or hexahydrocannabinol, is one of the lesser-known cannabinoids, but it is certainly one of the more unique ones. People associate a more “cerebral” feeling with its use, but there are few studies on it.

It was developed and patented in 1947 by Roger Adams but only recently jumped in popularity. Its effects are similar to delta 9 in higher doses but more like delta 8 in lower doses. You’ll most likely find HHC vape carts, which makes it easy to start with very low doses.


THCV can be a great choice for productivity. The molecular structure of this cannabinoid sets itself apart with unique effects compared to other cannabinoids. First, it actually decreases appetite, whereas many other cannabinoids increase it. And while it can cause some effects similar to delta 9, it’s less intoxicating overall, and many people say it makes them feel sharper. The common dose range is 15-20 mg.

Tips On How to Be More Productive

Being productive means much more than just creating or doing something. While we may be very adept at whatever we do — computer programming, welding, graphic design, painting — actually convincing ourselves to do those things can be a different story.

Striving toward productivity also means incorporating healthy habits and practices into our daily life.

1. Know What You’re Working For

When you’re struggling with being productive, it can help to take a step back and remember everything that you are working toward. To that end, having goals can keep us in line with being our best selves.

2. Break Big Goals Into Smaller Goals

Draft up or imagine some of the bigger picture goals you are working toward. What is required to make it up that hill? Break your goal down into the smallest thing you can do right now that will put you in the direction of your goal: earning money, applying for a job, starting a project, finishing homework, or maybe researching your next painting.

3. Keep Track of Accomplishments

It’s best to reflect on your goals and accomplishments every once in a while. Keeping a journal or record of your progress can prove useful for adjusting your approach, but it can also be a great morale boost to see how far you have come when you get discouraged.

4. Take Care of Your Health

Staying in good working order is naturally an important step. Simple things like keeping a healthy diet, working out and staying active, and staying hydrated go the furthest toward staying productive. Taking care of yourself is the first key to productivity. Put your health first, and you’ll be poised for productivity.

5. Take a Break

Take a walk, have a snack, step outside for a moment and take a deep breath. Give yourself the room to forget whatever issues you have at bay, even for a few minutes. This can work wonders for staying on task when you need to. When you can, let yourself get off task. Let your mind wander when you walk around the neighborhood; give yourself space to relax.

6. Don’t Overthink, Just Start

Many may struggle with figuring out the “first step” in their goals. There may be a picture-perfect image in your head of what you want to be, but you have no clue how to get there. Instead of being paralyzed by the choices, opt to act. Just do the first thing you can do that will further your goals, even if it’s small. That small action will build momentum and take you to the next step.

7. Prioritize Sleep

Focusing on getting a good night’s sleep is, hands down, the most underrated thing you can do to improve your ability to be productive and creative during the day. Sleep is extremely important for optimal brain function. Losing just one hour of sleep each night has a noticeable impact on our ability to stay focused, enter productive flow states, and process memories.

Check out our Neptune Sleep Gummies to leverage the power of CBN and CBD to help you get a deeper, more restorative sleep each night.

Key Takeaways: Can Cannabinoids Help Me Be More Productive?

Overall, and when approached responsibly, cannabinoids can help one feel more creative. Studies show their use can spark the parts of our brain associated with creating new ideas and connecting concepts in new ways. 

When we need to come up with new ideas, or we need to reach a more balanced state that harbors creativity, cannabinoids can certainly come in handy. Some cannabinoids, such as CBG, immediately affect our adrenergic receptors, sparking a nervous system reaction akin to caffeine.

People have recited numerous anecdotes about their own feelings of balance associated with cannabinoids. Some have reported an energized, pick-me-up effect, and many have asserted cannabinoids leave them feeling more creative.

In the end, it takes some individual experimentation to find that sweet spot in managing our emotions and productivity.


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