Wiz Khalifa sparked a debate on Twitter earlier this month when he tweeted his opinion that smoking weed doesn’t make people lazy. People chimed in with their own opinions but what does the science say?
“Weed doesn’t make you lazy your just lazy and using weed as an excuse,” Khalifa tweeted on Monday, Dec. 19. His tweet was then shared by the “SAY CHEESE!” account and gained even more traction.
Some agreed with Wiz Khalifa, who is a cannabis entrepreneur. Others said he was incorrect.
“Big facts,” UFC fighter Terrance “T Wrecks” McKinney responded. Another user, @Del3Manny, also agreed. He wrote, “yah that the truth.”
“Weed doesn’t make you lazy, but it does make you feel like it’s okay to be lazy… Sober people stress out when their life is going nowhere, weed addicts won’t, they’ll just get high and feel ok,” @axelsylvian responded.
“Nah weed will take the pain away so I can go hard AF and make sh*t happen,” @thir13enthour wrote. “And afterwords, I’ll smoke another and get ready for the next one.”
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“Nope. Weed 100% makes you lazy lol it’s why they call it being ‘stoned’ I’ve never seen a stone mowing the grass sir,” @THExREALxWILL wrote.
In response, another user @Jaywalkgod115 replied, “Honestly its different with everyone, I’ve seen people take a couple hits and literally start cleaning their kitchen, while others will crash on their couch.”
“I feel like it’s more of an enhancer- if you already lazy ofc it’s just gon make u lazier, but for me personally I use it for productivity,” @CJXYE wrote.
One Twitter user invoked science in his response. “Weed decreases testosterone levels & blood flow to the brain. Both directly result in less production,” @itseriklight tweeted.
Was @itseriklight right? What does the science actually say about whether smoking weed makes one lazy?
According to an article in the Australian publication “Gizmodo,” “long-term habitual use of marijuana can lead to severe dopaminergic dysfunction.”
“Specifically, the study found that the bodies of weekly, heavy tokers — those with borderline cannabis dependence — produce far less dopamine than those of non-users or social smokers,” the article said. “What’s more, the dopamine heavy users did produce rarely made it into the brain’s striatum region, leading to decreased motivation levels.”
In lay terms, people who smoke a lot of weed have decreased dopamine levels and, as a result, lower motivation levels. A study by teams at Imperial College London, University College London and King’s College London supported these findings.
“Dopamine is involved in telling the brain when something exciting is about to happen – be it sex, drugs or rock ‘n roll,” Dr. Michael Bloomfield, lead author of the study, told Daily Mail. “Our findings explain why cannabis has a tendency to make people sit around doing nothing.”
“Long-term regular marijuana use seems to have a [strong] effect on brain chemistry,” Bloomfield further explained in a statement. “After a period of time, your brain cells aren’t able to make as much tyrosine hydroxylase, an important enzyme that’s a key component in making dopamine. We know that dopamine affects how the brain controls motivation and addictions; therefore our study provides a scientific explanation as to the reason that cannabis users seem to become less motivated.”
PHOTO: Wiz Kalifa performs at The High Road Summer Tour 2016. (Flickr via NoDerivs / CC BY-ND 2.0)