Corvallis, OR: Frequent cannabis use is not associated with motivation loss in adults, according to data published in the Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology.
A team of researchers affiliated with Oregon State University assessed motivation and self-reported apathy in a cohort of regular (three times per week or more) cannabis users and controls (non-users).
Investigators identified no significant group differences in self-reported apathy after controlling for covariates (recent alcohol consumption and depressive symptoms).
Authors did report that cannabis consumers were more likely than non-users to “exert more [effort] for reward, suggesting enhanced motivation relative to healthy controls.” Specifically, as reward magnitude increased, frequent cannabis users were more likely to select harder trials to complete than were controls.
Consistent with prior studies, they concluded: “The current findings do not support [the theory of] a-motivational syndrome in cannabis users; rather cannabis users displayed higher-effort decision-making in comparison to controls. … Given the limited number of studies within the field, future research should continue using both self-report and task-based methodologies to assess motivation in cannabis users, while controlling for potential covariates, such as depression, substance use, and personality factors.”
Full text of the study, “Effort-based decision making and self-reported apathy in frequent cannabis users and healthy controls: A replication and extension,” appears in theJournal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology.