Research does not find any long-term lack of motivation when users stop smoking.
If it seems the activity of smoking pot is making it hard for you to get up and go to work, it may be true. New research from University College London (UCL) is reporting smoking cannabis causes its users to become less willing to work for money, and less motivated while pursuing the activity, according to a press release from eureakalert.org.
That may not come as much of a surprise to many, and even the lead author on the study, Dr. Will Lawn of UCL Clinical Psychopharmacology admits it has been commonly assumed that cannabis reduced motivation.
“Although cannabis is commonly thought to reduce motivation, this is the first time it has been reliably tested and quantified using an appropriate sample size and methodology,” offered Lawn.
But the research also found that even those people considered to be addicted to pot smoking had no difference in their motivation levels when compared to control group volunteers that were not routine smokers, when they were not engaging in the activity.
“It has also been proposed that long-term cannabis users might also have problems with motivation even when they are not high. However, we compared people dependent on cannabis to similar controls, when neither group was intoxicated, and did not find a difference in motivation,” continued Lawn. “This tentatively suggests that long-term cannabis use may not result in residual motivation problems when people stop using it. However, longitudinal research is needed to provide more conclusive evidence.”
A total of 57 volunteers were evaluated in the research, which actually involved two separate studies. In the first evaluation, 17 adult volunteers inhaled cannabis vapor from a balloon, and later inhaled a placebo. After each inhalation, they were asked to perform tasks for money, and were actually paid to complete the tasks.
The subjects were allowed to choose between low and high effort tasks, with the opportunity to earn different amounts of money. The findings show that those on the cannabis were significantly less likely to choose the high effort option.
The second study involved two groups of 20, one with cannabis addictions and one without, and they were asked to abstain from the consumption of alcohol or drugs for 12 hours before being asked to choose between the same tasks as the first group. The findings from the second study found no differences in motivations of the second set of participants.
The research was published in Psychopharmacology, but the team also says much more research is needed to understand the relationship of cannabis and motivational issues.