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Friday, December 2, 2022

Does cannabis really make people apathetic? New research suggests that the “zombie stoner” myth is not true

A person who enjoys smoking weed Stoner or Daredevil. to many people, Cheech & Chong It immediately jumps to mind. The duo Bong Talking in the 1970s redefined drug use in comedy, bolstering public awareness in public awareness metaphors about cannabis users being oblivious, incoherent, and lazy (and also very hilarious).

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These stereotypes persist to this day. 2019 analysis in the magazine eye contact Over 450 photos checked Marijuana Via 10 different media outlets before and After Colorado legalizes cannabis for adults.

The authors reported: “Users were often presented as rebellious protesters: a lazy, aloof, rude ‘drainer’ of societal resources, and extremists espousing anti-cultural lifestyles.” “Users were portrayed as young partygoers and fun-seekers, very passionate about marijuana. Most of all, these photos of music festivals shrouded in smoke and twenty days rolling over oversized knuckles define ‘fanatics’ from ordinary everyday people.”

But new research challenges this popular perspective, finding that cannabis users are probably no more lazy than the general public. A study was published last month in International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology He argues that cannabis use reduces motivation or increases feelings of apathy and anhedoniaInability to feel pleasure from activities that were previously enjoyable.

Researchers at Cambridge University and other institutes in the UK recruited participants from the Greater London area and found 135 adults and teens who reported using cannabis an average of four times a week. For the observation, they recruited 139 adults and teens who had tried cannabis at least once (but less than 10 times in their lives) and had not touched the drug in the past month. All participants had to be awake for at least 12 hours before the experiment.

The authors predicted that individuals who used cannabis would have higher rates of anhedonia and apathy than controls and less willingness to make effort for rewards. They also expected teens to perform worse on these measures than adults. However, their hypotheses were not supported.

“We were surprised to see that there is very little difference between cannabis users and non-users when it comes to a lack of motivation or a lack of enjoyment…”.

“We were surprised to see that there was very little difference between cannabis users and nonusers when it came to a lack of motivation or a lack of enjoyment, even among those who use cannabis every day,” said lead author of the study, Martin Scomlin, a doctoral candidate in the University of New York’s Department of Psychiatry. Cambridge in statement. “This goes against the stereotype we see on TV and movies…Our work indicates that this is in itself a stereotype of laziness, and that people who use cannabis will not lack motivation or be lazier than people who don’t.” .

Participants underwent a series of tests and surveys to measure their motivation and mood. Indifference was measured with the Indifference Rating Scale, while indifference was measured with the Sneath-Hamilton Pleasure Scale, which asked for stimuli such as “I would enjoy being with family or close friends.” One of the tasks involved pressing buttons to score points which were later exchanged for candy, which can be Measures Effort-based decision making.

“Our results indicate that adolescents have a higher degree of anhedonia and apathy compared to adults, but cannabis use did not increase this difference,” the authors reported. “Our findings should help reduce the stigma experienced by people who use cannabis by dispelling more claims of ‘affective syndrome’, which appear increasingly lacking scientific support.”

However, the authors caution that these findings must be taken into account. Because there are so many variables, it is very difficult to elicit these causal relationships from drug use. For example, this study focused only on individuals from the UK, and there could be other ways in which cannabis affects motivation that has not been examined.

This study is in line with other research suggesting that laziness and marijuana use may be inaccurately confused.

However, this study is in line with other research that suggests that laziness and marijuana use may be inaccurately confused. The largest study to date on the topic, the 2020 report in the journal Use and abuse of substancesAnd the It surveyed 874 people who reported using cannabis at least once in their lives, which was weakly associated with decreased motivation.

“However, the magnitude of these associations was small, indicating that cannabis accounts for less than 8% of the variance in motivation,” the authors reported. Instead, the decline is likely due to other factors, such as mental health, personality, or use of other drugs. In the Cambridge study, the authors attempted to better control these variables.


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More research is needed to truly elicit this relationship, but this is some of the strongest evidence available showing that cannabis use and laziness are possibly unrelated (although nothing has been completely ruled out). No research has been able to show a mechanism of action for this alleged relationship either. In other words, if the cannabis Do Make you lazy, we don’t know how.

Thanks to Cheech & Chong, the notion that cannabis users are lazy and stupid, but generally harmless, has become a mainstream perception. Perhaps it was a step in the right direction, considering that the 1936 propaganda film “Reefer Madness” portrayed cannabis users as violent psychopaths. Such as funny pictures of marijuana use Expose greatlywith any such association being largely associated with individuals who already have a history of violence or mental illness.

What would it take for the lazy man myth to be dispelled, or replaced with something closer to the truth?

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