How Cannabis Affects Your Motivation
Although there is not enough scientific research to back any opinion, we’ll be going through what is currently known about cannabis and how it interferes with human motivation.
For a long time, cannabis has been associated with unproductiveness and laziness. Since the 30’s, society has developed a very specific stigma for stoners. The unemployed couch potato has always been the perfect example when educators talked about cannabis.
When consuming cannabis, what every person will relate to is what they see other consumers do. And what they see other do is shown in movies and series. Very few productive and intelligent stoners have come forward with their habits and cannabis routines. If media portrayed cannabis smokers as efficient and motivated, maybe we would see more working consumers. With this stigma, every consumer will believe he/she should be feeling lazy. This may be so strong to the point they will actually feel lazy even if it’s just the placebo effect. Marketing a drug for lazy people will obviously attract them. The stigma is giving people a reason to feel satisfied with their unproductiveness because they’re high. This is misleading and unfair for those who don’t want to be associated with this.
Like most marijuana issues, there isn’t a conclusive answer to this one either. There are studies defending both sides of the argument. What we’ll be going through is what we know to date and trying to grasp a sense of what to expect in the future.
NOT ALL WEED IS THE SAME
There are dozens of cannabinoids in cannabis that we know of today. What you experience during your high will be decided by them. This is controlled by the different quantities of cannabinoids, present in the strain you consume, and how they react together. There will certainly be strains that negatively impact your motivation. But obviously, there are also some that will do the exact opposite.
For productivity and motivation, a sativa is what we recommend. These strains tend to focus on uplifting the mind, and those that give a clear and focused high are ideal for those times to need to drown out distractions and motivate yourself.
On the other hand, indica strains often have the opposite effect. The ratio of cannabinoids and terpenes they tend to have cause lethargy and muscle relaxation, allowing the mind to sink into bliss.
There is also the option of CBD-rich strains, which are often hybrids of both sativas and indicas. CBD regulates the psychoactive effects of THC, keeping the psychoactive effects more mellow, as well as being able to relax your body and bring about anti-anxiety effects. This can be useful when you’re trying to be productive but you still feel a little stressed out and want to be clear-headed for the task ahead.
WHAT WE KNOW FROM RESEARCH
In September 2016, a study  was conducted by the University College London. It claims to be the first to reliably demonstrate the effects of cannabis on motivation in humans. Lead by Dr. Will Lawn, this research team asked participants to complete a task made to measure their motivation for earning money.
Straight away we doubt this piece of research. How can you measure motivation through currency? Business research has shown that for many people, money is not a major motivator when it comes to job satisfaction. This study found that people under the influence of cannabis took easier and less monetarily fruitful tasks instead of harder but higher paying ones.
This same study conducted a second experiment to analyze a different variable. It looked at how the motivation of cannabis consumers, who the study defined as addicted, was altered when not under the influence. The conclusion was that the motivation levels between the sober consumers and the control group were exactly the same.
It suggests that it may be the lack of motivation that draws people to cannabis, not cannabis causing lack of motivation. It also doesn’t account for type of strain or ration of compounds within it.
CAN WE GO AS FAR AS SAYING CANNABIS INCREASES MOTIVATION?
There is still a lot to research and find out about cannabis. Would the results of the studies above be different if the subjects had been artists or athletes? Would it be different if the activities had been of social interaction or brainstorming? There never is a test that considers every variable. Nor is there one that can be applied to everyone in the world. Cannabis is certainly not the best option for everyone, but there might be certain individuals who benefit from it.
Alex Walker, a professional gamer, on an interviewed for Gameplayer, said: “I’ve seen a number of players at national tournaments who came in ‘baked’ purely so they could play better.”
This has been made prohibited by the Electronic Sports League now. Athletes are only allowed to smoke after their games. This means that legal issues are not the worry here. The sole reason for prohibiting weed at these events is because of how cannabis is considered a performance-enhancing drug in such scenarios. If cannabis had been authorized, this would motivate every single athlete to consume, even the one who previously didn’t. This would not be healthy for the players and so the organization’s decision was more than fair.
This is a phenomenon mirrored by professional extreme sports athletes, who are more and more turning to cannabis for focus while they perform.
MAKING YOUR DECISION
Cannabis is a plant that reacts in different ways with each and every consumer. Only you will know about how you feel and behave while under the influence of particular strains.
There is still a lot to find out about cannabis and its effects on the human body and mind. It might be adequate for certain people with certain occupations but it might not be right for you. It’s still up to you to discover your answer. What we can say with certainty is that the current marijuana industry is growing profitable because of stoners. Motivated or not, these people worked hard for what they believed in. There are plenty of high functioning stoners out there who use it as part of their daily routine. The answer may lie more in whether you let cannabis define you, or whether you use it responsibly in moderation as part of a balanced life.
Ever wondered why the cliché stoner is a couch potato? Ever wondered if that is actually true? We have the answer to that question and much more!
Legal Weed Will Make Lakers Fans Even More Unbearable
Imagine a not-so-distant future: YouвЂ™re at a Lakers game in L.A.вЂ™s Staples Center. Everyone in the stadium is high. The team, by some miracle, is winning, yet its fans вЂ” who have been smoking legally for years now, maybe decades вЂ” arenвЂ™t satisfied. TheyвЂ™re bored; they even feel a little angry. Instead of getting pumped to the вЂњdefense song,вЂќ thereвЂ™s a collective decision to smoke another blunt. While this may sound like a paranoid anti-marijuana PSA, science suggests it also could be a realistic look at the future.
According to a new review of cannabis research in Nature, something that researchers are seriously concerned about is the fact that marijuana вЂ” used over many years вЂ” can lower dopamine levels. This, in turn, can reduce motivation and induce negative emotions.
In a press release issued Thursday, the researchers, from Imperial College London, argue that the steady spread of marijuana legalization means that itвЂ™s more important than ever to determine the long-term effects of smoking weed. Their review highlights the вЂњconclusive evidenceвЂќ that cannabis decreases dopamine levels. What they call for now is more research to understand exactly how this happens.
This is critical to understand because of the health implications for smokers. The researchers write that heavy cannabis use is вЂњassociated with an increased risk of mental health disorders such as psychosis, addiction, depression, and suicide.вЂќ
вЂњThe changing patterns of cannabis use, including вЂcannavapingвЂ™ and edible products, means itвЂ™s vital that we understand the long-term effects of cannabis on the brain,вЂќ says co-author Michael Bloomfield, Ph.D. вЂњThis new research helps to explain how people get people addicted to cannabis, by showing that one if its main components, called THC, alters a delicate balance of brain chemicals.вЂќ
THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis and mimics a naturally occurring brain chemical called anandamide. A little bit of THC triggers an increase in dopamine release and neuron activity. Long-term THC exposure is, the researchers believe, what causes a blunting of the dopamine system.
Currently, THC levels in cannabis are the strongest theyвЂ™ve ever been. In the 1970s, the average THC level was 8 percent. Today, different strains have THC levels anywhere between 18.7 to 30 percent. These high levels, the researchers argue, makes it even more urgent to understand cannabinoid-dopamine interactions and how they affect the mental health of smokers. In their review, they call for further animal studies on this interaction as well as studies on the brains of adolescents that consume cannabis as they mature into adulthood. ThereвЂ™s an understanding that long-term smoking creates this effect, but thereвЂ™s little agreement on how long вЂњlong-termвЂќ really is.
вЂњWe urgently need to better understand how cannabis affects the brain, to help policy makers and individuals make informed decisions,вЂќ says psychiatrist Oliver Howes, Ph.D., who led the review. вЂњIf it turns out that itвЂ™s bad news to take cannabis then we need to know now, before people take the gamble.вЂќ
And now that weed is legal in California, itвЂ™s likely that Los Angelenos are likely to вЂњtake the gambleвЂќ pretty soon. With the probability that long-term smoking will decrease motivation and dampen mood, having a losing basketball team wonвЂ™t be the only thing making Lakers fans depressed.
Legal Weed Will Make Lakers Fans Even More Unbearable Imagine a not-so-distant future: YouвЂ™re at a Lakers game in L.A.вЂ™s Staples Center. Everyone in the stadium is high. The team, by some