Study: Does frequent cannabis use make you lazy?

This study "aimed to replicate and extend previous research on frequent cannabis use, motivated behavior, and self-reported apathy." It was published in the Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology in June 2022.

Cannabis has a reputation for making users unmotivated and sometimes lazy. Amotivational syndrome is a term used to refer to lack of motivation and passive personality related to chronic cannabis use. Previous findings have been mixed.

The cannabis users group in this study used cannabis more than 3 times per week on average. The control group used cannabis less than 1 time per month.  Both groups completed the Apathy Evaluation Scale (AES), and the Effort Expenditure for Rewards Task (EEfRT).

The results showed that cannabis users were significantly more likely to select hard tasks on the EEfRT than the control group.

  • "Cannabis users exhibit a greater likelihood of exerting more effort for reward, suggesting enhanced motivation relative to healthy controls. Thus, the current results do not support amotivational syndrome in adult frequent cannabis users."

So, according to the results, frequent cannabis use does NOT make you "lazy". It even seems to increase the likelihood that users will exert greater effort than controls.

The research abstract is here at PubMed.