The Effect of Cannabis Use on Motivation

Another effect of cannabis use was found.


Studies on cannabis use yield contrasting results. For instance, one study found that its use can enhance children’s academic performance.

In contrast, some studies found that its use may have detrimental effects on human body. For example, a study in 2016 found that smoking cannabis reduces motivation.

The participants of the study were two groups: the occasional users and the regular users.

The experiment involved tasks such as pressing space key on a computer keyboard. Participants smoked true substance and the placebo. The objective was to measure the effect of this drug on participants’ motivation.

Dr. Will Lawn explained the result:

“Although cannabis is commonly thought to reduce motivation, this is the first time it has been reliably tested and quantified using an appropriate sample size and methodology.

It has also been proposed that long-term cannabis users might also have problems with motivation even when they are not high.

However, we compared people dependent on cannabis to similar controls, when neither group was intoxicated, and did not find a difference in motivation.

This tentatively suggests that long-term cannabis use may not result in residual motivation problems when people stop using it.

However, longitudinal research is needed to provide more conclusive evidence.”

In other words, both group, occasional and regular users experienced decreased in motivation.

Professor Val Curran added:

“Repeatedly pressing keys with a single finger isn’t difficult but it takes a reasonable amount of effort, making it a useful test of motivation.

We found that people on cannabis were significantly less likely to choose the high-effort option.

 On average, volunteers on placebo chose the high-effort option 50% of the time for a £2 reward, whereas volunteers on cannabis only chose the high-effort option 42% of the time.”

This finding may contribute to the growing body of literature which aims to understand the effect of this drug.

Further research may be necessary for deeper understanding.

Leave Your Thoughts Here