Cannabis is commonly associated with a lack of motivation. Those who do not smoke weed, or who wish to demonize the plant for one reason or another, typically point to the “lazy stoner” stereotype.
When cannabis became a popular recreational drug during the 1950s, scientists began to study its effects on users and the term “amotivational syndrome” became prevalent.
Medical News Today reports on a study from the University of British Columbia concluding that marijuana can, in fact, cause laziness. Its findings have shown that rats do not want to perform cognitive tasks once given marijuana. That must mean marijuana causes every person to be lazy, right?
Although it’s true that some potheads are antisocial, and maybe a little lazy, most of the potheads we meet are more like productive potheads, just living their lives with a little weed along the way. And who’s to say weed makes people anti-social or that anti-social people tend to smoke weed?
For those who ask ‘does marijuana make you lazy?’ remember that weed is not a secret lazy-inducing drug that will destroy people’s lives. Those arguments from the Reefer Madness days have long since been disproven. The following are a few reasons why marijuana is not a lazy man’s drug.
Why Weed Doesn’t Make You Lazy
Marijuana increases focus
Research on medical marijuana and ADHD demonstrated marijuana’s ability to increase mental focus. Case reports also illustrate how marijuana can relieve the symptoms of ADHD and increase clarity and ability to focus for those who have ADHD and related anxiety. For many, it’s a safer and more effective alternative than pharmaceutical drugs like Ritalin.
Cannabis controls pain and nausea
For those who live their lives suffering from chronic pain or nausea, getting work done can feel impossible when you are living in pain. Fortunately, marijuana helps to reduce this pain, and it helps increase your pain tolerance. People who suffer from chronic pain report being able to get more done when using marijuana because it works and it doesn’t knock them out like opioid painkillers.
Marijuana improves exercise
This may seem counterintuitive to those who exercise frequently and rarely put other substances in their bodies. But cannabis can provide many of the same effects athletes are looking for to improve their performance. Cannabis reduces inflammation, helps to rebuild muscle faster, relieves muscle pain and cramps, and provides a healthy alternative to relax the body and muscles with little to no risk of health problems.
Many successful people smoke weed
From Carl Sagan to at least 10 different US presidents, people have been smoking pot and contributing to society for a long time. Next time you wonder can stoners be successful, remember that JFK used medical marijuana for terrible back pain throughout his presidency.
Michael Phelps won more Olympic gold medals than any other athlete in history, and he smoked weed before and after the games. Even George Washington, the father of our country, grew cannabis plants and showed a clear preference for plants with higher THC content (he knew what the future would want).
It’s true that some research implies marijuana use can be linked to laziness. However, this isn’t because marijuana users can no longer perform complex tasks; they’re just less motivated to do them. But other research shows little to no “difference in motivation levels between marijuana users and non-users.” The belief that chronic cannabis use reduces motivation has been disproved again and again.
The truth is this, the person determines their own success on the world much more than pot does. Marijuana doesn’t make you lazy. Many successful people contribute to society and still go home to smoke at night. Does this make them lazy? No. It may help them relax after a long day of working hard. It doesn’t make them lazy to slow down and enjoy life every once in awhile. Meanwhile, there are many lazy people who have never picked up a joint in their life. So when you ask ‘does marijuana make you lazy,’ think about the person before the products they use.
Bottom line: if you’re still blaming cannabis for your problems, it’s time to take a look in the mirror and acknowledge who’s really responsible. Hint: it’s the person looking back at you. Change your ways, change your life, then roll up and celebrate your hard-earned adulting.