For years, we’ve been debating whether or not pot actually has real behavioural consequences. And surprise, surprise, we finally have proof that it does. But we’re not completely surprised–let’s be honest.
A study out of the University of British Columbia from the Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience made rats pick to complete an easy or hard challenge to earn sweets, depending on the level of hardness they chose. They were assessed before using pot and after. Generally, the rats took on the tougher challenges to get a better treat without being influenced by pot, but ended up picking the easier option after being exposed to the drug. BAM–proof that pot does something to us after all.
According to the study, “THC impairs a relevant cognitive function for long-term success, namely willingness to exert cognitive effort.” Although, who’s to say that the rats weren’t just more satisfied under the influence, instead of just being lazy? Perhaps we’ll never know for sure.
“There is also research pointing out that sometimes THC doesn’t affect all your cognitive abilities across the board. What’s interesting in our study is that it seems to primarily affect your ability to decide or choose whether you want to exert that cognitive ability,” said Mason Silveira, the lead author of the study. “This study suggests that you can still do the harder things, it’s just that you don’t want to.” In other words, the rats were still more than capable of tackling the difficult challenge after taking THC. They just didn’t want too. And yet, the debate continues…
“I don’t see any laziness in any of my patients, that’s the one thing I can say. That really is a myth.” said Jennifer Collet, an owner of a medical marijuana clinic in Ontario. As is true for any disagreement, looks like you’ll have to just decide for yourself. Or, you can wait until there’s a bigger and better study that looks at how pot influences humans.
Check out the video above for more information on the study.