Weed’s Impact on Motivation

You may have heard that weed makes you lazy and unmotivated. There are now new studies on weeds impact on motivation. According to the research, stoners are apparently less motivated by things like money. This does not necessarily mean stoners are unmotivated to do anything, it just means different things motivate stoners than non-stoners.

The journal Psychopharmacology did a recent study on whether or not marijuana causes apathy or amotivational syndrome. In the 70s and early 1980s, there was a fair amount of anti-pot propaganda going around. The stigma of marijuana was beginning and parents believed weed caused teenage slacker behavior.

The small-scale study by the journal Psychopharmacology compared two groups. One had 17 members, the other had 20. According to High Times, the study “compares the ability (or interest) of subjects to push the space bar on a keyboard over and over again.”

The more times subjects pressed the spacebar, the more money they received. The amount of money was small but there was no limit on the number of times they could press the bar. Scientists believe that money is considered incentive and if a task involves incentive it requires motivation. They test how many times subjects press the bar when sober and then when stoned.

The study found that even though marijuana might impact motivation while under the influence, there were no long-term effects noted.

“These results support a transient amotivational syndrome caused by acute cannabis administration but do not support a chronic amotivational syndrome associated with cannabis dependence.”

The study also found the amotivational effect from marijuana can be reduced from cannabis with higher levels of cannabidiol (CBD). This is useful information for those who need medical marijuana but also want to live a productive life.

At the end of the day, is it so bad that cannabis smokers end up bored by a repetitive task like pressing a space bar over and over for small amounts of money? I highly doubt someone stoned is going to refuse a simpler task for higher rewards. Perhaps stoners are just more conscious of how they spend their time. Stopping to think about whether the effort and boredom are worth the reward.

Hopefully, pot motivates you to do something that interests you more instead. Unfortunately, some people choose to get stoned and spend their time sitting around but maybe they’d do that even without the pot. More than a small-scale study would need to be accomplished to determine whether or not marijuana creates slacker behavior.

This experiment does not prove marijuana causes an overall lack of motivation. It just illustrates the effects marijuana can have on those under it’s influence. Some people might view the way marijuana causes a lack of interest in superficial things as beneficial. It really all depends on what you’re looking to get from your marijuana experience.

Perhaps if stoners are given a more interesting or creative task to accomplish they’d be more motivated. A different study would have to be conducted to find out if marijuana causes amotivational syndrome or just a lack of interest in passionless tasks.

image credit: shutterstock

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