The tale as old as time: Smoking cannabis makes you hungry and lazy. And while it’s fairly certain how often people have a terrible case of the munchies, is it really true that cannabis makes you lazy over time?
Cannabis’ Effects on the Body
When we’re talking about cannabis’ effect on the human body, the most important factor is to remember that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the compound that causes a mind-altering or impairing ‘high’, while the compound cannabidiol (CBD) does not. People looking for specific reactions should research what products best fit their needs.
In general, products high in THC influence receptors in the brain that deal with mood, pain, and other feelings. Products high in CBD affect the parts that deal more with things like anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
With all this in mind, research indicates that while casual or social usage of and smoking cannabis has less effect on the brain, heavy usage can cause damage to specific neuroreceptors. That is where the idea that weed affects productivity has some standing ground, so lets’ dive into it.
What Makes People Lazy?
Before we can say for certain that weed and smoking cannabis makes a person lazy, here’s a look at what motivates people. Broadly, motivation is an umbrella term for emotions or behaviors involved in accomplishing goal-directed behavior. To be motivated can look different from one person to another, but the results of that motivation give us a way to roughly measure that motivation. (Going to the gym every day for an hour vs going only three times a week but for twice as long. Or, not going at all).
Why Are We Motivated in the First Place?
There are different types of motivation: extrinsic and intrinsic motivation. Extrinsic can be described as looking towards outside factors or value, intrinsic is more focused on internal satisfaction. Achievement towards either of those methods of motivation creates dopamine in most people and that dopamine is the key to wanting those behaviors in the first place.
Dopamine is a simple organic chemical that performs a variety of important functions within and without the brain, including motor control, learning, immune response, kidney and pancreatic function. Dopamine determines the probability that you’ll perform an action after weighing the required pros and cons. If you have more dopamine in your system, you’re more likely to take action than if you had less dopamine coursing through your head.
So Dopamine Helps Motivation, What About Smoking Cannabis?
The importance of all this is that use of marijuana can lead to dopamine dysfunction. What is going on here exactly is that using cannabis too often causes an overload of dopamine and this could cause some more serious medical issues as well ‘making you lazy.’
Research has found that the bodies of weekly, heavy tokers — those with borderline cannabis dependence — produce far less dopamine than those of non-users or social smokers.
The dysfunction of dopamine levels is what causes the decreased motivation levels, and that is where the lazy part comes into play.
In short, yes, marijuana and smoking cannabis can make you lazy. However, this is only a short-term effect. Lethargic feelings are one of the effects of marijuana and set in after 10 minutes of using it. These symptoms usually peak around 1-3 hours after your last use. In some people, effects can last up to eight hours.
The easiest solution to becoming too dependent on cannabis is to understand what effects you want to experience. To keep yourself responsible, take time to research the different strains of cannabis and keep track of how your body reacts to them. Remember, you always have a budtender at your disposal at Green Kong!