Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Does Science Support The ‘Lazy Stoner’ Stereotype? Here’s What A New Study Found

Researchers recruited 274 cannabis users who had used cannabis at least weekly over the past three months, and matched them with non-users of the same age and gender.

By Joana Scopel

New research by the University of Cambridge, U.K, showed that “adult and adolescent cannabis users are no more likely than non-users to lack motivation or be unable to enjoy life’s pleasure.”

According to researchers, “there is no scientific basis for the stereotype often portrayed in the media.”

“We’re so used to seeing ‘lazy stoners’ on our screens that we don’t stop to ask whether they’re an accurate representation of cannabis users,” the authors said. “Our work implies that this is in itself a lazy stereotype.”

Scientists from UCL, the University of Cambridge and the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King’s College London examined whether “cannabis users show higher levels of apathy (loss of motivation) and anhedonia (loss of interest or the pleasure of rewards) compared to controls and whether they were less willing to exert physical effort to receive a reward.”

RELATED: New Study Confirms Cannabis Users Are Not Lazy Stoners After All

The team recruited 274 adolescent and adult cannabis users who had used cannabis at least weekly over the past three months, with an average of four days per week, and matched them with non-users of the same age and gender, according to the study published in the International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology.

Smoking Marijuana
Photo by Dejan Marjanovic/Getty Images

Method: Participants completed questionnaires to measure anhedonia and their levels of apathy. Nevertheless, the researchers did not find a link between the frequency of cannabis use and either apathy or anhedonia in the people who used cannabis.

Results: “We were surprised to see that there was really very little difference between cannabis users and non-users when it came to lack of motivation or lack of enjoyment, even among those who used cannabis every day,” Martine Skumlien, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Cambridge said after seeing the results. “This is contrary to the stereotypical portrayal we see on TV and in movies.”

RELATED: Cannabis Use Does Not Result In Lazy Teens Or Young Adults, According To Studies

Conclusions: However, “we need studies that look for these associations over a long period of time to confirm these findings,” said Dr. Will Lawn, from the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology, and Neuroscience at King’s College London.

Smoking Marijuana
Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels

More Than Lazy Stoners

A 2017 study found that marijuana users, who are commonly singled out as unproductive people, have instead proven to be successful cannabis entrepreneurs. According to the study, cannabis users may feel motivated or be able to enjoy the pleasure of life, as well.

RELATED: Smoking Marijuana May Spark Entrepreneurial Spirit

In addition, is known that many athletes, recognized as cannabis patients, have taken marijuana as a replacement for modern medicine. Recently, Aussie Footie legend Andrew Johns revealed that medicinal cannabis is helping him with chronic pain and brain seizures. Johns said that for almost 30 years he depended on sleeping pills and anti-inflammatory meds, but medicinal cannabis reversed that need.

This article originally appeared on Benzinga and has been reposted with permission.

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