What’s the biggest and most enduring knock against cannabis use? The one parents, schools, employers, significant others, and the like have always harped on? The concern that has made countless physicians hesitant to prescribe cannabis, despite the overwhelming evidence of its clinical value?
“Everyone knows… Smoking pot makes you LAZY!”
The long-standing belief is that cannabis robes its users of all motivation. Which yields the sluggish, do-nothing, know-nothing stoner that lays around on the couch all day, chowing down and junk food like a big fat slug.
Anyway, that’s the cannabis narrative, right?
But does this portrait depict reality? Or is it merely one perspective on a certain group of cannabis users?
The team here at Cannawayz.com started to wonder if the notion of the “lazy stone” is fact or fiction. So, we thought, let’s take a closer look…
What Does Science Say?
According to a great deal of research, cannabis bonds with CB1 receptors (the neurotransmitters in the brain that produces the cannabis “high”). This facilitates the release of dopamine, a chemical that activates the body’s natural “pleasure response.” And as cannabis use increases, the body’s ability to naturally stimulate dopamine production declines. Additionally, dopamine is believed to be a key factor powering human motivation.
Viewed in this light, many scientists and psychologists have long contended that cannabis users increase their intake, they steadily lose all semblance of motivation. To do anything besides smoke weed, anyway.
Hence, the enduring stereotype of the burnt-out couch potato forever puffing on a joint between massive bong rips.
Meanwhile, Social Science Has A Different Take…
Physiological speaking, cannabis does have an impact on the CB1 neurotransmitters that govern the release of dopamine. But further research, aimed at evaluating behavior, reveals a very different perspective…
A study at Florida International University sought to measure the difference in apathy levels between frequent and infrequent cannabis users. Reporting their results using what’s known as the Apathy Evaluation Scale and Motivation and Engagement Scale, the study showed: “no significant differences were observed between regular and light [cannabis] users on any motivation index.”
What Does This Research Seem to Indicate?
It’s not that cannabis universally “robs users of motivation.” Rather, it’s that certain types of users are predisposed to losing their motivation. And increasing levels of cannabis use can facilitate the loss of motivation among such users.
In other words… Let’s say you’re depressed, struggling with anxiety, or plagued by insomnia and turn to cannabis to alleviate these issues. Meanwhile, you steadily increase your cannabis intake instead of dealing with the root causes of these struggles (which are sometimes physiological and sometimes psychological). Under these circumstances, social science research says you’re on track to become the burnout stoner caricature we’re all familiar with.
Bad Habits Are Also Key Culprits
There are also a variety of studies that point toward bad habits leading to lazy, unmotivated behavior.
If, for example, you have poor time management, lack concentration, and focus, and would rather watch TV or surf the internet than engage in productive activities – you’re likely to be lazy and unmotivated.
So, while cannabis may facilitate this sort of behavior, it’s not the culprit. You are.
The Takeaway Here…
Our society’s first inclination to blame personal problems on external factors. For example, you’re lazy and unmotivated because you smoke too much pot.
Meanwhile, the reality is more likely that… You’re depressed, anxious, constantly over-tired, or just plain have bad habits. And you turn to cannabis to mitigate these internal problems.