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What Is a Nootropic? Let’s Talk CBD and Brain Health

CBD is fast getting a reputation for being a positive influence on brain health and brain activity. Today, we are talking about your brain. About CBD and brain health. And about CBD as a potential nootropic substance that you may use as a boost for your brain health and function.

  • What is a nootropic?
  • Is CBD a nootropic? 
  • And, how do either help your brain health?


What Is CBD?

First, let’s get a clear understanding of what CBD actually is. CBD is a compound that is derived from the Cannabis sativa plant. Plants that are very high in the psychoactive compound THC are often called marijuana, but these same species of plants are also grown with low quantities of THC and are called industrialized hemp. Most CBD manufacturers use hemp to source their CBD and other cannabinoids.

CBD is just one of over 113 cannabinoids that can be sourced from these plants. What makes CBD so special?

  • CBD is abundant in hemp and therefore easily extracted.
  • CBD has attractive health and wellness benefits with typically low side effects.
  • CBD is considered a phytocannabinoid, meaning “sourced from plants” and it mimics the body’s own endocannabinoids.
  • CBD works because our bodies have an endocannabinoid system which processes phytocannabinoids, as well.
  • It is generally thought that CBD works with our body’s endocannabinoid system to help other bodily systems to run more efficiently.
  • CBD helps in a myriad of ways. People take it for calm, to help them sleep, to help regulate their moods, to help them with focus, post-workout recovery, and a wide variety of other reasons.

What Is a Nootropic?

Nootropic – (usually refers to drug or substance) used to enhance memory or other cognitive functions. (Google dictionary.)

For substances such as CBD which are not drugs, we often borrow terminology that usually describes medical substances because the language fits. Nootropic is one such term. Nootropics are substances (drug or not) that are taken in order to enhance our cognitive function. 

Cognitive function includes things like this:

  • Memory formation
  • Memory retrieval (remembering)
  • Focus, concentration, clear thinking
  • Interpretation of stimuli in the environment and making associations based on that stimuli
  • Learning 
  • Language and communication
  • Handling tasks at hand or multitasking, time management, planning

There are nootropics that are not mediceuticals, such as: Omega 3s, caffeine, L-theanine, Ginkgo biloba, Panax ginseng, racetams, Creatine, rhodiola, and yes, CBD.

Is CBD a Nootropic?

Part of understanding how CBD functions as a nootropic is to understand a very important part of your brain’s health and function: the hippocampus.


Hippocampus – The hippocampus is a complex brain structure that is embedded deep in the temporal lobe of your brain. It is made up of delicate tissues that can be easily damaged. It is also affected by many neurological and psychiatric disorders. The hippocampus has crucial functions in your body.

The hippocampus helps regulate:

  • Memory formation and retrieval
  • Learning
  • Spatial processing and navigation
  • Even helps our development of relationships and how we relate to others


How does this all relate to using CBD as a nootropic? Check out what this study says on the topic as reported by UCL News:


A single dose of cannabidiol (CBD) helped increase blood flow to the hippocampus, an important area of the brain associated with memory and emotion, finds a new study led by UCL researchers.” UCL News, August 2020


Findings of this study report these three critical observations on CBD and brain health or cognitive function: (We took these direct quotes from the UCL news study mentioned above.)

  • “CBD significantly increased blood flow in the hippocampus, however CBD did not cause significant differences in blood flow in other regions of the medial temporal lobe (MTL), of which the hippocampus is a significant component.”
  • “In the prefrontal cortex, the area of the brain used for planning and decision making, CBD caused a significant increase in blood flow in the orbitofrontal cortex.”
  • Dr Bloomfield added: ‘To our knowledge, this is the first study to find that CBD increases blood flow to key regions involved in memory processing, particularly the hippocampus.’”

All of this is phenomenal news for you – if you are interested in using CBD as a nootropic! 

You may also have heard the term adaptogen, in reference to CBD and we’ll be covering this topic as well in a separate blog post. (Follow our blog to make sure you don’t miss any future educational CBD posts like this one.) Here’s a very brief explanation of what an adaptogen is so you can compare that to what we’ve covered so far today on nootropics:


What Is an Adaptogen?

Adaptogen – (in herbal medicine) a natural substance considered to help the body adapt to stress and to exert a normalizing effect upon bodily processes. A well-known example is ginseng. (Google dictionary.)

Is CBD an Adaptogen? – The jury is still out on this one. In fact, we’re not sure anyone can agree on the answer to this – so, we’re devoting a separate article to this complex question on CBD. Stay tuned!


CBD and Brain Health

From “what is a nootropic” and “what is an adaptogen” to “does CBD help with ______” – there’s no doubt, CBD searches are mimicking people’s worries over their brain health. Most people, if asked, will admit that they are interested in improving their own cognitive function. Many admit they are fearful of cognitive decline. In fact, the global pandemic seems to have exacerbated cognitive health worries.

Brain health, in short, is a concern for all of us. This makes CBD a hot neurological topic as:

  • A natural way we can boost brain health.
  • A natural way we can help our minds function.
  • An effective way to temper cognitive health worries by making us feel more calm.
  • An empowering way to help us take care of our bodies and minds.


Let’s look a little deeper at how CBD may affect your brain’s health so you can make well-informed decisions concerning your own neurological care. We did a deep-dive into CBD and brain health related articles and studies and here are the ones that really caught our attention: 

  1. This study discussed CBD’s ability to cross the blood brain barrier – which is important to CBD’s ability to help with cognitive applications.

  2. This study, which analyzes CBD’s effects on the brain. We are super excited to see this point: “CBD affects synaptic plasticity and facilitates neurogenesis.”

  3. This study addresses CBD’s positive effects on brain plasticity (ability of brain tissues to adapt and refigure itself)  following ischemia (brain damage from a lack of blood supply).


These are just the beginning of studies on CBD and brain health, CBD and psychiatric disorders, or CBD and other health applications. But for our purposes, the health and wellness benefits of CBD and its potential to help us with day-to-day cognitive function and mood management are so promising – we cannot wait to see what’s in store for CBD and improved living.


Isn’t that what we all want? Improved wellness and quality of life? Nootropics are one way to help you achieve this!

For More Information on CBD and Brain Health


We hope this article on “What Is a Nootropic” has opened your mind to the potential CBD has for your brain, cognitive function, mood, and more. For more information on the benefits of CBD products: 

  • Follow Asé Pure Naturals Blog to learn more about the wonders of CBD.
  • Shop our premium CBD products to boost your mood and mind.

And, keep in touch with us on Instagram!

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