Marijuana was once associated with an overall lack of motivation, but a growing number of users now claim that smoking pot actually helps them buckle down and focus.
It’s true. Some of the die-hard cannabis connoisseurs out there swear by the morning wake and bake ritual, as they just feel less productive in their daily grind without the assistance of a little weed. Although there is not any scientific proof to support this claim, there have been enough anecdotal cases to suggest that there is something to it.
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Anyone who has ever discussed the various cannabis strains with a dispensary agent knows that there is some pot on the scene that supposedly provides the user with an “uplifting” “creative” and “focused” state of mind. The people who have used these strains to enhance their productivity would likely say there is no “supposedly” about it: Popular strains like Jack Herer and Durban Poison come with a motivation boost.
But scientists say that all of this business about marijuana being a mighty motivator is just a bunch of bologna.
“Actually, most of the research on cannabis and motivation shows no effect, or if anything, reduced motivation,” John Salamone, a psychopharmacologist at the University of Connecticut, told Mashable. This includes attention and focus, he added.
What is comes down to, according to some medical experts, is marijuana makes the user feel better. It is this temporary relief from physical or mental pain that could give some folks the perception of increased focus.
“Someone’s perception is someone’s perception,” said Larissa Mooney, an addiction psychiatrist at UCLA’s Integrated Substance Abuse Programs. “During intoxication somebody might have more energy or more euphoria. They may be actually feeling better, at least, temporarily.”
Other substances can have a similar effect, Mooney added. “Some people might report the same thing after drinking a cup of coffee,” she said.
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Even while the medical community remains skeptical of the increased motivation brought on by marijuana, most agree that more research is necessary to find out for sure. But until the federal government unleashes the cannabis plant from its Schedule I classification, all scientific explorations into the cannabis plant are going to be and far between.
But even if people only perceive themselves as having increased focus and energy through the use of marijuana, this is not necessarily a bad thing. Mooney says we should no “negate someone’s perception.” If it works, go with it.