Study: Marijuana Use Not Linked With Reduced Motivation

Legalization in DCNeither the occasional nor the heavy use of marijuana by adolescents is associated with decreased motivation, according to clinical data published online ahead of print in the journal Substance Use & Misuse.

A team of Florida International University researchers assessed the relationship between cannabis use and motivation in 79 adolescent subjects. Participants consisted of both long-term regular consumers and occasional users. Investigators assessed subjects’ motivational tendencies through the use of two validated tools, the Apathy Evaluation Scale and the Motivation and Engagement Scale.

Authors reported: “After controlling for confounds, no significant differences were observed between regular and light users on any motivation index. Similarly, no associations between motivation and lifetime or past 30-day cannabis use amount were observed.”

They concluded, “Our findings do not support a link between reduced motivation and CU among adolescents after controlling for relevant confounds.”

An abstract of the study, “Is cannabis use associated with various indices of motivation among adolescents?”, appears here.

27 thoughts

  1. Bull. Didn’t even bother reading the article. Pot absolutely saps motivation. When I go through bouts of drying out, I always feel much more energized. I love smokin weed just like the next guy but come on man…

    1. Different strains have different effects. Perhaps whatever you have been using isn’t the best, or the right one, for you.

      I suggest trying a strain that is mostly Sativa if you have that option.

    2. @ Mike,
      You could be manic. No disrespect intended. That’s not an insult, it’s a medical condition, which, as I’ve mentioned, pot mitigates.

      Let me ask you a question, to which I do not know the answer: are you a “sleep-shamer” kind of individual, one who equates sleeping and naps with laziness?

      The reason I ask, I have experienced this myself: the feeling like I always “ought” to be doing something other than resting. There were times in my life when, if I wasn’t “burning the candle at both ends”, so to speak, then I felt as if I was being irresponsible.

      Sometimes you can be tired, need sleep, and just be too jacked up and hyper to know it or feel it.

      When I am in such a state, pot can “remind” me that I am tired. But that’s not a lack of motivation, that’s a biological need for rest. There’s no getting around the basic needs of biology. No matter what plans you or your boss have for you!

      Sometimes cannabis is smarter than we are, in that it knows what we need for good health better than we do!

      1. Wow, you just described me…always burning the candle at both ends. My health issues pretty much reflect that now that I’m in my mid 50s . Cannabis forces me to stop being so overly motivated. Being told by my parents as a kid that I would never amount to anything despite the fact that I never did drugs or used alcohol, but rather suffered from severe anxiety as a result of abuse by a step parent. I kept my self active in sports as an escape from the abuse. I obtained my MMJ green card only after learning I had severe ptsd, fibromyalgia, and arthritis, and with multiple chemical sensitivity allergies I had no other options for the debilitating pain. It forced my husband to grow organically to ensure a 100% clean product that I was safe to use which is how our dispensary biz began. Funny how many pharmaceuticals cause lack of motivation but you don’t see those propagandized ?

      2. @ JJ,
        Point taken. Still, I wouldn’t equate a natural need for sleep or rest with a lack of motivation.

    3. If you smoke weed and feel less motivated you had no motivations to begin with.
      Try smoking a little sativa strain with pinenes like Trainwreck. Some people are susceptible to couchlock after a heavy dose of indica. But if you don’t have goals and a schedule figured out before you smoke mj it doesn’t matter what strain it is, you need goals for motivation, and that has nothing to do with the weed and everything to do with you.

  2. Yes, well, so-called “Anti-Motivational Syndrome” is just another lie in the name of Reefer Madness, on behalf of the social authoritarians in our society: the Corporate Capitalists primarily, along with other cult authorities, whether they be militant cops, religious leaders, or political ideologues.

    Among its other many uses, medical marijuana is an anti-psychotic. It mitigates maniacal and delusional thinking. To this extent, it serves as an immunization against forced Corporate indoctrination of the Corporate agenda which those who work for a living must endure.

    Naturally, “The Man” hates that!

    But, don’t confuse someone suffering from “anti-motivational syndrome” with someone who just ain’t buying the party-line bullshit!

    1. Only CBF oil is effective in helping people who have a psychosis.THC is not useful in this respect. Please get your chemistry right. The only medical literature on helping people with psychosis is on the use of CBD oil.

      1. @ Joseph Pena,
        Medical marijuana may contain CBD, or THC, or both.
        And, I have personally experienced the mitigating effects I spoke about. So, I stand by my statement.

      2. By definition, an antipsychotic must inhibit dopaminergic neurotransmission in various brain areas. Block the D2 receptors, and you block out the mainstay ssx of schizophrenia. The drawback is that once you do this, you effectively imitate the actions of yet another insidious disorder. These drugs with use lead to first acute dystonia, followed by akinesia, then akithesia,and finally Parkinsonism symptoms. Mj acts on cb1 and to a lesser degree (and acting vestigially) the cb2 receptors (only in the brain stem) and influence an array of processes, namely influencing serotonin, dopamine, and nitric oxide neurotransmission. They may also influence hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis (known as hpa axis for short) functions, mainly by affecting cortisol levels and how quickly they fall throughout the day. Both are meds but act differently my friend. You cannot substitute something as harmless and nonpotent as your Buddha (ganj, if you will) for something as debilitating and disruptive as schizophrenia. It runs a nasty prognosis.

      3. @ Adam Akpinar,

        Well, I think you are picking nits there.

        Marijuana can mitigate the symptoms I described, which are manic and delusional thinking. If it is not fair to call those psychoses, then I don’t know why not. And so it logically follows then, that marijuana is an anti-psychotic.

        I never said I was schizophrenic; I’m not.

      4. Joseph,
        For psychosis, schizophrenia or any psychoactive neurodegeberative illness, a strain of whole plant marijuana high in CBD but not absent of THC is required. The strain just has to have more CBD than THC.
        This is due to the synergetic effect of cannabinoids allowing the endocannabinoid system to reach the body’s individual homeostasis or internal balance.

        Also, CBD oils are about as flagrantly mislabeled as pharmaceuticals throughout the US and even the new Mexican mmj market. The actual dried herb is not only more evident of effective medicine, but the terpenes that create the unique smells from different strains are part of the healing process.

        Ask your local budtender for CBD rich strains or visit to learn more.

      5. *neurodegenerative

        (At least it’s not “Rohrabacher-Blumenauer.” Everyone PLEASE write your Congressman so I can stop writing these big words! If THAT’s not motivation under the influence of marijuana I don’t know what IS!)

  3. Cannabis has never caused me to be unmotivated.

    What has caused me to feel very unmotivated is to be considered a criminal for doing something that should be an American, if not a human, right; that is to consume cannabis!

  4. lol, i am far from adolescent, I’ve had a lot of experience with motivation and cannabis use.

    I have to be careful when choosing to consume cannabis or not. I can sit around when I’m straight.

    But if i decide to smoke a joint…
    I won’t be sitting for long, within 5 minutes, I’m up, gone, busy with something.

    and the BS that pot makes you stupid is equally foolish as well.

    and the BS that cannabis has a bad effect on driving is absurd.

    and Laura Ingram needs to smoke a joint and get an education about cannabis. She is sooo miss-informed.

  5. Get stoned early in the morning.
    Stay sober for your study time.
    Toke at lunch without warning.
    Reflect with an evening rhyme…

  6. shoot I could have told you that 30 years ago. I smoked my way through grad school, it was a labor of love that ended with me getting my best gpa ever

  7. Hi, pot and industrialism is like fire and water….all the ingredients in the new industrial era work in contre-favor of the effect of pot. First of all man is born to be indempendant, if man lives according to creation and creates and not consume, in return pot will not affect him like glue but like an energizer. Why are all the thru people of earth using pot without problems on the fields and why does industrial kids get paranoid ?? ask yourself is the first quality but we are used to just comment with the ideas allready made and preshaped. we are a preshaped civilisation that get stick like glue with something too powerfull for our small connections….be happy those guys like me are coming back to earth….

  8. You know what is linked to a lack of gumption? Depression. You know what helps treat depression? The plant. Seems like a no-brainer. Probably didn’t need scientists to figure this one out lol.

  9. The anti motivating factor may be more nuanced, and hard to fit into the common test molds. They lied to me throughout my childhood – demonized a plant and its users – and when I found out it was actually good medicine, I was definitely less motivated to believe what society is telling me, including that I must consume plastic goods and participate in the rat race. The one big lie sort of turned me off to the society that told it. I am less motivated to participate at all. I feel more comfortable in my chair. So there I sit, when I might be doing a number of “more productive” things. In a few minutes I will throw myself back into my art, and make something beautiful. It might not help in the rat race, but are the racers – even the best ones! The Harvey Weinsteins and the Donald Trumps – really happy? It’s a beautiful day in New Orleans. Carnival starts today! Come see us, and step out of the race for a few days.

    1. @ saferinneworleans,

      The lies you refer to — about the rat race and all — that’s kind of what I am talking about when I say “corporate indoctrination.”

      Consumerism as a virtue is a lie, as is its corollary belief system, “a responsiblility to the stockholders.” That’s all bull; one’s responsibility is to society first, always.

      I wouldn’t wish to rain on your carnival, or ruin this rare moment of unity; but speaking of liars and corporate corruption, I simply can’t resist asking you once again at this point…

      Haven’t you had enough of Trump, by now? And his evil lies?

  10. Without digging into the strains used in the study – indica vs sativa, and which dominates by how much – I’m a bit skeptical of this one.

    Every fry daddy out there knows that a wake-n-bake is a day killer, and if you’ve got indica dominant weed you’re just about assured a low-goal-achievement day.

    Even if you’re a highly driven person, frying yourself early in the day will likely slow you down the rest of the day.

    Now, regular bakers adjust, and tolerance develops. But we all know that a fundamentally motivated person will likely remain so because that’s how they are built. And it’s simply truth that an indica day is a certain slower day for nealry all who imbibe.

  11. I would like to say that marijuana has never made me unmotivated. Yes, it’s made me tired at times but, like others have said in previous comments, my body was tired and just reminded of so. Some say that it’s a gateway drug. I have never done any “drug” other than marijuana. I’ve been given the opportunity to do so but, chose not to. Some people are stronger in mind and will power than others. I have seen the effects personally and found no harm in them from smoking marijuana. I would rather smoke it than I would a cigarette or drink alcohol. It’s said that marijuana is addicting. I’ve been told by people that they thought they were addicted. The addiction is in the mind if at all. I can smoke whenever and stop for however long needed. I’ve fine years without smoking and lived fine. I’ve also smoked for years at a time and lived fine. I enjoy, like most, the calming feeling I get. I don’t try to get stoned out off my mind nor have I been in a long long time. I probably consume less than most when I do it. When I get to that point that’s it. I told someone recently, that my thought on marijuana being a drug is more than theory but, truth. There has been so much added to the strains of marijuana these days that you can’t be completely sure of what you’re getting. It’s no longer what our parents experienced, a natural thing. 90% of what is on the street and 100% in the dispensaries is man made. That factor makes it a drug. But in that same essence, alcohols and tobacco are man made as well. They have been regulated to suit the needs of consumers and law makers. Why can’t this be done with marijuana? If it’s made to only have so much potency and then sold at a taxed price, it would be no different than alcohol. D.U.I’s could still be enforced. Workplace accidents could be regulated by a test determining If the employee had used marijuana previously at home or on the job site. The thc levels are different.

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