Does Marijuana (Weed) Make You Lazy?

by | Last updated Jun 12, 2023 | Published on Feb 23, 2022 | Cannabinoids | 0 comments


The use of marijuana, cannabis, hemp, or pot as it’s known colloquially is nothing new. For years, marijuana has been used for therapeutic and recreational purposes. Still, there are many myths about the effects of weed in our system. Like, can weed make you lazy?

Marijuana’s active compound THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is responsible for most psychoactive effects from the plant. Among its many effects, there’s one that could be associated with laziness. 

So, read on to learn more about marijuana’s effects on the body and your ability to complete your daily to-do list. Plus, we’ll cover some indicators about marijuana use disorder and how to help someone with an addiction.

How Are Marijuana and Laziness Associated?

In short, yes, marijuana can make you lazy. However, this is only a short-term effect. Lethargic feelings are one of the effects of marijuana and set in after 10 minutes of using it. These symptoms usually peak around 1-3 hours after your last use. In some people, effects can last up to eight hours. 

Prolonged use of marijuana may also lead to laziness, but it doesn’t mean that your functioning will be permanently impaired. Studies show that short-term use (through smoking, ingesting, sublingual, or in tinctures) of marijuana stimulates dopamine production, making one feel high. This is why marijuana users report feelings of euphoria, well-being, and calmness while under the influence. 

Dopamine is a hormone associated with motivation (reward) and regulation in the function of your brain. However, long-term marijuana use can alter the brain’s reward system, which lowers the natural production of dopamine, potentially affecting motivation levels in marijuana users. 

A study from the University College London (UCL) found that long-term chronic marijuana use can lead to severe dopamine dysfunction. People with borderline cannabis dependence produce less dopamine than those non-users and even social users. 

The researchers believe that this drop in dopamine can be the scientific explanation of why cannabis users become less motivated over time and struggle more to complete work and education goals. 

However, human studies have many limitations in determining motivational levels in individuals who use marijuana. Nonetheless, some of the long-term effects of marijuana abuse include:

  • Altered brain development, particularly in younger users
  • Cognitive impairment 
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Higher risk of schizophrenia
  • Paranoia 

How to Recognize a Marijuana Addiction

At least 9% of the population who use marijuana may develop an addiction. Currently, 16.9% of American adults are active marijuana users. Marijuana use disorder occurs when a person can no longer manage their use of the substance. These are some common telltale signs of addiction:

  • Developing a tolerance to high amounts of marijuana. This means you need to ingest marijuana in larger quantities or more often than usual to achieve the same effects.
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms. Including anxiety, irritability, insomnia, and mood changes when you cannot use marijuana or try to quit marijuana. 
  • Having irresistible urges to use it. Continuously finding it challenging to control your marijuana intake. 
  • Making marijuana use your priority. Noticing premeditation about getting, using, and recovering from marijuana use. 
  • Relapsing when trying to control yourself in using it. Even after you decide to stop using the drug, you go back to its use due to urges, cravings, or withdrawal symptoms. 

Do I Need Help With Marijuana Use Disorder?

If you or someone you know has developed a substance use disorder, it’s paramount to seek help immediately. While the effects of marijuana addiction might not be as detrimental as other drugs, it can still cause significant damage. Chronic marijuana use is linked to cognitive impairment and increases the risk of abusing other drugs. 

The bottom line is marijuana may temporarily lower your motivation and make you feel lazy. However, more long-term effects are primarily caused by the side effects of marijuana abuse. People with anxiety and depression tend to feel less of their lives, which could hinder motivation. However, there’s no evidence that marijuana use alone is the sole cause of lack of motivation or lethargy. 

Consider speaking with a therapist, doctor, or addiction specialist about your options. Marijuana addiction can be treated through different rehab programs and support groups. With your strength and the support of your loved ones, you can leave this disease behind you. If you or someone you know is experiencing substance abuse, don’t hesitate to seek help today and learn more about your treatment options. Recovery from addiction is possible.


Written by: Nick B.

Nicholas B. is the Corporate Director of Admissions for our substance abuse and behavioral health company. Nick’s mission is to provide quality care to every person that reaches out regarding substance abuse or behavioral health questions. Knowledge of an ever-changing industry, compassion when dealing with people, and compliance in every decision are the forces that drive his personal and professional growth.

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