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Study Shows Chronic Cannabis Users Maintain Motivation and Embrace Positive Emotions

Are you a chronic cannabis user? Chances are you don’t fall into the stoner stereotype of a lazy, unmotivated, and silly slacker, and now you have science to help you prove it. A new study indicates that people who consistently consume cannabis products do not suffer significant dips in motivation. Instead, they may report more instances of enhanced positive emotions like gratitude.

As more medical researchers gain access to cannabis, scientists are finding surprising links between cannabis and mental and physical health and wellness. These studies are also helping to debunk a lot of harmful myths and stereotypes that have driven America’s war on drugs and painted cannabis users in an unflattering light. Get ready for science to shatter cannabis conventions!

Study Shows Chronic Cannabis Users Maintain Motivation

A new study conducted by the U of T Scarborough (Toronto) research team and published in the Social Psychological and Personality Science journal is helping to bust a popular stoner stereotype. How many movies have you seen that play into the “stoner trope”? A burnt-out, unmotivated slacker who adds more surface-level comic relief to the plot than anything more profound. That has been the picture America has painted of the chronic cannabis user, and it has become ubiquitous, influencing everything from pop culture to drug policy. It is easy to vilify something when you can point to its ill effects on the mind and body, particularly when popular culture seems to suggest that calling users lazy and essentially useless for anything other than a giggle or two is appropriate.

The new study indicates that our preconceived notions surrounding marijuana and motivation are all wrong. The study focused on 260 chronic cannabis users. They defined a chronic cannabis user as someone who consumes cannabis three times per week or more. These study participants were invited to receive regular messages through an app asking if they were high. Then, the participants were asked about their current emotional state, level of motivation, willingness to invest effort, and self-regulation.

One of the most shocking outcomes of the research showed that study participants exhibited the same willingness to exert effort on tasks while high as when they were not. Researchers who led the study say that while behaviors might change a bit when an individual is high, no evidence shows that chronic cannabis users lack motivation.

The new research challenges past studies that presented mixed results. Researchers say older motivational studies of cannabis users relied on limited experimental designs. These designs did not adequately account for differences between cannabis users and non-users or variations in personality, mental health, and the use of other psychoactive substances. The U of T Scarborough team says their study focused on chronic cannabis use while participants were actively high and accounted for pre-existing differences.

Are Chronic Cannabis Users More Positive?

The research also suggests that chronic cannabis users had enhanced positive emotions, another vital trait for helping them accomplish tasks. Being high did seem to impact behaviors like self-regulation, leading to more impulsive behavior and less thoughtful and orderly interactions. While lower levels of self-regulation can help inhibit someone from getting things accomplished, the study shows the decrease in self-regulation did not make study participants less inclined to work hard, less responsible, or less able to focus.

What researchers did find was that those who consistently consume cannabis were more prone to experiencing a boost in positive emotions like awe and gratitude. Many also reported feeling less anxiety and fear, something other studies have pointed to when suggesting marijuana may be a suitable drug for treating anxiety, depression, and insomnia.

One element of note that researchers did find was that users on the higher end of the cannabis consumption scale were more likely to experience negative emotion while high as opposed to when they were sober, indicating there may be a middle or moderate “sweet spot” for cannabis consumption and positive mood.

Additionally, there was no evidence that chronic users experienced what is commonly called a “weed hangover” or decline in function following being high.

It’s Breaking New Ground

This recent study and others like it continue to break new ground. Why? Because for decades, the war on drugs and marijuana prohibition made it exceedingly difficult to study the effects of cannabis. Since more states and countries like Canada have legalized medicinal and recreational cannabis, it has become easier for many researchers to access the drug and delve into the plant’s secrets.

Members of the U of T Scarborough research team say, “Part of the motivation for this study is to take a neutral, clear-eyed approach to see how cannabis affects chronic users in their everyday lives.” The team doesn’t necessarily want to endorse heavy cannabis use. Instead, they want to add to the growing body of research that suggests there are benefits and risks involved with the consumption of any substance.

There are several negative stereotypes associated with marijuana consumption, not all of them earned. Studying the everyday experiences of regular cannabis users is valuable and suggests that you can be hard-working, positive, and motivated while enjoying cannabis. By shattering stereotypes in just one way, researchers can help shift the perception of the substance, encouraging more study, dialogue, and potential policy changes that focus on the benefits and drawbacks of marijuana.

The study lead says that he hopes that now that marijuana is legal in Canada and it has become easier to study, further research can focus on the risks and possible positive effects of cannabis consumption.

Are you interested in following other medical studies or cannabis-related news content? What about finding unique cannabis recipes or product reviews? Cannabutter Digest has you covered. We are your number one spot for cannabis news, research, recipes, and product reviews. Please bookmark our site and check back often because we are constantly searching for the best cannabis content to keep you entertained and informed.

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