Study: Marijuana Use Not Linked With Reduced Motivation

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director January 2, 2018

    Legalization in DCNeither the occasional nor the heavy use of marijuana by adolescents is associated with decreased motivation, according to clinical data published online ahead of print in the journal Substance Use & Misuse.

    A team of Florida International University researchers assessed the relationship between cannabis use and motivation in 79 adolescent subjects. Participants consisted of both long-term regular consumers and occasional users. Investigators assessed subjects’ motivational tendencies through the use of two validated tools, the Apathy Evaluation Scale and the Motivation and Engagement Scale.

    Authors reported: “After controlling for confounds, no significant differences were observed between regular and light users on any motivation index. Similarly, no associations between motivation and lifetime or past 30-day cannabis use amount were observed.”

    They concluded, “Our findings do not support a link between reduced motivation and CU among adolescents after controlling for relevant confounds.”

    An abstract of the study, “Is cannabis use associated with various indices of motivation among adolescents?”, appears here.

    27 responses to “Study: Marijuana Use Not Linked With Reduced Motivation”

    1. Mike says:

      Bull. Didn’t even bother reading the article. Pot absolutely saps motivation. When I go through bouts of drying out, I always feel much more energized. I love smokin weed just like the next guy but come on man…

      • Miles says:

        Different strains have different effects. Perhaps whatever you have been using isn’t the best, or the right one, for you.

        I suggest trying a strain that is mostly Sativa if you have that option.

      • Dain Bramage says:

        @ Mike,
        You could be manic. No disrespect intended. That’s not an insult, it’s a medical condition, which, as I’ve mentioned, pot mitigates.

        Let me ask you a question, to which I do not know the answer: are you a “sleep-shamer” kind of individual, one who equates sleeping and naps with laziness?

        The reason I ask, I have experienced this myself: the feeling like I always “ought” to be doing something other than resting. There were times in my life when, if I wasn’t “burning the candle at both ends”, so to speak, then I felt as if I was being irresponsible.

        Sometimes you can be tired, need sleep, and just be too jacked up and hyper to know it or feel it.

        When I am in such a state, pot can “remind” me that I am tired. But that’s not a lack of motivation, that’s a biological need for rest. There’s no getting around the basic needs of biology. No matter what plans you or your boss have for you!

        Sometimes cannabis is smarter than we are, in that it knows what we need for good health better than we do!

        • JJ says:

          Wow, you just described me…always burning the candle at both ends. My health issues pretty much reflect that now that I’m in my mid 50s . Cannabis forces me to stop being so overly motivated. Being told by my parents as a kid that I would never amount to anything despite the fact that I never did drugs or used alcohol, but rather suffered from severe anxiety as a result of abuse by a step parent. I kept my self active in sports as an escape from the abuse. I obtained my MMJ green card only after learning I had severe ptsd, fibromyalgia, and arthritis, and with multiple chemical sensitivity allergies I had no other options for the debilitating pain. It forced my husband to grow organically to ensure a 100% clean product that I was safe to use which is how our dispensary biz began. Funny how many pharmaceuticals cause lack of motivation but you don’t see those propagandized ?

      • Mark Mitcham says:

        Ever try switching to a sativa?

      • Sean says:

        Speak for yourself.

      • Julian says:

        If you smoke weed and feel less motivated you had no motivations to begin with.
        Try smoking a little sativa strain with pinenes like Trainwreck. Some people are susceptible to couchlock after a heavy dose of indica. But if you don’t have goals and a schedule figured out before you smoke mj it doesn’t matter what strain it is, you need goals for motivation, and that has nothing to do with the weed and everything to do with you.

    2. Dain Bramage says:

      Yes, well, so-called “Anti-Motivational Syndrome” is just another lie in the name of Reefer Madness, on behalf of the social authoritarians in our society: the Corporate Capitalists primarily, along with other cult authorities, whether they be militant cops, religious leaders, or political ideologues.

      Among its other many uses, medical marijuana is an anti-psychotic. It mitigates maniacal and delusional thinking. To this extent, it serves as an immunization against forced Corporate indoctrination of the Corporate agenda which those who work for a living must endure.

      Naturally, “The Man” hates that!

      But, don’t confuse someone suffering from “anti-motivational syndrome” with someone who just ain’t buying the party-line bullshit!

      • Joseph Pena says:

        Only CBF oil is effective in helping people who have a psychosis.THC is not useful in this respect. Please get your chemistry right. The only medical literature on helping people with psychosis is on the use of CBD oil.

        • Dain Bramage says:

          @ Joseph Pena,
          Medical marijuana may contain CBD, or THC, or both.
          And, I have personally experienced the mitigating effects I spoke about. So, I stand by my statement.

          • Adam akpinar says:

            By definition, an antipsychotic must inhibit dopaminergic neurotransmission in various brain areas. Block the D2 receptors, and you block out the mainstay ssx of schizophrenia. The drawback is that once you do this, you effectively imitate the actions of yet another insidious disorder. These drugs with use lead to first acute dystonia, followed by akinesia, then akithesia,and finally Parkinsonism symptoms. Mj acts on cb1 and to a lesser degree (and acting vestigially) the cb2 receptors (only in the brain stem) and influence an array of processes, namely influencing serotonin, dopamine, and nitric oxide neurotransmission. They may also influence hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis (known as hpa axis for short) functions, mainly by affecting cortisol levels and how quickly they fall throughout the day. Both are meds but act differently my friend. You cannot substitute something as harmless and nonpotent as your Buddha (ganj, if you will) for something as debilitating and disruptive as schizophrenia. It runs a nasty prognosis.

            • Dain Bramage says:

              @ Adam Akpinar,

              Well, I think you are picking nits there.

              Marijuana can mitigate the symptoms I described, which are manic and delusional thinking. If it is not fair to call those psychoses, then I don’t know why not. And so it logically follows then, that marijuana is an anti-psychotic.

              I never said I was schizophrenic; I’m not.

        • Julian says:

          For psychosis, schizophrenia or any psychoactive neurodegeberative illness, a strain of whole plant marijuana high in CBD but not absent of THC is required. The strain just has to have more CBD than THC.
          This is due to the synergetic effect of cannabinoids allowing the endocannabinoid system to reach the body’s individual homeostasis or internal balance.

          Also, CBD oils are about as flagrantly mislabeled as pharmaceuticals throughout the US and even the new Mexican mmj market. The actual dried herb is not only more evident of effective medicine, but the terpenes that create the unique smells from different strains are part of the healing process.

          Ask your local budtender for CBD rich strains or visit http://www.Leafly.com to learn more.

          • Julian says:


            (At least it’s not “Rohrabacher-Blumenauer.” Everyone PLEASE write your Congressman so I can stop writing these big words! If THAT’s not motivation under the influence of marijuana I don’t know what IS!)

    3. Miles says:

      Cannabis has never caused me to be unmotivated.

      What has caused me to feel very unmotivated is to be considered a criminal for doing something that should be an American, if not a human, right; that is to consume cannabis!

    4. dave says:

      lol, i am far from adolescent, I’ve had a lot of experience with motivation and cannabis use.

      I have to be careful when choosing to consume cannabis or not. I can sit around when I’m straight.

      But if i decide to smoke a joint…
      I won’t be sitting for long, within 5 minutes, I’m up, gone, busy with something.

      and the BS that pot makes you stupid is equally foolish as well.

      and the BS that cannabis has a bad effect on driving is absurd.

      and Laura Ingram needs to smoke a joint and get an education about cannabis. She is sooo miss-informed.

    5. Julian says:

      Get stoned early in the morning.
      Stay sober for your study time.
      Toke at lunch without warning.
      Reflect with an evening rhyme…

    6. fireweed says:

      shoot I could have told you that 30 years ago. I smoked my way through grad school, it was a labor of love that ended with me getting my best gpa ever

    7. Hi, pot and industrialism is like fire and water….all the ingredients in the new industrial era work in contre-favor of the effect of pot. First of all man is born to be indempendant, if man lives according to creation and creates and not consume, in return pot will not affect him like glue but like an energizer. Why are all the thru people of earth using pot without problems on the fields and why does industrial kids get paranoid ?? ask yourself is the first quality but we are used to just comment with the ideas allready made and preshaped. we are a preshaped civilisation that get stick like glue with something too powerfull for our small connections….be happy those guys like me are coming back to earth….

    8. Matt says:

      If anything, it INSPIRES me. Wonderous plant.

    9. Victor says:

      You know what is linked to a lack of gumption? Depression. You know what helps treat depression? The plant. Seems like a no-brainer. Probably didn’t need scientists to figure this one out lol.

    10. saferinneworleans says:

      The anti motivating factor may be more nuanced, and hard to fit into the common test molds. They lied to me throughout my childhood – demonized a plant and its users – and when I found out it was actually good medicine, I was definitely less motivated to believe what society is telling me, including that I must consume plastic goods and participate in the rat race. The one big lie sort of turned me off to the society that told it. I am less motivated to participate at all. I feel more comfortable in my chair. So there I sit, when I might be doing a number of “more productive” things. In a few minutes I will throw myself back into my art, and make something beautiful. It might not help in the rat race, but are the racers – even the best ones! The Harvey Weinsteins and the Donald Trumps – really happy? It’s a beautiful day in New Orleans. Carnival starts today! Come see us, and step out of the race for a few days.

      • Dain Bramage says:

        @ saferinneworleans,

        The lies you refer to — about the rat race and all — that’s kind of what I am talking about when I say “corporate indoctrination.”

        Consumerism as a virtue is a lie, as is its corollary belief system, “a responsiblility to the stockholders.” That’s all bull; one’s responsibility is to society first, always.

        I wouldn’t wish to rain on your carnival, or ruin this rare moment of unity; but speaking of liars and corporate corruption, I simply can’t resist asking you once again at this point…

        Haven’t you had enough of Trump, by now? And his evil lies?

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