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Want Better Grades in College, Smoke Weed!


college students smoking weed get better grades

For decades we’ve been told that stoners are lazy, unproductive and don’t contribute much to society. The scientific term for “stoner laziness” was called “amotivational syndrome”. The concerns of this apparent cannabis induced laziness was that students would perform poorly in school, increasing drop outs and of course, lack of productivity within the labor market.


Now that cannabis has been recreationally legal in places like Colorado and Washington for a decade, we can see that none of the “fears” have manifested in society. Coloradans are still productive, they still graduate and in fact, it seems that their teen use has actually seen a decrease in comparison with non-legal states.


A new study even pushes the needle further by showing that college students who smoke marijuana actually displayed a higher propensity for motivation in school than those who do not partake.


While the study isn’t exceptionally large, and consist of fewer than fifty people, the study sought out to find different metrics for measuring performance. As the study notes, “Past studies on the issue have “used divergent methodology and have not controlled for key confounding variables,” the researchers wrote. This new study sought to adjust for those variables and found that “past-month cannabis days and cannabis use disorder symptoms predicted the likelihood of selecting a high-effort trial.” SOURCE: MarijuanaMoment


Put another way, the study found that those who smoke weed like to challenge themselves more than those who don’t.


“The results provide preliminary evidence suggesting that college students who use cannabis are more likely to expend effort to obtain reward, even after controlling for the magnitude of the reward and the probability of reward receipt,” they wrote. “Thus, these results do not support the amotivational syndrome hypothesis.”


“Contrary to the amotivational syndrome hypothesis, college students using more cannabis were more likely to select the high-effort choice option, regardless of the reward magnitude, probability, and expected value of the overall reward. Although there was not a significant difference between cannabis use groups, there was a medium sized effect, lending consistent support for an association between cannabis use and greater high-effort choices.”


This aligns with other studies that have shown that people who smoke cannabis tend to be more active, have lower BMI, and those who used cannabis before and after exercise recovered quicker than those who didn’t.


Once again, the size of the study doesn’t allow us to make broad strokes and claims such as “cannabis use makes you choose higher effort choices” which currently is simply not 100% true. Everyone reading this that have some experience with cannabis knows absolutely that if you smoke too much weed you could become “lazy”, however, this isn’t the norm.


I have been smoking weed for more than twenty years and often toke up before I have a large quantity of work to get through. Cannabis helps me stay focused (sometimes) depending on the work I’m doing. If I’m going to be reading through studies and trying to decipher the verbal package being used within the papers, I’d probably not smoke weed.


However, if I need to conduct research, build websites, or produce music – cannabis becomes a significant tool in boosting my motivation. Therefore, from a stoner’s perspective the increase or decrease of motivation is situational.


Perhaps stoners aren’t demotivated – just not interested…


One theory I have always held close to my heart is that stoners aren’t necessarily lazy – they are simply clear about the fact that any particular activity asked of them simply does not interest them. For example, “If I smoke weed, I simply won’t do any chores around the house…”


While this could be true for some, do you think it’s the weed that makes you dislike the chores or the fact that you don’t like chores to begin with? Perhaps, weed gives you greater liberty in simply saying, “Screw it!” and doing something that is more pleasing. Of course, having the ability to do what you don’t want to do is a wonderful tool in the belt of self development – however, as one grows, so does ones priorities shift and in turn, doing things you don’t necessarily like to do becomes “something you do.”


For example, perhaps you don’t like to do chores, but over time the disorder of your home becomes a greater pain point than “not doing” the chore in the first place. Now with two warring ideas, you have to pick the least painful of the two – and thus, eventually, you begin to do the chores you didn’t like because by not doing them you invoke a situation that is worse for you in the end.


Of course, these are basic examples and the fact of the matter is that motivation is simply a perspective. Regardless of whether you smoke weed or not, finding motivation to do the things you don’t want to do can be challenging. Perhaps, smoking weed can make you opt in more for the “lesser of two evils”, but even in that situation – once the perspective shifts enough, the motivation will follow suit.


What can we conclude?

Firstly, we can conclude that “the science” isn’t necessarily set. In the 1990s and 1980s it was “accepted science” that amotivational syndrome is a real thing that happens when you smoke weed. Today, we’re finding that those who smoke weed tend to opt in for more challenging activities irrespective of the rewards. This isn’t to say that weed causes this behavior, but it does seem that within the study the researchers conducted that those smoking weed simply liked more challenging scenarios. This discovery should prompt us all to question “studies” with a greater sense of criticism. This means becoming more aware on how these studies work, and how to interpret the data.

For the longest time we’ve been sold the idea that stoners are lazy, yet recent studies are finding the opposite to be true.

Don’t let anyone call you a lazy stoner because it would be verifiably false.









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