By Adam Parsons

For a long time, cannabis has been associated with unproductiveness and laziness. Since the 30’s, society has developed a very specific stigma for stoners. The unemployed couch potato has always been the perfect example when educators talked about cannabis.

When consuming cannabis, what every person will relate to is what they see other consumers do. And what they see other do is shown in movies and series. Very few productive and intelligent stoners have come forward with their habits and cannabis routines. If media portrayed cannabis smokers as efficient and motivated, maybe we would see more working consumers. With this stigma, every consumer will believe he/she should be feeling lazy. This may be so strong to the point they will actually feel lazy even if it’s just the placebo effect. Marketing a drug for lazy people will obviously attract them. The stigma is giving people a reason to feel satisfied with their unproductiveness because they’re high. This is misleading and unfair for those who don’t want to be associated with this.

Like most marijuana issues, there isn’t a conclusive answer to this one either. There are studies defending both sides of the argument. What we’ll be going through is what we know to date and trying to grasp a sense of what to expect in the future.


There are dozens of cannabinoids in cannabis that we know of today. What you experience during your high will be decided by them. This is controlled by the different quantities of cannabinoids, present in the strain you consume, and how they react together. There will certainly be strains that negatively impact your motivation. But obviously, there are also some that will do the exact opposite.

For productivity and motivation, a sativa is what we recommend. These strains tend to focus on uplifting the mind, and those that give a clear and focused high are ideal for those times to need to drown out distractions and motivate yourself.

indica strain effects vs sativa strain effects cannabis

On the other hand, indica strains often have the opposite effect. The ratio of cannabinoids and terpenes they tend to have cause lethargy and muscle relaxation, allowing the mind to sink into bliss.

There is also the option of CBD-rich strains, which are often hybrids of both sativas and indicas. CBD regulates the psychoactive effects of THC, keeping the psychoactive effects more mellow, as well as being able to relax your body and bring about anti-anxiety effects. This can be useful when you’re trying to be productive but you still feel a little stressed out and want to be clear-headed for the task ahead.


In September 2016, a study[1] was conducted by the University College London. It claims to be the first to reliably demonstrate the effects of cannabis on motivation in humans. Lead by Dr. Will Lawn, this research team asked participants to complete a task made to measure their motivation for earning money.

Straight away we doubt this piece of research. How can you measure motivation through currency? Business research has shown that for many people, money is not a major motivator when it comes to job satisfaction. This study found that people under the influence of cannabis took easier and less monetarily fruitful tasks instead of harder but higher paying ones.

This same study conducted a second experiment to analyze a different variable. It looked at how the motivation of cannabis consumers, who the study defined as addicted, was altered when not under the influence. The conclusion was that the motivation levels between the sober consumers and the control group were exactly the same.

It suggests that it may be the lack of motivation that draws people to cannabis, not cannabis causing lack of motivation. It also doesn't account for type of strain or ration of compounds within it.


There is still a lot to research and find out about cannabis. Would the results of the studies above be different if the subjects had been artists or athletes? Would it be different if the activities had been of social interaction or brainstorming? There never is a test that considers every variable. Nor is there one that can be applied to everyone in the world. Cannabis is certainly not the best option for everyone, but there might be certain individuals who benefit from it.

Alex Walker, a professional gamer, on an interviewed for Gameplayer, said: “I’ve seen a number of players at national tournaments who came in ‘baked’ purely so they could play better.”

cannabis bud guitar creativity

This has been made prohibited by the Electronic Sports League now. Athletes are only allowed to smoke after their games. This means that legal issues are not the worry here. The sole reason for prohibiting weed at these events is because of how cannabis is considered a performance-enhancing drug in such scenarios. If cannabis had been authorized, this would motivate every single athlete to consume, even the one who previously didn’t. This would not be healthy for the players and so the organization’s decision was more than fair.

This is a phenomenon mirrored by professional extreme sports athletes, who are more and more turning to cannabis for focus while they perform.


Cannabis is a plant that reacts in different ways with each and every consumer. Only you will know about how you feel and behave while under the influence of particular strains.

There is still a lot to find out about cannabis and its effects on the human body and mind. It might be adequate for certain people with certain occupations but it might not be right for you. It’s still up to you to discover your answer. What we can say with certainty is that the current marijuana industry is growing profitable because of stoners. Motivated or not, these people worked hard for what they believed in. There are plenty of high functioning stoners out there who use it as part of their daily routine. The answer may lie more in whether you let cannabis define you, or whether you use it responsibly in moderation as part of a balanced life.

External Resources:
  1. Cannabis reduces short-term motivation to work for money | EurekAlert! Science News
This content is for educational purposes only. The information provided is derived from research gathered from external sources.

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