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Using Cannabis Makes You Less Lazy

I know, just hear us out. There’s now science behind this!

There’s an old stereotype depicting cannabis users as lazy stoners, yet in reality, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Weed enthusiasts come in all shapes and sizes and from all walks of life, so reducing all pot users to a caricature generalisation is both inappropriate and offensive. On top of that, the scientific literature paints its own picture and suggests that stoners are often highly motivated individuals.

Does Cannabis Make You Lazy?

Cannabinoids influence the release of dopamine in brain circuits that are implicated in reward processing and effort expenditure. This has led to speculation that repeated cannabis use may cause some people to become lazy by interfering with their ability to decide how and when to expend effort.

Known as “amotivation syndrome,” this supposed consequence of pot use has recently been put to the test by scientists, and results have shattered the old cliché.

For a study published last month, researchers recruited 25 cannabis-using college students and 22 non-users. Participants completed a behavioural assessment known as the Effort Expenditure for Rewards Task, which requires each individual to repeatedly choose between easy and hard challenges for the chance to win money.

Analysing their findings, the study authors reveal that “past-month cannabis days and cannabis use disorder symptoms predicted the likelihood of selecting a high-effort trial, such that greater levels of both cannabis use days and symptoms were associated with an increased likelihood.” In other words, the more cannabis a person uses, the less lazy they become[i].

“The results provide preliminary evidence suggesting that college students who use cannabis are more likely to expend effort to obtain reward,” conclude the researchers.

Cannabis Users Have More Motivation

The new study corroborates the findings of a paper from last year, which also showed cannabis users to be less lazy than non-users. The authors of that particular study asked all participants to abstain from weed for at least 24 hours before the assessment so that they could separate the plant’s acute effects from its residual effects.

After all, it’s well known that people are more chilled and inactive when stoned, so the researchers wanted to make sure that none of their participants were high during the assessment. By “residual effects”, they refer to broader behavioural changes resulting from regular use, and specifically to the possibility that cannabis may cause people to become lazy when they are not high.

After applying the Effort Expenditure for Rewards Task, the researchers found that “cannabis users selected hard trials significantly more than non-users.” Moreover, “frequency of cannabis use was positively correlated with the percentage of hard trials chosen.”[ii]

“These results suggest that unlike acute effects, residual effects of cannabis following 24 hours of abstinence are associated with greater effort allocation during effort-based decision-making,” they conclude.

While more studies are likely to be necessary to put an end to the old stereotype, the findings to date provide pretty conclusive evidence that cannabis users are not lazy. On the contrary, they’ve got more get-up-and-go than the average non-stoner.

This isn’t to say smoking a heavy indica will get you up in the morning either. Click here to view strains genetically modified to keep you active!

Related Post

Weed And Working Out

[i] Acuff SF, Simon NW, Murphy JG. Effort-related decision making and cannabis use among college students. Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology. 2022 Jan 27. – https://doi.apa.org/doiLanding?doi=10.1037%2Fpha0000544

[ii] Taylor MB, Filbey FM. Residual effects of cannabis use on effort-based decision-making. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society. 2021 Jul;27(6):559-69. – https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/journal-of-the-international-neuropsychological-society/article/abs/residual-effects-of-cannabis-use-on-effortbased-decisionmaking/B38DA2FBF2F9C261094BACC91E90C946

Cultivation information, and media is given for those of our clients who live in countries where cannabis cultivation is decriminalised or legal, or to those that operate within a licensed model. We encourage all readers to be aware of their local laws and to ensure they do not break them.

This post is also available in: French

Ben Taub