Marijuana dampens the motivation in users making them less enthusiastic to go out and work. Smoking marijuana makes people less motivated to work for money while “high,” says a recent study by the University College London (UCL).
The study was the first to delve into short-term effects of cannabis on motivation in humans. “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,” lead author Dr. Will Lawn (UCL Clinical Psychopharmacology) said cbd for cats tested for purity and potency.
The research, published in the journal Psychopharmacology in September 2016, successfully demonstrated how marijuana deflates the inner motivation in people, though for a brief period. Even when they tested motivation in people who were addicted to cannabis but not high during the test, they found that their motivation levels were also the same like the volunteers in the control group.
“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,” added Dr. Lawn.
This means that long-term cannabis users may have residual motivation problems after stopping to use it, and according to Dr. Lawn, “longitudinal research is needed to provide more conclusive evidence.”
People on cannabis were less likely to choose high-effort option
The research comprised two separate studies involving 57 volunteers. The first study involved 17 adult volunteers who were occasional marijuana users. They were made to inhale cannabis vapor through a balloon on one occasion and cannabis-placebo vapor on a separate occasion. Soon after, the volunteers were asked to complete a task to measure their motivation for earning.
The task was a real-life task as the volunteers were given the money they had earned at the end of the experiment. The volunteers were asked in each trail of the task to choose between high or low-effort tasks to win varying sums of money.
To choose the low-effort option, they had to press the spacebar key with the little finger of their non-dominant hand 30 times in seven seconds to win 50p. And for the high-effort option they had to press the space bar 100 times in 21 seconds, for rewards varying from 80p to £2.
Although it isn’t difficult to repeatedly press keys with a single finger, it takes a reasonable amount of effort, making it a useful test of motivation, according to senior author Professor Val Curran (UCL Clinical Psychopharmacology). “We 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.”
For the second study, 20 cannabis users were matched with 20 control participants who reported the same level of non-cannabis drug use. The participants were barred from consuming alcohol or drugs, other than tobacco or coffee, for 12 hours prior to the study. When they were asked to perform the same motivation task as participants in the first study, it was revealed that cannabis-dependent volunteers were no less motivated than the control group.