Far too long has the stereotype of the “lazy stoner” reigned supreme. Far too long has a beautiful and often medically miraculous herb been blamed for why some people don’t get the job done on a day-to-day basis. There are obvious therapeutic benefits of cannabis that can certainly calm the mind and help one get a restful night’s sleep, but that doesn’t mean the herb has no place in an active and productive lifestyle.
In a recent study conducted by UCL (University College London) with research published in Psychopharmacology came the conclusion that people are less likely to work for money after consuming cannabis. Will Lawn, a post-doctoral researcher at UCL reported in the Conversation that laboratory test subjects given one cigarette’s worth of cannabis were less willing to work for money after smoking it. This effect wore off, however, and after 12 hours there was no difference in the motivation levels of cannabis consumers and a control group of non-cannabis drug users. “Our results suggest that when you have recently smoked cannabis, it reduces your motivation in the short term. On the other hand, long-term cannabis use may not impair your motivation, as long as you stop smoking it for at least 12 hours,” Dr. Lawn concluded.
In essence, this research seems to suggest that one cannot use cannabis to enhance one’s lifestyle in a way that promotes getting out and seizing the day, especially in terms of working and earning a living. So, the question arises: How accurate is that conclusion?
What lies beneath
The problem here is that there are still yet so many things to consider. For one thing, by no means does this single study represent the millions of people worldwide who both consume cannabis and live productive and active lifestyles. Also, one’s unique desires and perspective on success are key to the motivation to do what it takes. If a person is content with their current station in life and not ambitious to change it, that condition will naturally fail to produce any sense of direction, urgency, or any perception of benefits to be gained by expending more energy. Whether or not that person in their spare time prefers to relax with cannabis instead of alcohol, for example, is as irrelevant to their personal success drive as whether they prefer broccoli over peas or hockey over baseball.
Dr. Lawn did a subsequent study of 17 participants using a double-blind, placebo-controlled design to examine the effects of cannabis on motivation for money. Participants having inhaled either cannabis vapor or a placebo were given the choice of pressing a space bar 30 times in seven seconds to win 50 pence ($0.61), or 100 times in 21 seconds for rewards varying from 80 pence to £2.00 ($0.97 to $2.43).
Unsurprisingly, the researchers found that “people on cannabis were significantly less likely to choose the high-effort option. On average, volunteers on placebo chose the high-effort option 50% of the time for a £2 reward, whereas volunteers on cannabis only chose the high-effort option 42% of the time. In other words, they had reduced motivation for the money available when they were stoned. Although it has been a long-held belief that getting high makes you lazy, this is the first time it has been reliably demonstrated using a suitable sample size.”
As long as one is comfortable with a truly monstrous margin of error, then 17 participants qualifies as a “suitable sample size”, their results “reliably demonstrated”. Also, it could be that, maybe, the task at hand didn’t provide a suitable reward for extra effort or didn’t exactly inspire driving for the goal.
Remember, HALF of the people who weren’t even on any drugs felt like the money was just too insignificant to bother with the higher-effort task. That tells us virtually nothing about the motivation of stoned subjects. What it should tell the scientists is that they need to redesign their study in order to get some credible data.
And, why was it so hard to find more than 17 participants for a study of this nature? Was the tiny sample size at all connected to prospects’ learning they would literally be paid in pennies? It can’t be ruled out: If a person can just smoke a joint at home, dig around in the sofa, and find 61 cents without having do the time-consuming lab rat routine, they might just skip it. People are weird like that.
Alternatively, maybe the researchers just didn’t use the right strain of cannabis…
Pick a flavor
There are hundreds of different strains of cannabis, each with its own unique makeup, which can affect your own biochemistry in various ways. Some strains can be used to energize your day and inspire creativity and focus, while others can help to calm an anxious mind and help you relax and enjoy the little things in life.
You know what’s right for you. With a carefully chosen strain, a dosage that fits your preference, metabolism, and routine, and a sprinkle of ambition, there’s nothing you can’t get accomplished.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Garyn Angel is an inventor, award-winning financial consultant, and CEO of MagicalButter.com, maker of the botanical extractor he invented for infusing cannabis into foods. Firmly committed to needed legal reform, Angel was named to the exclusive CNBC NEXT List of visionary global business leaders for his work on legal marijuana. He is also founder of the Cheers to Goodness Foundation, a charity that helps “medical refugees”—mainly veterans and children—who need herbal therapy when traditional treatment options have failed.