The image of the couch-locked teenager is one of the most common stereotypes about cannabis consumers. But, does cannabis really make you lazy? In all honesty, certain types of the herb can make you feel that way. However, there is much more to the plant than commonly thought. Here’s the scoop on how cannabis affects motivation:
Does cannabis make you lazy?
There’s no way around it. The active compounds in the cannabis plant do affect motivation. Specifically, molecules in the plant have been found to engage with areas of the brain that allow you to feel motivation.
However, there are some important caveats to this fact. There are several factors that contribute to how much the herb affects motivation. Not all cannabis strains produce the same effects. Learning about a few key differences between cannabis varieties can help you figure whether or not cannabis makes you feel lazy.
Here are five things that influence how cannabis affects motivation:
1. Different types of cannabis have different effects
The famous cannabis “high” is caused by one primary chemical compound: tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC provides a psychoactive experience because of the way it connects with certain types of cell receptors in the brain.
One of the areas in the brain affected by the compound is the stratum, which plays a role in stimulating motivation.
However, not all cannabis varieties are high in THC. In fact, some types of cannabis do not provide a psychoactive “high” at all. Cannabis strains high in a less famous compound, cannabidiol (CBD), can be quite mild.
Rather than leaving you stuck on the couch, these strains can be slightly energizing and provide a calm and focused cannabis experience. In theory, this makes it easy to get things done without added stress.
2. Some types of cannabis can make you drowsy
While different types of cannabis may have different effects, there are certainly some kinds that can make you drowsy. This drowsiness can affect your motivation to get things done.
For example, strains classified as “indicas” are thought of as sedative and tend to produce more couch-locking effects.
Many indica strains (like several Kush varieties) tend to feature high levels of a compound called myrcene. Myrcene is a terpene aroma molecule.
This chemical gives some cannabis strains their musky aroma. Research suggests that myrcene is hypnotic and may have muscle relaxant effects.
Other terpene aroma molecules also have slightly sedative effects, like linalool. Linalool is an aroma most abundant in lavender.
While there is much debate on the matter, strains classified as sativas are often thought to be more uplifting and less likely to cause couch-lock. Though, the overall effects of a cannabis flower vary widely from strain to strain.
3. Tolerance changes how cannabis affects you
New cannabis consumers are far more likely to feel strong sedative effects from cannabis than those with a tolerance to the herb. Tolerance refers to the ability to grow accustomed to the effects of the plant over time.
While smoking a joint or puffing on a vaporizer may slow down even cannabis veterans, moderate and experienced cannabis consumers are able to take more of the plant before feeling like their motivation is severely impacted.
4. Slowing down can be a good thing
While sometimes feeling lazy is unproductive, many people enjoy the slow down that the herb provides. This is especially true for those with anxiety or under chronic stress.
When you’ve got a lot on your plate, cannabis can help you find a state of relaxation that allows you some much-needed time to decompress and enjoy the present moment.
5. Dosage makes a big difference
Don’t want to feel lazy? Change your dose! The higher your dose, the more likely you are to feel lazy or lethargic with the herb.
Sticking to small or microdoses is recommended for those hoping to stay productive, especially new consumers.
A low is equivalent to just a small puff of a smoking device or vaporizer. Two and a half to five milligrams of THC is ideal.