So much for the stereotype of the lazy, bumbling stoners like Seth Rogen's Dale Denton character in Pineapple Express.
A new peer-reviewed study published in the International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology suggests that cannabis users are no more likely to be apathetic and unmotivated than folks who abstain from the devil's lettuce.
Led by scientists from the University of Cambridge, University College London, and King’s College London, the study surveyed 274 adults and teens who regularly used cannabis and compared them with non-users of the same age and gender.
Researchers asked participants to rate statements and answer questions designed to show their levels of apathy and anhedonia — a reduced ability to experience pleasure or reward. The questions included queries such as how likely they were to see a project to completion or how interested they were in learning new things.
The cannabis users scored slightly lower than non-users on anhedonia — suggesting they actually better enjoyed themselves — and there was no significant difference when it came to apathy, according to the study.
What's more, researchers found no link between frequency of cannabis use and either apathy or anhedonia in those who were regular users.
“We were surprised to see that there was really very little difference between cannabis users and non-users when it came to lack of motivation or lack of enjoyment, even among those who used cannabis every day," said Cambridge PhD candidate Martine Skumlien in an online statement. "This is contrary to the stereotypical portrayal we see on TV and in movies.”
Even so, Kings College researcher Will Lawn said in a statement that further long-term analysis on marijuana use and lack of motivation or enjoyment is needed to confirm the study's findings.
Originally published Sept. 13 by our sister paper San Antonio Current.