Cannabusters myth #5: Cannabis makes you lazy

Oct 12 2018, 7:55 pm

Every day, in every way, cannabis legalization in Canada is getting closer. But despite all the hype, noise, and publicity, there seem to be recurring cannabis myths flying around that just won’t quit.

With five days to go until federal legalization, Grow’s daily Cannabusters series tackles common myths by cutting through the stigma and sensationalism to bring you the facts about cannabis.

Myth: Consuming cannabis makes you lazy.

Fact: Cannabis consumers can be found at every level of productivity.

The Lazy Stoner is the easily the most iconic cannabis consumer archetype. An unmotivated burnout devoid of ambition beyond getting high.

While anyone who has mixed a heavy indica with a comfortable place to sit knows that’s where they are parked for the rest of their journey, there are many people who consume cannabis and remain highly functional (pardon the pun).

A 2006 study looked at “cannabis-induced amotivational syndrome” by surveying 1300 respondents using the Apathy Evaluation Scale and Satisfaction with Life Scale.

Researchers found little difference in motivation among heavy cannabis consumers (daily consumption) and abstainers.

A small, yet statistically significant difference in subjective well-being was found, whereby daily users yielded a slightly lower score. However, the researchers acknowledged part of that difference may come from medical cannabis consumers.

In Canada, there are over 300,000 registered medical cannabis consumers who use the plant to enhance their quality of life and ability to function.

Living databases like Move the Movement are collecting stories from patients in an effort to break the stigma and show cannabis consumption in a different way.

There have also been increased reports of athletes turning to cannabis, particularly its non-intoxicating cannabinoid CBD, to help with inflammation, injury, and postworkout recovery.

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Tinkering with terpenes

Terpenes are molecules in cannabis (and other plants) that contribute to taste and scent. They also contribute to the effects of intoxication when consuming cannabis.

“In my own experience, only ingesting THC or just cannabinoids without terpenes will be a flat, one-dimensional, intoxicating high. The breadth and depth of the experience comes from terpenes. They interact with different receptors and it’s a dynamic we’re only starting to understand,” Alexzander Samuelsson, lead chemist at Nextleaf Solutions, previously told Daily Hive.

Understanding terpenes can help consumers choose a varietal (strain) of cannabis that produces desired effects.

For example, varietals high in myrcene (which is also found in mango) can lead to that infamous “couchlock” and can be particularly helpful for insomnia or serious relaxation.

Conversely, pinene can help with focus and mental alertness. Anecdotally, this can also be a great terpene for going on a cleaning spree.

Regardless of your reasons for consuming and the acute effects, you won’t be feeling them after the buzz wears off.

As we move through legalization and more individuals come out of the “green closet,” hopefully we’ll pivot from the pothead stereotype, and ideally, not even concern ourselves with other people’s cannabis consumption.

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Jessica BrownJessica Brown

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