It’s a lazy Saturday evening, and you’re on your couch relaxing after a hard week. The Bubba Kush you smoked is slowly putting you to sleep. Suddenly, your friend Linda calls and invites you over to her apartment for a drink. Your couch seems more appealing than her, so you decline, but Linda is quick to point out that you’re nothing but a lazy stoner. She further calls you a couch potato, and you brush her off, but is there any truth to that? Cannabis makes you sleepy, sure, but will you slowly lose motivation to do pretty much anything?
Cannabis has been a hot topic for decades now, and online dispensary and headshops – you can check out Badass Glass – are popping up all over. It’s common for naysayers to argue about everything, but let’s stick to scientific facts to understand if cannabis can kill your motivation, shall we? Scientists have even come up with a term for marijuana affecting your motivation – Amotivational Syndrome – but since cannabis has been targeted for various reasons over the decades, let’s dig a little deeper to figure out if there’s any truth to that.
Cannabis and Dopamine
To understand more about this concept, you need to know your brain. The striatum in mind controls our behavior, movement, response to rewards, and reasoning. It prods us to assimilate information by connecting simple actions to rewards. Remember the time you felt terrific after wolfing down your favorite meal? That’s dopamine working its magic.
In simple layman terms, the striatum helps you remember how it feels when you do something that appeals to you, and the brain releases a chemical known as dopamine during this process. The striatum connects our necessary skills like cognition and memory to a rewards system that creates a set of behaviors.
Our brain activates dopamine when you smoke or ingest it. Simply put, the brain remembers the set of behaviors associated with cannabis, and that’s perhaps why we feel so great when we smoke a blunt or light up a bowl. As the brain has made some positive connections, you might feel like smoking up whenever you even smell weed, and the more you do it, the more dopamine is produced.
Some studies claim that chronic cannabis usage can reduce levels of dopamine, suggesting that it zaps motivation over time. Other studies state that although short-term users aren’t affected, dopamine levels could reduce drastically in long-term users. But, can we really take these studies into account?
Take the Lynskey and Hall study, for instance. It blatantly states that marijuana could prevent people from working hard, but what good is a report that considers only a few test subjects? Never mind that some test subjects also had a history of depression, but as always, cannabis is blamed as the sole culprit.
Although celebrities like Jennifer Aniston, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Snoop Dogg have admitted that they love cannabis, some naysayers continue to question its credibility. Fortunately, not everyone is against cannabis, and since we are in the midst of a gigantic scientific revolution, we will hopefully see detailed studies that focus on the benefits of marijuana.
No Scientific Evidence
Remember that for every report dissing cannabis, there exists another report stating that marijuana doesn’t affect motivation. This very report tested 487 users while they smoked seven days a week. Scientists found that there were minimal differences in well being, but that could have possible due to their illnesses. The results proved that cannabis didn’t affect motivation, but who’s listening?
Sure, cannabis makes you a tad lazy, but that’s perhaps because you’re smoking an Indica strain that is supposed to make you sleep. It’s akin to consuming sleeping pills and complaining that you’re knocked out!
Indica strains are specifically meant to make users relax and calm down. That’s also why cannabis is used to treat seizures as it reduces the activity in the brain. The brain produces cannabinoids that resemble marijuana in structure to calm down the electrical storm in the mind that occurs during seizures.
If you’re worried that cannabis can make you slow down, think about the last time a Sativa strain like Sour Diesel or Blue Dream made you feel like you’d explode with creativity. A Sativa will not only make you feel amazing, but it also increases energy, which is opposite to claims stating that cannabis zaps your motivation.
Most studies on cannabis are only observational, and scientists have NOT been able to prove that marijuana can make people lazy. Correlation doesn’t necessarily point out causation, and scientists forget that very often. Ask Barack Obama or Bill Gates, who smoked cannabis for some motivation.
Today, millions of people smoke marijuana all around the world, and many of them feel that cannabis increases their will to create something spectacular. Cannabis propels the brain to release dopamine, but the effects are only temporary.
It’s similar to an Indica strain making you feel lethargic, but the effects pass away within a short time. Also, think about medical cannabis users suffering from a myriad of diseases that depend on Indica strains for their well being. Indica strains increase appetite and reduce insomnia, so the advantages of cannabis cannot be ignored.
The next time someone tells you that you’re lazy or sluggish because of cannabis, think about Bill Gates, Lady Gaga, or Steve Jobs, who laughed their way to the bank.