lazy-stonerOne of the most enduring stereotypes which plagues 420 culture is the lazy stoner.

The lazy stoner stereotype stays fried and stuck to her couch.

He doesn’t have a job, is a mooch, and is a general drain on society.

One of the side effects of getting high from marijuana is relaxation, but does continued use lead to laziness and a lack of motivation?

Cannabis Doesn’t Cause Amotivational Syndrome

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4/20 marijuana festival near downtown Denver (Image by: nbcnews)

Amotivational Syndrome is a psychological condition. An affected individual withdraws and experiences a decreased desire to interact with society. Besides these symptoms, the individual experiences lethargy and a diminished ability to think. In the past some researchers thought consumption of cannabis could lead to amotivational syndrome. Yet, in recent years through studies disproved the connection. Current scientific trends agree that marijuana is not linked to amotivational syndrome. The amount of studies available on the subject is too few to come to a definite conclusion.

But, It Might Lower Your Dopamine Levels

Though cannabis doesn’t cause amotivational syndrome, it may lower dopamine levels. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter which plays a key role in the reward center of the brain. Lower amounts of dopamine can lead to depression and feelings of apathy. These symptoms can look like amotivational syndrome or depression. Researchers are unsure why long term cannabis consumption leads to these symptoms only in certain individuals. Those who start consuming cannabis before reaching adulthood are more likely to develop this condition as well.

Your Endo Cannabinoid System

The British obesity drug Acomplia gave researchers further insight into how consuming cannabis affects the brain. Cannabis’s effect of causing increased hunger is well known. Acomplia blocked the same hunger receptors that marijuana activates. A huge reduction in appetite was the main effect for for those who took it. Unfortunately, use of Acomplia stopped when one of the major side effects was also depression and anxiety. Researchers determined the brain’s endocannabinoid system is integral to feelings of well being. Prolonged stimulation of this system may lead to depression and anxiety.

How Not To Be A Lazy Stoner

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How Not To Be A Lazy Stoner (Image by: zenpype)

Though the evidence is not definite, smoking weed and laziness goes together at least for some individuals. It is unclear why it affects some and others are not affected. Most likely the difference is due to personal body chemistry as well as environmental and genetic factors. If you feel like marijuana might be making you lazy, don’t worry, there are a lot of ways to prevent this side effect. In all the studies linking marijuana use and lack of motivation, the common denominator is habitual smoking. If you smoke weed all day everyday the chances are a lot higher that you are going to be a lazy stoner.

Take Regular Tolerance Breaks

Taking a tolerance break allows your brain to regulate itself. A tolerance break should at the least last three days. A week to ten days is the preferred amount of time. The more often you take tolerance breaks the better. If you can’t remember the last time you went more than a day or two without getting high, then it is time for a tolerance break. During a tolerance break your dopamine levels rise again. Your endocannabinoid system also re-balances during a tolerance break. Regular tolerance breaks also save you money since they keep your tolerance low, allowing you to get high from smoking much less.

Exercise

Exercise is something which can be done everyday helping prevent laziness. Besides getting you out of the house, exercise also boosts dopamine levels. There are also many studies showing exercise as an effective treatment for depression. Exercise releases endorphins which are natural chemicals found in the brain which bring you pleasure. Even after finishing exercise, endorphin levels stay elevated contributing to a more stable, elevated mood.

Setting up an exercise program encourages discipline while discouraging laziness and unproductive days. The most important key to forming an effective exercise plan is to find something that you enjoy doing for exercise. Exercise doesn’t happen in a gym or a track. You can exercise doing anything from hiking nature trails, to taking an evening swim at the ocean or lake.

The evidence supporting that cannabis causes laziness is insufficient for definitive claims. Even if cannabis does lead to apathy, this effect is only found in a percentage of those who are habitual smokers.

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