Cannabis consumers or ‘stoners’ are often associated with characteristics of laziness and a lack of motivation, especially in mainstream media. Think Jesse Pinkman from Breaking Bad or “The Dude” in The Big Lebowski.
But a new study suggests that this stereotype has no scientific basis, and that cannabis users are just as motivated as everyone else.
Published in the International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology on Aug. 24, researchers from the University College London, the University of Cambridge and King’s College London found that cannabis has a limited or weak link with feelings of apathy or not experiencing pleasure.
“There’s been a lot of concern that cannabis use in adolescence might lead to worse outcomes than cannabis use during adulthood,” Dr. Will Lawn, one of the study’s co-authors, said in a release.
“But our study … suggests that adolescents are no more vulnerable than adults to the harmful effects of cannabis on motivation, the experience of pleasure, or the brain’s response to reward.”
According to the World Health Organization, cannabis is the third most commonly used psychoactive substance in the world, after alcohol and nicotine.
In 2013, an estimated 181.8 million people globally aged 15-64 used cannabis for non-medical purposes, according to the WHO, with the highest rates of cannabis use reported among adolescents and young adults.
The researchers wanted to investigate whether cannabis has an impact on users’ level of apathy, anhedonia (loss of interest in or pleasure from rewards) and whether it made them lazier to achieve a reward.
The team compared 274 adult and adolescent cannabis users who had used at least once a week for the past three months, with non-users of the same age and gender.
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Published: September 05, 2022
Founder & Interim Editor of L.A. Cannabis News