Stoner study: Regular marijuana use contributes to lack of motivation, foresight
There's a reason you're not motivated when you smoke weed: it ruins your episodic memory.
Marijuana is arguably mainstream now, but frequent use has its drawbacks. According to an Australian study, marijuana is detrimental to long-term goal planning. Specifically, it affects episodic memory, which is the motor of episodic foresight, or the ability to time-travel into your future in your head and plan your goals.
The study—available here—compared 57 pot smokers to 57 non-smokers in what the study called an Autobiographical Interview task. Every participant was asked to describe either an experience from their past or a possible scenario for their future based on a cue word. The frequent smokers, who smoked three or more times a week, found it more difficult to imagine future scenarios compared to the less-frequent (twice a week or less) smokers and the non-smoking group.
Is this study indicative of all pot smokers being bad at planning? No. Even one of the co-authors of the study, Kimberly Mercuri of Australian Catholic University, said: “More research is needed to better understand the neurological underpinnings of this observed deficit as well as the exact functional implications of the observed future thinking deficit." Which is researcher talk for 'the test checks out but more studies should be done.' (A cursory Google search revealed this 2015 study with similar findings and perhaps the more alarming reveal that marijuana use directly messes with your hippocampus, i.e. the part of the brain that makes you 'you'.)
Although, before any hypothetical mom goes and posts this article on their children's Facebook wall and goes "I toldja so!", there are absolutely successful stoners out there—here's a list of 50. And it's not just the creative arts: one of Big Think's biggest inspirations, Carl Sagan, was a noted stoner. Also: marijuana is safer than alcohol by a very, very wide margin. Alcohol kills 88,000 people a year while pot has yet to do much more than cause you to eat an entire bag of Doritos in one sitting.
It appears in the study that those who partake in a lil' toke once or twice a week are off the hook. But for regular "smoke weed e'ryday" smokers? The study hits home the extremely common archetype of the directionless stoner, a look that not even Brad Pitt could make sexy.
It also pops the balloon of delusion—people like Willie Nelson, Seth Rogen, Margo Price, Jay-Z who smoke and are at the top of their game are likely 1% outliers: most daily stoners don't get shit done. In the wise words of rapper Smooth, "too much of anything makes you an addict."
Upvote/downvote each of the videos below!
As you vote, keep in mind that we are looking for a winner with the most engaging social venture pitch - an idea you would want to invest in.
Here are 7 often-overlooked World Heritage Sites, each with its own history.
- UNESCO World Heritage Sites are locations of high value to humanity, either for their cultural, historical, or natural significance.
- Some are even designated as World Heritage Sites because humans don't go there at all, while others have felt the effects of too much human influence.
- These 7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites each represent an overlooked or at-risk facet of humanity's collective cultural heritage.
Famous physicists like Richard Feynman think 137 holds the answers to the Universe.
- The fine structure constant has mystified scientists since the 1800s.
- The number 1/137 might hold the clues to the Grand Unified Theory.
- Relativity, electromagnetism and quantum mechanics are unified by the number.
A new method promises to capture an elusive dark world particle.
- Scientists working on the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) devised a method for trapping dark matter particles.
- Dark matter is estimated to take up 26.8% of all matter in the Universe.
- The researchers will be able to try their approach in 2021, when the LHC goes back online.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.