Study Concludes Pot Makes Mice Lazy

Shocking as that headline may be, we here at HMJ respond with a shout of, “So?”  Story first; kvetching to follow.

Appearing in the Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, the study sought to determine how two of marijuana’s main ingredients, namely tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), affect laziness levels. Of course, it is no secret that THC – which is responsible for the “stoned” effects of cannabis – tends to make people less willing to exert effort . . .

You know, I’ve heard that “less willing to exert effort” line my whole life, and I question its’ validity. Sure, run into a couch lock indica without meaning to and you may win a nap for a prize, but I know too many people who experience the opposite — cannabis makes them want to get something done. And don’t get me started on the benefits of cannabis when facing a repetitive and largely mindless task, say weeding the garden. It’s a gift from the Goddess herself. Anyway, back to the mice . . .

The study authors therefore trained 29 male mice [sexism — ed.] to take part in two different cognitive tests. The easier of these required them to poke a red light with their nose within one second of it coming on, for which they were rewarded with a sugar pellet. For the harder task, however, they were only given 0.2 seconds to respond with a nose-poke, but received two pellets as a reward. When sober, most rats tended to choose the harder challenge over the easier one, inspired by the prospect of a double dose of sugar. However, when given THC, they stopped bothering with this task, instead choosing the easier but less handsomely rewarded assignment.

“What’s interesting, however, is that their ability to do the difficult challenge was unaffected by THC. The rats could still do the task – they just didn’t want to,” explained study co-author Mason Silveira in a statement.

That seems accurate. That second test while high? Tough. Mice evidently don’t do focus well when high. Do you?

When the rats were given CBD instead of THC, they carried on choosing the more difficult task over the easy one, an indication that THC, but not CBD, causes the rodents to become lazy. Interestingly, the strength of this effect was directly correlated to the density of a particular cannabinoid receptor in each rat’s medial prefrontal cortex – a brain region associated with effortful decision-making.

Are you following the new brain research? It’s worth your time. Maybe in time we will understand the function of the cannabinoid receptors. Here comes the big finish.

Based on these findings, the study authors suggest that the high correlation between long-term cannabis smoking and poor socio-economic status may be a result of weed-induced laziness rather than any impairments in cognitive ability caused by the drug.

Find the full post on the mice HERE.

Well that certainly makes sense in light of the fact that 29 mice did something in a laboratory. So, does weed make the toker lazy, or do lazy people smoke weed, or is this no more than another example of how you can’t kill reefer madness? It’s too big a jump from mice getting high to “long-term cannabis smoking and poor socio-economic status” being legitimately linked.

And I’ve said this before — cannabis is not afraid of honest scientific testing. Shame we can’t get any.

So, where’s my sugar pill?


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Author: DavidB

a heathen, but hopefully not an unenlightened one

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