- Study by UCL researchers details the effect of cannabis on motivation to work for money.
- Lowered motivation level is a short term effect of the drug.
- There was no long term effect on motivation due to the drug.
Scientists from The University College London carried out two studies to understand the effect of cannabis use on the motivation level of people.
‘Cannabis use limits push to work for money.’
Cannabis is the generic name for the plant Cannabis sativa. This crop is grown widely and transported illegally across countries due to its psychoactive agents that are meant to give an individual a 'high'.
- It is a widely used substance across the world.
- 2.3 million people in the U.K use cannabis between 16 to 59 years of age.
- It is also known as marijuana, hashish, weed or pot.
- The drug is used to relax and to get a 'high'
- Certain forms of the drug are found to be stronger than certain others.
- The use of cannabis can lead to addiction and is considered illegal in many countries.
Scientists from The University College London decided to check this belief by carrying out a couple of tests that were aimed at understanding the effect of cannabis on short-term motivation and long-term motivation to earn money.
Dr. Will Lawn who is the lead author of the study and from The University College London's Department of Clinical Psychopharmacology says "Although cannabis is commonly thought to reduce motivation, this is the first time it has been reliably tested and quantified using an appropriate sample size and methodology. It has also been proposed that long-term cannabis users might also have problems with motivation even when they are not high. However, we compared people dependent on cannabis to similar controls, when neither group was intoxicated, and did not find a difference in motivation. This tentatively suggests that long-term cannabis use may not result in residual motivation problems when people stop using it. However, longitudinal research is needed to provide more conclusive evidence."
Cannabis and the Motivation StudiesThere were two studies that were conducted to assess the motivation to work for money among cannabis users.
Short Term Motivation Study
17 adult volunteers who used cannabis occasionally were included in the study. They were made to inhale cannabis through a balloon on a particular occasion and at another occasion they were made to inhale a placebo vapor through a balloon.
These occasional users of cannabis were then tested to record their level of motivation for money.
The volunteers were made to tap the spacebar with their little finger and were given monetary rewards depending upon the number of times they tapped.
- 50p when the spacebar was tapped 30 times in 7 seconds.
- 80p to Ģ2 when the space bar is tapped up to 100 times in 21 seconds
Long Term Motivation Study
This part of the study focused on assessing the motivation level of cannabis users extended over a period of time. 20 people who were addicted to cannabis use were included in the study while 20 non-drug users were taken as the control group. To assess for long term motivation, the study group was asked not to drink alcohol or drugs for 12 hours before the study while they were allowed to use tobacco or coffee.
The study participants and the control group were made to perform the earlier task of tapping on the spacebar. The study found no significant difference in the motivation to work for money in both the study group as well as the control group.
The study shows that the use of cannabis could induce feelings of lethargy and the individual may be unable to perform a task even when offered a reward of money. This could signal the significant damage that the use of this drug could unleash on people, forcing them into a stupor that prevents them from working harder to earn better. The long term effects of the drug did not have any effect on the need to work harder for money, but larger studies may be required to fully establish the de-motivational effects of this drug.