Heavy marijuana use can make people paranoid and lazy, according to information from several studies.
While many marijuana users say they consume it because it helps them relax and feel less anxious, a study published in Schizophrenia Bulletin in 2014 says marijuana can have the opposite effect for some users.
A team of researchers from the University of Oxford led by Professor Daniel Freeman tested 121 participants ranging in age from 21 to 50. All had used marijuana once before. Two-thirds of the participants were injected with THC, the dominant active ingredient of cannabis, and the other third were injected with a placebo.
Among those who received THC, 55 percent showed more paranoia compared with 30 percent who showed paranoia on the placebo.
Listen to GHOGH with Jamarlin Martin | Episode 74: Jamarlin Martin
Jamarlin returns for a new season of the GHOGH podcast to discuss Bitcoin, bubbles, and Biden. He talks about the risk factors for Bitcoin as an investment asset including origin risk, speculative market structure, regulatory, and environment. Are broader financial markets in a massive speculative bubble?
Other studies showed smoking marijuana can also make people tired and lazy. “A number of recently published studies suggest habitually getting high not only kills your motivation, it might even alter your brain chemistry. Specifically, the part that makes you want to get off the couch,” Gizmodo reported.
One of those studies was published in 2020 by teams at Imperial College London, University College London and King’s College London. It showed “long-term habitual use of marijuana can lead to severe dopaminergic dysfunction.”
The study posits that since dopamine is one of the neurotransmitters responsible for motivating individuals to perform certain behaviors, dysfunction or suppression can lead to a lack of motivation and laziness.
However, an article published in Forbes in April said the “lazy stoner” stereotype is just that. Light marijuana use “may actually encourage physical activity,” according to a study published in the Harm Reduction Journal.
While there is debate on the subject, all of the studies that were reviewed said marijuana affects different people differently and those who use marijuana can display various reactions that are also centered on things such as frequency of use, genetics and other factors.
Image credit: Ben Harding/ iStock